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Heather Mills - Amputee Forum

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Showing content with the highest reputation since 03/25/2012 in all areas

  1. 5 points
    Hi Everyone, Really sorry for the long delay in getting the forum back up and running but it should be back for good now with proper monthly updates. The reason for the forum being down for so long is the constant hacking of the forum that was causing huge issues for the server. As of now, we will be doing regular security patches and updates to keep it up and running. The first proper upgrade will be on Monday but it will only be down for around 30-60 minutes. If we need to run any other updates in future that will mean down time we'll give you all a few days notice right here. We'd just like to give a quick nod to Johnny V for his constant support and passion for the forum. It wouldn't be here without him. Many thanks again and thanks for your patience.
  2. 5 points
    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!
  3. 5 points
    Just to explain a bit Disability Living Allowance isn't a benefit as such to replace earnings, its an allowance, graded to the disability, to help with the extra cost of living with that disability and help keep people independent. Its not enough to live on, but helps financially with support for people who can't walk very far or can't cook their own meals, or have learning disability or whatever, and it is given to people who are working also, and has been in place in the UK since the 1970's. Certain conditions including those who had two limbs or more missing were automatically given the higher rate mobility component, single amputees or other conditions were assessed and granted on need. The reforms are changing things and DLA is being replaced by PIP. I think what has upset a lot of people is not that the veterans shouldn't get what they are getting , most of us fully support them. Its more really the way civilian amputees are being treated and thought of, and this week there seemed to be almost a media attack on us. On Tuesday, a Government Minister said that using a prosthetic limb did not undermine mobilty and that many amputees would no longer be entitled to DLA, this was followed by an announcement from the PM that Veteran amputees would receive DLA or the new PIP automatically for life. What came across was that civilians didn't need it, but veterans did. This is happening against the background of what Lizzie2 is saying about civilian amps struggling with the services they receive, lack of employment opps, and also of course the general cuts that are happening throughout the country for everyone. The problem is that most of our gov ministers and probably the general public are quite misinformed over the situation and most don't realize the situation for civilian amps., unless they personally know someone and the media talks constantly about the 'technology' that allows amputees to do virtually anything, going alongside media clips of veterans who are doing amazing things on their prosthetics, and everyone seems to assume that civilian amps are able to achieve these levels too. However there are differences in levels of care here, the veterans are given a long period of inpatient specialist rehab, and high spec tech limbs ... which I know doesn't necessarily 'fix' everything, but for the main their care is streamlined, quick access to things that don't leave them waiting weeks or months for appointments, new sockets, components, etc., which is often the case for civilians, and this all helps to allow them reach their full potential and be very active, making it much easier for them to live independent lives and obtain employment .... nothing wrong in this, in fact this is how things used to be in a way for civilians but not always the case now and some, particularly complex amps, have to fight long and hard to get the kind of input they need because really the system has got very overloaded, there are many more amputees nowadays, which is good because people are often surviving things they didn't previously, but the resources haven't increased to meet this demand and I think our NHS system is struggling a bit to cope. I know its all political and media spin but to me it does seem a bit unjust.
  4. 4 points
    Nice to be back. Just received the e-mail
  5. 4 points
    Just want to say hello and pleased we are back up and running .
  6. 4 points
    Hooray!! I've missed this place! Three cheers for everyone who worked to bring the site back to life!
  7. 3 points
    Hey...the gang's getting back together! Good to hear from everyone!
  8. 3 points
    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!
  9. 3 points
    I hope your fittings go well...... I always loose patience with the time thing.......Ideally, it would fit right with the first try on....
  10. 3 points
    Ajax is too harsh. I use body soap when I take my shower.
  11. 3 points
    My heart goes out to every person on these forums who is struggling. I'm so thankful this forum exists, so we can all find help from people who understand. When I was doing my pre-surgery research back in 2003 (when the internet was pretty slim on information!) I could never find a book about an every day amputee, not the super athlete amputee, but a person who lived with a prosthetic in real life. Once I had my surgery, and it went well, I decided there needed to be a book out there for all of us who will never run in the Paralympics or climb a mountain. I'm a writer, by trade, so I dove in. My book, called "Just One Foot: How Amputation Cured My Disability." is now available, along with it's website, at justonefoot.com I'm trying my best to get a flier about the book (and some day a copy of the book) in every prosthetist office, and every orthopedic hospital waiting room. I want those considering this option to know they are not alone and that life can be very good afterward. Every time I get a tiny bit of proceeds from the book sales, I go buy postage, to send the word out to others who might need it. I hope to also speak to the orthopedic resident doctors at the med school here in Denver, to let them know that amputation doesn't always mean failure. Sometimes it can mean a better life...better than years of surgery and more crutches and pain pills. I hope to get a new generation of docs thinking in a new way - more about what is best for the patient, when a limb refuses to heal. Sometimes amputation means they can go on with their lives and be more active than they were before. I was so encouraged and supported by this forum when I was doing my research. I wanted you all to know it was very appreciated and that I'm trying to give back, by getting this 'everyday amputee' book out there. Thanks again!
  12. 3 points
    I know that I am probably posting this "out of the blue", but briefly, I have never have funds to walk well. This year I faced the daunting task of never walking again. That broke 3R60? Remember? Anyway, Ed Dean sent me a knee that was such a life saver at the beginning of this year.......and such a blessing...... This is my story....from after receiving my knee from Ed.....until my conniving CP and Ed put their heads together and turned my whole world upside down. Wednesday 25 July 2012 - A very special day in the life of an ordinary RAK amputee from Africa I think it was round about the middle of July maybe, when Marco (my legman) gave me a call and asked for a favour. He had a group of student prosthetists coming to his practice and he needed a body to use to show them how to build and fit a test socket. Test sockets. My favourite thing, sigh. But for Marco, anything. I'm normally quite good at self motivation.......stuff like, well, how bad can it be? I've done it a hundred times before. I'm not walking so badly on this 3R60 that Ed Dean sent me. In fact, I'm doing quite well considering that the knee is built for someone almost twice my weight. I'm lucky to be walking at all. There's a click in my foot, Marco can fix it for me. I need to get off this farm and see real people. I don't hate the fitting, and pinching, and tweaking, and donning, and "ow" here, and "ow" there. Marco standing behind me like a sergeant major yelling "walk walk!" Nah. Not so bad. Dawns the morning of Wednesday 25 July, and I am ready to go. Dressed as only a seasoned AK amp can be for a fitting. Girlie brooks, passion killer brooks, boy short brooks, short shorts, long shorts, and finally tracksuit pants. Yip, as ready as I am ever going to be. And I hie off to Pretoria, a goodly one-hour-and-a-bit drive. And I arrive in Pretoria, well on time (I'm usually late) and then I realise that I must have taken the wrong off-ramp. Every single street name is foreign. And when I say foreign, I mean foreign to a white South African chick. They are all black and ethnic names! No man. Names I can't even pronounce! I drive straight (which I always do when I am lost) and then pull over about 25 kilometres down the road to find out where I am, and what they've done with Marco's offramp. Is it even called Pretoria now? Maybe it's Tswane..... Ja, ja, I get the "oh didn't you know?", and the "but all the street names change all the time", and the "come back down for 25 kilometres and look for "January Maselela". Sigh - that is SO far removed from the original "General Louis Botha Drive" it's not even funny. So I'm late......but I get my coffee and walk into the rooms. Three people there, one with a camera (oh my hat, no man), and two with note pads (that I can handle). Yip, gonna be a long day. Marco smiles, thanks me for coming and introduces me to the three strange people in the room. And says "I have a confession to make....." I knew it! I just knew it! The b*gger told me that I wouldn't have to go through the whole plaster-of-paris rigmarole and now he is going to make me do it! Still smiling, he hands me a huge beautifully framed letter, and says "this is from Ed". I read most of it, get a bit teary......and hand it back to Marco. He has tons of beautiful letters and pictures up at his practice. He says "no, it's for you....to keep". Mine? Ah man....my heart. How precious is this? Marco says "by now you probably have guessed that these aren't students". Huh? Well no, the thought hadn't even crossed my mind. Then who the hell are they? These strange people, taking notes, smiling at me, sharing my private Ed and Ally and Marco moment? "They're from the media" says Marco. Oh. OH? Marco hands me a very familiar and deadly expensive box, a gift from Ed, he says. It's an Iceross Liner! A brand new Iceross Liner! I'm so confused, so very confused now. I manage to sputter out "but what size is it? How did Ed know?" Marco tells me that Ed asked him to buy it for me, a gift, from my Ed. I am properly finished. This is a hugely expensive piece of silicone. And the three strange people are smiling and taking notes and taking pictures, and I am cradling my liner like a brand new baby. And I am blessed. Then the journalists are asking questions. Tons of questions. Old questions that most people would find boring about my life. My accident, how did you cope, what was it like - nothing, I swear nothing in my life is this interesting that three journalists would take time to write down the complete normalcy of my every day existence. Then Marco says "Ed sent you one more thing" and hands me a tiny little box wrapped in pretty pink paper. Can I open it now? Yes, yes, and Marco is smiling and the strange people are smiling, and I am warm inside. So very warm because Ed has done so much for me already, and still he continues. I think my scream may have shattered Marco's glass doors. I think one of the strange people snapped his pencil in half. And I am screaming, and crying, and shaking my head "no no no". This cannot be. Marco is smiling and nodding, yes, yes it is. And then I am silent, tears falling down my cheeks. I am holding sixty thousand rand in my hands. I am holding my first brand new prosthetic knee. And it's hard to breathe, and it's harder to believe. And there is one more thing.......Marco says "are you ready to speak to Ed?" And he hands me the phone, and I speak with my Ed in person for the first time in all the years I have known him. I forget the conversation now, truely I do. I remember standing in the corner, trying to hide from the strange people, trying to say thank you, trying to not be so overwhelmed that I fall into a heap on the floor. And then we fit the knee. It is so pretty, so small, so light! And I am walking, and walking, and outside I am leaping in the air, and the strange people are laughing and taking pictures and I am queen of the universe. Queen of Pretoria, or Tswane.....who cares - today I am standing tall. And I am wrapped in a bubble of love and compassion and complete awe. The journalists leave, still smiling.....and the biggest black chap turns to me and says....."well, you have a good day. Oh hang on, never mind, you already are!" And I impulsively bear hug him which I guess isn't the most culturally correct thing to do in Africa, but I don't care because I am after all, a woman with a new knee. And I am blessed. Who knew that two most extraordinary people would take such time and care and effort, and conspire for nearly 5 months to make this awesome day a reality for me. And present it to me so beautifully and so lovingly. Lots of hugs, tears, laughter and kind words later, I am on my way home. Light as a feather. Smiling like a crazy woman at people in the traffic. Smiling at nothing and smiling at everything. Smiling and smiling and I just can't stop. My mind is ticking over, my head is going to explode.....I have so many special people to tell. I have so many special people that must read my letter from Ed. There is much to do. Much to do, my Ed, today, and for a long time to come. You are my golden, my PLU. You have blessed me in abundance. And I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
  13. 3 points
    OK...this is my "moderator" self speaking here, so forgive me if it sounds "odd" or even "cruel"...but I'm so glad that we have two new members looking at recovery from an HP! Not that I want either of you fellows to have to go through the operation and recovery...but it's so good that you'll have each other to share the process, work out coping strategies, appreciate accomplishments, advise each other on "what works" or "what doesn't"...and just be able to have someone to consult who is actually going through the same thing at the same time! When you're looking at such a severe operation, it's sometimes very hard to find someone who can fully relate to the situation. So take advantage of this, guys...it's a good thing!
  14. 3 points
    Ok, so if you laugh, you are NOT a bad person. This was taken 3 days after I received the most precious gift of a brand new 3R60 from Ed Dean. My one amputee pitbull is also somewhere in this vid, laughing (I hope), but probably thinking "what a chop"! PS : I am normally quite sane......yip, I am :) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ievUE-fhLU&feature=plcp
  15. 3 points
    Celebrating 10 years survivorship of cancer and Limb Loss today. It's great to be here with all of my friends and family. What an awsome journey that has been created with so many new opportunities, causes, friends and associates. Thank you God.
  16. 3 points
    I changed Leg docs. I had the new C-leg and the choice of three great feet, sub atmospheric electric pump vacuum blah blah.......... I ran across this younger Leg man who still lectures at Northwestern University. He developed a brimless socket for me that has a frame that is wrapped in a rubberized plastic. Harder in some areas, softer in others where my muscle is to allow for flex while walking, skiing , whatever. It is sooooooooooooooooo comfortable not to have anything around my crotch or high thigh. The brimless flexible socket allows me to sit for hours in comfort. Ride a bike with no interference. My gait has gotten better since my feet are about 5 inches apart now when walking. Still suction socket using the Limb Logic which now has the new seal ring. It is so quite and rarely goes off. Still have the new c-leg and I use the New AT-1 Renegade which is perfect for my walking style, weight and airport hopping. Another difference is the liner. The liner he uses is a Medi-Pro which is specially designed for the vacuum system. It also is partly made from UMBRELLAN the material used to help with Phantom pain. It feels like butter is what I told my new leg man. Just had to share since you folks are the only people that would understand. Kirk
  17. 2 points
    Hi Everybody, here's one from across the pond, happy to have this forum back.
  18. 2 points
    Yes, should have said...thanks to all who made it happen!!
  19. 2 points
    Latest update....... It looks like the wound vac is coming off for good. There's been a fair amount of improvement in the wound. I can now hobble on my heel for 200 feet without resting (walker assisted). I've met all my PT and OT goals. I'm being cut back to every-other-day PT, OT, and dressing changes....... All of this is stuff I've been hoping and praying for...but it has me concerned. The fact that all my various services are being cut to every-other-day means that my insurance may well not continue to cover me to stay here...but the center of the wound is still so deep and raw that I'm really reluctant to be at home on my own just yet. I'm so nervous about one little "slip, slide, n' tear" on the ball of my foot ripping the small amount of tissue covering the bone and opening things up to infection that I'm quaking! Ideal situation: I'd get to stay here another week-or-thereabouts, the wound continues to heal more, and THEN I transfer home with something where one little slip won't "doom" me. At first they were talking about discharging me on Friday......but boy I'd feel better with a few more days of on-the-spot care! The last I heard, they were going to discuss it all again on Friday and then try to make a definite call on a discharge date. That's likely to mean I'm OK until Sunday...and, who knows, maybe that will be enough time for all my worries to resolve themselves. At any rate, it does look like "home for Thanksgiving" may be a distinct possibility and I'm glad of that!
  20. 2 points
    Wonderful for you Ally, its good to know that there are some truly good people out there who go out of their way to help others. Reading your story also made me more appreciative of our NHS services over here in the UK, although we often moan about the services etc. etc., most/prob all of us get our prostheses provided in some shape or form, know I for one probably take this for granted much of the time, and have my share of moans about it, but do tend to forget that not everyone everywhere in the world gets a service such as this.
  21. 2 points
    Not only watching but attending. My daughter really wanted to go and my sister lives in London so... I was able to get tickets for the men's individual all around gymnastics finals, judo (lightweight) quarterfinals, beach volleyball qualifying and women's field hockey qualifying. Just got back last night. Had such a great time and all of the venues were beautiful. London has done a great job with transportation and directions. I understand a lot of people volunteered to work in these areas. I was kind of dreading all the crowds but it was really a very pleasant experience. I also am really pleased with all the interest in the ParaOlympics. Wish our schedules had allowed us to attend some of those events as well. Cheering for all the athletes.
  22. 2 points
    I've adored the Olympics ever since I was a little kid...when I was just 5 years old, the Winter Olympics was held in Squaw Valley and my parents were avidly watching the coverage. When I asked them "why is there so much skiing on TV?" they told me about the Olympics and how "all the best athletes in the world have come right here to California to compete." That was it...I was enchanted, and I've been an Olympics junkie--winter and summer games, both--for the rest of my life! One of the great experiences of my life was getting to attend so many of the various competitions in 1984, when I was living smack dab in the middle of several of the venues for the L.A. Olympics! I think London's doing a great job of hosting...the lighting of the torch was, I think, more reflective of the true Olympic spirit than a lot of the "star-studded" torch lightings that we've had over the years. When all those copper petals, representing all of the competing countries and lit by those young "athletes of the future" rose up to form the torch cauldron, I literally dissolved in tears! Okay...I'm done emoting...now I'm just really watching all the competitions! Go, Olympians!!!
  23. 2 points
    Hey Everyone, It's been a number of years since I've posted; so apologies for my absence. I just wanted to alert you all to an amazing exhibition called 'Spare Parts' which is being hosted by a pretty amazing aussie amp from Brisbane in London. 'Spare Parts' LONDON opens on Saturday August 25 - 9 September @ the Rag Factory. It is an incredible exhibition of used prosthetic which have been turned into works of art - by artists from London. To give you a little background......................In 2010 Spare Parts was one of the most vibrant and exciting exhibitions held in Brisbane,Australia. It bought together a diverse range of artists all using pre-loved prosthetic limbs as their canvas. The success of the 2010 exhibition led curator Priscilla Sutton to consider taking the exhibition to London in 2012. And now – a venue has been booked just off Brick Lane, a fresh batch of prosthetics have been collected, and new artists from United Kingdom, France, Australia, America and Japan are all working away on what will become the second phase of Spare Parts. The prosthetics are donated from amputees, families of amputees and clinics from all around the world. This has proven to be a fun and therapeutic way for people to clean out their closet and get rid of old limbs. The exhibition aims to not only recycle pre-loved arms and legs into new and exciting artworks but also to create an open and positive conversation, celebrating prosthetics and how much can be achieved by using them. Priscilla has been an amputee since 2005, after having elective surgery to remove a worsening bone condition. It is the best decision she has ever made, and now leads a very active life with the use of a below knee prosthetic leg. For more information please go to: contact@priscillasutton.com | Phone +44 77 4216 2374 | www.spareparts2012.com I hope you all have time to visit and enjoy. Lots of love and best wishes. Mel xx
  24. 2 points
    Wow, John, I didn't realize that you and I were so close in our "anniversary" dates..... 2 weeks to the day... same year.....It will be 10 years for me in just a few short days....The plans that God has for us are amazing in so many ways...... Like you, I thank God every day for the people that I have met along the way, and for Heather for giving us all a safe place to learn and grown into our own as we journey though our life as "amps". In becomming a bk, I have gained so much, and my life is so much richer for it... I have friends that will be with me for the rest of our lives, the good Lord willing... To Heather and everyone else that I have become acquainted with on here,,, Thank You for being in my life for 10 years.........
  25. 2 points
    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.
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