Today, bodybuilding legend Flex Wheeler provided an update regarding his partial leg amputation. The four-time Arnold Classic winner and three-time Olympia runner-up stated that his pain level had reduced from a “through the roof” 10 (on a scale of 10) to around 5 after having his right leg amputated at the knee in mid-October. “And, man, I can live with that,” he said on Instagram. “Because I’ve been dealing with 10s for the last couple months.”
Wheeler, who underwent a kidney transplant in 2003, layed out the chronology of his recent health problems and, wiping away a tear, explained his decision.
“I was in a hospital in the beginning of March. I was rushed to the hospital when I found out I had DVT [deep vein thrombosis], and I was in the hospital for about three months, and back to E.R. multiple times because of problems. And even then, they told me they’ve exhausted all of their resources, and the next thing would just be taking my leg off. So, I’ve kind of been aware that this was a possibility, that they were going to amputate my leg, and I’ve been trying to get used to that and prepared for that as much as I could, mentally.”
“And when I went to the event [Franco Columbu’s memorial service] that Arnold Schwarzenegger invited me to [on October 5], it kind of dawned on me then that I needed to take better care of myself and go ahead and move forward and make a date. But that date came a lot sooner than I thought.”
He was flying back from a business meeting in Montana in mid-October. “I was in such pain I couldn’t even explain it….I was actually really worried I’d even make it on the plane. But I got to my layover in Vegas and told my wife I got to get to the E.R. And she drove me to the E.R., and they told me one of my arteries was 70% blocked and the other one was 100% blocked, and the doctor just looked at me and said, ‘Flex, this is your call, but we’re here now.’ And I understood what the doctor was saying, and I really thought about it really hard. I couldn’t walk. I limped severely. I was in constant pain with every footstep I took. And even when I was lying in bed, I’d go to sleep in pain and wake up in pain. So, it was kind of no decision for me. I said, ‘Let’s move forward and go ahead with the amputation.’”
Though he originally, proudly, opposed the idea, Wheeler was very grateful that Dennis James set up a GoFundMe page to raise funds for his expenses, and he expressed his appreciation for the financial support there and the prayers and well wishes in Instagram comments.
Finally, he quietly promised, “I will continue putting up the biggest fight that I can and coming back and being as good as I can be.”