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Fiona Call

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Everything posted by Fiona Call

  1. Fiona Call

    Treatment in U.S airports

    Hi Ali, In my experience a spare leg doesn't count towards your baggage allowance. BA have the one bag rule and I have on occasion had to argue with them because I have two bags with my spare leg in one, but in the end they have always given in and not included it in my baggage allowance. I did have one quite amusing moment in HK airport when on my way back to England one time when the check in guy was completely fascinated when I told him I had a spare prosthetic leg in my bag, picked it up, started feeling around the outside of the bag to feel the leg, and then called all his mates over to have a look. It made me and my boyfriend giggle a lot at the time but I can imagine that if you were maybe a bit sensitive about the leg you might take it a tad less lightly. To be honest I don't have the time to start faffing around telling people about my leg before I check in and if at all possible I don't let anyone connected with flying (apart from the security staff) know about it even while I am flying. I have never really had any problems going through security at all with the leg and I fly all the time. Having said that I don't ever travel to the States - maybe things are a bit stricter there. F
  2. Fiona Call

    Treatment in U.S airports

    Personally I get worried if I walk through a scanner at an airport and either my leg doesn't set it off (which has happened) or I don't get searched (which has also happened). I would far rather I get searched properly even if they make me take the leg off in front of everyone, than feel unsafe. Ironically one of the places I have experienced the most lax security in the world in relation to my leg is in one of the muslim countries that I have to go to on a fairly regular basis for work. Incidentally in this particular country they still tell me off every time I forget that I have a bottle of water in my bag when going through security. Bizzarre indeed.
  3. Fiona Call

    Running leg

    Hi Ali, Good luck with it all! The harmony looks good - would you fit that to the flex run foot then? Is that how it would work? Re: the NHS - I had to ask my consultant to apply to my PCT for funding for the leg but had no luck. In my case the reason I was told was that I already had 3 NHS legs - a flex foot, a leg with an elation foot and a water activity leg - and 3 was all they were willing to pay for for me. I ended up paying for the leg myself. It cost GBP4000. I got very angry about it at the time, especially so as the socket which was the most expensive part never actually fit me, and because I moved out here I never got the chance to sort it out. And because the foot as you say is relatively cheap - only 800 quid. But I suppose there were people more in need of the funding than I was when it came down to it. Anyway, let me know how it goes. Maybe we could run a marathon together. F
  4. Fiona Call

    Running leg

    Hi Ali, I have a flex run foot which unfortunately I haven't been able to do much running in at all since I got it last May because the socket is so uncomfortable. My prosthetist here in HK is making a new socket for me at the moment though and so I am hoping when that is done to be able to start using it properly again. The foot is great - really really springey and easy to run in. The only problem is that I am not sure how good the grip would be if you were to use it outside - I have mostly been running on treadmills with it so far but did take it to the park one afternoon. I didn't last long there because i got a bit self conscious and freaked out about trying to run with it and so didn't really give it a good enough test. I do think the grip thing is a bit of an issue though. My prosthetist advised me to cut the sole off an old trainer and stick it on the bottom of the foot so give it better grip so maybe you could try that. I just have a normal iceross liner and pin lock socket with the leg. Re: the sweat - what I find is that if I put a sock on over my liner in the same way as I would if the socket was getting a bit too big, the sock absorbs most of the sweat and I can go on for ages and ages. If I forget to put the sock on though the leg is falling off before you can say boo to a goose. Anyway, good luck with it. Just out of interest - are you hoping to get the leg on the NHS? I had no luck when I tried this last year which I was not happy about. Fiona
  5. Fiona Call

    Roz's Revision

    Hi Roz, Re: the elation foot. I have one of these and also a flex foot. I wear the elation foot on a day to day basis because I like being able to adjust the height of the heel. I find that if I wear it flat then yes it does have a lot less response and give than the flex foot, but it is much more responsive when worn with high heels. I only really wear my flex foot leg for the gym or if I am going on a walk now and am so used to the elation foot that I find it quite strange having that much response in the flex foot if I do decide to wear it with normal shoes on a day to day basis. Having said that I have had times when I have worn the flex foot on a daily basis and only worn the elation foot at work walking round the office etc (kept it at work and got changed into it when got there, changed out of it on way home - now it is the reverse). When I then went from the flex foot to the elation foot I did notice the difference in response. I suppose it is just what you are used to really. horses for courses in short. What I would say though is if possible get both. The elation foot really is no good for doing sports but having one means you are not restricted on shoe choice (or not as restricted as you would be if you didn't have one). In the reverse, the flex foot is no good for wearing different heel heights with. They both do what they say on the packet I suppose. I have been thinking about it recently actually and have decided that what every amputee should have leg wise is the following: 1. flex foot type leg for doing sporty things in 2. adjustable heel leg for every day heel wearing 3. really good looking leg for wearing sandals and looking pretty 4. water leg for going to the beach 5. water leg with adjustable ankle for diving (if that floats your boat) and 6. running leg With all of those I reckon anything would be possible. Problem is the NHS would never give them all out and noone normal could possibly afford to buy all of them and keep them maintained. In short anything you get told by the NHS about bringing you back to where you were before you lost your leg if you were in any way active or liked to look remotely nice beforehand is a load of old cobblers. Right sorry for rambling on. Have two hearings in Jan and Feb at work and so am obviously so stressed about it all I am diong massive work avoidance. Good luck for 17th. Fiona
  6. Fiona Call

    Roz's Revision

    Hi Roz, It's good to hear from you. Congrats on everything going so well. Re: the pin system. Why don't you ask them to give it another try? I have been wearing a pin system from the beginning and, like Cheryl, have done well with it. I did try the supracondular system once but found it way too restrictive over the knee. I love the freedom of movement that you get around the knee with the pin system and am very happy with it. Re: tolerating pressure on the bottom of the stump - from what I understand the whole idea of a pin system is that you bear weight everywhere and not just on the bottom of your leg. My leg hasn't shrunk for a long time now and so I tend not to have problems with it any more but I can echo cheryl when she says that the only time she has trouble is when the socket gets way too big and you sink down into the bottom of it. For me too, I think I spend most of my time kind of suspended in my socket so that the botoom of my stump doesn't even touch the bottom of the socket, or if it does the pressure is so minimal that I don't notice it. Most of my pressure I think (although can't really tell to be honest) is around the sides of my stump and at the top of the socket. I think that is the way it is meant to be with a pin system. My advice to you would be to push them at the limb centre to make you a socket that actually fits you that you can try out with the pin system because I can't see how there is any way on this earth that either you or they can tell whether you will be able to tolerate it without trying one that fits you out first. I haven't tried any other suspension system so can't really help you with regards to that but honestly I love the pin system. It is so quick and easy that I spend no time in the morning or evening putting the leg on or taking it off and if it is hurting or the liner is stinging a bit during the day at work I can just press the button and off it comes quickly and easily causing the minimum of fuss and agro - which I find is a life saver when I am sitting in meetings or lectures with everyone else around me because when it gets like that it can be very difficult to concentrate on anything but the "I need to get my leg off now" thought. I can't imagine what it would be like if it was more difficult or cumbersome or louder or more faffy to do. Anyway, sorry for going on but i can heartedly recommend the pin system and from my limited knowledge I really wouldn't say that you need to be able to tolerate much pressure around the bottom of your stump at all to be able to use it - so I would say push on with it and keep at them until they make you a socket that works. Just as a bit of an example - I even three years after my amputation can't stand - and I mean really can't stand - anyone, even me, even so much as touching the bottom of my stump. Any pressure at all there and it feels like it is going to explode (I have skin grafts there and so can't feel anything on the skin but boy can I feel it underneath). And I can tolerate the pressure from the pin system without a problem. So please please don't give up on it and keep pushing them. Fiona
  7. Fiona Call

    Comments on phantom pain

    Good posts everyone and good idea Shane.... I hate to be smug but I have to say that I seem to be one of the lucky ones who doesn't really get phantom pain at all. I do get the jolts occasionally but they usually don't last more than a few seconds and so don't affect my life at all. My stump also constantly tingles but again this is something that unless I actually stop and think about it I don't notice. And I lost my leg due to trauma too so I must be an exception to the rule. Two things that have helped me over the past 3 years though are as follows: 1. Lots of exercise. I find that when I exercise loads my leg hurts less. By loads I mean I literally need to go to the gym about 5 times a week which isn't physically possible a lot of the time. It does seem to work though; and 2. Like Higgy said - be careful of cramp in your stump. When I first started exercising loads I got the most awful pains in my stump and I just couldn't work out what they were. I subsequently realised that they were cramps. I think because the muscles and nerves are all messed up and circulation is not as good there as everywhere else in your body, that the stump just can't get rid of lactic acid as effectively as everywhere else, and also that the salt balance can be more easily upset. Anyway, once I realised what the cramps were I just made sure that I drank rehydration salts any time the stump started to feel a little dodgy, and it seems to have worked - haven't had them for ages now. They are my only two tips. Whether they are top or not I don't know.
  8. Fiona Call


    No idea Lizzie. To be honest I haven't ever looked. All I know is that it works for me. It is a bit like vaseline though with the same consistency etc. I will have a look at some point in the next few days and let you know. Am off to Bangkok for the weekend tonight - bring it on. Am very excited.
  9. Fiona Call


    Yep I would definitely say try the adaptskin - although I don't know whether you would lose suction if you put it all over your leg. I don't know what I would do without that stuff. It has made such a difference to my leg (and life!)
  10. Fiona Call

    DLA (question for Brits)

    Stop paying National Insurance then. What a ridiculous assumption - that you should be able to receive benefits when you are not even living in the UK. Think of the flood gates that would open if even one person was allowed to do that. You would have every tom dick and harry who had decided completely of their own volition not to live in the UK anymore trying to claim the dole because they were unemployed because they had decided to move to a country where they couldn't speak the language and didn't know the culture. You should not even have received DLA for the time you were living in Thailand and not in England before they found out. And arguably as a bk you should not have been receiving DLA in the first place anyway.
  11. Fiona Call

    Did you know?

    Lizzie, That is shocking. Have you tried free legal advice centres? I don't know what the situation is in your part of the country but in London near where I used to work there is a place called Tolney Hall (or something like that) where people can go for free legal advice from lawyers. Lots of lawyers who work in city forms go down there to volunteer and it is all pro bono so you can be sure that you will be getting proper advice and for free. I would imagine that you have to pay for issuing a claim and all the court fees etc but they aren't expensive, and if your case gets to be high profile enough then an organisation like the disability discrimination commission (what are they called now? I forget - they have changed their name to something like the commission for equal rights) have lawyers there who might want to take up your case. I understand that the disability discrimination commission takes "test cases" which it sounds like yours should be. I have just done a really quick search on the internet but here is a webpage talking about law centres and listing them. See if there is one near where you live. Fiona http://www.lawcentres.org.uk/lawcentres/
  12. Fiona Call

    Layers, and Layers, and Layers...

    I, amazingly, use have my socket and a liner and nothing else. No socks or anything. The leg hasn't shrunk for over a year. It has changed shape somewhat though (bonier) and so the socket is pretty uncomfortable.
  13. Fiona Call

    Fibular Instability

    Hi Sue, I don't know anything about anything really and have no idea what kind of pain you are in from the problems you are having, so ignore everything I am about to say if you want to.... But here goes anyway! I would avoid having any more operations if I were you until I was absolutely 100% completely and utterly certain that (a) your leg has calmed down from the operation you had last year (B) you have absolutely the best fitting prosthetic leg you can possibly get and © even though (a) and (B) have been fulfilled you are absolutely certain that the pain/ discomfort is still so bad that you can't bear it. You stay that you have instability from your fibula. I don't know if it is moving around or what, but as far as I can see getting rid of it would only make your prosthetic more unstable than it is now because there is less there for it to hold on to. I say all this because I have a lot of problems on and off with my leg in that it is very short and I get really sore swollen lumps over my tibia all the time and also my fibula grinds on the socket like nobodys business sometimes, but again, sometimes the leg is dead comfortable and everything is fine. I have been to see my plastic surgeon guy about the pain I have had a fair few times because it lasts for months and can really be bad. He has always been good with me and has told me that he will operate if I want to pad the bones out or whatever, but after these meetings things have gone on in my normal life and I haven't been able to find the time to go to see him to follow up with the operation for whatever reason, and generally things have righted themselves by themselves. Also I have lots of metal still in my femur from all the operations I had on that after the tsunami and this gives me pain sometimes, but my bone surgeon (can't spell the long name sorry) has basically kept tellling me to hold off on having it removed because it will take time and will only set me back when I need to keep going forward. At the time I am always a bit frustrated with this because I tend to have the attitude, like when I get a new socket or something, that if I do have the operation everything will be just hunky dory and I will be running a marathon two weeks later because it will sort whatever pain I have out straight away. But with time I am realising that this isn't the case and that I really didn't want to go having these operations so relatively soon after the last lot of operations (and I think three years as it has been with me does count as soon). Things take time to sort themselves out, and you have to give them that chance (whilst also working as hard as you possibly can to make them sort themselves out). I repeat that I don't know anything really about your situation at all, but as it has been so soon since your last operation I would avoid any more if I were you until you really do know for a fact that it hasn't worked and that you can't walk without more surgery. Even if you can limp along with exercise and determination AND a well fitting leg I reckon that you can improve that limp and soon be walking well and without pain. Good luck and sorry if I am coming across as having no idea what you are going through at all. Fi
  14. Fiona Call

    Hall of Inspiration

    Ali that's a great article. And congratulations on the triathlon. I can't imagine how you did the run. That must have hurt..... I hope you enjoyed Vietnam too. I have just signed up for a charity bike ride in September next year from the Andes to the Amazon - fancy joining me?
  15. Fiona Call

    Travel in developing countries

    hear hear Cat. I agree completely. I also think it is interesting how different cultures react to the same thing which is what I was trying to get across in my post. Yeay you should go to Vietnam - it isn't too far from Oz so you could even just take a week or so to go - especially because there isn't really any time difference. I would heartedly recommend the beer stall you get there. There is something very cool about sitting on the street drinking 6p beers - not least when you stand up and try to get home!!!
  16. Fiona Call

    Travel in developing countries

    Hiya BethMarie, I am glad you enjoyed Vietnam. It is a beautiful country is it not - albeit I think it may be the most capitalist communist country I have ever been to!! I have been there a couple of times since losing my leg. The first was last year when I cycled from Saigon (Ho Chi Minh) through the Mekong Delta and all the way to Ang Kor Wat in Cambodia, followed by travelling the length of Vietnam from Dien Bien Phu in the north west down to Saigon again, and the second just a few months ago for a work conference (read bia hoi drinking expedition) to Hanoi, which was slightly more relaxing than the first time! Re: the leg staring thing. I have travelled quite extensively since losing my leg, mainly to places in Asia, and I now live in Hong Kong. I have also noticed more staring in these countries than I normally would in England where I am originally from. In my opinion though the staring is more to do with cultural differences than by virtue of the fact that the countries are still developing (especially as the staring happens just as much in HK as it does in Vietnam etc and HK is very much a first world country). I tend to find people in England will clock the leg, look a bit, and then quickly look away when they realise that I might think that they are staring at me (which always makes me giggle a little bit!). Whereas in Asia generally people are much less embarrassed about looking at the leg and will quite openly have a good old gander at it. It was very funny on the bike ride because we would all be cycling along waving at all the kids and people on motos and they would ride past us smiling and waving and then I would see them all do a double take when they clocked the leg. One other thing I have noticed here is that even when the leg is not visible people are a lot less embarrassed about letting on that they have noticed the limp and asking what happened to the leg, and conversation about it generally gets off the ground pretty quickly. I quite like that because it feels like in a way people have noticed, brought it up, and moved on from it as opposed to noticing it like they would in england but being too embarrassed about asking what happened and then just talking about it when you are not with them. I just think that it is the culture here for people to ask and to look if there is anything unusual about you. I think it might be an asian thing generally as opposed to a developing country thing. Also, as you really do see so many more disabled people here a lot more people in Asia probably know someone who is legless or who is disabled and so (and this is merely speculation) they may just genuinely be curious about westerners in the same position as them or their friends and how they get treated in their countries. For example, my boyfriend and I have just come back from a holiday in Cambodia. While we were there we went down to the beach in the south for a couple of days and one afternoon in the bar of our guesthouse I stood up to go to the loo and limped a bit. Immediately the girl behind the bar asked what had happened to my leg. I told her I was in an accident and that was why I was limping. She didn't give up and asked to have a look. When I rolled the trouser leg up she and all her friends gathered round to see, and asked if it hurt etc. What really surprised me though was her next question which was "were you going out with your boyfriend when it happened?". I said yes, and she basically responded by saying that I was pretty lucky that he had decided to stay with me after what had happened, the implication being that I definitely wouldn't be able to find anyone else in my state! That reaction really said something to me about how disabled people must get treated in Asia. I have never once felt marginalised by society because of what happened to my leg, and after nearly three years I am also at the stage where I feel just as attractive and womanly as I did before hand too. I don't think that would have been that case had I been born Cambodian, which is very sad. But back to the original point, I quite like the natural curiosity that you get here, and I actually find it a bit of a relief after all the veiled English looks and comments that you know are going on but that you are not privy too. I also think that seeing a western person walking around with a fake leg, working at a normal job and just generally getting on with it is probably a fairly good thing for people in countries where the society isn't quite so accepting of difference. Not that I have any pretensions that seeing me with my leg is going to change the world or anything. I just hope that some of the people you and I and all of us have come across on our travels will realise by seeing me and you just getting on with it that the legless and disabled people that they come across in their own societies can live productive lives and contribute and are real people too. And if that entails a bit of staring and a few funny questions then so be it. Gosh sorry for the length of this. I have just realised that I could go on forever. For example I have joined a gym in HK and have for the first time in my life employed a personal trainer to attempt to bulk up the muscle on my right thigh which is about the size of a toothpick after all the wasting away it has done over the past three years. Even his attitude gets to me sometimes. He is full of how enthusiastic I am and how I have just the right attitude yada yada yada - and it does my head in. Maybe it is the English person in me - I kind of want just to be sitting at the back of the class throwing paper aeroplanes but still being brilliant at whatever it is I am doing and I can't do that when it is just me and him, but I think that what it actually is is that I just want him to treat me as a normal person, and I don't feel like he is doing that. Again, it is possibly just the general asian attitude as opposed to the developing country attitude. Anyway, I have gone on for long enough. What one of us really needs to do is go off to Africa or South America or something and see what it is like there. .....hmmm maybe an idea for another holiday!!!
  17. Fiona Call

    Shane in the news again...

    Let me first say congratulations Shane - that is amazing. And sorry to hear about the achilles tendon. Still - I bet that in a way it was worth it. The race sounds amazing.
  18. Fiona Call

    Issues with my weight

    Hi Lisa, I just wanted to say I hope you made it to the swimming pool and that you feel better today. I always find the hardest thing is motivating myself to actually go and do whatever exercise I have decided to do. Once I am there I immediately start enjoying it and I feel great afterwards. One of my friends once said to me that whenever she is waivering about getting her arse in gear to do some exercise she asks herself whether she has ever regretted it when she has done some - and the answer is always no - and that always motivates her. Did you ever get the crutches? I have just read through this whole thread and feel desperately sad to read Gil's posts.
  19. Hi, I am rbk and cycle quite a lot. It is possible for my to stand up on my pedals but I find it difficult to do because the leverage just isn't there - my stump is very short and so I find it is difficult to force the right leg up and over if that makes sense. With a longer stump it would be a lot easier to stand I reckon. Give it a go, but make sure your feet are clipped onto the bike somehow first. I get up hills by using gears and just sitting down in the saddle and I have made it up some pretty steep ones by just using the granny gear, so it is possible. At the beginning I was really scared whenever I came across a hill that if I tried to cycle up it the bike would somehow start to roll backwards or something and so I was pretty cautious. With time you learn though. The trick is just to place all your weight at the front of your bike when you are going up and that kind of propels you forward. Good luck and enjoy!
  20. Fiona Call


    That is terribly sad. He was a good person.
  21. Fiona Call

    Tiger's Debut

    Oh yes David - just one more thing - I am a solicitor and I would advise you to really push your lawyer on his promises re: the insurance paying for you for the rest of your life. Being cynical (and having dealt with insurance companies in my own leg case) it sounds too good to be true to me. If I were you I would get my lawyer to confirm with the insurance company again and again that this is what they are going to do. Have absolutely all the points that you think may even be slightly relevant covered, even down to things like who will pay for your prosthetic socks, and get a concrete time limit from them. Ask him for advice on why he thinks that that is what is going to happen, and just make sure you have everything written down and all the points you want covered dealt with. And one other thing I would say is to read absolutely every document you are sent down to the last detail and question anything, even the smallest thing. Sorry I will stop. Good luck,
  22. Fiona Call

    Tiger's Debut

    Hey David and Austin, OK it looks like you have made your decisions. I am not going to try to play devils advocate again in that case.... Just to say re: the hills and uneven ground thing - after a while you will get good on uneven ground. THe way you describe your fused ankle when you step on a boulder or something David is exactly what it is like with a fake foot. So many times I have been walking along not looking at the ground and suddenly taken a lurch forward or sideways or something like that and it has been because I have stepped on a boulder or a clump of ground sticking up or something and not realised it, but it is not the end of the world and you get used to it. Re: the hills. London where I lived up until May didn't really have a hill issue because it is relatively flat, but I have now moved to Hong Kong which is built on a mountain. I had an idea that it was going to be a bit hilly before I came but hadn't appreciated just how hilly (yes I am stupid and hadn't even visited before I moved here....!). Anyway, it is very very hilly, and the hills are very very steep so I have really had the chance to put my leg to the hill test. Going up is generally easier than going down - I have managed to develop a way of doing it where I walk on the tiptoes of my foot and the energy return it gives helps propel me up. But you need to be able to control your knee well to do it and I don't know if that would have been possible for me until relatively recently. But going down is still difficult for me. It is not the technique which you just learn that I find difficult but the fact that it just seems to put big strains on all the places on my stump that are the weakest (and the soreest). Just thought I would give you a heads up. As both of you will be able to pretty much pick your leg length and pick the way you get your surgery done you will be in a much better position than I am, and that should make a massive difference to all of the above. And re: the ERTL procedure - from what I have read about it it sounds brilliant to me. Keeping the muscle on the stump will make a massive difference in the future as it will mean much less likelihood of needing surgery to "pad' it out again. Also the two places I get the most pain by far from on my leg are the end of the tibia and the fiblua head, and that won't be an issue for you either as they will be fused. That photo you posted Austin is amazing. If it is possible to do that on your stump as a result of the surgery you have then wow. I am getting shivers down my spine even considering trying to do that on my leg. I would say go for it. Anyway, good luck with everything and any questions please feel free to ask. F
  23. Fiona Call

    Tiger's Debut

    Hi Tiger, I am not really completely qualified to give you advice on your situation as I lost my leg in the tsunami nearly three years ago and so I never had to make any decisions as to amputation (I am now rbk by the way with a v short stump). However, from reading your introduction it appears to me that your leg isn't completely irredemable in that you do have some flexion in your ankle. Tell me do you get around without crutches and ok? All the replies so far have been very positive about having the amputation but can I just play devil's advocate for a minute? It takes a long time to get yourself to the stage where you can just "get up and go" without having to worry about it post amputation. I was only 27 and was fit and healthy before I got hit by the tsunami and it took me 18 months to even be able to walk without a walking stick. Also, it takes a lot of time to get your prosthetic to the stage where it is completely comfortable. Again, it took me about 18 months - and the comfortable socket that I finally managed to get made for myself took 6 months to get to that stage. Also, even with the best most flexible prosthesis, the ankle doesn't have anything like the same flexibility as a natural ankle. When I was reading your description of the flexibility you have in your ankle at present the first thing that came to my mind was that that is pretty much the same level of flexibility I have in my ankle - and that is from quite a high spec foot. Also, if you don't have a well fitting socket - it can hurt. A lot. At the moment I am in between legs and there are times I find myself almost in tears walking down the road because my socket is just a milimetre out and my liner is "burning" my leg. Of course, other times it fits perfectly and so you don't bother to get the socket adjusted because you generally know that the pain will only last a few days or weeks. And also, if you really do want the high spec stuff, it is expensive. I note that you mention the ossur propiro foot in your post. That costs a fortune and if you are just an average joe like most of us it really will take some convincing to persuade your insurance company to shell out for one. For example I started running again a few months ago and had to buy my own running leg. It cost a lot of money and I have actually had to stop using it due to the fact that the socket is hurting me too much. If you elect to have an amputation you will have to face all of these things and you will have to deal with them day in day out for the rest of your life. It is not a barrell of laughs. Having said that, I have discovered over the past few years that it really is possible to do anything with a prosthetic leg. I took up cycling a year or so ago and in November last year cycled 500km in 6 days from Saigon to Ang Kor Wat, even beating most of the able bodied people in my group. I have been hiking a good few times and have walked long distances, and as I mentioned above I have recently started running again. My next bike ride is going to be from Manchu Piccu in Peru to the Amazon Basin, and I am presently aiming to do a 10Krun soon. I feel that my amputation has made me a better person and I feel more alive now and more willing to grab every opportunity that I am offered than I ever did before my amputation, and really I can honestly tell you that the feeling of achievement you get when you try new things and realise that you can actually do tham again is absolutely amazing. In summary (because I have gone on about it long enough now) my advice to you has to be to do what is right for you. If you do choose amputation then you just have to be aware that it isn't a walk in the park, that is a difficult thing to get over physically, and that it is something that will be with you every day for the rest of your life. Also, there is a chance that your mobility will not improve much over the mobility you have at the moment. However, amputation isn't all disastrous and certainly hasn't been for me, and what I have learned from it is that even in a true legless state, it is still possible to do pretty much anything you put your mind to. Hope that helps, Feel free to ask any questions. Fiona
  24. Fiona Call

    So sick of it!

    Hi Shelby, I can completely understand where you are coming from. It is incredibly frustrating isn't it, but Cat and Cheryl are dead on the money when they say that there really is always something that can be done, and if you are getting sores then basically the leg isn't right. I have a really bony stump and sometimes the end of my tibia and the end of my fibula all the time are just so painful to walk on, and I also have skin grafts all over my leg so I think I am a relatively difficult person to make a leg for but - take heart in this - I have managed in the past to find a socket that fits, fits like a glove, takes all the pressure off the sore bits, and is like heaven to walk on. In order to get it that way though it took me and my prosthetist 6 months from start to finish of me going back every week, trying out countless test sockets and then getting countless adjustments made to the finished product. It was worth it though and I had nearly a year of complete comfort in my walking as a result so it was completely worth it. Unfortunately that was only one socket and I am now having trouble getting another one to fit so well, but having managed it once I at least know it can be achieved. Please be encouraged by this and please try not to get down - it is a complete nightmare and something that none of us want to have to go through but if you persist, keep on trying and keep on working with the prosthetist you like, and don't give up on him, you will be able to find a comfortable leg that you can really get your life back with, I promise.... And Lisa if you are reading this are you sure they can't give you crutches? I say that because I have never used a wheelchair since my leg incident - I hopped around for 7 months on crutches before I got my leg and I hop around on them still now around the house occasionally - and they were from the NHS. Maybe you should insist - I can tell you for definite that my old limd fitting centre Stanmore were OK with giving crutches out and letting you use them. It was discouraged but I would have just been too down like you if I had to use a wheelchair and the crutches saved my sanity. Why don't you ask again? Feel free to use my name and say I got them at Stanmore if you want. Fiona
  25. Fiona Call

    Exercise Vote

    I put bike riding, swimming and gym. I would have liked to have put jogging as well but I am unable to do that at the moment because the socket of the running leg that I got made in England before I came out to HK and which cost me - get this - 4000 pounds - is too uncomfortable. I am getting a new socket made in HK at the moment which is costing me - get this again - 500HK dollars - which is about 40 quid in English money. What on earth is going on with the NHS in the UK if they have to charge so much for something that obviously must cost so little??? Sorry off topic. I am going to start a new thread about this when I have time.