A good friend of mine (Bobbie)called me today to give me an update on what was happening to her. I knew she was in the hospital with a foot infection and she had indicated earlier that she may have a long recovery time. She gave me the details today. It started with a spider bite, but turned into something much more serious. The doctors found stress fractures and infection in that foot. The infection had spread to the bone (but the blood came out OK, after lab tests). They removed parts of the bone in the first surgery, but now they are talking of amputating her below the ankle or below the knee. She has not received much information from the doctors, and she has been told not to eat or drink anything. She is afraid that they are preparing her for surgery. I don't have a medical background, but wouldn't they require the patient's permission to perform surgery on her? She needs to get approval from her insurance, and the hospital has not contacted her insurance. She feels comfortable with one of the doctors that are treating her, but she has not been seen by a doctor since yesterday. That sounded odd to me. My first thought- as a non-medical person- is: Is there a way to avoid amputation? I am wondering if there are any alternative therapies that could cure an infection (I am probably being very naive here)? I just asked her not to rush into anything and get all her questions answered first by the doctors. They have not even told her which rehab facility she would be moved to, two days after the surgery. That seems very odd to me. She is taking this bravely but I know that it's going to be really tough for her to adjust to a new life. I am hurting for her because she has been a good friend not just to me (I always call her as a sounding board, or if I have a question, need help, etc.) but to a lot of other people. I just want to help her, and will, but I am also interested in finding out if she has an alternative to an amputation. She mentioned to me today that she has diabetes (I didn't know that) and she has staff infection in her foot. It's just a terrible turn of events for her that's going to permanently change her life.