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Heather Mills - Amputee Forum

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  1. 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.
  2. 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!
  3. 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!
  4. 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
  5. 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.
  6. 1 point
    I was looking through on your website and came across your contact info. I read that because of so many letter's and short staff that not all letter's would be read. But I decided to go a head and write a letter to you anyways, and it would be self healing for myself since my amputation was so tramatic. I was so surprised when I received an email and a phone call from one of your people. I never thought this would happen. It was very heart warming to know that someone does care about the pain I am living everyday. For the first time in almost 3 years I feel that there is hope for me and that I might be able to get my life back again!! It's been a very difficult few years for me, but I now have hope!! Thank you so much for everything you do for people, and for your website because without it I wouldn't have learned the things I have or to have been able to talk to people, even becoming friends with some. It is very much appreciated! Mary Farquhar
  7. 1 point
    Hi Charu, Welcome to the forum! I haven’t been here in quite a while but I did see your post and your message. It is a pleasure to see another hip disarticulation amputee on the board. Yes, we are rare! That is one of the reasons I haven’t been on the forum much. It will be 6 years since my amputation on February 10th. I was 42 years old when my leg was amputated and I am now 48. I certainly respect your decision to not use a prosthetic. It is a very personal decision and especially for hip disarticulations, it can be a very challenge process to use a prosthetic leg. And I completely understand your reasons why. I almost made the same decision because I had walked on crutches for 15 years prior to my amputation and I had become so good at walking on them. It just seemed so easy just to keep using crutches. I do use a prosthetic leg now, but it is not always easy. I do enjoy the liberation of being out of my leg and walking on crutches, but I also enjoy being able to use my prosthetic and have the freedom from the crutches. For me, there are advantages and disadvantages to both worlds. If you feel more comfortable in not using a leg, then by all means that is that is what is best for you. The most important thing is for you to be happy, healthy and cancer free! But I would encourage you keep an open mind for the future. You are still so very young and there are so many new advancements in hip disarticulation prosthetics that have come out just in the past 6 years since my amputation. They are becoming more comfortable and less tiring to use. Your young age is definitely to your advantage! Please feel free to private message me again. I look forward to getting to know you Charu!
  8. 1 point
    Thank you! Yes, it's amazing to consider how far we've all come in just a couple of months. While Lauren still has a ways to go, the progress has been amazing and I can't express the joy I feel when I see her doing something that seemed completely impossible just a few months earlier. Her emotional progress has been great as well. I think that Lauren has accepted the fact that her life isn't really ever going to be the same again, but that doesn't mean that her life can't be just as good if not better than it was before - It's just going to be different. She does still have her down moments for sure, but that's still to be expected. Lauren is now home for winter break, and we're all so happy to have her back. Her sister, Alison, is especially happy to have her back! They've been catching up on "girl time", which is so good to see. It's amazing how much they love each other - Alison has been the most amazing sounding board and support system for Lauren. I wish everyone a wonderful holiday season, and will certainly keep you all updated. Thanks again for the amazing support!
  9. 1 point
    You gave me a good laugh there, Jane! I wonder what Lucey thought of the "show!"
  10. 1 point
    Hello everyone! I can't believe it's been so long since my last note here - Time sure does fly. I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Lauren came home for the holiday, and is now back at school where she's prepping for the final exams. It's hard to believe that the semester just flew by. Thanksgiving went very well. We went to my sister's house, along with 20 other cousins and relatives. For many of them, it was their first time seeing Lauren since her amputations. Those types of situations are normally somewhat hard for Lauren, but she handled it really well and everyone was just so supportive and loving - Not to mention surprised to see just how much Lauren can do on her own! While Lauren did need some assistance eating her Thanksgiving meal, she was able to a really good job using her feet - I was definitely proud, and definitely happy to see just how much progress she's made since she was home last. She's also getting much better at dressing herself, which is a great accomplishment. One thing that we didn't think about upon her return to NY was her footwear. When she's down at school, where it's much warmer, she typically will wear flip flops or sandals that she can easily slip her feet in and out of, but here in NY, it's freezing, so she had to wear shoes and uggs that were much harder for her to take on and off by herself to get access to her feet. This is definitely a learning experience, and Lauren was so good at just going with the flow and trying to adapt. Her resilience is amazing. Lauren is back at school now getting ready for finals, and then she'll be back for winter break and the holidays. I can't wait to have her back home! All the best, Marion
  11. 1 point
    Hi Everyone, I hope you are all doing well and enjoying the end of summer/beginning of fall! I wanted to just give a brief update -- Lauren is continuing to make progress! She is doing well at school, and her grades are in-line with where they were previously, which is amazing considering the challenges that she now faces. She's honing her skills with her feet, and has made a lot of progress with being able to dress herself. While she still needs help of course, she is able to put on her own shirt, which even 4-5 weeks ago seemed like it would be so far away. She's also doing well with feeding herself, and only needs help with cutting - Again, major progress. Socially, her circle of friends remain her main support system - They are amazing. She is absolutely dealing with the stigma of being different, which is really hard, but she is coping. Lauren is going to come home this weekend for a visit - So I will post another update when I actually get to see her! Best, Marion
  12. 1 point
    Thank you! BethMarie, we will absolutely try to make it to the meeting in July. It sounds great, and I think it would be a great experience for us both -- Especially for Lauren. Lauren seems to be doing well as she continues to adjust to her new norm at school. It's a struggle for sure, but she's managing and learning to accept it. She does definitely feel the effects of being "different" though, and that's tough for her (and for me to hear about). She went to a welcome back party this Saturday with some friends, and had a good time, but did note that many of the boys (who she used to be friendly with) wouldn't even engage with her really. I think dating and relationships will be the toughest part for Lauren now that she's back at school, and in an environment where relationships are blossoming. She is still absolutely beautiful, charming, and intelligent... and I know/pray that the right person will come along for her and will see her for those qualities rather than for her missing arms. Still, though, my heart breaks for her because I know that there are some who can’t look past it. This week, Lauren is resuming her PT/OT, so we are anxious to hear how that goes and excited about the progress that I am confident she will make. On my end, it’s weird not having her home! You’re right in that her care has been a 24/7 job - But that’s my job as a parent. It’s been relaxing, but like any parent sending her kid back to college, I miss Lauren! Her strength throughout this whole thing has been nothing short of an inspiration to me.
  13. 1 point
    Thank you Cheryl! I am happy to report that Lauren has survived her first week of classes! She has said that it is definitely a radical adjustment, and she's still processing it all and taking it in. It's going to take time. Her classes went well, and the note-taker is proving to be invaluable. While Lauren can write somewhat legibly holding the pen with her toes, it just wouldn't work in the context of a fast-paced class, so it seems like we have a good solution. She's getting used to her aid, and they're developing a good rapport from what I can tell and from Lauren says. It's a definite adjustment to having someone new shower you, help in the bathroom, etc, but she's taking it in stride. The hardest part does seem to be the social aspect, with all of the staring and such, as you would expect. Her friends are being super helpful and supportive, and Lauren is very happy to be back with them - And to see some of her friends from school who she didn't get to see over the summer after her amputations. I do think she's going to have to learn to become even more comfortable in her own skin and with her new body, but she's doing great so far! Best, Marion
  14. 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!
  15. 1 point
    Thanks BethMarie! She definitely is a spunky gal for sure! She is definitely making progress, but it is a slow, slow process indeed. We're learning to really celebrate every victory to keep Lauren's spirits high and to encourage her. I know she's going to thrive - Even without her arms! She does definitely have moments of deep sadness, but we know it's going to get better as she gains even more independence. While I was initially very apprehensive about her returning to school so quickly, I do think it's going to be great for her. She'll be in the environment she's supposed to be in at this time in her life - Just with some help. Cheryl, you are right in that there are some cool gadgets and gizmos out there. At the recommendation of Lauren's doctors, we've been looking into some of them. Interestingly (and intelligently, I might add!) they've pointed us in the direction of companies that make assistive aids for quadriplegics (who don't have us of their arms either). We've found a device called a feeder that could be a good option for Lauren - http://www.pattersonmedical.com/app.aspx?cmd=getProduct&key=IF_46883. We've even found devices that would allow her to use a computer using her eyes! She's been using voice recognition software thus far, but that is also something that we're considering for down the right. Our (and Lauren's) natural preference is for her to use her feet for as much as possible, but it's great to know that there are options out there. It is simply amazing how quickly technology is advancing. You're right that the cosmetic arms really aren't going to be for everyday use. As I mentioned, they're rather heavy and hot, and as per Lauren, definitely not comfortable. I'm sure they'll get a little better as she gets used to them, but they will really be for special occasions. She's been wearing them quite a bit this weekend, but I think it's just out of excitement. They do definitely get in the way for both Lauren when she's using her feet, as well as for us when we need to assist. Lauren's feet have been giving her pain, so she's been relaxing them a bit, and we've been doing a bit more for her (like brushing her teeth, feeding her with a fork, etc) so that she can hopefully feel better. At the recommendation of the podiatrist, we're looking into different shoe options for her. She generally wears flip flops because they're so easy for her to slip out of (and because she loves how they look), but they really do lack support, which could be contributing to the issue. She does have regular athletic sneakers, but they're almost impossible for her to get on and off independently, so I've been trying to encourage her to wear her Tom's, Sperrys, or Flats, as they'd also be easy for her to get on and off so that she can use her feet. These also help us, as we regularly wash her feet (just as we wash her hands) to keep things as sanitary as possible. Later today, Alison is taking Lauren to a yoga class! The studio that Alison goes to actually has an adaptive yoga class for people with disabilities. Lauren is extremely excited, as she loved yoga before her amputations. The studio has never dealt with an arm amputee (it's mostly for folks in wheelchairs), so we'll see how it goes. It'll be good for both Lauren and Alison to spend some one-on-one time together doing something that they would have been doing before the accident, and David and I are just thrilled that she's willing to go out and try new things, rather than just staying home and being sad. I'll definitely let you know how it goes. Enjoy the day!
  16. 1 point
    Thank you all so much for your advice, I think what I may do then is just wait and see how it all feels when I have got used to my prosthesis. I will definitely let the DVLA know when I feel I am fit to drive, something that I didn't even think about before. Thanks again everyone xxx
  17. 1 point
    Thank you for all your advice, its great to be able to talk to people who have already been through the operation as it gives me more of a realistic expectation. I have an appointment with my surgeon next month to discuss the operation so I will be asking lots of questions. Thanks again guys! Xx
  18. 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
  19. 1 point
    Best of luck to you...I hope it all goes extremely well and you're back up and around soon!
  20. 1 point
    Hi there...sorry you've had this decision "sprung" on you, but for your doctors to have put you through so many operations and then actually recommended the amputation, I'd have to think that it truly is the "best/only" solution at this point. I'm over on the "other side of the pond" in California, so I hope some of our UK folks can join in here to give you a better idea of what to expect over in your part of the world. I will tell you that you need to work very hard to make sure your medical team is up-to-date on the current theories on pre-/post-operative pain control. If you can go into your surgery in a basically pain-free condition (and remain so for as long after the surgery as possible), it can do a lot to prevent future episodes of nerve/phantom pain, which is a very good thing! This surgery is not one where you want to try and "tough it out" without pain meds...at least not for the first few days. I'm a below-knee amputee myself, and my experience has been a good one. I was in a lot of pain and facing a life of disability before I lost the leg...and losing the leg turned out to be one of the best things I could have done. After my first year of going through a great deal of changes, adaptations, and waaayyy more prosthetic legs than I'd ever expected, I was able to go back to living a more-or-less normal, active, and healthy life. I know of folks who were in and out of the hospital within a a day or two, and others (myself included) who spent several days in an acute care hospital and then followed up with several more days in an inpatient rehab facility. Your physical condition and reaction to the surgery will probably play a part in that. There's this saying about amputees: "Everyone is different." That's a good thing to keep in mind......you can expect to hear some general "guidelines" from your medical team, but a large part of figuring out what to do with prosthetics, physical therapy, adaptations around your house, etc... will have to be sorted out as you go and be tailored specifically for you and your lifestyle. Over here, it takes several weeks for a new amputee to get their first prosthesis...but I've heard about folks in your part of the world being fitted significantly earlier. During most of your first year, you are likely to spend more time than you ever thought possible getting to the point where you have a good fit on that leg: you'll likely have some massive changes in the volume of your residual limb as post-op swelling goes down and muscles that aren't being used as much start to atrophy. You truly do need to keep up with all of those alterations in fit of your prosthesis. A proper prosthesis makes it much, much easier to get back up and walking again. One thing to keep in mind: A prosthesis that is fitting properly WILL NOT HURT. If anyone tries to tell you otherwise, they are likely trying to excuse their own inadequacy. Now, it is difficult for a technician to tell how well an artificial limb is fitting, since they can't do so by trying it on themselves: it is built specifically for your body, so you will have to be the one to describe what you are feeling. Brush up on your communication skills, and make sure you feel very comfortable talking honestly with your leg team. These folks will be a major part of your life for many years to come. After my own amputation, I did OK at home, except that my apartment was not especially wheelchair-friendly. If your living space has obstacles that can be removed, remove them...especially at first. Getting up and down stairs was tough for me at first, and just remembering that I needed to "go slow" and understand that there would be some challenges that would be "easy" for me and others that would drive me mad for months and months was a challenge of its own. Ask any questions you can in the next few days and, especially, after your surgery. Remember that this is a brand new—and completely unexpected—lifestyle change...there is no such thing as a "stupid" question!
  21. 1 point
    You all deserve one as well for all the work you do in the background to make this forum work for all of us...We do appreciate it!
  22. 1 point
    I have a Comfort Flex socket as a LAK. I use a more firmer plastic that still is flexable but not flimsey. Also, I pull my stump into the socket using the parachute material. There is no liner as my skin is tight against the plastic socket which fits inside the frame. No problems at this time.
  23. 1 point
    Going to update the article soon as lots of stuff has changed so more advice to give, but on a different tack I treated myself to a helmet camera so here's a little video of me and friend at thetford forest. Enjoy :) http://rikk.smugmug.com/gallery/2860915_HL...4118_UinSV-A-LB
  24. 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.
  25. 1 point
    I've found dating to be actually a little easier now that I'm an amputee. I'm more comfortable with my body....as if the things I was worried about before have become so unimportant. I'm relaxed in my own skin, and I think that helps project a sense of confidence & ease. My only advice (& I learned this the hard way) is be up front about your disability. Honesty is a good starting point, and if the person decides they can't handle it, then you are better off without them.
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