I am also proud to be a Shriner
Me, on the radio at WKRG-FM
Hi, I'm Robert Gauge and I am a (BKA) "Below Knee Amputation" Patient.
Unlike many other patients, I did not have my lower leg/foot amputated as a result of a diabetic infection, War or an automobile accident (three of the most common reasons to lose a limb). I lost my leg because of my own stupidity. I walked out into my own backyard without wearing any shoes. I then stepped on an old rusty nail in the ground that went almost 2 inches into my heal. After I removed the nail and washed out the wound with soap and hot water, I went to the doctor who gave me a tetanus shot plus some antibiotics. A few days later, my doctor told me my wound was badly infected and I was admitted to the hospital. After two operations to attempt to clear the infection, my doctor told me the infection was now in the bone and amputation was the only course of action. I was really out of it by this point due to the infection poison in my system, and even though my lower right leg was amputated the next day, I did not get my mental faculties back to 100% for two weeks.
In all, I was in the hospital (USA Medical center here in Mobile, Alabama) for a week, and then was moved and spent three weeks in a rehab center (Rotary Rehab Hospital) where I did exercises to build my strength, I was also taught how to use the bathroom, shower, use the transfer board for my wheelchair and the other things a new amputee must learn. I must say the transfer board was important to getting my life back together, though after 7 months I no longer need it to get from my wheelchair to the sofa, tub, ect. as a lot of my muscles have come back.
I must also say I was given top notch medical care, and my doctors, especially Dr. Gandy and Dr. Weaver (Weaver has just retired), my surgeons (on the University of South Alabama Surgical Team) were instrumental in providing me an amputation that resulted in a quick healing experience with almost no pain or other complications.
I have also worked with the fine team at Hanger, to shape my stump and fit me with a new prosthetic lower leg/foot. I now have my prosthetic leg, and you can see how it was fitted and made if you click on the "Diary" page (with some pretty cool photos) along with some tips on how I learned to use my new prosthetic foot/lower leg (and dealt with the more common problems people new to a prosthetic run into).
Oh yeah, just a little bit about me. Robert Gauge is my "Air Name" after spending over 25 years as a radio announcer in several major markets including several years on the air in my home town of Detroit Michigan. My real name is Dr. Robert Martin as I also have a divinity doctorate degree and am an ordained minister. I also have a working background doing everything from being a machinist, to driving a cab, working as a lights guy and roadie for rock and jazz bands, to working as a computer specialist and graphic arts designer for a large hospital system prior to retiring due to a very bad back a couple of years before I lost my leg. Yes, what a long weird road this life has been.
Today, besides running this website and recording podcasts, I continue to work toward my goal of walking using only my old irish blackthorn cane (and no longer needing my walker and wheelchair), and doing what little charity work that I can as a 32nd degree master mason and as a Shriner where I spend most of my free time raising money for the children both at the Shriner Temple (ABBA Temple in Mobile Alabama, and the Shriner's international hospitals).
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