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my daughter is distressed about her Daddy's amputation - Carers UK Forum

my daughter is distressed about her Daddy's amputation

Share your ideas about the practical side of caring.
My husband has recently had a foot amputated after years of problems with ulcers, MRSA and osteomyelitis. He fine(ish), my two year old isn't. She is scared by the missing foot and won't talk about her daddy at all.

I tried to prepare her by saying that the hospital couldn't mend daddy's sore foot and so they had to take it off and make a new one, but until the new one is ready he will use a wheelchair. I've shown her some wheelchairs and pointed them out at the hospital. Unfortunately it was a very sudden decision by the surgeon, until last Wednesday they were removing the dead tissue, then they decided the foot had to go and they amputated they day after.

Not quite sure what else to do. Are there any books written for young children? Maybe a story along similar lines?

My aunt had a leg amputated(suddenly), when my children were 4,2 and 6 weeks. Obviously not such a close relationship, but we were a close extended family then. My aunt never hid anything from the children, and they were used to seeing her with her above above knee amputation, and it seemed to be the grown-ups that had more trouble adjusting.

Can you get counselling? It is very sudden, and I am sure you and your husband are also having difficulties coming to terms with it?It sounds so much as though your daughter needs to be able to understand her Daddy's new look. I haven't heard of any books, but I remember watching a film and a boy lost his arm in an accident, and they buried it, and held a service,plus put a little headstone up in memory.Have you any photos of your husband which you could cut the foot off, and put it into a little box and bury it in the garden?It may sound silly, but children see things so literally. When my younger son was about 5, the diabetes specialist told him he had to be very careful about his feet, otherwise they could get sore and the Dr have to take them away, and he said "that's okay, they will give me new ones, like Aunty Babs!"
My husband lost hs eyesight very suddenly, when my daughter was 7, and she burst into tears, wondering how would Daddy walk her up the aisle when she got married, if he couldn't see where he was going?

Children do adapt, but this period must be very distressing for you all. If there is a hospital chaplain, perhaps he/she could help?Even if you have no religion, a good chaplain will be willing to listen and advise.

Good luck to you, your husband and your daughter.I don't klnow what else I can say. I will ask my aunt if she has any ideas. I will say that once she had her leg off, she became fitter than she had been for years. She is now almost 82, and still walking everyday.
Thanks for your reply. we are coping quite well, aftr seven years of watching him walk on an ulcerated foot we are almost relieved about the amputation. It means if we have a day out he won't get tired and i won't worry about the damage he might do by walking on it.

I'm just worried about my daughter's reaction. She's used to daddy being ill, (he's diabetic and has most of the related complications) and up until now she has accepted that as normal. in fact i was worried that she did think that it was normal to be going to hospital all the time.

HELLO and welcome to our madhouse! Give her time, she'll adapt and accept things in her own little mind given time. My grandson wouldn't go near hubby's wheelchair (or hubby) until the middle of April this year, when he sat next to his grandad watching the Tractor Ploughing on uTube on grandad's computer. Daughter and I cried, it was so lovely after all this time. He's nearly 2 and has come to learn that grandad's wheelchair is really not so frightening after all. Your daughter may be frightened of the SUDDEN, dramatic change and her mind has switched off from her daddy for a while, until it adapts and gets used to the idea that daddy hasn't actually CHANGED.
Idea:- why not pop into your Children's Ward at the hospital with your daughter and have a word with the nurses there, explaining about your daughter's reaction. They will be well used to dealing with child amputees and I'm sure they'll have some ideas or picture books that she could have/borrow?
My 20 year old son went for a 1 1/2 hour eye operation when he was 4 and he was given a colouring book about children in hospital and how they felt coping with differing things.
Just a thought.
Take care, Fran
Hey Heidi froggy, Just wondering how your daughter's doing? Hoping things are improving, even if it is slowly at the moment.
Hi there, we're doing OK. They moved my husband to a hospital nearer home which we didn't want as its rubbish there. But every cloud has a silver lining....they really didn't want him as he has a history of repeated MRSA infections (which he intially caught there) so they're working hard to get him out. They are adapting the bathroom today and are supposed to be building a new front step so he can get in the house. He could be home this week.

My daughter was entranced by the 'magic' taps that work by sensors in the MRSA bay and forgot she didn't like daddy any more.

All going OK. The only problem now is I'm in trouble at work for taking two weeks off with a suspected ectopic preg/miscarriage while my husband ill also. I'm sure they'll back down when the union rep tell them they are heartless so and so's.

Got a new car as well.its a kangoo and brilliant for our needs.

Thanks for the update froggy and glad things are looking up Image
Excellent news about the Kangoo and your adaptions and your daughter. I'm sure your work will find out that they've done wrong by you and things will settle down soon. Take care.