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Heather Mills - Amputee Forum


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Showing content with the highest reputation since 12/09/2013 in all areas

  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
    I hesitate to say this, because it's going to both frustrate you and sound like a "cop out," but the "best prosthetist" is the one who can fit you properly...it can change radically from person to person. Now, that said, there are some questions you can ask and some research you can do to try and improve your chances of meeting up with that "best prosthetist." When you're meeting a prospective prosthetist, have you asked them about their education and experience? They really should be a certified prosthetist, they should be doing continuing education to keep up to date with current developments in the industry, and they should have a significant amount of experience successfully fitting people like you — same type and level of amp, similar activity levels, same physical condition, etc... They should also be willing to explain what, how, and why they are doing what they're doing in the construction of your leg and how it will benefit you. For example, they should be ready and willing to tell you why they are "reluctant" to put you into anything other than a pin-lock system. (It could be as simple as the fact that a pin-lock is extremely unlikely to fall off under high activity...or you could still be shrinking, odd as that would be after four years, and a pin-lock is more forgiving with a changing limb. What ever it is, you should be able to get an explanation that makes sense to you.) If you've done all of that and it still seems like they are being forthright with you, then you may have to look at how you are approaching your fittings. Can you explain to them, clearly and in great detail, exactly how your prosthesis is painful and under what circumstances it hurts? Can you point out the painful spots? Does it hurt constantly, or only when doing a certain activity? Does it hurt when you sit? When you're standing still? Only if you're walking up or down an incline? When you're biking? The more specific and "picky" you can be, they more clues you provide for them to try and fix the issue. I once got really fed up with going to prosthesis fittings (I was still shrinking rapidly and I was going through a LOT of fittings), along with a number of other issues, and I just basically gave up and sat like a bump on a log with a sort of "YOU'RE the professional...YOU make it work for me" attitude. The result was the worst-fitting leg I've ever had. After several more visits attempting to "fix" the leg, again with next-to-no input from me, the technician got frustrated enough to demand, "What's UP with you, anyway? WHY aren't you talking to me?" And once I did start talking, we were able to work out a fix for the leg. That "two hours on/two hours off" break-in routine actually is a good idea if the socket construction is truly radically different from your past legs...the "crappy used foot" sounds like it's just a lousy (and I hope a temporary) compromise...could the foot be part of the pain issue? If you can even "practice" explaining your pain situation to us here, perhaps someone will have either a solution or be able to suggest ways to better communicate the situation. Do hang in there...you deserve to have a leg that can stand up to your activity level!
  3. 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!
  4. 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
  5. 2 points
    Thank you Ann and Cheryl! We've been very, very busy getting Lauren ready for school! We flew down there last week to start preparations for her return (we're back in NY now), met with the therapists who she will be working with, and met with the 24/7 aide who will be with Lauren. She's very nice, and very willing to help, which is great. Lauren is definitely excited to get back to school, but I think she is nervous at the same time. It's absolutely going to be a challenge for her on many levels, but I know she's going to be able to conquer it. I think the emotional aspect of seeing people for the first time since losing her arms is going to be very hard for her, but I know that her true friends at school will help her get thru it. On the physical side, David and I are comfortable knowing that she's going to have the help she needs when she needs it, and that she'll be continuing her therapy. Lauren is continuing to make progress on all fronts, and her feet are getting more and more flexible as they continue to learn and adapt. She still needs help eating and still needs to be dressed, but she's making progress slowly but surely. She does sometimes get upset about the fact that progress seems slow, so we try to remind her that Rome wasn't built in a day, and that she's undergone a major, major physical change that will take time to adapt. I think she was initially expecting that it would be a matter of a few weeks until she was fully independent, but that's just simply not realistic, and it's going to be a marathon rather than a sprint. We leave Tuesday to head back to school to finish getting all set up - We will keep you posted!
  6. 2 points
    Hi Marian, I am not an arm amputee but a RBK. I thought you and your daughter might find the following you tube channel a useful and inspirational resource: Tisha Unarmed - on You Tube. Tisha is a 26 year old women who was born without arms and her right leg shorter than the left. Tisha has posted 52 different videos on her you tube channel demonstrating how she does everyday tasks with her feet including: Going shopping/Cooking Taking care of her dog Doing her laundry & other tasks Painting her toenails/Putting make up on Many more topics included on her channel documenting her active/independent lifestyle Kind regards, Sara
  7. 2 points
    It is normal that an initial socket (when you first became an amputee) and a socket made after you've been an amputee for 4 years and your limb has stabilized to look completely different. As your limb atrophies and shrinks the shape changes from round to more angular and the socket usually looks more triangular inside as well as having contours specific to your limb. It should not hurt as it is made to fit you exactly. If your pain is point specific then the socket needs to be modified at that spot. If the pain is in the entire limb and excruciating after about 30-45 minutes it is possible that it is pressing on the popliteal artery behind your knee and cutting off the blood supply to your limb. That usually means that the distance from the front to back of your socket is too short. A socket for an active person is made to fit snugly but it doesn't take much to make it too snug. Cheryl is right that you have to really be able to describe what you are feeling for a prosthetist to be able to fix it. I am also a physical therapist and 2 hours on and 2 hours off is typical for breaking in a new brace or leg but if you're not tolerating it significantly better after a couple of days then there is a problem and the socket needs to be modified or re-made. Don't sign anything until your leg is wearable.
  8. 2 points
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 2 points
    AGREE!!!! A very happy future to all & may this YEAR be the best.
  12. 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!
  13. 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!!
  14. 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 .
  15. 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!
  16. 1 point
    Hi Marion and Lauren, I am not sure where the post on returning to school is , but CONGRATULATIONS Lauren for taking on the challenges. It seems like your mom and dad have helped put in some great support. Not even knowing you well at all I am sure you will conquer each challenge month by month--you are a gutsy young woman!l! Know I will be thinking of and pray for you and look forward to updates. One thing all amps need to adjust to is the staring--it really helped me when I realize they were curious not judgmental. A funny incident happened to me last week. I volunteer two afternoons a week at the Habitat Restore. Over the last two years I have gotten to know a number of the "regulars" well. I have a service dog to help me and when a regular saw her--I guess for the first time (she is very quiet and good) she asked why I had her. I said I had no leg. She said, "What do you mean? I came around the corner of the desk and pointed to my prothesis and she almost had a heart attack, she kept telling me she was sorry, she was sorry, probably 10-15 times. When I got her calmed and told her I was doing very well and it wasn't much of an issuel any more. I knew she wasn't being judgemental, but concerned about me. In the begining I had to remind myself that they were not judging. One thing I have been dealing with in the last couple of years is people being too helpful. I know I have hurt a few feelings by insisting I can really do it--I almost lost a friendship with this. Your true friends need to realize this and let you do what you can do even if they could do it faster. As time progresses you will be doing more and more things and your friends have to adjust to that too. Blessings on your new great adventure!!! Peace and blessings, Beth Marie
  17. 1 point
    The adaptive yoga class went very well! Lauren really had a good time, and told Alison that doing something that she always used to do made her feel normal. While it is a definite change from the way she used to do yoga, at least she was able to participate and enjoy herself! I'm also glad that this is a way for her to stay physically active. The girls had a great time together, and Alison is being amazing - Always willing to help her sister with anything and everything. In other news, Lauren's feet are feeling a bit better thankfully - And we are going back to the podiatrist tomorrow for the next round of shots. Also, her scars are beginning to fade a bit, which is very good news!
  18. 1 point
    Thanks Cheryl! It's true what you say about Lauren not being self sufficient even before the accident, and it's always important to keep that in perspective. I have no doubts that between her, her friends, and her caretaker, she'll make it work. Yes, there will be highs and lows, but if anyone can succeed, I know for sure it's Lauren. She's the toughest cookie I've ever met! You're right in that the time to myself was great and was needed... I've been going basically 24/7 for Lauren since she was in the accident. I'm not complaining about it at all, but it has definitely worn me down! The time alone was great, and much needed... I spent the day reading and just relaxing. It was a good recharge. My husband (David) is an amazing help when he's home and is completely, 100% devoted to helping out whenever he's not at work, but during the day he is often at the office and earning a salary that lets us live the life we want to live. When he's home though, he's home... And that's been amazing. Our marriage has always been incredible, but Lauren's accident has made it even stronger. Tomorrow morning, I'll be taking Lauren to a podiatrist. She's been getting bad pain and cramps in her feet the last few weeks, and they've gotten worse. It is likely the result of all of the extra demands placed on them since her amputations, but as they are now work to become her hands, we want to make sure that everything is good. Lauren has been basically only wearing flip flops (even before her amputations in the warmer weather!) since she got home, and I'm sure that's part of it as well. Around the house, she usually goes barefoot, but flip flops do make it easy for her to just slip her feet in and out. So we'll get it checked out. After that, Lauren has an afternoon of therapy and I'll be spending one-on-one time with my younger daughter, Alison. She's been amazing, but i know that she needs our attention too - So it will be good to spend time with her alone! Have a great night!
  19. 1 point
    Hi All, Hope everyone has having a great weekend! Yesterday, Lauren spent the day with my husband in the city, and I think it was good "father daughter" time. As he works long hours during the week, he rarely gets to spend time with Lauren alone, and I think they both had a really good day. He told me that he was surprised at how tired he was after the day - And indeed, Lauren does require a lot of help, but he thoroughly enjoyed it all and he also surprised at the progress that she's making emotionally. Lauren told me that it's definitely an adjustment to need her dad to help her in the restroom and such, but she's starting to accept it. While she does definitely have quite a bit of sadness, she's not nearly as weepy as she was just a few weeks ago - And it's amazing to see her smile. It's true, Ann... Her friends really are helping her get thru this. They are really treating her as they always did, albeit with some extra help. I can't believe how much they really care about Lauren, and I know she's so appreciative. Now for the big news - It looks like Lauren is going to be returning to school for the Fall semester! It was a big decision, but Lauren really wants to get back to living her life, and while my husband and I do definitely have our trepidations, we both agreed that we're not going to do anything that will delay Lauren's emotional progress on this whole journey. She just wants to get back to her friends, her studies, and the things that every girl loves about college! She will have 24/7 assistance, and will also be continuing all of her therapy while at school. Lauren knows that it isn't going to be easy at all, but she seems up for the challenge, and we know that if there's anyone who can make this work, it's Lauren. Classes begin on August 25th, but we're going to go down a week early to get her all settled and into the swing of things. The school has been amazing to work with, and they really seem to be onboard with getting Lauren everything she needs to succeed. So I guess that I am nervous, but obviously elated that she wants to take this step. Part of my concern is that she's not really close to being self sufficient yet, but as my therapist told me, I need to put faith in the fact that Lauren is a smart girl, and that she has a great support system between her friends, advisors, aide, etc. In other news, we are excited for her to receive the cosmetic arms - She's really looking forward to getting them! Though it remains to be seen how often she'll actually wear them, I know that she's just so excited to look at herself in the mirror and see her sleeves filled again. Physically, Lauren is healing well, and the scars on her stumps are fading. We have an appointment this week for a check-up. I will keep everyone posted!
  20. 1 point
    Hi Everyone, I hope those who celebrated had a wonderful 4th of July weekend! We had a very relaxing weekend, and spent quite a bit of time at our pool (our building has one on the roof) just enjoying the nice weather. Lauren got to spend time with some friends, and got to really spend time with her sister. We all got very tan! Lauren actually put on a bathing suit and went into the pool for a few minutes (in shallow water, obviously), which was great! This was the first time she's really exposed her arms and shoulders since the amputations. I know she was definitely uncomfortable at first, but the crowd was really very minimal and I think she had a good time. It's great to see her starting to feel more comfortable with her body and not let it get in the way of a good time. With the weather being so warm lately, she's been wearing short sleeved tops that just cover the top of her shoulders, and she's been dealing well with it. She even said to me that hopefully soon she'll feel comfortable enough to wear tank tops, but that she's not there yet. Again, I know it will come with time. Where she continues to struggle is with seeing people who she hasn't seen or who didn't know about her injuries. Between having to go thru the story and then dealing with the "I can't believe it" reaction, it's very, very tough for her. Cheryl, you're absolutely correct about the dating issue. With her injuries, it will be very difficult to "hide" her amputations, so she will find guys who are attracted to her for who she is. I know that the pool will be limited (unfortunately), but I firmly believe that there's someone out there for everyone, and I know Lauren has so much to offer someone beyond her limbs - And yes, with the way that she's learning to use her feet, I have no doubt she'll make some lucky guy very happy with them :) I did come across the "devotee" issue in some of my online research - How repulsive! I can't believe that people would actually want to see others suffer, and be attracted to them because of their suffering. I have not yet mentioned this to Lauren, but will engage in a light discussion when the time feels right. Tomorrow, we go back to the prosthetist for the next appointment on her cosmetic arms. She's excited to get them, as they'll definitely help her feel more confident, even if they aren't really functional. We will keep you posted!
  21. 1 point
    Very true I'm itching to get going and starting a new chapter
  22. 1 point
    Thank you Johnny! We will definitely look into this! Lauren had an intense day of therapy today, and she's coming along well. It's looking like they will begin to teach her some basics for feeding herself late next week - She is definitely excited about that, as having to be fed like a baby is one of the hardest parts of her injuries. The therapy team has really focused on building up strength and dexterity in the torso and in her legs/feet. Lauren has made some very good progress in using her toes to pick things up (like a pencil, etc), which is going to be a crucial skill for her future. The therapist was telling us today that many arm amputees often like to continue to use their feet even with prosthetics. Tonight, Lauren has some friends from college over, which is great. She's certainly trying to go about her life! Best, Marion
  23. 1 point
    Hi everyone. I am graduating from my prepatory prosthesis in a couple days. Will have OB trias 1c31 foot. Am using locking pin type liners. I'm currently a k2 and progressing.
  24. 1 point
    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.
  25. 1 point
    It's much, much better on the foot front, Tammie...and very strange on the prosthesis side of things! My foot wound has totally healed and I was back up and walking again. Then........I was asked to be the BK "fit model" for a seminar by Otto Bock demonstrating how to cast and fit for the Harmony elevated-vacuum system. It was a fascinating experience, and I wound up with a test socket by the end of the day. I was thrilled! Then....well....we took the test socket from the seminar and set me up with a full trial leg. It's been a love/hate relationship ever since! I love, love, love the stability of the leg and the feeling of having a fully natural stride again. I HATE the fact that I'm getting a LOT of skin breakdown! The Otto Bock guys have been called in to advise on revisions, and they think the problem is in the liner, since I'm not a "clear" standard size. Next step is to try a custom liner and see if that will stop the leg from trying to eat me alive. In the meantime, I'm currently out of all prosthetic devices and back in the wheelchair until things heal up on the stump. I really and truly hope and pray that they'll be able to adjust things so that I can go on using this leg...even with it trying to eat me alive, there's a lot to love about this leg. Sooooo....wish me luck, gang!