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Heather Mills - Amputee Forum


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About Halleycomet

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  • Birthday 03/11/1958

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  • Location
    Cow Country NEw York
  • Interests
    Motorcycles eBay grandbaby dogs

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  • Membership Type:
  • Amputation Type:
    Left Below Knee
  • Amputation Date:
    28 January 2008
  • Amputation Cause:
    Charcot Foot osteomyelitis
  1. Halleycomet

    travel ideas-what do you think?

    I travel on a motorcycle in the summer months and use a folding "travel walker" and a stick to help me walk. When we stay over night or for a day or so we just get on and go. This means that I have to be praying that I will not have to get up in the night with a sudden (or even not so sudden!!!!) bathroom need. I have digestive issues so this is a BIG worry. So far I have managed by just keeping the liner on and even on a few occasions keeping the leg on---not the solution I want to use but hey it worked. Now I had the idea to use an OLD liner with OUT the locking pin and put that on at night and use a SLEEVE over this---that would mean I could dash if I needed to with the walker. Just slide into leg and roll up sleeve and GO. When I mentioned this to Leg Guy he about went ballistic---which is VERY unusual for him. He didn't really have any OTHER suggestion tho. I can't take up too much saddle bag "real estate" here and need valid ideas on how to do this and what others are doing. I "get" that Leg Guy is afraid I will do my skin in but for one night? I have fallen asleep with the whole leg on and been fine. So what do YOU do???????
  2. I was to my Leg Guy this week and in addressing some "issues" he re-measured my leg and discovered that the measurements are quite a bit SMALLER than the ones we cast the socket I use now with. I have lost some weight---a GOOD thing!--and am planning on doing much more walking now that we can see past the snow banks here. The question I have is---if we cannot accomodate with socks and "graduated" liners and he feels I NEED a new socket---how do I find out what my insurance will pay and if I cannot afford to pay the difference what can we DO??? I have heard of something like a "foam" that is used for house insulation being put in the socket to "snug it up" has any one had experience with this? I have a below the knee amp and use a locking pin system btw. I also have a dicky half foot on the "good" leg and feel it is best to not change too much at one time to avoid problems with EITHER leg. Any thoughts????
  3. Halleycomet

    which hand controls?

    I added a set of older hand controls to my Mazda mini van and find them--somewhat scary. It may be ME tho. YOu have to learn a COMPLETELY un-"natural" way of doing things. Now the newer ones may work better. Mine have a push/pull action---push forward on a ball about the size of a pool ball for gas and down for brake. The tricky thing for ME is the "break point" where gas meets brakes. I have to learn how to do this and NOT have the gas on while braking! Also a LOT of wear and tear on the shoulders and arms---again, this could be because they are older models acquired from a friend. My husband and son-in-law were able to install them in an afternoon--most of that time was spent figuring out which parts to use since Friend had given us a large box of varied items that might be needed. They do kinda get in the way of the driver (but you get used to this) and they do need periodic adjustment (which you can easily do). I am a LEFT BK but I have ALSO lost the forefoot on the right and the use of the thigh muscles on the right which is what finally caused me to get these. You also can no longer use the "Tilt Wheel" feature but a custom install should be able to accomodate this. You might want to check out some of the sites that have paralyzed people writing in---they have many many ideas about this sort of thing. When it was "just" my right foot I taught myself how to drive (even a stick) with the left foot so I suspect that the left foot adapter would be not that hard to learn. I can no longer move the thigh to move the leg to move the foot---and I have no flex in that ankle---makes for fun times! I think that if you don't have insurance you can find these on eBay for less than the adaptive places charge. And they just bolt on to the pedal as far as I recall. The ones that we put in do NOT alter the car in any way and can be easily removed if you get a new car--the newer ones are MUCH more "Brand Specific" I think. Oh and a SPINNY KNOB (suicide knob) is a MUST with these---again ebay is the place to go for both price and STYLE which is of course very important! And since we have a trailer we use it ALL the time and can't remember HOW we did without it! The "hard" part is actually getting the window DOWN or up---electric or manual how do you DO it and still accelerate? And tolls---you have to pull up, stop, put it in park, roll down the window, pay, and then do it all in reverse. EASY PASS TIME!!!! Oh and best to NOT tell your insurance co OR DMV about this. I have heard dreadful tales about ins co's either canceling or raising your rates sky-high to get your risky behind OFF of their books. And I have heard (but do not have confirmation) that some DMV's will yank your license and force you to RETAKE the road test etc. I have heard that there are places that will train you to USE the hand controls and I am going to check the local one out in spring---like I said maybe it is ME and my fear that is making it hard. It did get easier after a while but still was tiring and I found myself VERY willing to let others drive. Probably a bad idea since I am not getting the experience I need. Good luck and let us know what you find out and decide!!!!
  4. Halleycomet

    The Silence of the Amps

    It's been quite a while since I was here but have a few Q's to post hopefully in the "right" places! HAve sent a number of people here so hopefully they can learn more and get help if needed. CHERYLYM_ I too have a dicky foot that points due---well right now it is East! Towards the outside of my leg. The ankle was screwed up from birth and got worse and compromised the foot which I lost half of back about 5 years ago. two years before the OTHER leg---ironic eye roll here!!!---the GOOD leg!!!---got smushed and had to be amp'd. For some reason my husband thought it would be a good idea if I learned how to SKI. Now the idea of the height terrified me, the chair lift terrified me, and the idea of clamping planks on my feet and hurtling my body down a perfectly good mountain TERRIFIED me. But--I tried it. Twice. And twice I WALKED down the mountain. After the ski came OFF of the Twisty Foot. Painfully but thank G-d NOT brokenly. That was reserved for my kid who broke his arm snowboarding with two perfectly GOOD feet and legs! LOL!!! Well what we will do for love! And I will say that I have no desire to try "adaptive" ski equipment. BUT I do live in the heart of the Big Mountains of the North East and they DO have clinics and people who will set you up with things to ski with. One I have seen is a "seat ski" where the ski is under a little seat--I think there is a sort of steering handle to guide you. I might almost say stick to sledding if you can get UP afterwards! As to getting around on FOOT in the snow---well--I try to keep away from actual deep snow. After all that IS what I slipped and fell on and broke the foot/ankle! Since it has this tendency to be slippery and un-predictable. That said if you can find snow without ice under or on top of it---and you can smush your foot into a firm stable position, you CAN walk on it. But I would invest in a little gadget for a cane----not sure what the "official" name is but it is a small metal piece that has a clamp with screws that goes AROUND the stick shaft and then has a "swing" section that has SPIKES on the end. You press a section to swing it up and out of the way or down to use. A few things tho--DO NOT USE ON FLOORING. EVER!!!! On a carpet you would be OK. But on a hard floor it will slide out from under you ASAP. Leaving you dangling in mid air before meeting that floor. Not good! So flip it up before you go onto a smooth floor! And the really "hard" slick ice---the kind that is there for the long run and that you could ice skate on---the spike will do the same thing on that. But for slush and snow and mud and uneven rocky (not boulders!) terrain---it is a G-dsend. Nobel Prize to the inventor! I am sure your pharmacy can order you one and I think the Vermont Country Store has it in their catalog or you can call them and ask for it. I even use in in the summer if I know I am going to be on slick grass at yard sales or en event. In the meantime---I have been busy with Grand Child #2, who lives with us in a very crowded house! Grand Child # 1 has been going to Head Start and that has been fun--except for the endless snow days and the endless school vacations! We also had a quite serious flu rip thru here which sent both kids to the hospital. In our "off time" we have been shopping for a warm place to retire--NOT Florida!!!! And our youngest is getting married in 2012 and I have but ONE piece of advice to prospective brides, groom and their parents--ELOPE!!!!!!! Please!!!!!! The same kid did however graduate with outstanding grades in Engineering and is GAINFULLY EMPLOYED in his field in his town so I can hardly complain. LOL!!!! I am working on getting my pros "fine tuned" and am in one way pleased to hear that losing weight has been successful EXCEPT for the fact that I cannot afford a new casting now. So I am hoping my Leg Guy can come up with some way to avoid this. I am pretty sure that my insurance---those lovely people who REFUSED to buy me a prosthetic AT ALL in the beginning---will NOT be interested in picking up the cost of a new socket. And I cannot imagine how much they will want ME to "pony up" for my "share". Whatever it is it is not do-able. And a "funny"---Had to go see a clinic MD---not my GP who was--somewhere warm. Anyways---I had a small callous where the end of my bone has been poking since the amp and where I jammed it almost thru the skin one time when I had a mechanical scooter start to go over and slammed my leg into the ground. This is usually an annoyance but this time I had actual drainage. As a diabetic who lost my TOES on the "Good Foot" to a fast moving rare bacteria I of course PANIC when I see these things. And I had a tiny in-grown hair on the same leg a few inches away that was a teensy bit pink. I covered them with Tegaderm and went to the MD who knew NOTHING about amputees; prosthetics or apparently diabetics. He was much more concerned with the ingrown hair than the actual pus oozing spot! After badgering him into giving me the PROPER anti-biotics he decided it was HIS turn to bully ME. I was told that I needed to KEEP LOSING WEIGHT (well thanks for acknowledging the weight I have ALREADY lost!!!!) BUT that I was NO LONGER TO WALK. HUH???? Really???? How exactly was I to DO this???? HE really didn't have an answer to that but I basically was told to take the leg off toss it in a corner sit down and wait to die. Oh and LOSE some damn weight while you do that!!!! I guess he never counted on the fact that there are other ways to get to the fridge and the store. But we got a huge laugh over this. Felt like I was teaching Diabetics 101 and Prosthetics 101. For free!!!!! And he decided that I was using Saran Wrap or something for the covering--instead of the clear Tegaderm a plastic surgeon at Dartmouth recommended btw! Well anyways the anti-b's and the Tegaderm cleared everything up. And the callous seems to have resolved!!!! Maybe all it needed all along was the Tegaderm! Which btw I buy in quantity on ebay for pennies vs hundreds of $$$$ at the drug store or thru my mail order pharm. Good idea for this thread!!!!!!
  5. Halleycomet

    knee walker

    I use a ROLLERAID Knee Walker every day when I don't have my leg on---and I wear my leg 12-14 hours or more. I used the Rolleraid when I had a totally no weight bearing leg and used it in hospital, at stores, in the State Capital building---and as long as we could get it in the car (minivan) we were good to go. I have even used it to explore and document historic New England Cemeteries. Not what it was made for tho!!! And I am NOT the athletic type. I mostly use it at night now---park it next to the bed and hop on without having to try and stand---I have ZERO balance at any time. I will say that there are a few minor drawbacks. the wheels are fixed and it can be a chore to "back and fill" when you need to turn but that said I use this in a long and narrow bathroom and quickly learned the most effective ways of getting to the "loo" and into and out of the tub---a regular tub with sides. I use a bath chair with the back removed--to me this was too restricting---and I get the Rolleraid right up next to the tub facing away from the tap so my RIGHT SIDE is against the tub---the side with a human leg!--and swing that over and use the crash bars to steady myself. To get out I sit on the edge and make sure the back wheels of the RA are snug to the tub and I grab the handlebars and make sure my right foot is NOT going to slide and up we go. Also a great help to hold onto when getting my leg ON in the AM and also while getting dressed. To get over obstructions you do need to make sure you are "in the saddle" and pull up on the handlebars a bit---the wheels are made for smooth floors and the outdoors has such things as pebbles, rock salt, grass etc. But this is easy and you won't even know you are doing it soon. It does have brakes and wheel locks which I rarely use. The PT folks think you should have 'em on at EACH transfer but ya know this is unrealistic and how can you even GET TO THEM if you have but one leg????? They do have a front basket and that does come in real handy---in fact I have the laptop perched on it right now!!!! The "drawbacks"---The seat has a limited built in adjustment and is kinda geared towards taller people. I am 5'2" and had to hack saw the bottom part of the pipe that holds the seat in place off to be able to go out the door and over thresh holds etc but this is minor. And the brakes could use some beefing up if you use a lot of steep roads or ramps, but you do have your other leg to act as a "brake" too. Any bike shop can help you with these. The seat padding is a bit skimpy but the cover zips off and I just added some "memory foam" and it has been fine. The most petty and annoying thing to ME has been the handle bar covers! The ones I got with the thing were shredded---and it was brand new! So I replaced them with reg bike covers, same thing happened cause the bar ends are a wee bit small and they slide---also dangerous in my view for coming off and also if they DO come off you can (and will!!!!) slice your hand. The solution??? Get some TENNIS RACKET TAPE and wind that on. Has a better grip altho not as "cushy" and lasts forever. I was going thru a set of grips ever two weeks or so and have had the tape on for well over a YEAR now. ANd MUCH safer when wet. If you were going to use this a bunch I am sure you could fit some foam or even a bar cover UNDER the tape. And yeah the wheels DON'T turn. I tried one after I had this and the wheels did "turn" but on some sort of a racking system and I crashed into the doorway trying to turn the damn thing at the showroom. IT was actually much HARDER to turn than the RA!!! And if you turned the wheels too steeply they locked up! I know there are other versions too tho. I saw one the other day being used and asked if it was a turning kind and if the person liked it and in a few seconds worth of convo she did say she liked it but it was a very temp thing til her foot healed. If it were ME I would call around and see who has the best selection of these sorts of things and go try em. And make SURE you try em OUTSIDE, on carpet, turning into/out of normal doors---measure the doors at your house/work and take the measurements WITH YOU to check this if the place is an open space. The good think about this is it is just the same width of my shoulders so I pretty much have an idea of where I can go. I have actually brought this to my CPO office for people to try; perhaps your Leg Guy knows someone who has the kind you want to try and can arrange a test drive? The RA costs something like (I think!!!) $800 USD retail. I had mine on a rental and my ins co paid something like FOUR TIMES that amount to rent it for me for just a FEW MONTHS!!!! Grr. And we wonder why ins co's don't like to pay for this stuff---finally managed to convince them that this was CHEAPER than me living in an Assisted Living Home for the REST OF MY LIFE cause my house is totally wheelchair inaccessible. So they "bought" it for me. That said the Co that makes it sells REFURBISHED units for a GREAT price and you can sometimes find 'em on eBay or Craigslist for a fraction. I only wish I could fold it up and stash it on the back of my motorcycle!!!! Oh---- the "neck" folds over to help it fit in a car. Think they also make a crutch carrier for the back too. Check the website for into. Friendly people. Someone clever needs to come up with a design that tuns the wheels with OUT the rack type system--perhaps on the center column? And better tires that actually can go OVER things like rock salt would be a REAL HELP. Ditto walker tires that can do the same!!!! For more info or if you have a Q contact me.
  6. Halleycomet

    What do you use when your leg is OFF???

    Um yup think after a below knee amp AND a partial foot amp on the GOOD foot I am pretty familiar with a walker!!!! As to my friends patient---as far as I know she doesn't have the balance and strength to use a walker with out her leg---I don't either come to that---I don't think she is interested in using one with her leg on as I do sometimes. Where we live winter is extremely harsh and using a walker in the snow and worse the ice is a huge problem. And even in the summer month we have cracked and buckled sidewalks---IF we have sidewalks as it is rural here---due to winter frost heaving. This means that if you are walkering along and hit one of these cracks or buckles the walker comes to a dead halt and the user can be slammed into the walker or even tipped forward or backwards. Very scary! Gravel is also a big issue and all too common here. Walkers hate gravel! One of the things the patient was thinking of using was a ROLLERAID---you can Google em up----since this offers a much more stable and less tippy means of getting around when her leg is off for whatever reason. I have been using one of these for several years both before and after I had my amp surg. This lets you get around in an upright position so you can be getting the walking you need to stay healthy and also you are meeting people on a face to face level---very important. It folds to go in the car and is no wider than most peoples shoulders so you can go pretty much anywhere unlike in a wide or bulky wheelchair. At home I use it for nights to get to and from the bathroom and shower as my bathroom is not wheelchair accessible AT ALL. It has also come in handy when I needed to be without my arti leg---like when I injured the bone and couldn't get the leg on. I would not be able to live in my house without this or something similar as it is totally NON accessible to a chair. My ins co paid to rent it for months---paying what the item cost several times over---pointless spending as I obviously will need SOMETHING for the rest of my life right???---until I finally managed to persuade them to just buy the darn thing for me. The RollerAid co also sells them outright and at a major savings they will sell you a re-conditioned one. Cheaper than a wheelchair too. There are a few other wheeled sort of things to off-load a leg, I tried a few and even tho the RollerAid is not perfect it is far easier to use and steer than the other models out there. What I was hoping some one had experaince with here was something called---I think!---a SimLeg or similar---you sit on a raised seat and propel the pole like thing around. Any takers????? Can't find this anywhere yet I KNOW I saw a brochure somewhere!!!!
  7. Halleycomet

    What do you use when your leg is OFF???

    THANKS ALL! The patient is in her 80's and does not have good balance---I am not sure why she suddenly "needs" another way to get around---her house is set up so she can use a chair to get around at night or if she needs to have a break from the leg. I am understanding that she doesn't want to use the chair when she is out of the house---I don't know if she is using a power scooter (like I do) when she is going somewhere but I also have to think that her husband is ALSO in his 80's and may not be able to heft a wheelie scooter---and lots of people don't know that you can get ramps to get stuff in and out of the car and that the scooters can be driven from the side so you don't have to sit on them and have headroom etc. Also did not see what kind of car they had. I completely sympathyse with her wantinmg to be more independent tho---it drove me NUTS when I couldn't walk when I injured the leg and the six week after surgery using ONLY the chair---well they shoulda just put me in a coma for that time!!!! I will have to keep "scouting" around to see if I can at least find the item she was looking at---which I personally think would require the strength and agility of an Olympic Gymnast. But there are days when I think that just getting to the kitchen requires that so maybe it's just ME!!!!
  8. Halleycomet

    Elective Amps?

    I severly damaged my L ankle and foot due to an underlying condition known as Charcot's Foot or Joint. This was not properly diagnosed for several weeks and so I kept doing more and more damage as I gimped along on it. After the diagnoses I was fitted with "special shoes" that basically destroyed the bottom of my foot leading to many painful surgeries---none of which was meant to FIX the broken bones. When this was looked at by a different medical team at a MAJOR High Risk Foot Center---if you want more info contact me at jmloebel@verizon.net for two great teams---anyways by that time I had not walked AT ALL for almost a year. The new x-rays revealed that there was NO ankle joint left and the mid foot bones were scattered and in bad shape. I was given the not--too enthusiastic option of trying to "fix" the ankle with rods and pullys and super glue and duct tape but both teams agreed that this was risky at best and pie in the sky at worst and I STILL might not be able to walk. That was the first week of January 2008 (Happy New Year to me---not!!!!) and I had it amp'ed 28 January 2008. I wont say it has been "easy" cause I would be lying. But it has been MUCH easier than living with the pain and awkwardness of a swollen, open wounded, infection gathering foot that probably would have given me even worse problems for the rest of my life. Was this an easy decision? In some ways yes---the very first time I spoke to the first MD to "correctly" diagnose this I brought up amputation only to be greeted with shock and horror. I realize that their job is to SAVE limbs but here was one that wouldn't BENEFIT from saving. Basicly this guy wanted to confine me to a wheelchair or a scooter for the rest of my life BUT I would have a foot that "looked normal". Um---no. I would try and get several more opinions on whether or not there is ANYTHING that might control your pain levels---drugs, drug pumps, electrostimulation etc---and try my damdest to get to a High Rish Foot Center---at major medical centers---these MD's have the experiance to HELP you with this. If you DO decide to have an amputation--and I completely understand this thinking----they can best support you in deciding how and where and who. Most insurance companies have provisions for "Second Opinion" payment where you might not need to pay ANYTHING out of pocket. Also bear in mind that if you DO have this surgery the cost of a prosthetic leg is well above $10,000. And insurance may--or may NOT---pay for any or all of it without a fight at best. And you will have to keep getting new ones or parts every few years, and adjustment appointments are not cheap either. And yes you might still have the pain. I hope this is not too depressing! I don't mean it to be. Just the reality of a whole new world that perhaps you can avoid becoming a member of! BTw I also lost part of my other foot to an infection so I have only half a foot to stand on! Contact me for more info or to chat.
  9. Hi this really isn't a "poll" altho topic title reads like one. I am helping my "Leg Guy" help a patient of his who like me is a BK with balance issues. She is an elderly lady who is trying to decide on an "appliance" that will help her get around outside of the house. I don't know what level of activity she is planning i.e. casual or more extensive but she is active in her planning---not sitting around at home all day from what I gathered meeting her! She has been looking for something for a while now and had seen something that might be called an "EdSim"---does this ring any bells? I think I saw a brochure a few years ago and it looked like a pogo stick with a bicycle seat welded on. Did not look to me at all stable for someone who was not athletic or who had balance issues. This item allegedly costs something like $6000. For the price of a decent used car I feel the thing ought to walk FOR you but that is my opinion! On request of my "Leg Guy" I took my RollerAid to his office and had her try it---I used it for months pre-amp, with and without casts, and of course afterwards and now I used it at night and to get into the shower---I am not one to take off my leg ---once it is on in the AM it STAYS on til I go to bed or shower. Guess what I am asking here is---BESIDES a wheel chair or a motor scooter what do YOU use, how do you like it---pros and cons!---and where do you get it? You would THINK that the prosthetists would ALSO sell these things but there seems to be a big gap between what is---or is NOT avail---to people at a medical supply house or catalog and a pros office. Surely there is a market and a NEED for this stuff---why are they NOT selling these things???? Looking forward to being able to pass on---and scrutinize for my own possible future needs!---what you clever folk have come up with. Thanks!!!!!
  10. Halleycomet

    A Philosophical Question...

    Hi Cheryl--- I am even later in chiming in but thought to add a few cents worth----I too HATED the chair the one and only 6 weeks post amp I used it----HELL would be a breeze compared to trying to get around my tiny overcrowded modular home in a WC. I had up to that time been hating an item called a KNEE WALKER but it quickly became my MOST longed for item. There are several varieties but having tried them all the one I have is I think the best. What it is is a "scooter" that you prop your injured/missing etc limb on (Or in---they make adapts for AK's) and push yourself around with your other foot. The position is UPRIGHT so you can reach things, see where the heck you are going, and be "perceived" by others as a normal height person---amazing that sometimes people did not even realize I was using a machine to get around. It is no wider than most peoples shoulders and so---ta-da!!!!---going thru a narrow width doorway is fine. Learning how to manipulate it in a narrow space is a matter of practice----I have a long but narrow bathroom and of course the toilet is at the opposite end, and sticks out into the room, so I have to kick-turn myself to get in position to lower onto the seat when not wearing my leg. It folds to go in the car trunk or no doubt could go on public transport with the bikes etc. It has hand brakes and a padded seat---very useful for both knee comfort---I have added padding which is easy as the vinyl cover comes off---and for sitting on if tired or for a long wait. It also has a front basket. The only things I have had to change have been the seat pole height---the seat adjusts but I am sooo short that the pole (under the frame) was too long and kept catching on things so we sawed it off. And the hand grips were awful----I replaced them with bicycle hand grips but warn you DO NOT DO THIS they just will slide off and your arms will get nasty cuts. The replacement a friend reccomended works GREAT---tennis grip wrap! I think that this could be an amps best friend in keeping us upright and out of a chair. For some really bizarre reason it seems MD's and even PT and Prosthetic peeps have never heard or seen these---altho I have seen several people using them recently. Your ins will---perhaps under duress---but they WILL pay for these---but you can also find them on ebay used (if someone broke their leg etc and got one they sell them after) for not too much $$$$. I believe they retail for about $800 but the company (in Seattle I think) also sells RECONDITIONED ones for way less. About the only complaint I have with the "performance" is that I think the tires could be a bit bigger and softer for outdoor use---you do have to be careful when using on uneven surfaces as the wheels can be picky----but that is also a matter of paying attention and someone with better balance than me---almost ANYONE has better balance than me!!!!----would surely be better at this than me. And steering around a tight corner takes learning how to shift weight and lift your knee a scooch off the seat---just enough to ease your weight off, not totally floating---and manouver with the other foot and your hands on handlebars. I could show you in much less time that it would take me to type this but it is not hard just needs practise. You can also do all of your cooking etc from this standing height with the stable seat and brake locks. Whenever MD offices see this they go nuts wanting to know where to get ones for their patients. Well except for the office that I went to that NEVER NOTICED that I had somehow carelessly LOST my leg between one GP appointment and the next. Geeze---if they fail to notice um little things like that what ELSE are they missing???? Oh yeah there WAS that high BP they failed to notice in my pregnant daughter but that is a tale for another Forum!!!! If you want more info let me know. And---go with your HEART here----second chances are often SECOND BEST. You can always move to the Safe Suburbs but the thrill of the City----
  11. The ice in the mens room is not nearly as entertaining as this thread so I hate to burst any bubbles here----it is for odor control. I am not sure if it really works any better than anything else---but much nicer than those nasty chemical cakes----and yes it would seem that they might be more interested in aiming properly---but there it is. In the US it is a fairly common thing----no I don't spend a lot of time lurking in mens rooms I was in Food and Restaurant Service at one time
  12. Halleycomet

    where to buy or sell single shoes????

    Dear Friend- Why do you need single shoes? If your partner is planning on getting a prosthetic---and I seriously hope he is planning this---he will NEED the other shoe! You don't use a "special" other shoe, you put the mate to the pair on and off you go. If he is like most people he should be in line for prosthetic fitting starting at about 6 weeks after the surgery. So the shoes will still be relatively new. If I am missing something here please let me know! eBay is one resource for this sort of thing---when I had two wildly different size feet (pre-amp) I checked there but again the selection was limited and the prices might have been OK but the shipping was sometimes outrageous. If he receives a prosthetic ask your leg person what kind of shoes they reccommend ---this will affect what the foot/leg/ankle are "set" for to allow the best walking angles. And from personal experiance---the feet are SLIPPERY---do NOT try walking around on them esp on tile etc---you can lose control in an instant and take a nasty fall. Keep a slipper on it if you think you might need to put the leg on during the night if you have taken the regular shoe off. Oh and baby powder (between the shoe and sock or shoe and foot) is a wonderful way to get a slightly too small shoe on---remember you will not have the same "break-in" that a "regular" foot will have in a shoe and there is no flexibility on a pros foot like a real foot so a bit of pulling and tugging will occur--- an old fashioned shoe horn is a good idea they make special long ones for just this use, ask your leg person where to get one. Running shoes that have that "elastic" across the tongue have been very hard to get on for me, I have thought that cutting the elastic would help but have just bought other shoes instead. Good luck!!!!
  13. Halleycomet


    Hi!! It is a good topic and one that we all need to be aware of...it would be fine to let the insurance company know that you lost your legs in a fire, since fire is one of the named perils that are covered on a homeowners/renters/condo insurance policy. Your legs would be covered if they were lost in a residential fire. A couple rooms of furniture alone may not cost that much, but if you had a total loss of a home with several rooms, bedrooms,basement, attached garage...or even an apartment, when you count up how much it would cost to replace all of your clothes, furniture, electronic equipment (tv's, stereo equipment,iPods, cell phones, etc. etc. etc.), jewelry, linens, appliances, I could go on and on every single item that every household member owns is gone due to fire....it does not take long for you to spend that kind of money to replace it all. Take care... Flip I spoke at length with my agent (Allstate if you must know!) before I got my first leg and they assured me that everything EXCEPT breakage would be covered under my Homeowners. However I am going to check and see if I should raise the coverage limit here as the very good point has been made about the incredible expense. I was shocked when my sons car was broken into and all of his DJ equipment was stolen----the insurance co---not my current one!----- insured BOTH my home and cars at that time and I never realized that this would "count against" me down the line on my homeowners ratings. I have since switched (shameless plug here) to Geico fo the cars (and YES we saved a boat load of money) and they have unhesitatingly paid out in the last few weeks a TOTAL LOSS claim for my son and a suicidal deer claim for my car---with NO increase in premium etc. However----the rates they wanted for my house---my aged and non-moving house, NOT driven by a 19 year old either-----were HUGE. So---this can come back to bite you but in the case of a leg I think I would gladly take the chance. After all I have health insurance---if you can CALL it that!---that agreed to pay for my amp----and then REFUSED to pay for an arti leg!!!!!!!!! LOVE the USA---no wonder we are the laughing stock of the world---we can't even take care of our OWN health care and yet we presume to tell other countries how to run their political and economic systems!!!!!!!!
  14. DEAR Friends, I have been shown pics by my "Leg Guy" here in the US of a product made by DORSET in the UK. Another patient of his was shown the "real deal" and he thinks it might help my "good foot"----which is only half a foot!---to manage the slip and slide and slump I have in the foot/ankle. The product is a custom molded silicone (or similar materiel to our liners). Now I KNOW I have read about DORSET here and I am presuming it is the same co that makes Heathers bits. so of course I trotted right home and am asking for your help-how do you get in touch with these people???? My Leg Guy has emailed them and has measured and cast me for the product using the info he got from---well I don't know where exactly but it is Dorset info and charts. But he can't seem to get a reply! Any one know how to contact them or even better anyone know anybody who works there and might be able to my Leg Guy write or even call directly? Do I remember reading that there are DORSET clinics in the US? We were hoping we could do something about thie ASAP before my insurance "resets" on 31 Dec. so this is really time sensitive! Thanks in advance, Halleycomet
  15. Halleycomet

    To amputate or not!

    I made the decision to have my leg amped after the first research I did into my "condition" of Charcot Foot/Joint. I broke-- and was misdiagnosed ---my left ankle foot (many bones) and the end of the tibia. I spent a year not walking because of this, I had a very serious skin infection that required many surgeries over a month in the hopital and using a KNEEWALKER for mobility. I am in the unique (sort of) position of knowing my "Leg Guy" prior to the amp as he made me a walking boot after the skin healed (after a skin graft---the MOSTpainful thing I have EVER done and I have now done it TWICE). I looked up what I was diagnosed with and was horrified to see that there had been ways to HELP and possibly HEAL this break IF I had been correctly diagnosed. But I was not. So I asked at my very first ortho appointment if amputation was going to get me "back on my feet". I was told--by a doctor I had trusted for YEARS---that this unacceptable and oh by the way you "CAN'T" do a below the knee amp on a diabetic. Huh???? Well it took many doctors and several hospitals and finally I really COULD not walk even with the boot. My husband was terrified that if I had the amp I would be forced to go back over and over for infections etc. Well I injured my leg---heel bone broken in three places, mid foot bones shattered and leaking marrow--do you know this can kill you?--and the end of the tibia had actually dissolved---in FEbruary 2007. I was told by the last two world class specialists that they maybe might with reluctence operate and do experimental ops that would result in serious loss of height; would involve at LEAST a year of non weightbearing; and in any case simply might not work. And I would STILL not be able to WALK on my own. I discussed this on a Thursday and had the leg of on Monday 28 January 2008 ---11 months after the original injury. I was surprised at how easy---and yet how hard---it was to walk with the first artil eg. I actually walked faster than my leg guy! Not too graceful--I have other issues here---but walked in anycase. I am now on my THIRD arti leg since March. I can tell you---for me---it was the right and only decision. I WISH I had been more forceful earlier but I do realize that for MANY of the ortho MD's amputation is a failure and they will do ANYTHING to avoid it. I GET this. But. It was not until a surgeon my husband really trusted wanderd by one day (he had been out of town when I was first injured) and my husband unloaded all of his fears and was reassured that probably I would not gradually lose more and more of the leg that he felt comforable enough to seriously discuss it. And I was very happy that he was reasured--after all he was going to have to live with me afterwards! But now he is very pleased that I can walk--not perfectly but I could't do that from birth anyway! We ride our motorcycle--- interesting to see me get on as I am VERY short and I use a small step stool--- but I RIDE A MOTORCYCLE. I can get the groceries into the house as long as you don't mind me bringing them in sloooooly and in stages. I can cook em too! I use a small motorized cart for those long events over uneven ground, I used it to take my grand daughter trick or treating! I also keep a folding walker in the car in case a floor is wet or I need to go over uneven ground---still working with a faulty balance mechanism that I was born with after all! Soooo---for me, this was a good decision. I see a lot of people worse off than me---in my eyes anyway---and wonder of their lives would be improved with an amp. I also knew someone who died because she would not have an ap and had gangrene. Everyone has to make their own decision (unless you wake up with no leg or arm--then I guess G-d has decided for you!) but I think getting up and walking in a few weeks is so much easier and much les painful than trying to save an old bone and some useless flesh---which in my case is what the leg had become! Please let us know what you decide and how this works out for you. Good luck!!!!! Halleycomet