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Heather Mills - Amputee Forum


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Everything posted by Karen

  1. Hi, Try wrapping velcro around the pedal, and then put strips of velcro on the bottom of the shoe you will use for cycling. That should be enough to keep your foot on the pedal. I'm an AK, too, and it works great for me! Although I haven't tried it on any heavy duty trails, just pleasure rides. :) Karen AKA Orlando, Florida
  2. Karen


    Oh my gosh, Cat.....what a mess! :o I'm so glad Dr. Ertl was able to clean it up and that you are home, safe and sound. The phone message you left me was breaking up and then cut off, so I didn't hear much of what you said. Didn't want to call you back as I know you need your rest, so give me a call again when you feel up to it, ok? And if you don't have my cell, PM me and I'll give it to you. Take it slow and easy and you'll be walking by your daughter's wedding for sure! XO Karen
  3. Karen

    Skully - update

    Thanks for the update, Higgy. It sounds like good news so far! I know Skully was worried that Dr. Ertl might not be able to fix all that was wrong, but if anyone could, he's the one. Please let her know she's in my thoughts and prayers. XO Karen AKA Orlando, Florida
  4. Bravo, Heather!!!!! I think she danced wonderfully..... in spite of the horrible costume she had to wear! <_< The morning hosts of a local radio station were talking yesterday about how people would be watching because they wanted to see Heather's leg fly off. I felt compelled to write them an email letting them know that "a large number of amputees will be watching with pride and admiration because we know how hard it is to achieve what she is doing, and some of us will be inspired to give dancing a try." I also let them know that it is highly unlikely that her leg will fly off since there are sleeves/straps available to keep that from happening. This morning they thanked "the lady who is an amputee who emailed us" for sharing my view, and talked about how blown away they were by her performance. Hmmmmmm.... I noticed on the ACA convention agenda that they will be offering a ballroom dancing class this year.....great timing, don't you think? :) Karen AKA Orlando, Florida
  5. Karen

    Power knee

    Hi, everyone I just wanted to add to this note that I have seen two power knees fit on HD's at my prosthetist's office...one a few months ago, and one (a female bi-lateral HD/BK!) today. Both patients are soldiers who were in Iraq and were previously wearing C-legs. It is AMAZING how much better and confidently they walk with the power knee! It's really changing their lives. Of course the added weight and loud noise would be a big turnoff for most AK's, but the added function for HD's is priceless. Karen AKA Orlando, FL
  6. Karen


    Dr. Ertl will not let you down, he is a very good surgeon. I'll pray that the procedure in a great success and that you'll be walking PAIN-FREE by June 23rd. That's very do-able! Will be thinking of you next week, and look forward to hearing from you during your recovery. { {hugs}} XO Karen AKA Orlando, Florida
  7. Karen

    Osseointegration Part One

    Paul, Just a thought..... could your foot not be adjusted correctly, i.e., when you are standing does it feel like your prosthetic heel is going up? Otherwise, my guess would be that your limb is shrinking fast because it is back in a socket and you have been so active??? I hope you find a temporary fix soon. I have been reading about your journey from day one and will be cheering you on to the finish line!!! Karen AKA Orlando, Florida
  8. Karen


    Hope you had a happy one Miss Judy! :) XO Karen AKA Orlando, Florida
  9. Karen

    Hope and possibility 5K Atlanta

    Over the next few months I am going to attempt to learn how to run on my AK prosthesis. I have a new knee which will allow me to do so. I'm a little nervous (ack!) as I have not EVER run in my 30+ years as an amputee. My six year old is determined to "help" me, LOL. She says, "mommy, just watch ME..." If only it were that easy! :) Wish us luck!!!!! The Hope and Possibility 5K sounds like the perfect "first race" for me! I'll make that my goal! Karen AKA Orlando, Florida
  10. Karen

    Happy Birthday Cat!

    Happy Birthday, dear Cat! Lots of love, Karen
  11. Congratulations, Mandy! I'm also an AK, and during the time of my two pregnancies wore the same type of socket as you have. I didn't find any good short term solutions. One prosthestist offered to make me a larger socket with a belt suspension, but I didn't like the idea. I just toughed it out and didn't exercise or walk as much those last few months. Like Lizzie, I gave birth with my leg on! :) Both times, my limb was pretty comfortable again in about 4-6 weeks, although I had a new one made about 6 months post pregnancy. My husband travels alot, so I figured out lots of ways to "safely tend to baby" at night or other times when I didn't have my leg on. Please feel free to PM me and I'll be glad to share experiences and chat with you! Karen AKA Orlando, Florida
  12. Karen

    Update on Cheri

    Hi, everyone Cheri asked me to post an update on her recent injury. The pain is becoming less intense, but she can't sit comfortably at the computer yet or she'd write this herself. She has really been touched by all the caring responses and emails she has received from her forum family..... especially those of you we "bonded" with in June . Hugs to you all!!!! Dr. Ertl in Oklahoma City reviewed Cheri's x-rays and told her that in his opinion, she doesn't need surgery and the bone fracture should heal on it's own over time. Yay! This is the same opinion she got from a local orthopedic surgeon on Friday, so she is feeling a lot less anxious now. The pain meds are doing their job, and she is getting lots of TLC from her hubby, sons and many friends. I'll let you know if anything changes, but right now she is on the way to recovery, and hopefully she will be able to post on her progress soon! XO Karen
  13. Like Mini Monkey, I also have a Freedom 3000 foot and like it a lot. But I use the Runway for my "everyday" foot because of the heel adjustability. :-) I mentioned in my earlier post that I had heard Freedom was going to discontinue the Runway because Medicare is not providing a code for the adjustability feature anymore, but am happy to report that they will continue to make the Runway. I received this info from one of the company's employees. Ann, as you can see, there are many differing opinions on feet. I think the best thing you can do is trial as many as you can. You can "get used" to any foot, but it's worth taking your time to find the right one for you. :) Karen AKA Orlando, FL
  14. Hi, Ann As you can see, everyone's experience is different. I'd urge you to trial more feet if you can. I am an AK, so possibly need different things from a foot, but here's my thoughts on the subject. A College Park rep was in my prosthetist's office yesterday, and asked me to try some of their feet. First was a prototype (only 3 made right now) heel-adjustable foot. I found it to feel extremely stiff..... hard heel and stiff toe. It was very easy to adjust, though. Since it's a prototype they are just in the feedback gathering stage right now, so there will be lots of changes before it comes to market...if it does - see my note below. I also tried the Tru-Step. They told me I should find it easier to walk up and down ramps, etc., but I didn't feel any difference from my current foot, which has some movement at the ankle, and the foot did not have a smooth rollover. It reminded me of some Flex-Feet..... too springy for everyday walking. I am currently wearing the Freedom Runway adjustable foot and I think it's the best one on the market. Have you every tried it? It has a very smooth rollover and good energy but not too springy. Afet, a bi-lateral BK from this forum, wears Runway feet and has highly recommended them. If you can, I'd recommend you give them a try. Hope this has been of some help! :) Note: I have heard that Freedom is going to discontinue making the Runway feet because Medicare is not going to have a code for heel adjustable feet anymore (says it's "not necessary") and the insurance companies will adopt same policy. I'm in the process of trying to find out who at Medicare to contact to confirm this is true, and will post the info when I get it. Karen AKA Orlando, Florida
  15. Karen

    New Game

    OK..... I seem to be on a roll :) 224. ACE wrap 225. ice packs 226. Mapquest.com 227. disposable diapers
  16. Karen

    New Game

    220. Crayons 221. Starbuck's Coffee 222. Zebra pattern crutch covers :-) 223. Ice Pops
  17. Karen

    Right Around the Corner, Roz!

    The only time I used a wheelchair was on the way out of the hospital, and then again at the airport. When I was released from the second hospital, I was actually issued a walker! LOL I found that much harder to "walk" with than crutches (more of a hop-step!), but the argument was that because I was so groggy from drugs still I was less likely to take a fall. That lasted all of about 2 days, and I went to the crutches. I know what you mean.....recovery is boring!!!! Not to mention that it can be very depressing at times. I've been up and down throughout the past 6 weeks. But you seem to be handling it all very well, and I applaud you! But don't expect too much from yourself, OK? I have been trying to take it one day at a time and celebrate the "baby steps". :) Karen AKA Orlando, FL
  18. Karen

    Right Around the Corner, Roz!

    Hi, Roz It sounds like you are doing fabulously! Much better than I did!! When I read your note about the crutches I thought "oh oh....I've been using them for 6 weeks, ack!" :o I will say that when I put on the test socket last week and tried to take a step, I tended to lean waaaay over to my good side (the right), and it did not feel right to me when they leveled out my hips and had me stand straight. Leaning to the right felt better! I'm down to one crutch now, and walking a little straighter (although I still baby my amputated side because the muscles are still a little sore). What I did to work on losing my lean was simply standing and transferring weight to my amputated side and holding it there. It just took a day or two to correct it. As I remember, I used crutches after my original surgery at age 13 also. Personally, I'd have gone crazy if I hadn't been able to use crutches. No one told me not to use them....but then again, no one told me I could get a blood clot in my lung if I travelled too soon after surgery, so I'd trust your physio people over mine! Perhaps if you don't use crutches exclusively you won't have a problem. Hang in there..... now comes the hard part..... hanging out and letting it all heal! I know how tough it can be to have patience. I'm looking forward to reading your updates! XO Karen AKA Orlando, Florida
  19. Karen

    Long lasting skins

    The name of the company that had Dream Skin at the convention is called Fillauer (think that's the right spelling) and it is based out of Tennessee. Maybe that's the U.S. division of Centri???? Marcia, you'll probably get to try it before me as I have MANY test sockets to go through before I get a final one and cover.... let me know what you think. You should see my leg now! It's a mess! Picture a HUGE test socket complete with casting plaster holding it to the connector plate with the foam cover from my previous socket pulled up to about mid-thigh and slit down the back in order to get it on! :lol: I just want to be able to look decent in my long skirts (don't like the bare C-leg look) and none of my pants would come close to fitting. Sigh. I'm trying to be patient with the whole process...I really am! ;) But patience just isn't my best "thing"! I know that walking independently is what I need to concentrate on now. I'm down to one crutch so far!!! Cat..... :lol: :lol: XO Karen AKA Orlando, Florida
  20. Karen

    Long lasting skins

    At the ACA convention in June I saw a product called "Dream Skin" which is supposed to be much more durable than some of the others. It comes in a variety of colors and you can have a split toe if you wish. AND it's not that expensive....I think the rep said it's just a few hundred dollars. I'm thinking of this for at least the bottom half of my AK leg next time, so I can look cute in my sandals B) , and like you say, feel girly in my dresses. Now whether or not it would hold up when you spend a lot of time kneeling, I don't know. I've always worn a foam cover with cosmetic hose and thigh-hi pantyhose in a shade that matches my skin. I'm with Marcia.....would love to have both a "dress up" and a "play" leg someday! Karen AKA Orlando, Florida
  21. Karen

    3rd Revision.

    Dear Lynne, I was just checking in and saw your post. I'm just about 6 weeks post-op from an AK revision myself. You sound like a very strong woman to have come through all the disappointments with determination to get it right this time. I wish you the best of luck.....and hope that the third time is a charm! {{{ hugs }}} Karen AKA Orlando, Florida
  22. Wow, Johnny! Bravo!!!! I am just now catching up on some of the posts, and I so enjoyed reading your journals. Very entertaining stuff! And your AK riding buddy is a real inspiration to me, personally! I hope to be able to ride bikes with my kids when I have fully recovered, and he gives me hope that I will be able to do that! Unfortunately, all my previous attempts at riding have been like Jen's.....funniest video material! :lol: Thanks so much for sharing your journey! XO Karen AKA Orlando, Florida
  23. Hi, JK I saw this amazing ankle demonstrated on a double AK amputee (who is also missing an arm) a few months ago....and it was amazing how great it did on it! I did not notice any loud noises? The guy who demo'd it did not want to give it back. Hopefully some day soon he will be able to get one. My prosthetist thinks it's strange that it's being "marketed" for BK's, because he thinks AK's would actually benefit more. At the ACA conference there was a man using the Power Knee along with this ankle. It was very "hi tech" looking! Karen AKA Orlando, Florida
  24. Hi, everyone Thanks so much for your thoughts and prayers...... I needed them more than I knew! For those that don't know, I went in for a revision on my AKA amputation. Flew to Oklahoma City on 7/4 and surgery was on 7/6. Surgically, everything went great and Dr. Ertl is very pleased with the outcome and the limb is healing well. What I didn't expect was some of the complications. :( Just before surgery an epidural was put in for pain control afterwards. Apparently, the needle fell out because I woke up in the recovery room in extreme pain! They quickly figured out the problem and inserted another epidural, but unfortunately....I'm not sure if it was the location of the epidural or WHAT.....but my whole body was paralyzed! I could not even open my eyes or swallow! I heard someone call for a "trach" and a crash cart! A nurse was telling me she was holding my hand and that I was breathing, even though I didn't feel it! Ack! Fortunately, they administered something to counteract the paralyzing medicine and my feeling came back, starting from top to bottom. This was absolutely the most terrifying experience of my life!!!!! I was trapped inside my own body!!! :o Then it was decided to try IV for pain control, and it took a while to get that working. I left the hospital the next Tuesday, saw Dr. Ertl for a check on Wednesday, and then flew home to Florida with my husband. Then next day, another unexpected complication developed. I awoke on Thursday with severe pain in my lower ribs. My husband took me to the emergency room, and after a CT scan it was determined that I had a blood clot in my lung! I was put on IV heparin and released a week later with an RX for blood thinners which I will be using for the next 3-6 months. Also have fluid in the lungs which I am working hard to get out (doing breathing exercises every day). Right now I'm waiting for the visiting nurse to come and draw my blood. Need to know what level it's at before I take my blood thinner tonight. I swear, I feel like a broken bird/glass doll! :( What an ordeal!!!! I'm trying to do my exercises for my leg, so I don't fall behind in that regard. Am fighting depression, but have lots of people here for me. My sister flew in from Michigan to stay for a few weeks, and my husband and children are always available for a hug. Now that I'm getting around a bit better, I can come here to the forum for more love and support. I am trying to hang in there for a few more weeks until I can be fitted with a new prosthesis and hopefully get back to my active life again! Much love, Karen AKA Orlando, FL
  25. Karen

    I'm Back after Ertl and a few setback

    Hi, Carol It's nice to have your company! Ugh........ "waiting" to heal is the toughest time, isn't it? Depending on the type of revision you had, you may or may not be supposed to exercise your limb. I wouldn't do anything without asking your doctor. I am an AK, and had all the muscles tightened, and reattached to bone, each other....you name it!....so it's important for me to do some strengthening exercises. I'll be 4 weeks post op on Thursday, and will then begin doing some weight bearing exercises on my leg! I'm really nervous about it because I've been an amputee for many years and could never tolerate any weight on the end of my limb before.....but this procedure will suppposedly allow it, so we'll see! :o My girls (ages 6 and 8) are acting as my coaches, LOL! "You can do it Mommy!" "Oh...mom....that one wasn't very good...try again!" I met you briefly at the ACA conference didn't I? Don't you have young children also? We'll have to get together and talk more next year in Atlanta. I am beginning to have a bad case of cabin fever........ hoping the next few weeks goes by quickly for both of us! XO Karen AKA Orlando, FL