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Heather Mills - Amputee Forum


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  1. 3 points
    Hi Cheryl, You should definitely report the incident. It would be doing the facility a favor as people like this give the hospital a bad reputation. At the very least she needs further training in how to treat patients with respect and closer supervision for a time. She most likely is not suited to this type of work and the sooner she is made aware of it the better for everyone. I would write down exactly what happened and hand deliver it, if possible, to the Director of Nursing. What happened is totally inexcusable and inappropriate. Do all future patients a favor and report her.
  2. 3 points
    Sorry to hear about your ongoing problems Cheryl and I wish you all the best for your forthcoming surgery. Yes, it's a pain, but as you say, better than losing part of your foot... I honestly don't think you're overreacting (sp?) about your alarming experience - I'd be fuming too!The woman showed not only extreme ignorance, but her insensitivity is unacceptable for someone in her position. I'm sure that her 'boss' ( I think here in the UK it would be the Sister-in-Charge) would want to know about the incident. As you so rightly point out, there are other patients who may not be as alert and assertive as yourself who will also have to experience her bizarre and unorthodox practices! There are so many people who are unemployed who would LOVE a job like hers, and if she doesn't like her work I'm sure there are plenty of competent, sensitive and professional women who would gladly do it for her. You can always temper your complaint by praising those areas of care which you found to be excellent. Good luck and do let us know what you decide to do - and what the response is. And keep us posted about your surgery too!
  3. 2 points
    Hi Cheryl , Firstly sorry to read about all the bother you are having with your foot and I hope that you can get it sorted soon. Now to your post , as you may or may not know as far as amputation and all the stuff that goes with it I tend to treat mine as a huge joke , make jokes about it ,couldn’t care less what other people think or say don’t give a monkeys who see my “stump” when I stop to sort it out …………….but after reading your post I must admit I would feel outraged at what happened , in fact not even my wife would carry on like that and like I say I’m so easy , I can honestly say I would most likely punch the person and report them ……………….unless she was a tall leggy blond wearing a skimpy outfit and a drop dead beauty but then I think I’m on about a different scenario (mick slaps himself round the face) No I can honestly say if that happened to me I would report the person and kick up a right stink not only for myself but for any other people who might end up in the same situation as you
  4. 2 points
    Hi Everyone, I hope you are all doing well - And greetings from snowy, cold NYC! I just wanted to send a quick update - Lauren is doing well. She's back at school now for the second semester and so far, it's going very well. We really enjoyed having her home for the winter holidays and for the new year. While there are still many things that she can't do independently, it's gotten so much better as she's adapted to using her feet and even her mouth. There are highs and lows, of course, but the lows are getting less frequent. She has been dealing with some bursts of phantom pain the last week, so we are getting that checked out - There may need to be a change in her meds. I will continue to keep everyone updated. And again, thank you all for your support.
  5. 2 points
    Hi All, Lauren has officially started school! Yesterday was her first day back, and we're back in NY now. Overall, I think it was a very good day for Lauren. She is definitely excited to be back, as school really is where she should be now. She's always loved the freedom and independence of being away, as well as the social aspects of being at a large, dynamic university. I think being surrounded by her friends will only be a good thing for her, and I can tell you that they are all very glad that she is back. It is going to be a major adjustment in that some of that independence and freedom doesn't quite exist just yet, but it will over time. Lauren told me that it felt really weird to be sitting in a class and not have the ability to raise her hand, take notes, etc, but she does have a note taker in each and every class. She did mention that there were plenty of stares, but I (and she) are expecting that -- It is very, very rare to see a double arm amputee, let alone one of Lauren's age, and people are curious. She did not wear the cosmetics yesterday as the weather was so warm. The aide seems to be very helpful and kind, and Lauren is getting used to her. I expect this will take time as well, as there's no doubt that it's an adjustment to have someone brand new touching you, bathing you, feeding you, etc. We are excited to see how she progresses - And I am looking forward to my daily call from her! Thank you for all of your love and support!
  6. 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!
  7. 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
  8. 1 point
    Well, I went over a year without my recurrent foot wound popping open...and then in the middle of the Christmas season — oh happy, happy, joy, joy! — it put in a return visit, severe enough to send me into the hospital for six weeks on a wound vac and waaayyy too many hours spent with my leg elevated. My podiatrist now believes he's sorted out all the causes of this persistent sore, and I'm set for foot and leg surgery on Feb. 24. (These will be surgical procedures 5, 6, and 7 on my poor old right foot....but since only six weeks ago we were afraid that I'd be losing at least a part of that foot, I suppose that three more procedures and two months in a cast isn't that bad.........) Anyway, before I head off for the surgery, I'm seriously considering writing a letter of complaint to the rehab hospital where I spent those six weeks on the wound vac with my leg up in the air. Before I do so, I'm just wondering if I'm over-reacting to an incident that occurred there. I know it was "wrong," and quite "out of place"...but a week after it happened I'm still fuming about it. Please help me get some perspective here! One morning shortly before I was discharged, I was awakened by a a nursing assistant who asked if she could take me for an early shower. "I have nine patients to shower this morning," she said, "so if I can take you now it would help." I said sure, being a cooperative patient, so she helped me out of bed and into the shower chair and basically ran me down the hall to the shower room, giggling the whole time. I should have considered that a warning........ Once in the shower stall, I told her I was fine on my own and started to do the whole showering thing. She then announced that she was "in a hurry and would help me." Now I'm used to nursing assistants giving me some assistance in the shower, especially for those areas that are tough to reach...but this gal just barged right in, grabbed the shower head out of my hand and started soaping and scrubbing me, while I protested. Weird...but then it got really, really strange. She grabbed my stump, lifted it up, started to soap it...and then started giggling again and bouncing it up and down in her hand! "Oh, look! It's all floppy!" she announced, still bouncing it around and laughing while I tried to wriggle it out of her control. I have to admit that I was shocked. So shocked, in fact, that I couldn't come up with anything to say to express my outrage...beyond "DON'T." Normally I have a fairly quick comeback for anything that comes my way, so I was almost as mad at myself as I was with her. Then "shower time" was over, I was back in my room, and the whole routine for getting me discharged from rehab and sent home kicked in and I just thought in terms of "get me out of here right now" until I was indeed headed for home at last. Now I do have to say that all the rest of my stay in this facility was good and the rest of the staff was very professional and caring. They did a lot to get me healed, they did their jobs well, it was, overall, a good skilled nursing facility. If I ever need another stay somewhere for rehab, I would gladly go back to the place. But I am still fuming over that shower and the idiot girl who thought it was funny to manhandle my stump and laugh at my muscle atrophy. I am more than half-convinced that she must have been "high" on something to react in such a bizarre manner...and I also wonder what she might do with patients who aren't as alert and able to defend themselves as I am. Sooooo...I'm trying to come up with a letter to facility administration, and I want to make clear just how inappropriate that shower was and how outraged I was at my treatment and how concerned I am about the possible treatment of others at this girl's hands. But there's this part of me that's afraid that I might just be over-reacting, and I want to come across as not just an hysterical old woman. And so I ask you guys...would you be as mad as I am about such an event? And what would you do?
  9. 1 point
    However you dress, whatever your culture, whatever your abilities or disabilities,a good man will love you for who you are. I have been married for a long time, so losing my leg at 52 was not so hard on me because my husband loved me before it happened and even more since. I know it's hard for younger women but there are MANY people on the forums who have met their partners since their amputations and have gone on to very happy and fulfilled lives - and you will too. So don't be despondent!It won't be easy, but get out there and start meeting men from other cultures who are kind and loving (assuming your religion permits it). Western clothes are very practical (well, the trousers are)and comfortable, easier to put on than a sari (if less beautiful).And perfect for Uni. There is no rule to say you can't mix it up and wear either is there? Go shopping with your friends for practical wheelchair stuff - it needn't be frumpy, there's plenty of pretty clothing out there which is fashionable but modest. Seven yards of sari entangled in the spokes of a wheelchair is NOT something I'd want to deal with....BTW any man who dismisses you just because you have a disability would make a lousy partner and should be avoided! A lot of attention from Englishmen? Fabulous! Go get 'em.....you only live once - just be careful of course.
  10. 1 point
    All, I been posting on here for a little while now about my various experiences and frustrations as a Hip Disartic Patient, and the lack of support advice and information available to us. As we make up such a small group of amps in the scheme of things, my experience is that we tend to get over looked, whilst we do have lots in common with all other amputees we also have very specific needs and requirements. I have written on here before about about various things (usually negative) but also on a positive note I have managed to obtain an advanced NHS funded prosthetic that has had a significant positive impact on my life. I have spoken to other Hip Disartic patients in the UK and found it helpful to share experiences and advice and generally talk to someone of a simliar mind set. To help make this easier, should anyone want to join, I have set up a Facebook Group specifically for Hip Disartic / HP Amputees. Group to share information and advice for the Hip Disarticulated people, specifically for, but not limited to people in the UK. The intention is to raise awareness of what can be done for high level amps specifically and just a place to come to for some support / advice / info with like minded individuals as during my experiences I found absolutley nothing helpful and it was a very lonely place. If you search Facebook for Hip Disartics UK you should find a group to join, I've made the content hidden so only if you join the group can you see whats in it. Its early days so not much on it but have quite a few ideas of information, videos etc that can put in here that hopefully will help. The offer is there should anyone want to join and at least talk to people who are in the same boat. Time to help ourselves I think
  11. 1 point
    Hooray for Lauren!!! I think you've all turned a corner here, Marion...there comes a time when a horrible, all-consuming event that sits right in the middle of your life demanding that you focus on it becomes...well...just a horrible event that happened. And then you start rebuilding a normal life. Sounds like Lauren is headed that way! Good for her, good for her wonderful friends, and good for you! Do keep us posted!
  12. 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
  13. 1 point
    Well I think those are some lovely developments! I know that you have some concerns about wanting Lauren to be fully self-sufficient, Marion, but do try to keep in mind that she wasn't "fully self-sufficient" when she set out for college pre-accident either. This entire time in her life is about that "becoming fully self-sufficient"...she just happens to have an additional challenge to master. If she is feeling strong enough to give it a go, she's also very likely to sort out what to do and/or who to call if she does run into a difficulty that's beyond her present abilities. The more independent she can be, the better! If she has a good caregiver working with her, they'll no doubt be able to figure things out between them........ I'm not only glad that Lauren and her dad got some nice "together time," I'm happy that you got a chance to just step back a bit and have a few minutes to think about things...or not think about things, whichever you most needed! Sometimes it seems that a situation like this can be harder for the parents than for the amputee. The person actually going through the recovery truly knows what's happening, what it feels like physically, how it affects them emotionally......their family and friends have to just guess at all that. Take your cues from Lauren...while you're all learning about the "technical" parts of being an arm amp together, she is the ultimate authority on her body, mind, and emotions. It sounds like you're doing your best to be supportive, so remember that granting Lauren that authority over herself is a major way to support her! Do keep us posted....this is an exciting time in a new amputee's progress and there are many of us pulling for Lauren!
  14. 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!
  15. 1 point
    Hi Cheryl, It was a good weekend indeed! I have no doubts that Lauren will learn to swim again - Like everything else, it's just going to take time. I don't know if she's getting more comfortable with how she looks, so much as she is accepting the fact that this is her new reality and that despite what we all wish, her arms aren't going to grow back. She definitely struggles and is pained by her body image daily, but it's starting to become a new normal I think, which is an important step. I love your idea of the T-Shirt too! :) The meeting with the prosthetist went well, and the cosmetics will be ready in about 2 weeks. They did tell us that in the summer especially, they are going to be very hot, and that most amputees actually elect not to wear their cosmetics on a daily basis for this reason, and use them more for special occasions and such. I think Lauren will have to give them a try and decide for herself how and when she wishes to wear them. He also told us that many double arm amputees find that they get in the way. Nevertheless, Lauren is excited to get them - I think they'll go a long way towards helping her feel normal. After the prosthetist, we went for a nice lunch and did what any mother/daughter combo would like to do - Went shopping and went to the salon! We're definitely finding that there are certain styles of clothing that fit her new form better now that her torso is so slim and that make her more confident. Good news for Lauren, bad news for my wallet! All the best, Marion
  16. 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!
  17. 1 point
    Hope it's a good day for you, Johnny! I'll be hitting that point next February...what's it feel like?
  18. 1 point
    Hi All, I hope everyone is getting ready for the 4th of July! Things here are going as well as they can be. Lauren is continuing to make progress, and in fact, they've started to teach her the basics of how to feed herself using her feet! It's going to take quite some time for her to get it, but at least the process is in motion! She's very, very happy about this, as having to be fed (and dressed, for that matter) is one of the hardest parts of her injuries for her to deal with. I will say that it's been amazing to watch her learning to adapt - She's moving her toes in ways that I never thought were possible! Things like picking up a pen, for example, seemed all but impossible just a few weeks ago, and now she's not only doing that but even starting to learn write with her feet. It's exciting. I still absolutely battle with the fact that my daughter's life has changed so drastically, and that things that she didn't think about now require so much effort and help, but it is getting a little better. We are still figuring out the school situation. Lauren really wants to go back ASAP. I am beyond thrilled that she feels comfortable enough with her new body image to want to return. Logistically, she would have a full time aid, and we have already made contact with a team of therapists nearby who would be working with her on her rehabilitation and recovery. Is it too early though? Lauren did have a little bit of a breakdown about dating. It's especially hard as many of her friends are getting into semi serious relationships, and attracting boys was never an issue at all for her. She's in the "who will want me like this" phase, which is heartbreaking for us. She's made comments like she can't even hold hands with a boy at a movie, let alone give a hug. We keep telling her that she will find a guy that can see past her disability, and that it will come with time, but it's obviously very upsetting to hear, and i know she's sad about it. I hope you all have a great holiday!
  19. 1 point
  20. 1 point
    Thank you Johnny! We will definitely check out that organization. It's been a struggle to find other arm amputees similar in age to Lauren, let alone someone with the same level of her amputations. This weekend went surprisingly well. We had a family wedding over the weekend. Originally we didn't think Lauren would want to go, seeing as it was so soon after her accident, but surprisingly, she told us 2 weeks ago that she absolutely wanted to attend. I was absolutely surprised, but in the best way possible - My daughter wasn't going to let amputations stand in the way of having a good time and being with family! Needless to say, the entire family (including my niece, the bride) was overjoyed that Lauren was able to attend. Lauren definitely did well up and cry a bit as we were getting her dressed and when she looked in the mirror, but we were able to pep her up and she got over it. Arms or no arms, she looked absolutely beautiful! I will try to figure out how to post a picture. She did surprisingly well at the wedding, which I know was so tough because there were so many people there who hadn't seen her since she had her amputations. Many of our relatives told me that they couldn't believe how well she seems to be doing. She stayed with us most of the night, and we fed her and took care of her. I know she would have rather been out there on the dance floor, but that will come with time. Overall, I couldn't be more pleased at how it all shook out! Best, Marion
  21. 1 point
    Thank you Kitkat - sound advice as always. At least I know I'm on the right track - I'm using bits and bobs like long-arm reachers etc. to help with dressing and undressing and I'm scouring the internet for other useful gizmos. I do find though that in theory the gadgets are a fab idea but in reality they never quite live up to the expectation. I think you may also be right about needing to go to a rehab centre .I know my family are more than happy to help, but I am going to be so incapacitated for a while I just want to be as prepared as possible beforehand!
  22. 1 point
    Ann, I think you're absolutely right about that! We amp women have a number of issues that non-amp ladies don't have to think about...whatever makes us feel comfortable is a good thing. I have a very good friend who has an ongoing problem with my "naked" prosthesis. She is a lovely woman and has been very supportive, but she really can't seem to figure out why I wouldn't want my leg to "look normal." If she were ever to lose a leg, I'm sure she'd want to have the best cosmesis she could afford...that would be a comfort to her, and I think anything comforting in that situation would be nice. Now on the "dress and footwear" front, I love the description of your "formal dress" outfit, Kate! And yes, I think if anyone ever comes up with "cute shoes for women with foot problems" they will become overnight millionaires...wish I could manage that one! I happen to be a fan of TV's Dancing With The Stars, and it's been fascinating watching Amy Purdy compete, both for her ability as a dancer and for the combinations of her costumes and prosthetic feet/shoes..........granted, I'm not a wonderfully young, beautiful, incredibly fit amputee woman, but it's been grand watching one in action...and she has certainly looked really, really elegant! I don't know if all of these "offshoot" topics are addressing your original situation, Jane, but I hope it's helping!
  23. 1 point
    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
  24. 1 point
    What Ann says makes sense. Tell your legman you want to try different systems. If he is unwilling to do this, try another legman. It is your longterm comfort and health that is important here. He can make suggestions, but only you know what works best. I don't have a skin graft, but cannot wear the pin system because of the pulling on the end of the stump. I've never used the Harmony system, but have used a vacuum system. I liked the way it made the leg feel like it was really part of me, but I didn't like the way it kept it's tight fit while sitting. It all boils down to the fact that no one system is good for all of us. I've been using Ossur's Seal-in X5 liner for the past 4 years and love it. It has the convenience of a pin system without the pulling and yet the snug fit I like as in the vacuum without that tight fit of a vacuum. It works quite well for me.
  25. 1 point
    I met an AKA the other day at my rehab centre, he told me that the DWP had re-assessed him and told him he nolonger qualified for DLA. Unfortunately I could not question him further as I had been called away by my physio. Sparky