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Fiona Call

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Everything posted by Fiona Call

  1. Fiona Call

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

    Yes that is exactly what I am trying to say Lizzie. Arrrggghhhh again!
  2. Fiona Call

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

    I know Sparky. Sorry if my post came across like I thought you were.
  3. Fiona Call

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

    I feel compelled to jump on Roz and Sparky's bandwagon and just make it clear that neither have I been a burden on the NHS at all throughout my time of amputeehood. All my operations were done privately, I see my rehab consultant privately even now, and my first leg and all the attendant physio etc were done privately. I even bought my crutches myself. I am not a complainer and have generally been really happy with the service I have received from the NHS. What is it about human nature eh? I saw what you wrote Roz and immediately felt like I had to make it known that I am the same same same - etc. Or maybe that is just me..... My point is that I just want the PCT to make A decision, ANY decision would be good. I have been waiting nearly six months in all and have heard nothing. And what almost galls me the most is the attitude of all involved that "that is just the NHS". It just seems to be assumed by everybody involved, even the staff at the hospital, that these things take time. Why do they take time? Surely it is not that difficult to even just send me a letter telling me that they have received my application and will get back to me within a reasonable time. Something, anything, would have been good. For example, I called my consultant's secretary yesterday for about the 100th time to ask if she had heard anything, and when she told me no, asked whether she could chase the PCT for me. Her response was that she doesn't really know whether she should, the PCTs always take time to make these decisions and there is nothing that they can do about it. Well I am sorry, but b****cks. I work in the service industry and if one of my clients were to call me up and ask me whether something had been done yet and my response was that I didn't know but that I couldn't possibly chase the person who was meant to be doing it then I would be sacked. And another thing. I do know of plenty of people who have been given running legs on the NHS. They are not prohibitively expensive at all - mine would apparently cost £4,000 for everything including maintenance and fitting. And yes I may be willing to pay for it myself if the PCT refuse. I would just like a decision from them. ANY decision. That is my point. Sorry - rant over. My blood is still boiling though.
  4. Fiona Call

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

    I have written a letter to my MP and sent it off this morning. I looked him up on the internet and he is apparently Tony Blair's Parliamentary Private Secretary. Not sure whether that is a good thing or a bad thing but I will begin the phone calls tomorrow and see where it takes me. Any Lizzie, thanks for the advice. I will definitely get in touch with the Parliamentary Limb Loss group - thanks for pointing me to it. I just feel so agitated and angry about it (probably something to do with the fact that although I like to think of myself as laid back I think I am actually a bit of a control freak!!) Arrgggghhhh again!!
  5. Fiona Call

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

    Yes you are dead right about that Hazel - you do feel like that, don't you.... And Sparky, that is shocking about the wheelchair. I had a similar thing actually when I first came out of hospital - there was a 3 month waiting list for an NHS wheelchair and so I couldn't get one. Worked out OK in the end for me coz I just learned how to use crutches and in the end didn't need a wheelchair, but that must have been very very irritating for you not being able to do that. Oneblueleg good idea. I will.
  6. Fiona Call

    The Long Thread

    I put my shoes on after I put the leg on. I actually find it harder to put the shoe on with the leg off than on if that makes sense!
  7. Fiona Call

    Anniversary of amputation

    Lisa, I remembered that at my one year anniversary I actually posted something on here about it and here is the link: http://www.heathermillsmccartney.com/forum...?showtopic=2673 Since the first few rides on the bike I managed to train myself up to be fit enough for the Vietnam and cambodia thing I was going on about there and did it in November. It has helped me enourmously to get my mobility and confidence back. Anyway, I hope that helps. Fiona
  8. Fiona Call

    Anniversary of amputation

    Do you know Lisa, it's really funny that you posted this on what is almost exactly 2 months to the date before your accident - during the run up to my "first anniversary" I found myself really down on the 26th October (10 months since accident) and 26th November (11 months since accident). For some reason those little anniversaries got to me more than the big one. Often as well I didn't really think about the date - I would just be getting through my day feeling a bit down and then as I was brushing my teeth in the evening would realise that it was the 26th of the month and it would all become clear. I could almost swear that that was my subconscious shut away there making it happen while in my conscious mind I was merrily getting on with things. I know people have said it before - but really it is not that bad. It will just be another day, and once this year is over it really will just become your son's birthday again and not the day of the accident. And try not to dread the day. Have a party for him and just try to get over it. You will I promise be really surprised by how not bad it is. Also, remember this - things are just going to get better and better for you now that the first year is over. People all told me when it happened that the first year is the worst and it gets better after that yada yada yada and to be honest I just didn't believe them. All I could think about was how at the same time the year before I had been mountain climbing, wearing short skirts and bikinis and running 3k every morning at the gym, and about how I couldn't even imagine being able to walk a mile without my leg hurting one year on. But the past year for me has been great and I really now am able to do everything I have asked my leg to do (maybe bar the short skirts but at nearly 30 it is probably time to give those a miss anyway!) So it really really is true. Also, the second anniversary is nothing compared to the first. This boxing day I cooked a lovely lunch for my boyfriend's parents and a couple of my friends, had a few glasses of wine and generally a great time and reflected with pride on what I had managed to achieve since the last boxing day. And I promise that you too will have exactly that experience on your son's 15th birthday. You seem to be a very strong and determined woman and that will carry you through. take care, Fi
  9. Fiona Call

    The Long Thread

    Thank you all for the congrats - I am still a bit stunned to be honest - but very happy. And my favourite toys were My Little Ponys - was completely obsessed with them to my mother's despair!
  10. Fiona Call

    The Long Thread

    Hello all, I have to answer the question about the weekend because it was very exciting - my boyfriend proposed to me! Am a little dazed looking at the ring to be honest as I never thought it would happen! Fiona
  11. Fiona Call

    Marilyn is Still Alive

    Marilyn, It is really really great to see you back. Fiona
  12. Fiona Call

    Silly Stuff

    Tee hee hee "31. Why is there an expiration date on sour cream?" My dad went to the US for a couple of years to do his masters degree in the 60s. He always tells the story of getting back to Ireland (he is Irish), going into a cafe, and asking for some sour cream. Thw waitress apparently looked completely bemused and disappeared for ages. When she finally came back, she handed him a pot of smelly, gone off cream, and told him "Sorry sir, that is the sourest we have" True story.....
  13. Fiona Call


    Actually Ali, What a coincidence - my bag got its first proper outing on the trip I have just come back from which was travelling around Vietnam and Cambodia! When are you planning on going? Do feel free to email me if you want any tips or anything. I loved both countries, but found Cambodia a lot more peaceful than Vietnam and I think if I went back there I would plan to spend more time in Cambodia than I eventually did, and probably a bit less in Vietnam. If you aren't planning to go to Cambodia at all at the moment I really would say think about it - Pnomh Penh is only a morning's coach drive from Saigon, and Ang Kor Wat is only another morning's drive from Pnomh Penh and so timewise it doesn't cost you anything, and also money wise it will cost nothing - my coach ticket was $12! Also flights back from PP to Bangkok are cheaper than flights from Vietnam (I presume you would be flying home from Bangkok?) Anyway, sorry for the rant. Have a great time anyway, Fiona
  14. Fiona Call


    To be honest I never actually had to get into an argument about it and I was just under 20 Kg with my luggage even at the end of the trip so I don't actually know for sure, but I reckon it would be a damn good argument if an airline ever did try to pull you up about it......... Seriously, the bag is worth every penny, I really would recommend it.
  15. Fiona Call


    Oh yes - and they are cheap - mine only cost me £11. Well worth it!
  16. Fiona Call


    Ossur does them - I got the number from my prosthetist but I think you basically just need to call their headquarters which is in Manchester and order one from them. Mine was really useful on my travels in November and December - not only for the spare leg - I used it for carrying around all the very many new clothes that I treated myself to whilst I was away and the beauty of it was that the staff at the airport couldn't charge me for excess baggage because it was holding my spare leg!
  17. Fiona Call

    Reflections on an interesting year

    Hi all, I don't write so much on here anymore, but having read this topic - I think you are doing fantastically Falstaff, I feel compelled to give you all a run down of my year - maybe it will give those of you just entering your second year of being an amputee some idea of the progress that lies ahead. This time last year I was getting about, painfully, with my prosthetic leg and one stick. I was still getting taxis to work every day, and was dying to get my leg off every evening when I got home from work. In Jaunary I decided that I had had enough of making absolutely no progress and that I really needed to do something to get fit again, and so I went out and bought myself a push bike. I also signed up for a 500K bike ride from Saigon in Vietnam to Ang Kor Wat in Cambodia. My thinking on the whole thing was that I should give myself something concrete to aim for in my cycling. In February I went to Reykjavik with my boyfriend for the weekend. That was the first time for the whole year of my amputeehood that I had had the confidence to go away for the weekend and leave my crutches behind at home. This confidence was furthered in March when my mum and I went to Portugal for the week on Holiday and I managed to walk miles around Lisbon sightseeing without too many problems. During the winter months I went out on bike rides a couple of times at the weekends to practice, and when the clocks went forward at the beginning of April I started cycling to work every day. Because there is no where to put a walking stick on a bike, I realised at this point that I would have to leave the stick at home and strike out on my own, which I did. My walking got stronger and stronger by the day, and by June I was walking completely confidently with no sticks. The cycling carried on, and in July I did my first long bike ride - from London where I live down the Thames to Windsor which is a distance of about 40 miles. I enjoyed it so much that I did quite a few more rides over the summer, culminating in cycling from the West Coast of England through the Lake District and the Pennines to the East Coast of England, a distance of 140 miles in three days. During this time I also started running again, and have now applied for funding for a sprint foot from Ossur. I am really hoping that my PCT agree to pay for it, because I would love to get back to proper running again. Anyway, my year ended in the wake of my bike ride from Saigon to Ang Kor Wat which I completed at the end of November. In the process I raised £28,000 for The Cambodia Trust, a charity which makes prosthetic legs for amputees in Asia, and also trains prosthetists and orthotists there. After the bike ride I travelled by myself all the way down the coast of Vietnam, through Cambodia, and finished in Bangkok, flying home just a couple of weeks ago. I finally feel that I am back to where I was two years ago, and have really been amazed at the progress I have made this year. So to anyone out there who might be just getting their rehab underway, or who might be struggling to get used to their prosthetic leg...........it does get easier - I promise!
  18. Fiona Call

    Calling out to all nutters

    Hi Kaz, Your trip sounds amazing. My boyfriend and I are actually planning on doing something similar when we have our honeymoon (if he ever proposes!), and so it would be great to hear more about it when you come back. I am not trekking anywhere in the near future, but I am cycling 500K from Saigon in Vietnam to Ang Kor Wat in Cambodia next month. It will be my first experience of doing anything really testing in a hot climate in my leg, but obviously cycling will put less strain on my stump than walking would. I will definitely let you know how it goes when I come back, but what I am planning to do is bring lots of antibacterial wash and wash my liner and leg with it every day, also bring some skin repairing lotion for abrasions/ sores, and bring a spare leg just in case anything goes wrong. Also, I have an appointment with my prosthetist for a couple of weeks time where she is going to show me how the leg is put together so that if anything does fall off/ go wrong, I will at least have some sort of idea what to do. For ease of travelling, I don't think I am going to take any crutches because I just can't be bothered to lug them around. I might change my mind though nearer the time. Anyway, I will let you know how it goes and give you any tips I can think of when I get back, which will be mid-late December. Fiona
  19. Fiona Call

    My leg keeps grunting...

    Hi Chris, That's great. I hope it works for you. Just so you know - they had a lot of different strong anti-perspirants in Boots when I went but my physio told me to buy Odaban and so that is what I got. Fiona
  20. Fiona Call

    My leg keeps grunting...

    Hi Chris, It happens to me quite a lot. It is always when my leg is sweating a little bit. I try to add a sock to stop it but just am not comfortable then as the leg feels too tight. I have bought something called Odaban which apparently stops your leg sweating and have only been using it for a couple of days but it seems to be working as no farting noises have happened since I started. Odaban is a spray which you need to spray on in the evening, then sleep on it and shower in the morning. You can get it from Boots but I had to order it as they didn't have any when I went in to ask. Will let you know if it really is as good as I think it is. Fiona
  21. Fiona Call

    Flex Run foot from Ossur

    Yes good luck with it Sue. I honestly didn't realise until yesterday that it was actually possible that a leg could make so much difference to what one is able to do. Take care, Fiona
  22. Dear all, I tried out the Flex run foot from Ossur today. Here is a link to it: http://www.ossur.com/shared/FileGallery/Sh...lexRunPages.pdf It was absolutely amazing. I would highly recommend it to anyone thinking of getting a running foot. At the moment I have a variflex foot and can run on it but have a very sore bit on my tibia. I ran 3K on the variflex on Tuesday and was almost crippled on Wednesday with the sore bit on my tibia really playing up. I honestly never thought that it would be possible to run normally again and was a bit dubious that a proper running leg would make any difference. But my lord it did. I was very scared of it when I first saw it, but once I got it on and started running it was absolutely brilliant. I couldn't feel the sore spot on my leg at all because the foot absorbed all the shock, and I went on the treadmill and managed to run at 9K an hour which was the speed I used to run at before my amputation. I couldn't believe it..... It was also really really light - when I put my normal leg back on to go home it felt like a lead weight. Now I have to apply to my PCT for them to pay for it. Wish me luck!! Fiona
  23. Fiona Call

    NHS Leg

    Hi Lisa, When I got my first leg I had a cosmetic cover put on it but in my opinion: 1. It was very heavy. Don't know whether this was because it was my first leg and I wasn't used to it or whether this was because it actually was heavy though; 2. Regardless of the skin tone matching it didn't look anything like my other leg and I wouldn't have been seen dead walking around in a skirt with the cosmetic cover showing (which defeated the entire point of getting the leg covered really); and 3. It was made of silicone which is almost sticky. This meant that my trousers just didn't fall properly while I was wearing the leg as they kept sticking to it. When it was time for my second leg I told the hospital that I didn't want the silicone cover any more because of the three reasons above. Instead they did a normal shaping of the leg with foam and then covered it with a stocking like the legs you have seen before. I found this worked much better for me than the silicone cover - it was light and my trousers hung properly. Obviously at that point the only remaining issue was the skirt problem. I managed to solve this a few months ago though. I was going to my friend's wedding, had been shopping for something to wear, and there were just no long skirts/ dresses/ nice trouser suits in the shops, so I decided to bite the bullet and buy a dress with a mid calf length skirt. Got it home, tried it on with the orange leg, and it looked pretty realistic. So, I then took myself off to M&S and bought some nice stockings. Took the leg down to the hospital and got them to take the orange monstrosity off and replace it with the ones I had bought. Wore it to the wedding, felt great, it looked great, and I was away. I have worn skirts with this set up quite a lot since, and it is a great feeling to be able to put them on again. The only problem with it is that because the leg is covered with a stocking you need to put a stocking on your other leg as well, meaning that you need to wear closed toe shoes, and that kind of look only really works for work skirts, evening clothes and winter skirts. I wouldn't feel comfortable showing the leg off whilst wearing a summer skirt and birkenstocks or anything, because it just wouldn't look right. To be honest though, if that is all I am sacrificing, I don't think it is that much. I also went to Dorset Orthopeadic to look at their legs, and they are amazing, but cost £10,000. That is just so much money I think you would really have to question whether it is worth it. So, Lisa, in summary. Yes you can get cosmetic covers on the NHS. I did but didn't like mine so got it taken off. What I do now if I want to wear a skirt is get the hospital to cover my leg with stockings of my choice. The leg looks pretty good when that has been done and I feel comfortable in a skirt now. Sorry this post has been so long. Take care, Fiona
  24. Fiona Call

    Does anyone here class themselves as Disabled?

    Hello, I think that Thohorn and Ally have hit the nail on the head. I don't get or take up any of the "perks" that disabled people in the UK are allowed. The reason I don't do this is that I don't feel I need them. In no way is my life more expensive now than it was before I lost my leg and my earning power hasn't changed either, so I just don't see why I would be justified in accepting the perks when there are people that need them far more than I do. As a result of that I don't feel disabled, I don't see myself as disabled, and others don't see me as disabled. I am not disabled. And I know it is only a label, but I don't think that I fit it. Fiona
  25. Fiona Call


    Pixy, I did history at university too. I loved it, and you don't have to be a teacher when you finish - honestly! Do you know what bit you are going to specialise in yet? I did Japan from 1858 until just after the second world war and my dissertation was on Stalin. I miss it thinking about it...... Andy, Enjoy yourself. Is this your second year as well or did you have a year out last year? Fiona