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Heather Mills - Amputee Forum

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  1. Last week
  2. New to the forum and new to life with one hand

    Hi, BethMarie - I'm actually not sure if I'm going yet. It would probably be a good idea, as I've been through a major revision surgery (just over a year ago) and we're still working out tweaks on my leg...talking to some other amps and providers could be helpful. But I've also been caught up in planning and arranging three (yes, three) milestone family birthdays in the last six months, so I've been waiting on my taxes to see what my finances look like before registering for the conference. Are you set for registration and room now? I'd love to room with you again if I can go! My tax stuff has all arrived and I'm planing on trying to get them filed sometime this week. I'll PM you and let you know ASAP if I'm going to be there. Okay, Kevin, sorry about the "kidnapping"...you can have your thread back now! We were talking about the Amputee Coalition educational conference, which is happening in Tucson, AZ this summer. It's generally a great experience, if you're interested!
  3. New to the forum and new to life with one hand

    Cheryl, Are you going to meeting in July? Love to room with you.
  4. New to the forum and new to life with one hand

    Hi, I am not an arm amputee, but to me sounds like you are adjusting well--Congratulations!!!!
  5. New to the forum and new to life with one hand

    Hi, Kevin...welcome to our odd little world, where you can rest assured that your reactions and feelings are completely normal. Now I'm a leg amputee, so I hope you get some responses from upper extremity amps, just because they'll have more useful tips for you. But until then....... First of all, there is NO reason for you to wear a strictly cosmetic prosthetic hand, unless YOU feel that it would be convenient in a specific situation. You're being quite logical in realizing that having a stump that can feel things beats a plastic hand that just "hangs there." the majority of the arm amps I know either don't wear a prosthesis at all or wear a truly functional prosthetic with either biomechanical hand or hook (or interchangeable "tools") when they need to do something specific. While there has been a lot of progress in arm prosthetics, I understand that they can still be quite heavy to wear and many folks wear them only when truly needed. So just BE YOURSELF...OK? It sounds like you're beginning to get the right idea about things like business greetings....yeah, just thrust out your left hand and get on with life. Believe it or not, most folks will appreciate you giving them a visual "cue" to respond to...you're right when you say that they just don't now how to proceed, and you taking the initiative will put them at ease. Go for it and keep at it until it feels truly natural to you. Your missing right hand is just as valid as an amputee who is missing "more" then you. You're entitled to feel frustrated, to celebrate new accomplishments, and to just want to "talk" with other folks who understand the ins and outs of being an amputee. So again, you''re perfectly normal on that front. You're "one of us": an average, everyday person who's learning to live an average life in unusual circumstances. Don't expect to have a "deadline" on learning to be the "perfect" amputee...you're likely to keep encountering periodic challenges that need new solutions at many points in your life. The ""challenges" just become less frequent as you start building your set of ways to deal with them. So take a deep breath, take a look at the way your daughter just takes her situation as it comes, and realize that this is truly the only option out there...just LIVE. The rest will come with time.
  6. Earlier
  7. Hello everyone, I've been reluctant to post because sharing can be scary, but my wife has finally convinced me I need to reach out and talk with other amputees. It's been almost a year and I'm still suffering from anxiety, so any insight or thoughts and ideas are appreciated. Who knows maybe I can even return the favor to someone someday! First a little bit about me. I'm a 36 year old husband and father to two amazing little girls, Adrie who is 4 and Darby who is 7. Darby is partially deaf and was born with spina bifida. But besides her hearing aids and wheelchair, she's a loving and energetic little spitfire who goes to mainstream elementary and is performing at the top of her class, against all of her doctors predictions. I bring this up becuase it would seem that working so hard to raise a daughter with a disability would have helped me cope more with the loss of my hand, but it really hasnt as much as I wish it did. My amputation is not even from an interesting story but rather a small cut I got on my hand working in the yard. A month of fighting an infection and multiple failed attempts to save it and my right hand was amputated on July 2 of last year. For those of you here who know the doctor lingo it is called a wrist disarticulation and I still have the bone at the end of my wrist. They couldn't safely keep enough of my palm to preserve the hand bending function but they told me doing a wrist disarc would provide a much better stump that wouldn't hurt as much and be more durable to use without without a prosthetic than higher up my arm. I had to have some minor skin stretching and a graft to make it work but I think I'm glad they did it. Well I know every case is different and that I shouldn't judge myself against other people, but it feels like I've made slower than normal progress on geting back to a new normal in life, even though my wife and family think I'm doing great. Part of my reservation posting here is that there are others who don't have any arms or legs at all and I feel like just missing a hand is such are little problem of what could be much bigger, so I hope I don't offend anyone. What is funny is I've met both leg and a arm amputees in a support group I went to for a bit and a lot of people missing arms wished it was their leg, and a lot of people missing a leg wished it was an arm. I wish it was neither! But i guess it's all persective. My right hand was my dominant hand so I'm learning to do new things everyday. I'm finally getting OK at writing to where you can actually read it haha. The one thing that has suprised me is that I have actually gotten fairly good at typing which has been good for my job. I found using the small bump of my wrist bone on the sides of my stump works well for hitting a key. I am a big tinkerer and handyman so I have had a lot of frustrating days and choice words for trying to learn how to use tools again. I do feel blessed that Darby has enough hearing ability combine with lip reading skills that she doesn't use sign language, although she an we were all taught it as until recently her speaking was pretty hard to understand unless you knew her, so she has signed before in school and its a good backup for her in the future. Her hearing was just a congenital defect so we are told it shouldn't get worse until she is elderly just like everyone else. Hopefully by then if I'm still around she will understand why I stink at it ; ) I went back to work after beingnoff for about 3 months. I am an engineer who also does sales calls and meetings with customers so this has been one of the biggest anxiety issues for me. Anyone in the business world will know a handshake means everyhting and is something I can no longer do. I have had a mix of weird looks and awakward moments where people don't know what to do. Ive had waves, a pat on the back, a high five and even one lady who just grabbed my arm stump and then just froze out of fear. I dont blame them as i would not know what to do either but it still makes me just want to hide from the world. One guy just went in for a left hand shake and it was great. He later told me his dad was born with one hand which explains the good greeting he had towords me. Since then I've tried to confidently make the first move to shake with my left and it's helped my anxiety some. If there is any silver lining in all of it it's that people remember me at meetings and that's good for sales call backs! The one last thing thats more of a question to you all is using a prosthetic. I was made a prosthetic hand a couple months ago but I just hate it. It's just a solid fake arm that does nothing but look like a shiny weird copy of my left arm. Depsite my selfcousious about my looks I just can't get myself to use it and I find that having the touch sensation on the end of my arm is way better and more useful than a silly extension that I can't feel through. Am I crazy? I feel like I'm getting pressure from all angles to wear it but I just don't like it. I was told because my stump is so long that I can't get an electric hand but I've since seen otherwise online. I don't know. So anyway I apologize for my ramblings. I look forward to hopefully hearing from some of you and maybe even my story will help someone else which i think would really make me feel realy good. I know life will go on and I'm still me but it's just hard to convince myself sometimes. It's funny that a 7 year old has been the biggest giver of advice to me so far but it's true. I just can't convince myself of the things I tell her! The other day I told her how proud I was of her, and she told me she was proud of me! Best feeling a father could ever imagine. Sincerely Kevin
  8. Steve from Arizona

    Well it's been more than ten years now and a revision that went poorly (MRSA and a Dr. that wouldn't accept that until it was horribly involved) about three years in. Quite a decade. I haven't posted here in probably 5-6years. Sort of got things worked out and just living life. I'm late 50's. I had been riding my mountain bike a bit but it just wasn't fun anymore with the leg. Fast forward to 2016 and a buddy let me ride his electric bicycle. Shortly after I purchased one and put >3000km on it in about 6mo's. Then I built one in Mar '17 from what I learned with the first one and have close to 5000km on it now.
  9. Questions

    What type of leg do you have, if you don’t mind my asking. I have the Biome, with vacuum suction. I have been a BKA for six years tomorrow.
  10. Questions

    Hi, My heart goes out to you. It is disheartening to think of what life use to be before your amputation, that’s why it’s best not to think of it and get out of that chair- it gives your mind space to think on your past. You gotta get on your prosthetist to make the world complete or go to someone who can- it can happen. There are other ways to be more active - look up sit down exercises on YouTube. Good luck to you!
  11. Questions

    Thank you. My prosthetic doctor called me today to make me a new socket. I am as active as I can be with an ill fitting leg. A mixture of having to use my chair and my medication has caused my weight gain. I also hate my wheel chair because I am a very independent person and was very athletic before my accident. It's been 9 years and I still get emotional not being able to do things I once regularly had done
  12. Hello, I am a 6year bka- whatever did you do? I’d like to be of assistance if possible- moral support because it’s hard without it.
  13. liner size can anyone help

    Now I don’t know much but I too wear a distal cup with my liner. Common sense tells me that if you are having pressure sores - you’d need a bigger size. Since this is almost a year later- what ever came out of your situation? If you don’t mind my asking.....
  14. Mickey h

    Hi Mickey, i am an amputee for 6yrs now, I have a very good prosthetist. It is soooo important to have a wonderful relationship with them. What they do determines how well you get along. If I wear even 1 ply it makes the feel of my socket feel horrible! I don’t like to wear any ply’s. It has been a while since I’ve had to. Since you are a new amputee you do need to let your stump get down to whatever size it will rest at. In about a good year you should be at your ‘size’ and then if you have to wear more than one 3ply at a time you should get a new socket made. The more ply you wear it will definitely have an effect on how it fits. And make sure you get the vacuum system, I personally don’t understand how any amputee can live without one!! Good luck!
  15. How long to till you give up and amputate?

    Hello, I just read your post and I wonder what decision you came to. In reading what you wrote: were you giving up too soon. If you feel you have had enough then I believe you know what’s best for you and how much you are willing to take in your situation. I say do what you feel you must do. Go for it and good luck!
  16. Questions

    Hello, I am new to this group, I know this post is old but new to me. I am a BKA for 6 yrs now. I was hit by a car and had to have an emergency amputation. As I look back on pictures occasionally, I see where I was HUGE!😄. I can smile about it now, but I was the biggest when I used my wheelchair. Being in a wheelchair for me brings a certain mindset that I detest, so I do everything within my power to stay out of one. I know at times it is inevitable but I would rather crawl to stay out of it. The more you use that chair - the bigger you will get. So try to make it your last resort- get on your prosthetist to make your socket right or use crutches - you have got to be more active somehow. The more walking the better. Good luck!
  17. Amputee and pregnancy

    Looking to talk to woman who have experienced pregnancy with amputation. I never knew pregnancy could mess up my leg. How long did it take for your leg to be "normal" again and did you fit back into your prosthetic? It's been almost 7 years with a bk ERTL amputation. I never had any issues till pregnancy. At 7 months pregnant my leg swelled and my prosthetic didn't fit properly. I ended up with sores. It' been 6 months since I gave birth and my leg is almost back at it's normal size. The leg is but not around the end of my leg. It' been very difficult trying to care for my baby and not being able to get out much. Nothing like being sleep deprived and dealing with discomfort. Would love to hear other woman's experiences!
  18. Hello, I am wearing OttoBock Harmony Urethane liners, with SkinGaurd, on my bk. They are a year old, new liners are on order. I'm wondering if anyone here has experienced these, lately I'm getting some redness almost looks like a rash, but doesn't itch or hurt. I've been using the Harmony liners for over ten years, and the age of the liner is causing this.
  19. I know my title may look like a stupid question, but bear with me. I’ve been AK for 18 years and driving with hand controls for 16/17. Everything is fine. I love the independence of being able to drive and I don’t have much of a problem driving considerable distances. However, I have three “issues” with my right arm, which operates the push/pull hand control. In reverse date order, they are: 1. After driving for a while, my middle finger has begun to dislocate, at the knuckle, because that finger does most of the pulling. I’m therefore learning to spread the load across all fingers AND to use cruise control more. 2. I have also developed “Tennis Elbow”, being the hardening (scarring?) of that specific muscle in the forearm which controls the …… you guessed it, the middle finger. Again, I’m trying to spread the load and use cruise. Also trying “off the shelf” exercises for TE, that seem to work, but prevention is better than cure. 3. (And this is the real oddity). I have recently been diagnosed (physiotherapist, GP, ultrasound outpatient) with a tear to one of the tendons in my shoulder (supraspinator, I think). It’s been painful for 5 years or more, but I’m an amputee and we amps don’t fret over a bit of pain. However, I don’t remember any incident, that might have damaged this tendon, so it got me thinking. Have I damaged my shoulder by using hand controls? Any ideas?
  20. Looking for support (for daughter)

    Hi Everyone, Wow - Hard to believe it's been almost a year since I've posted here! It's crazy how time flies. I hope everyone is doing well and getting ready for the holidays! This update is going to be quick, which is a good thing. Lauren is doing very well. Every day continues to get easier for her, and she has really settled into her new norm. The days of thinking about "pre amputation" and "post amputation" are getting fewer and further between for Lauren, and she had an amazingly good semester at school. She's home now, and it's great having her here for the holidays! She continues to use her cosmetic arms regularly, and I think they've given her more confidence to go out and just be herself, even though they aren't functional unto themselves. Cold weather is always a little harder for Lauren given that it's not as easy to go barefoot or in sandals, but she doesn't let it get in her way, and it is truly amazing how her feet and teeth can do so much. The human body truly is amazingly adaptable. I'm going to try to post some new pictures here a little later so you can see just how far Lauren has come. I hope everyone is well. Best wishes for a fantastic holiday season. -Marion
  21. OttoBock Triton Harmony

    Well, the sweat took some getting used to, I can deal with it ok. But Hanger got me these Silver Socks, worn inside the liner, they really wick away the sweat, and don't smell, I try to wear one when I know I'll be sweating a lot! http://www.knitrite.com/prosthetics/prosthetic_socks/linerlinersock.html
  22. OttoBock Triton Harmony

    @FordGuy48 how about the heat and sweat. I do remember it (I was in Los Angeles) being very warm with the sleeve and liner. Do you get out walk much summer? Thanks
  23. OttoBock Triton Harmony

    My tibia is boney, fibula was cut back some years ago to remove a bone spur. My last socket I had trouble with my tibia, this one, has been wonderful. With my last socket, I did need to loosen the sleeve on a long car ride. This one, not at all! I had a good prosthetist at Hanger.
  24. OttoBock Triton Harmony

    I have boney promonances with my fibula and back in the early 80’s had my meniscus removed. So an offset was plate was added to my prosthetic improving my comfort level which increasied my ability for a higher level of activity. Regrettably that was determined 4-5 years ago and took switching my Prosthetist. The point is that I got there because I stayed on it.
  25. OttoBock Triton Harmony

    Thanks @JohnnyV for the feedback. That is good tho know. @FordGuy48 Mind me asking do you have a bony limb? After sitting for a long time do you find yourself having to roll the sleeve down and pulling it up again to get it right?
  26. Do you have issues with the Triton Harmony such as puncturing the sleeve often? Or finding the vacuum no always the same? I had a harmony system awhile back and it was hit and miss. Right now have a Seal In X5 which is easy to deal with but lacks the same grip.
  27. OttoBock Triton Harmony

    Well, I had issues with the first sleeves I was getting in 2007, my first Harmony system, but then they gave me the Ottobock "Derma, Pro Flex Sleeves", and I get months, as many as 6 or 7 sometimes with these sleeves. I've had my current Harmony setup for almost a year now, and it's the best I've ever had, no sores. Everyone is different, but I'm sold on the Harmony. I am a patient of Hanger Clinic.
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