Toxic shock syndrome survivor feels ‘super amped’ since amputating her leg

In January, model and activist Lauren Wasser, who lost her right leg to toxic shock syndrome in 2012, decided to have her left leg amputated below the knee. The leg had been severely damaged as a result of the infection and still caused her continual pain.

In an interview published Wednesday, the 30-year-old told People she’s felt “super amped” since the surgery.

“The other day I realized I wasn’t in pain for the first time in five years,” she told People. “It hit me and I was like, ‘Wow, I’m okay. I feel normal, I feel good. I feel like what everyone feels like.’”

Wasser lost her right leg when she came down with what she thought was a nasty flu when she was 24.

See more of the model on Instagram: 

Lauren Wasser on Instagram
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Lauren Wasser on Instagram
It's so scary for me to share these images but I believe I have to in order to really be heard. #itsnotrareitsreal #menstruationmatters #menstrualhygieneday #robindanielsonact // link in bio for more information and stories like mine.
Heeeey @i_D ;) 💋 📸 @fotofetish
US. #impossiblemusexcamraface
We kick’n some ass 🥋|| NEW INTERVIEW up and running check it out @blackbookmedia_ ⚡️ 📸 taken by @camraface ❤️
Here is a pic a couple days before surgery messing around w/@camraface. I’m healing nicely and can’t wait to get back in action with my 🏆🏆
Swinging into 2018 like 💥
I home! I’m @undefeatedinc! I’m grateful for ALL the love and support over this past week! From the videos, the flowers, the packages, the visits, to the ones who watched my dogs @amyhixon, @andrewherrold and his lovely wife @ing_rid. And most of all my mother and my girl! I love you! All of this support has made this new normal positive and uplifting! Thank you thank you thank you! I’m really excited for what’s next! Xoxo photo: @camraface
Check out my new interview with @bustle✨ it’s all about a positive mindset no matter what obstacle is in front of you, & achieving your dreams no matter what life throws your way💥🥊 shout out to @amandakater for the write up 🙏🏻 (link in my bio)
HUGE shoutout to my amazing Mommy @pamelareneecook ❤️ I️ thank you from the bottom of my heart for being next to me every step of the way. You always answer and try and give advice when needed. You’re the first heartbeat I️ ever heard & the reason I️ know how to love as deeply as I️ do. Thank you for being so amazing day in and day out you’re my best friend & I love you so much💕
Back to the grind. ⚡️
Mayweather or MacGregor ?!

When she eventually went to the hospital, an infectious disease doctor asked her if she was wearing a tampon. Even though she said she had changed it numerous times that day — she still tested positive for TSS, a rare but serious complication from bacterial infection that can be caused by wearing tampons.

An infection led to gangrene, and her right leg was amputated below the knee. Though her left leg was also damaged due to the infection, she fought to keep it.

In December, Wasser told the Washington Post that she would “inevitably” have to have her left leg amputated due to “excruciating pain.”

She backed up that assertion when speaking to People.

“For five years of my life I was just getting by — every day was painful,” she said. “I couldn’t wear heels, I couldn’t run and I could only walk for like 20 minutes. That’s not living.”

Despite not feeling her best, Wasser has made it her life’s mission to continue living her best life — and she’s done an extraordinary job.

The activist has been raising awareness about the potential risks of tampons and promoting legislation pushed for years by Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) to mandate further research on feminine hygiene products.

RELATED: Symptoms of TSS 

Symptoms of toxic shock syndrome
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Symptoms of toxic shock syndrome
Low blood pressure
Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
Headaches, soreness and muscle aches 
Rash that usually resembles a sunburn. Often times, it shows up on hands and soles of your feet 

“I think this is my purpose and I wouldn’t change it for the world,” Wasser told the Post in December.

In 2016, she made her runway debut at New York City Fashion Week sporting her now-trademark golden prosthetic leg.

She told People that she’s getting a second gold prosthetic for her left leg in just a few weeks.

This article originally appeared on HuffPost.

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