Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Amputation vs. salvage.

I always find it odd how attached people get to their limbs, even after their limbs are clearly non-functional. This is the second time I've had to read through a file where that happened -- the previous was a traumatic near-amputation of the leg (below-knee), and this is a traumatic amputation of the arm (below-elbow). In the former case, the orthopods saw reason and tried to convince the patient to get the amputation, after their salvage didn't really do much good (patient still couldn't walk). In the latter case, however, the orthopods got into some stupid jockish kind of mindset and reattached the limb. Which, six years later, still has no function and no sensation. So, really, what was the point? A hook is more functional -- at least it can pinch, eh?

I have to say, I don't get it. Why hang on to something that isn't working? I mean, yes, it's your leg or arm or whatever, but it doesn't work and it doesn't feel -- it's basically just a lump of useless flesh -- so why not replace it with something that might actually help you get your life back together?

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