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Fiona Call

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Everything posted by Fiona Call

  1. Fiona Call

    Good news for travellers inside U.S.

    Hiya, I have flown lots and lots of times and in both Europe and all over Asia since my amputation and not once has it taken me longer than anyone else to get through security. The leg generally makes the thing you walk through go off (although on a couple of occasions worryingly it hasn't) and then they pat me down and I tell them I have a fake leg and they nod and pat that down and that is it. Sometimes they swab it, other times they don't, but all in all it doesn't take me any longer to get through than it would somebody with two legs who has lots of change in his pocket that he has forgotten to take out. I haven't been to the states since the amputation though. Does it take much longer there? That surprises me.
  2. Fiona Call


    Hi Lisa, I am sorry about the blisters. If it gives you any comfort the same thing has happened to me in the past and I too was totally freaked out. I remember you saying that you have lots of skin grafts on you leg. I do too and I think that is the reason why the bleeding has started in the past without me even feeling it. What I do to prevent it is very similar to Ann. I wash my liner (and sometimes my leg as well depending on how I feel) every day with something called Hibiscrub - Hibiscrub is the hand wash stuff you get in hospitals and really kills all the bugs (according to my consultant). If you can't find that exact brand then just ask in boots for something with chlorhexadine - that is the active ingredient. That hopefully prevents blisters/ cuts etc from even getting there - ut quite often it doesn't - especially at the moment as I am breaking a new socket in and am living in Hong Kong and am not quite sure how to find a prosthetist to see so am basically limping around due to a painful socket far too much. Anyway, if I keep getting blisters etc then my general conclusion is that there is something wrong with the socket, and so I go to the prosthetist (or I would if I hadone!). In the meantime I use a few different creams on sore areas. These have varied from vaseline to adaptskin to zovirax (yes the clod sore stuff) to at present bonjela. The bonjela is pretty good actually because it has anaesthetic in it and so it actually takes a bit of the pain away whilst at the same time lubricating the sore area which wearing a rubber liner is the thing I always find works best to alleviate pain. I have tried blister plasters but for me if a socket is hurting it is too tight and blister plasters just seem to make it tighter and hurt more so I don't use them anymore. Anyway, I hope that helps. Take care, F and p.s. if anyone knows any private prosthetists in Hong Kong please please please could you give me their contact details - am in pain!
  3. Fiona Call


    Hi Marcia, i am almost positive we have had this conversation before but I have an elation foot and I am certain that it goes higher than two inches. I have honestly not found a pair of shoes yet that are too high for the foot and that i can't wear because of the fact that the ankle doesn't adjust enough. I have a few pairs of fairly high heels and anything higher I wouldn't buy anyway because I wouldn't be able to walk in them even two legged!! i reckon it is all a matter of try and see!! Fiona x
  4. Fiona Call


    Ali, Congratulations! that is pretty impressive. Let me know when you are in Vietnam. My boyfriend and I are moving to Hong Kong on Thursday and so if you have any spare time and fancy meeting up in Vietnam or HK for a run (or lots of beer) then let me know. Fiona
  5. Hi all, I have just got back from a great week cycling from Granada to Seville in Spain. It was a really beautiful ride and I would definitely recommend it. Lots of mountains though - which I had not prepared for in any way shape or form. Anyway, I would recommend the ride if anyone else fancies it. Fiona
  6. Fiona Call

    Sun proof Sock

    Hi Lisa, I haven't really spent a great deal of time on beaches since losing my leg to be honest but I have walked across a few of them and no no problem with the sand. It feels the same with a prosthetic leg as it does when you walk over it with a normal one ie. more difficult to walk over but not impossible. As for the holiday wear, I bought loads of pairs of linen trousers the first spring after my amputation and live in those in the warm weather. I also have a few long gypsy skirts which are really cool because they are cotton and also look really summery. On my feet I wear ballet pump things. I do wear shorts but only really if I am doing something active like walking or cycling - I am starting to sound like a broken cycling record this morning aren't I? I will stop here I think. F
  7. Fiona Call

    How do you pick yourselfs up when feeling down?

    Ian, Sorry this has to be short but how I dealt with what you describe was to book myself onto a charity bike ride, start fundraising for a charity that trains prosthetists in asia to make prosthetic legs and orthotics, and start training for the bike ride itself. I found that once I had given myself something to aim for outside the endless every day grind of getting up, going to work, coming home, having dinner etc, I started to feel enormously better about the leg thing. Also I regained my fitness from all the cycling and this had the effect of helping my walking as well. The bike ride itself was a really amazing culmination of my year's work last year and it was the point at which I realised that I was ready and able to move on from what happened to me. I am now happier than I think I have ever been before and I know that had it not been for the fundraising/ cycling last year I wouldn't have got to where I am. Best of luck, Fi
  8. Fiona Call

    Cramp like pain

    Hi Ian, As I started to become more and more active, about this time last year, I started suffering really badly with cramp in my stump. For me it would come on if I cycled long distances on my bike and it was incredibly painful, and was made even worse by the fact that I couldn't even work out what it was the first few times it happened and so had absolutely no idea how to alleviate it. Also it used to last for days, which was no fun at all because it almost felt like I was dragging a dead leg around with me when it got bad and it completely disabled me. Anyway, I haven't had it now since about October last year, and I think that I might finally have beaten it. The advice that I was given when I asked my physio and various other people about it was that cramp is essentially caused by an imbalance of salts in your muscles and because your stump is all messed up compared to what it should be this will suffer more from it than the rest of your body. Your aim while doing exercise (or at any time really) is to maintain the salt balance in your leg. I did this by drinking lots of water and eating lots of bananas. I also bought some electrolyte power stuff that you can dissolve in water and drink while you are doing sport to keep the salt balance in your body constant. This seems to have worked and I haven't had cramp for ages now. Something else I now use regularly is those hydration sachets that you can get at boots (for diahrea or however you spell it). If I feel my muscles cramping up, and it is funny how you get used to those tingly feelings and know almost exactly when it is going to happen, I take a hydration sachet thing dissolved in some water, and the cramp does, almost miraculously, go away. Anyway, that is just how I have coped with it. I like Mick and Cheryl's breathing tips as well though and your physiotherapist Mick sounds just great. I want one...... Fi
  9. Fiona Call

    Sun proof Sock

    Hi Lisa, My skin grafts don't really ever see the sun because they are on my stump and my stump is always covered up by my leg and liner so I can't give you any advice there. However, when they did my skin grafts they took the skin from my left thigh and this bit of skin has been exposed to the sun loads of times since. It was very sensitive at the beginning and I do remember it getting burnt a few times and it really hurting but, like Mick says, as time has gone by it has toughened up and now it feels no different to the rest of my normal leg. Anyway, enjoy your bikini moment. You will find it very liberating. I certainly did when I first showed myself in a bikini by the pool. Best wishes, Fi
  10. Fiona Call

    Granada to Seville

    Lizzie, No I didn't take any photos - took a blanket decision to leave it with the piccies on this occasion in light of the fact that I have just spent the past three months putting pictures from the Saigon to Ang Kor Wat ride into photo albums and I didn't want to have to do it again! It really was stunning scenery though. I honestly didn't realise beforehand how beautiful that part of Spain is. The arm is on the mend - only had the cast taken off about two weeks before I went away but I just decided to take the risk of the holiday and it seems to have paid off because I went to a physio the other day and he told me that he was quite impressed with the range of motion I had regained. He also thinks that it will get completely back to eventually which I am really quite releived about. F
  11. Peggy well done - am very impressed. I have done both bits of that ride (but not together) and it is a long way. That is a massive achievement. Did you use the national cycle route? Fiona
  12. Fiona Call

    Osseointegration Part One

    Hi Paul, I haven't posted on your thread but I have been reading and think of you and how you are doing frequently. I think you are very brave (I bet you hate that word - sorry) for going through osseointegration - it is more than I would do at this stage in its development definitely. And I think that your account of your recovery from it is invaluable for the many people who will inevitably come after you. You have a fantastic attitude to it and I love how you have gone right back to doing things as quickly as you can. Do you have any idea/ have you been told how long it will take for the benefits to start showing? (or is that an as long as a piece of string question?) So please don't stop posting! Lots of good wishes and happy birthday for Fridays, Fiona x
  13. Arrrggghhhhh............. Is all I have to say. I am getting to the end of my tether. I would be really grateful to hear if any of you have any experience/ opinions about this. The situation is that I have been going to the NHS to get my legs since my amputation. They have on the whole been brilliant. I have been provided with one leg with a carbon fibre socket and variflex foot which is paid for by the private health insurance that I had before my accident. My second leg is one with an elation foot. I wear this to work with high heels and with skirts, if I go out and want to look nice etc. And the third one is a water activity leg. I know that I am very lucky to have three legs in the first place, and I know that lots of the Americans reading this whose insurance will only pay for one leg are probably wondering why I am about to complain about what I am about to complain about but I need to get this off my chest... In June last year I ran for the first time which was brill. The problem was that my flex foot just doesn't cut the mustard. I have a really short skin grafted stump that is very bony and also a broken femur that has healed but still doesn't take hard wear very well. So I asked if I could get a running leg. My prosthetist ordered the flex run leg from ossur for me to trial and it was amazing. It just made it so easy to run and I loved it. Because I have the maximum number of legs I am entitled to from the hospital my consultant said that I would need to apply to my PCT for funding for the running leg, which was fine with me. This was in September. I spent the next few months chasing her every week to write the letter to the PCT to ask for funding. She finally did this at the beginning of November -2 months after I had trialled the leg and my prosthetist had costed it up. We heard nothing after that until Jan when I asked my consultant to send a chaser, which she did on 4 January. We have still heard nothing, and as far as I am aware we haven't even had an acknowledgement. Today I called my consultant's secretary again to check if they had heard anything but she told me no. When I asked her whether she could try to chase up the relevant person at my PCT she said that she couldn't. So I had to find out the number and do it myself. Hopefully I will now hear something. I was coping with all of this OK until I looked back at my emails to work out when it all started and realised thar it has been essentially been going on since last June - last June!!!! I just can't believe that I have been waiting nearly 8 months already and nothing has happened. And I have been proactive and chased and done everything I think I could have done. Arrrgggghhhhhhhh................ p.s. please don't see this as a complaint as to the service of the NHS because I really do know I am lucky and I do appreciate what is available to me being a citizen of the UK, but I just want to start running and soon and I want to know whether the NHS is willing to pay for me to do this or not - surely it can't be that much to ask for, can it??????
  14. Fiona Call

    For UK readers and posters....The NHS ARGGGGHHH

    Hello everyone, We have had progress. I got home on Wednesday night to find a letter from my PCT dated - get this - 23 November 2006!!!!! Telling my consultant that they had refused my request for a running leg because (1) this will be my fourth NHS leg and (2) I want the leg to run faster which is a social rather than clinical reason, but letting me kindly know that if I wanted to pay for the leg myself their local community prosthetics service would be more than happy to provide it for me!!! Cheek!!!! I have therefore written a letter back to them asking them to reconsider and refuting their reasons for refusing to give me funding. Sent it today so we will see where that takes me. I have also received a response from my MP who has sent a letter to the PCT askiing them to grant funding to me. They said that the 23 November letter must have got lost in the post which I just do not believe. They also had my date of birth down as 1947 instead of 1977. I will let you know what happens next. F
  15. Fiona Call

    The Long Thread

    The mix of people, the variety and culture, the way the river looks as you travel over it on a sunny winter's day, the fact that you never need to be bored for a minute, cycling round it on a quiet weekend morning, the theatre, the good restaurants, the great pubs, the beautiful architecture, the way that you come across really nice enclaves of it that you have never been to before just totally by accident, the parks in the summer, the way I feel like I still don't know it well even though I have lived here 5 years, the fact that it feels like my first proper "home" since I left my parent's house, and lastly, the fact that my lovely boyfriend lives there with me!! Whew I will stop there - congrats on reaching the 1000 posts everyone!
  16. Fiona Call

    Y'all aint gonna believe 'dis...

    Shane congratulations - you will be brilliant at it. In fact, as today was your first day I bet you already are brilliant at it!
  17. Fiona Call

    For UK readers and posters....The NHS ARGGGGHHH

    Hello, I just thought that I would update you all on the leg situation. I called the director of commissioning at the PCT on Tuesday and after speaking to her forwarded a copy of my consultant's letter to her. She sent it to the relevant person and they called me back. This person told me that the PCT hadn't ever received my consultant's letter and so they didn't know anything about it (even though the letter had by then been sent to them three times). Anyway, they are going to look at my case at their next meeting which is on 27 Feb and will let me know the result shortly afterwards. Breakthrough!!!
  18. Fiona Call

    For UK readers and posters....The NHS ARGGGGHHH

    Rikk, No worries - i dislike people doing that too and that is not what I am doing - I am simply asking the PCT to make a decision and as I have stated before if the answer is no and I really can't persuade them to give it to me then I am willing to pay for it myself. My rant was really about the inefficiencies of NHS beaureaucrary (or however you spell it). I got sidetracked by the discrimination issue. I do still think that that could be a valid point but I am not planning to pursue it. But the one thing that I have been told by everybody involved with my rehab since I became an amputee is that their aim is to get you to the stage of doing what you were doing before you became an amputee. I used to run three times a week and I just want to be able to do it again. I also used to wear high heels, but let's not get into that!!
  19. Fiona Call

    American Idol Comment Demeaning Amputees

    It doesn't offend me at all. It is just a turn of phrase.
  20. Fiona Call

    For UK readers and posters....The NHS ARGGGGHHH

    Rikk, I was 27 when I lost my leg through no fault of my own. I am female. I work in an office. I like to look nice. All I was saying was that I might have an argument for discrimination. Not that I was going to do anything about it. As I have said many times before I think that the NHS have been brilliant with me so far. What do you actually do that NEEDs a leg that you can cycle with? Same argument.
  21. Fiona Call

    For UK readers and posters....The NHS ARGGGGHHH

    Bill, I had a silicone cosmesis on my first leg and didn't like it - too heavy and didn't look realistic anyway. I have decided that the only kind of silicone cosmesis I would be interested in would be a Dorset one. Fi
  22. Fiona Call

    The Long Thread

    It depends on how much booze I consume in any given day. The more I enjoy my wine the more likely I am to stay up late with not very good consequences for any good intentions I may have of getting up early! Having said that on weeknights I am in bed by 10 or 11 at the latest and up at 7.30 or 8, because I don't have a choice. And on the weekends I probably go to bed much later than that due to all the going out I seem to do but my body clock is still programmed to wake up early so I end up burning the candle at both ends. What I have noticed is that the longer I am off work on holiday the later I seem to go to bed and the later I wake up so I suppose I must be a night person, although I would really like to think I am an early person becaue I love it when you get up in the morning and everything is quiet and a new day is just starting. Gosh that was a long ramble....
  23. Fiona Call

    For UK readers and posters....The NHS ARGGGGHHH

    Bill, Thank you for your very useful advice and the link which I hadn't previously found but can't wait to read (and I never thought I would say that about a link to the department of health's website!) I did ask for my LFC's policy for provision of legs when I had my initial discussion with my consultant and after a bit of prompting my consultant sent it to me. The document states that it is my LFC's policy only to provide people with three legs at the most. One thing that did occur to me when I received this document though, is that I could have an argument for sexual discrimination against my LFC because, as a woman, in the job I do, and at my age (I am only 29) I need a leg with an adjustable ankle because I need to wear high heels. However, if I was a man then I wouldn't need a leg with an adjustable ankle and so would still have "one" leg left to get if that makes sense. However, I really didn't want to get into it with my LFC because I am obviously going to need to stay on good terms with them for a good long time yet. I am going to keep pushing the PCT though. And I sent a chasing letter to my MP yesterday so hopefully he will come back to me soon. Anyway, thanks for the advice and the encouragement. Sometimes I wonder whether I am being too pushy and whether I should just shut up and accept what I am told, but then everything in me rebels at that thought. It is very difficult. Fi
  24. Fiona Call

    For UK readers and posters....The NHS ARGGGGHHH

    Ann thanks! I think I got a little hot under the collar last week. Have calmed down a little bit this week although have still heard nothing. Grrrrr
  25. Fiona Call

    The Long Thread

    Noth Staffordsire Hospital, Stoke on Trent, England