My name is Kunie Verwoert. In 1982, I lost my left lower leg due to an accident. I was 16 years old. My motto was then: 'I live and want to continue with life'.
After the rehabilitation and natural recovery, I started to exercise again in the same year (basketball, football). I did that with the prostheses of that time! stumpsocket here, stumpsocket there; pff very hot all! Anyway, it is no different ... and by ..! A few years ago I came into contact with the osseointegration (click) prosthesis through an employee of my prosthetist. The osseointegration prosthesis was still in its infancy, so I left it that way.
Several years of inflammation, followed by outpatient surgeries. These inflammations started in the spring when the temperature went up, very annoying! I had to let my dog out with the wheelchair or ask for help (something I find very difficult). It all worked well but it is very limited and requires a lot of adaptability. I like to walk, especially with my dog. But when I walked a distance, for example 2 kilometers, I had to stop for a moment to move my stump in the socket; one felt that ....
In 2015, the osseointegration prosthesis came into the picture again through the magazine of the Dutch amputee society "Kort & Krachtig". After a lot of talking with my partner and family, I made an appointment for the information day on December 4, 2015 in the hospital. A few days before, I had to take pictures of my stump so they could see my stump well. On the information day, Pietsje (user expert) and a whole team of specialists (Dr Frölke, Dr van de Meent, a physiotherapist and a prosthetist) told their story. Then we were called one by one for the physical examination and to decide on the treatment together (whether you are eligible for an osseointegration prosthesis) and ....... I was eligible. ....happy!
Then the wait for the approval of my health insurance. This approval came in February 2016. Then it was waiting until it was my turn for the surgery. This wait takes a long time. Unfortunately, the surgery was postponed three times.
At the end of April 2017 came the good message ....; I could go to anesthesia and May 1 was my 1st surgery. This surgery was very intense because by correction my stump was a lot shorter. I had to get used to that .... but I have to say he had become nicer. The 2nd surgery would take place 6 weeks later but was brought forward because I had an inflammation and had to take antibiotics! Three weeks after the operation, the rehabilitation (re-learning to walk) started in the hospital with a great team and nice cozy co-osseointegrated amputees with whom you could share love and suffering. Because I suffered a lot from my stoma, I had to take a break of 6 weeks. Then I went 3 more times after which I was fired and I had to do it on my own.
At home I went further with physio blunt massage and strength exercises. Pfff ... and you want so much and like to be quick but then you'll be blown back by your body. I have suffered a lot of phantom pain but by a fellow osseointegration prosthesis user I came to the amitriptyline medication and fortunately that helped me a lot. After about 11 months I was really drug free ....! it was a heavy time but luckily passed ....!
At the moment I work 40 hours a week. I have been able to build these hours in consultation with my occupational health doctor and rehabilitation doctor. I also have to walk a lot, so it's pretty heavy and the best is to listen to your body and take your rest .... (which is sometimes very difficult, because you want so much) which is wise to to do...
I have never regretted the decision to have osseointegration. I am often asked: what is the advantage of this? then I say: 'I can walk again with and without my dog without stopping, cycling and exercise (seat volleyball), am not so tired anymore, I have much less pain in my lower back and I am only one year further! I have my life back! And I will continue .......
Thank you very much for all their efforts to make this possible!