Dr Miriam: Despair of Leg Loss Husband; LETTER OF THE DAY

The Mirror (London, England), September 3, 2004 | Go to article overview

Dr Miriam: Despair of Leg Loss Husband; LETTER OF THE DAY


Byline: Miriam Stoppard

MY husband, who has smoked since he was a teenager, got pains in his legs then had to have half of one amputated due to poor circulation.

The doctors said it was due to smoking.

Since the operation, he lies in bed until mid-morning, then just sits in front of his computer or the TV and drinks six or seven cans of lager. He still smokes.

I really resent him now. I've tried getting things back on track but he just makes excuses. What can I do?

I FEEL so sorry for you and your husband. Surviving a severe trauma such as amputation is a challenge, to say the least.

But this side-effect of smoking is well known and his doctors must have pleaded with him to stop to save his leg. So he's brought a tragedy on himself. Maybe bitterness and the thought he's not whole any more accounts for his opting out of life.

I know he's giving you a really difficult time and, while I don't want to make excuses for him, I think it can only help if you try to see the situation from his side.

There are very complex psychological aspects of amputation, including mourning, frustration, anger, anxiety, fear, depression, stress - as well as self-esteem and changed body image issues. …

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