Our monthly installation – Then and Now – features #LIMLegend Tammy Myers and her heartfelt journey post amputation, inspiring others along the way.
My life was pretty average before moving to Decatur, Texas. I was a stay at home Mom, grandmother of three, a little adventurous, and with a deep love for water and the outdoors. With my Son attending a new high school and me juggling unpacking with Christmas shopping, it was an extremely busy time for me. I was having some leg cramps that worsened rapidly until I could no longer ignore them. I couldn’t walk around in a store without looking for a bench or stopping to rub my leg & wondering if I would make it to the car.
Fortunately, I happened to have an appointment with my doctor that day in what became a pivotal moment in my life! A day I never forget! 12-14-07. I went in for a routine Doppler and never actually got out of hospitals and rehabs until the end of January. The Doppler showed a clot in my artery behind my knee. I remember leaving to get in car to go eat with my family and the Doctor calling me back into the ward or risk me losing my foot. I was thinking “Yeah right! Is he serious?”
I remember people being there intermittently after being admitted for my five procedures. The surgeon wanted to take my leg off at the hip but my family refused. They had me transferred to St. Paul where the surgery took place through the night Christmas Eve into the following festive day. They were able to save my leg above my knee. It was hard, I won’t lie. I had only gone in for a Doppler and cramping and here I was with one leg amputated above the knee.
I did not know any other amputee; I was in severe pain and didn’t know what to expect next. A new way of live was soon to begin, relearning to do things everyone take for granted. I was determined to be as independent as possible and quickly started physical therapy where Brett Braziel taught me how to think out of the box not only with my therapy but in life in general where only “I CAN!” was accepted.
I noticed there was a need in the amputee community that wasn’t being fulfilled, where I knew I could make a positive difference. Following this realization, in 2008 I founded a support group for the community and outlying areas called ‘Amputees In Motion’. I had finally found my passion and my purpose! What a blessing! I started working out, being a social butterfly, not taking no for an answer and learned I was stronger than I ever knew. After speaking to old and young people alike without judgment, I learned one can make a difference. To kick off the inspiring nature of AIM I went skydiving with my son to show that life doesn’t end after amputation; there’s always a way to do things and live your dreams.
Unfortunately, 2008 was a rough road filled with multiple health and leg issues, and elected to have a revision to have staff scraped from the bone and the limb cut shorter. After having a blood clot up my arm to my brain they finally diagnosed me with a rare disorder that I would have never know about had I not lost my leg.
Today I can say all these things make me a stronger and better rounded woman. I’m the Founder of Amputees In Motion, a registered peer visitor with the Amputee Coalition, proud LIM Ambassador as well as belonging to multiple Women’s groups to help inspire, motivate others. Since I’ve lost my leg I have gone skydiving, parasailing, inner tubing, zip-lining, and taken a cruise with the Amputee Coalition.
Over the years I’ve had several traditional sockets. I’m so thankful I found LIM Innovations. My limb is constantly fluctuating due to the activities I take part in, but I no longer have to worry how my limb will fit in the socket. My socket just adjusts to the shape of my limb, no matter where I am, with the crank of the ratchet fastener around the brim. No more stomping in the morning when I wake up. I keep the socket on all day, walking with unparalleled comfort that allows me to participate in all my activities. In the future I would like to try and run a 5k!
My socket is very unique in the way it was developed, for I have custom leopard print strut covers as well as this dynamic design, that act as a way to start conversations and open doors to educating others. I hope to continue helping others achieving what they want to do, and try new things with my Infinite Socket including getting through the Texas heat!
I just want to tell the whole World about LIM and why it’s important for all of us to be able to choose comfort and technology. In order for amputees to live a life that’s productive, it’s vital that we get a say in what prosthesis want. Everyone should all be able to have dreams like walking our first 5k, be a member on a rowing team, (my secret dream haha) or just walking comfortably round a shop without pain, and with LIM’s Infinite Socket I feel like all this could one day be possible.