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  1. 4 points
    I to would like to wish every one a happy Christmas and a healthy new year , but most of all I would like to thank the mods and the few regular posters that still take the time to read and reply to anyone who posts on here , without them this forum would slowly disappear into cyberspace or where ever they go , I know face book seems to be taking over but being of the older generation I am not really happy over there............. so once again big thanks all and have a great Christmas Take care all …….Mick
  2. 3 points
    Let's see...I'm upright, I'm walking, I have a lovely prosthesis that fits like a dream, and I have a ticket for what sounds like it's going to be a lovely and rather elegant New Year's Eve gathering..........May 2014 continue in this vein for all of us! Happy New Year, gang!
  3. 3 points
    I don't know about anyone else, {BUT} I just love Christmas., all the decorations, cantatas, food and of course we can't forget the Drink. But just look into the kids eyes {sparkle & dancing} why even the adults are acting much more civilized. There is actually love in the air {sometime}. Just want to wish each and everyone of you the most blessed & healthy Christmas & New Year you have ever had. ann
  4. 3 points
    Hi there Mike and welcome to our little corner of the world. For those of us in the USA, we're just coming off a long holiday weekend, so that might account for the lack of replies on this end...don't know what's got our Brits distracted, but I'm sure you'll start getting some responses soon. I'm an elective left below-knee amp myself. Have been for almost nine years, now...suffered a bad break in my left foot that kept breaking down every time they thought they'd gotten a repair and good healing. Yeah, the pain was not fun, and eventually the foot broke down one time too many and I developed a MRSA infection. After that got cleared up, I was offered a choice kind of like yours: re-try the longest-lasting of the previous repair attempts and keep me in a cast for many, many more months than what is considered "usual," or do the LBK amputation. It took me only about an hour to decide that I needed to lose my foot in order to reclaim my life. For what it's worth, I've never regretted that decision. It sounds to me like having a plastic surgeon involved might be a good thing, considering the extent of your previous injuries. My own amp was done by an Ortho, but I didn't have major issues at the site of my surgery. I've heard good things about Plastics and creating a limb that will be good for walking with a prosthesis. Do try to educate your self as much as possible about what you're going to be facing. Don't be afraid to ask questions of your doctors, ask to meet with a prosthetist, and, if at all possible, see if you can meet some other BK amps...just seeing how others get about and being able to get their input on "how to get on with life" can be a tremendous reassurance. And post any questions that come up here as well...when you're facing such a drastic change in your life, there is absolutely no such thing as a "stupid question." You're young and you deserve to be able to be active and enjoy your kids...and for your "basic BK amp," that's a real, attainable goal. Hang in there...you'll manage it!
  5. 2 points
    Hi everyone!!! A big part of me thinks some animals have it right when they hibernate over the winter - but then we'd miss out on all the holiday fun Sorry I haven't really posted on here, been one of those years since the forum 're-launched' itself. Currently out of work and having no joy trying to find employment - which means I can't blame lack of time for not contributing! Due to have my third grandchild in the next 2 or 3 weeks, so if I disappear for a while, I will return! All the best everyone, and may 2014 be as good as it can for you all.
  6. 2 points
    Wishing you all a very happy New Year and best wishes for the year to come. Thanks to the Heather Mills moderators and other 'workers' in the back rooms of cyberspace who continue to keep the website up, running and safe.
  7. 2 points
    AGREE!!!! A very happy future to all & may this YEAR be the best.
  8. 2 points
    HEAR HEAR TO ALL THOSE GOOD WISHES. May it be a happy and healthy 2014. I am now getting geared up for New Year celebrations - as an expat Scot living in London, we have to lead the way so, folks I shall be sort of dancing the night away come next Tuesday. A VERY HAPPY FUTURE TO ALL AND MAY THIS YEAR BE THE BEST YET!
  9. 2 points
    Well , the turkeys been eaten , the last cracker pulled and we're onto the Stilton and Port so all that's left to do today is to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and here's hoping for a healthy and Happy New Year to come!!
  10. 2 points
    Thank you all for the comments , it wasn’t meant to be anything special photo wise just a sort of dairy of where I walked this year , something to look back on when I am having one of those bad spells that we all get now and then .
  11. 2 points
    Okay...one final update, plus some info on the "teflon-ish" patches. I saw the doctor today and he was very, very pleased with the way things are holding up! On several occasions, he's pulled in all the various podiatry residents to show off and discuss my FFWs, and he did so again today. After letting everyone take a look at the former site of the latest FFW, he informed us all that my right foot is currently "the best he's ever seen it." My former callus has settled into just nice, flat, durable skin, and the patch looks like it's going to work. (Hooray!!) After the little celebration in the exam room, I asked for more info about the little blue teflon-ish thing hanging out in my right shoe. So here goes........... It's called a "PTFE patch." It's a strong, tough, waxy, nonflammable synthetic resin produced by the polymerization of tetrafluoroethylene. It actually is a variety of teflon, and it's manufactured to fill in microscopic spaces. The PTFE part of this patch is commonly available at just about any home improvement center...where it's known as PLUMBERS' TAPE. Yeah...you fasten plumbers' tape to an adhesive paper backing and you get the thing that saved my right foot. (Good grief! ) Doc says that it's becoming popular in podiatry circles and orthotics manufactuing. He's never heard of it being used in a prosthesis, but those prosthetists who also build/fit orthotics are most likely aware of the PTFE patch...if you have a "sticking problem" that leads to skin shear injuries, you might want to talk to your prosthetist about giving it a try. So that's the story of the 2013 FFW. May it never recur again!
  12. 2 points
    Hi Mike, I am in Uk. I had 30 operations to try to save my leg...including wearing a full leg Ilazirov frame for 18 months, turning the bolts every 4 hours.....it was a nightmare! I opted for above knee amputation after the fusions failed. I had my amputation 8 years ago, I ended up having 6 further surgeries after amputation because of other issues. I too had closed compartment syndrome, I did not have the information that you have, from the consultants you have seen, ie muscle salvage etc. it seems clear to me that your amputation is not a straight forward one. I think that if you decide to go ahead with it you must accept that it is not going to be an easy process, you probably won't have you amputation, heal, get fitted with leg and walk within the normal time period, ie a few months. Your journey is going to be a hard one. Sounds like you have decided already. I guess I just want to wish you and your family the best possible outcome for you, it will be a hard journey for you all. If you are aware of that initially it may help. I remember having such high expectations, get rid of leg, get rid of pain, more mobile. I looked at active above knee amps and thought that would be me after my amputation. I was wrong, lots more surgeries, failed leg fittings, spending thousands trying to get fitted. Now having to accept that although after 8 years I have a leg I can wear, I can only wear it for short periods of time, I can't walk without crutches. I am not being negative, just stating my facts. I really do hope that your amputation improves things for you, just be realistic about your personal situation and complications and make sure you have the right people on board both medically and personally. The very best if luck to you. I would not wish an Ilazirov frame on anyone so, either way you would have a hard journey ahead of you. I don't frequent this site often these days but just wanted to reply as my situation is so similar to yours except that I am above knee amp. Keep us up to date with your progress. Good luck.
  13. 2 points
    Hi Mike Just wanted to wish you good luck with your op. I am a UK amp, didn't have to make the decision you're having to make as my legs were amp'd following crush injuries immediately after an accident, but do know about living life as a below knee amputee and don't have too many complaints about it really, my life has been pretty good. I am also mum to three, now grown up children, who know nothing but their mum being an amputee and as children they often accompanied me at prosthetic fittings and took it as pretty much normal really. I don't think I missed out on too much being an amputee mum and though they might well have their own opinions, I don't think they missed out on too much either, we are just a normal family and they seem to have grown into reasonably adjusted adults, so everything is possible. As Kate has said, there can be frustrations along the way. Having had revision surgery a few years back I would probably say the time between the surgery and prosthetic fitting probably the tedious bit, though you will be eager to get going on your prosthesis, get the healing bit right and the prosthetic fitting will be easier and everything does depend on that prosthesis/socket fitting you correctly. As Kate also says, the first year or so your leg will be shrinking, you will probably be back and forth for numerous socket fittings but it does all settle down gradually and when you look back in six months or so you will probably be amazed at how well you have progressed. Like others have said, find out as much info as you can, I think its pretty much routine in the UK now for pre-elective amps to visit DSC's, talk to rehab consultants, prosthetists etc and meet other amps and learn about their experiences, ask also about the type of prosthesis you are likely to be given initially, think it always helps to know but remember the first type they give you doesn't automatically mean that's the only type you will use, there will no doubt be many changes over the months and years to come. Hope all goes well for you, ask any questions on here and don't forget to let us know how you are doing.
  14. 2 points
    Okay, gang...we may be wrapping this thread up! I'M UP AND WALKING AGAIN! Today was my first day to really get out and walk a bit in the pursuit of real life...I'm exhausted, and it's amazing just how stiff and sore my back is, but I'm vertical and mobile again. Now we just see how the teflon-ish patch works out. I can actually feel the FFW site sliding over the patch...I hope it's really doing its job and keeping the stress off that part of the foot. We shall see..............
  15. 2 points
    Hi Mick, It really stinks to hear some people are so angry that some one else won't just sit on their backside and not try to regain their life. I guess that probably makes me naive to think common sense should prevail. Perhaps it is over simplifying but it is their loss and your gain Mick. And to anyone else who wants to do so - give it your all! What's to lose! Jane
  16. 2 points
    UPDATE TIME: I've been declared "technically healed" of the FFW!!!!!! That "technically" part is that the new skin is still very, very delicate...so Doc has requested that I spend another ten days in the wheelchair (but without a footrest), so that the new skin will have a chance to "toughen up" a bit before I start walking again. I can do that! On a related note, in the three weeks since my last appointment there has been a new, non-surgical, possibility that's popped up to try and take some stress off the FFW spot. I've been given some small, adhesive teflon-ish patches which, once I'm back in a regular shoe, I am supposed to stick onto my orthotics where my darling little sesamoid bones hit. The theory is that the sesamoids will slide harmlessly over the slick patch, so there will be no pulling on the skin...and therefore no FFW. It's an experiment, but if it works I should be able to walk without fear of breaking the skin. If it doesn't work, we're back to doing the pair of surgeries...so think good thoughts about small, adhesive, teflon-ish patches for me, gang! Hooray! I should be walking and driving again well before Thanksgiving this year!
  17. 2 points
    Yes, indeed...we can't let the Brits take all the credit for living in beautiful places! I've never gotten to see much of the east coast, Jane, so bring on the NH pics!
  18. 2 points
    Hi Everyone, I don't have any of Mick's photographic skiklllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll,jmnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn...cat on the key board input.....any one relate? Going on.....I plan to be on my brothers sail boat off the the coast of NH (USA) seacoast and if I can find my camera charger perhaps I can add some, none as energetic, but, very nice photos from our shore. In our case "shore" is not plural. NH shore is yyyyyyyyyyyhvgffffffffffffffffffffffa (cat editorial input again ) very small 13 mile expanse. In case anyone asks, yes they have been fed, but if you ask them they will deny having food anytime in the last year or more. My teenagers must have coached them in this mindset. They give the same response no matter what the questions. Good thoughts to all! Jane
  19. 2 points
    Thanks, Ann! Yeah, my choral group has just started working on material for both a Veteran's Day performance for the city and our annual holiday concert. Last year my nasty little sore kept me hospitalized for all of Fall and Winter...I think I was discharged just two days before Christmas. This year, the FFW is much smaller and not infected, so I'm able to be at home...and since our rehearsal hall is right next door to my apartment building, I've even made it to rehearsals! (I'm just really hoping that any foot surgery that comes up can be scheduled around performances .) I did a dressing change today, and I think the sore is getting better.........let's hope I'm right!
  20. 2 points
    I agree on the great pics, Mick...and I'm glad I checked out Bob's description of the trek, since I kept looking and looking at that photo of him sniffing at heaven-knows-what and thinking "bird? bunny? some kind of odd reptile in a pile of fur?" "Dead sheep's head" would never have crossed my mind, although it made perfect sense once I knew what it was!
  21. 2 points
    LOL Kate, perhaps he just doesn't want a new shower!! I have just been 'project managing' my first ever adaptations to our home to make part of it more wheelchair accessible, its been quite interesting working with different builders and firms trying to get what i wanted and more or less have succeeded in getting it how I needed and wanted it. It never ceases to amaze me what other people 'think' I need and don't realize that what might be helpful to some people with certain disabilities isn't always what is helpful to amputees. I did get in touch with an OT to start off with, because I thought we might be able to get a grant to help with costs (we couldn't), who insisted on checking out the rest of the home too, but I think they did realize I was quite clear on what I wanted done, but found really was only there as sort of admin to give advice on the process of possible grants not to really help on the building side of things, might be different with showers though. Cheryl ..... I too have been using a 'naked leg' this year and get stuff like that all the time, some interesting comments have come from other amps, like 'why is one socket longer than the other' and recently from someone else 'oh you haven't got a proper leg on'.
  22. 2 points
    Hi Friends Old and New! Been away for too long but had to share this with you all. When the hot weather comes I like many of you suffer from a sweaty stump, last week my chiropodist gave me a tip, been doing it ever since and it works no more sweaty stumps! He told me to try Witch hazel a natural product applied with a cotton pad, don't ask me ehy or how it works but it does may also help swelling and itching. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Witch-hazel Take care all of you Neil x
  23. 1 point
    A friend of mine said I should write up an article with all the things I use to help me ride and something about myself tp put it in perspective and this is the result. I hope you find it useful and please feel free to either post or email me comments good or bad :) Enjoy. --------------------------------------------------- An Amputee and a Mountain Bike January 06 I had an operation on my ankle to lengthen every tendon to allow me to put my foot flat on the floor, this was a left over from a large accident I had in 1983 which left me as a RBK amputee and my left leg having loss of muscle and joint movement. After a second operation to treat the arthritis in the ankle and lots of physio it was time to sort my fitness out. I started at Redbridge Sport and Leisure Centre as the people where great and it was fully accessible, after 4 months I was talking to a friend at work about getting fit and he said “why not get a mountain bike, you love the countryside?” I laughed thinking to myself yea right like I could do that..... But it had started me thinking, perhaps I could, I used an exercise bike at the gym.....hmm maybe. I bought my mountain bike a month later with no idea what I was actually getting but luckily enough was steered very well by the shop I bought it from. The first ride wasn’t very interesting consisting of a ride up the road to the local park once around and back home (about 1.5 miles) I was tired out and very sore, but buzzing from the feeling of freedom. That ride immediately showed I needed to make some changes as the back of my knee where the socket had dug in was a nice red sore mess. I needed something to stop the need to bend the knee to much, lots of internet searching later this turned up. This helped massively and solved the problem almost totally although has it’s own drawbacks as we’ll see soon. I’d also been trying different ways of keeping my feet on the pedals especially the prosthetic one. I tried normal pedals...bad, toe clips which where ok till you needed to stop and get the tin leg out quick then I ended up on the floor then a suggestion from a mtb forum was to get some GOOD quality flat pedals and a pair of 5:10 Impact mtb boots. WOW what a difference, the soles of the 5:10’s are made from the same rubber as rock climbing shoes and they stick like a limpet, problem solved. For a good 3-4 months I was a happy bunny going further and further around the park then venturing to Hainault forest which had........HILLS, this is when you find out how unfit you are again after all that time on the flat. During this period I’d signed up and been chatting on a cycling forum (www.uk-mtb.com) and the guys on there had been and still are incredibly helpful and supportive, a group of them went every weekend to another nearby forest called Thorndon Country park and after lots of prodding and cajoling finally got me to join them. They kept to a much easier route than they normally did and also kept the pace down but boy oh boy was it hard work especially as it was deep winter and the mud was 6-8inches deep in places and I’d never been off the fire roads before. I didn’t do bad but it showed up two things. The first I still wasn’t anywhere near as fit as I thought I was and the swing crank once you get properly off-road was hitting every root and rock and making going extremely hard, also because of the way it works you lose power on that leg as well. I bowed out halfway round finding the going very hard but more due to being totally exhausted, finding my way back was interesting going the wrong way at one point and finding myself face to face with a 25 foot deep V gully covered in mud and roots, I cycled down then got off and proceeded to spend a good 10 minutes getting up the other side then sliding all the way back down in the mud and finally getting up by holding onto a fence and pulling myself and the bike up an inch at a time. By the time I got back to the car I was so past exhausted it wasn’t funny and covered head to toe in thick mud, but DAMN had I enjoyed myself or what. This was the start of a slippery slope I’m still on. The realisation dawned that I needed to take the swing crank off if I wanted to get off-road to any great extent so one afternoon took the bull by the horns, well my spare leg anyway and took a saw to it. I cut it 4 inches shorter and also cut out the back of the socket with a Dremel to allow the knee to bend further and the various tendons in the area to work unhindered. It was amazing, so much more comfortable and quite a bit more power as well. This was what I ended up with Needless to say my prosthetist Laura was none to happy and I got a good tongue lashing, but now months down the line the legs been lengthened back to normal with some other tweaks being made and we’re both happy The next month was great fun out and about all the time in the mud and rain but two big issues I still had where getting up hills and getting off the bike. Hills, the problems here is power and the ability to stand and pedal. With the pedals in the 6/12 position the only way to move forward is to push with one knee and pull with the other till the pedals are in 1/7 then you put your weight into it. For a BK it’s very hard to do this and for an AK impossible on one side so on anything slightly steep I would just run out of steam without the ability to stand and power up the last section. Off I go back to the internet hunting for a solution and finally found the Rotor. This is geared so the power pedal is always in the 1 position when the other pedal is at 6, this allows you to always be putting power into a stroke. After this was fitted the difference was amazing, I could now get up hills I previously walked and could stand and pedal for short periods allowing me to get over tough obstacles. In all honesty this one item has made more difference to my cycling than anything else and is the one thing I would NOT give up even if I had to give everything else away. Ok, getting off and on the bike how hard is that? Well on the road or in the park it’s not, but once you start getting to do off-road area’s no matter easy they look it becomes a problem. If you have the seat adjusted as it should be it’s quite hard for an amputee as you can’t point the toes on the prosthetic leg to keep in contact with the pedals, this gets really stupid if you on an off camber slope. I mentioned this on the uk-mtb forum and said wouldn’t it be great if someone made a seat post that went up and down so I could click a button before stopping and the seat would drop. The immediate responce was “have you looked at the Gravity Dropper?” Well blow me down its exactly what the doctor ordered. Short time later it was installed, solved the problem totally and has been superb ever since. Roll forward 6-8 months and I’m out 2-4 times a week doing things I’d never have thought I could of over distances I could of only dreamed about and loving every damn minute of it, well apart from the huge muddy puddles full of horse poo, as it tastes awful. Now before I end with a list of all the bits I’ve found useful I’d like to thank a few special people who’ve helped me greatly. Trent, for always pushing me but knowing when not to Luke and Tony at Triton Cycles (http://www.tritoncycles.co.uk/), for putting up with my constant upgrades and being a really great couple of blokes always willing to help www.uk-mtb.com, to many people to mention who all helped me get going with support, suggestions and endless patience with my noobie questions Laura, my prosthetist who’s always patient, understanding and doesn’t mind trying something a little different. Hope you found this useful and please if you have any comments or suggestions drop me an email rikk@golum.co.uk ............Rikk Flat Pedals Something like these that are large and have a lot of pins to dig into the sole. 5:10 Impacts http://www.stif.co.uk/shop/mb_software_pro...ten&cat=211 http://www.fiveten.com/ Swing Crank http://www.highpath.co.uk/cycles/special/index.html Rotor UK Supplier http://www.velotechservices.co.uk/rotors.htm Manufacturer (lot more info here) http://www.rotorbike.com/2006/rotorgen.htm Gravity Dropper http://www.gravitydropper.com/ Pump Having to pump a tyre up on the trail can be a pain as we’re not very good at crouching so take a peek at this pump :- You basically stand on it and pull the rope handle like starting an outboard motor, pumps very quickly and no need to crouch or sit on the floor as you’d do with a normal mini pump  http://www.cyclaire.com/bikepump.html Ergon Grips The grips they do are fantastic for stopping numbness and tingling in the hands/fingers and as most of us use either crutches or a stick at times it affects us more. http://www.ergon-bike.com/en/grips/index.html Lifeventure Towels These little things are superb, pack down really tiny but absorb so much sweat and dry out in no time at all. I always carry one on the bike and stop for a dry off every 40-60 mins and finds it helps massively. You can pick these up in most hiking/outdoors shops like Milletts. http://www.lifeventure.co.uk/htm/washgear/...ibre-towels.htm X-Static Liner Liner These are liners that go in between your stump and the normal silicon liner, they soak up sweat and stop rashes/infections/smells due to the sweat. I used to stop every 30-60 mins depending how hot it was to dry off, now most of the time using these I either don’t stop or at most have one change halfway through. They are so much more comfortable and my stump dosn’t look like you fingers do when they have been in the bath for an hour anymore  Apart from the Rotor these have made the biggest impact on my cycling since I got them recently. http://www.kingsleymfg.com/KMFGStore/Catal...mp;advmode=True UK Supplier. CHANECO® Chris Hanley & Partners 4 Kilvey Road Brackmills Northampton, NN4 7BQ United Kingdom Tel: 01604-709999 Fax: 01604-700057 Dermasalve Great general purpose cream for the end of the day, very refreshing and soothing. http://www.pharmacy2u.co.uk/ Sheabutter This stuff is the dogs and I’ve not found any better moisturizer, a friend’s wife told me about this as it’s the base ingredient in every expensive moisturizer but unrefined it’s all natural with nothing extra. The stuff lasts for ages, a must try and even if you don’t like it give it to the wife she’ll love it  http://www.sheabuttercottage.co.uk/ Bodyglide This is a lubricant/protectorant for the body, idea is you get a sore spot/blister you pop this on and it stops the chaffing in the area, not had a chance to try it as since moving to suspension liners I’ve not had any. http://www.wiggle.co.uk/ProductSearchAdvan...e&cat=cycle Adaptskin Only just started trying this. Specifically for amputees, check the site out. https://www.adaptlabs.com/adaptskin.htm And lastly for anyone who’s interested my injuries where :- Left tib/fib compound fracture Left Femur compound fracture Left hip 1/3 of ball broken off 30% muscle loss on left side due to injuries Right below knee amp Right femur fractured Punctured lung For 20+ years I’d been walking on tip toe due to the muscles and tendons in my left foot shrinking till the operation mentioned at the start.
  24. 1 point
    Kate, Also on the same lines as JohnnyV and CherylM, even if you haven't changed your products have the manufacturers slightly changed their formulas ? This could also be enough to trigger a reaction. Best of luck in getting it sorted soon Tony
  25. 1 point
    My story I was a paratrooper in the army and I was deployed in northern Iraq. I was sleeping in one of Chemical Alis palaces. At about 3am I woke up and had a bad feeling didnt know what it was when all of a sudden BOOM an RPG came in through the window bounced off a wall and blew up at my feet. I crawled for my weapon when one of my sergeants saw that i was hurt and called a medic. I didnt really know how bad they were until i got back to the states about 10 days later. They originally told me I would only lose my left leg but when I finally saw my right foot I knew it was gone to.
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