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Heather Mills - Amputee Forum


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About Kamwendo

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  • Birthday 02/02/1959

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    Cape Town
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  • Amputation Cause:
    Motorcycle abuse
  1. Does anyone have information about coloured stump socks? I know they are ( or were) available, as I have two, a red one and a blue one. My prosthetist gave them to me, he said he picked them up at a seminar/trade show years ago, and can't remember who made them. They are stretch terry cloth for BK amputee and have a little silicone moulded around the hole for the pin. I use an iceross original silicone socket with a flexfoot VSP. My hard sockets have a few variations of moulded-in graphics, and I am damned if I should settle for white stump socks forever. Surely someone knows where I can buy some? And before someone suggests it, I have tried home knitted ones, and they just look plain tacky. I have also done enough searches to make mr google quite sick of me. Thanks in advance for any help. Regards, Mark
  2. Hey CanAm, A while since anyone added anything here, and sorry to chime in so late (I am not a frequent visitor). I use an IceRoss Silcone liner, and also experience a good deal of itching immediately after removal. Like many of the above, I find that a good wash with Hibiscrub (called thus in this country) then rinse with clean water, and allow to dry completely, generally stops the itching. If there is still itching, I use Vaseline Intensive Care Lotion, and try not to scratch. Occasionally when it is very hot, I get welts and blisters along the edge of the liner. I find that these will burst if scratched, but are re-absorbed (most of the time) if left alone after the treatment above. Cause? Well, in my case, I believe that although after 15 years using the IceRoss liner my stump seems to hardly sweat, on very hot days there is still an amount of sweat trying to get through. Because it is hot, and the body is a little dehydrated, any sweat produced would naturally be more concentrated. Personally I find that my sweat can be more acidic depending on what I have eaten and drunk the previous coupla days. So, when its hot, I increase my intake of pure water (as opposed to sodas etc) and stay away from wine, citrus, tomatoes and anything acidic. I also find that "itchy stump" often follows days when my intake of meat has been very high (barbeque etc). I also get small areas on my stump where I have had the odd ingrown hair, or one of my scars is a bit "hard". These areas you can treat with a specific prosthetic product, but as these are quite expensive, I have taken the advice of a couple of ancient amputees and prosthetists, and used an ointment called "Vandol". Unfortunately it has gone off the market in SA recently, so I have been trying something new - "Preparation H". You may laugh, but I find a little of this smeared on the hard scars tends to soften them (without it, they may crack and bleed) and considering the purpose that the stuff is designed for, I feel confident in putting it on rashes and the odd small open sores. Its working well so far. Cheers, Mark
  3. Kamwendo

    stump pain

    Hey there Narooma, I am LBK since '92. Much of what you say strikes a chord with my own experience, but there are so many variables, that what I say might bear no relation to your situation; 1) Much will depend on your suspension mechanism and socket. I have the Iceross system. 2) Your prosthetist should have pretty good input on your problem, because, unless he/she is pretty new to the game, they will know your stump, and have seen this problem before. 3) My own stump started getting similar symptoms after a few months of walking - it was bruised flesh, not bone. If ignored, it eventually made a sore. Like you, if I rested it, the bruising went away until next I wore my leg all day. Because of huge variation of stump volume from morning to night, I would "sink down" in the socket as day wore on, and this would cause the bone on the front (shin) to locate just below the clearance that had been made for it by the prosthetist. This became worse the longer it had been since my last refit. At that time I was in a position to afford numerous refits, and had a refit of the socket every 5 months for the first 3 & 1/2 years post amputation. My advice, therefore: 1) Check with your prosthetist, and see what he/she says. 2) Try adding a stump-sock; sometimes the added thickness can lift you a little - at least enough to avoid the sore spot. 3) Once you accept the need for a refit (sooner or later you will need it) ensure that your casting is done later in the day (when the stump has a lower volume) or ensure that you have a pretty tight bandage on for a couple of hours prior. This will ensure that the new socket will be as tight as can be - so you also need to make sure that you bind the stump prior to fitting and alignment to avoid delays in donning, and discomfort. The first refit that I had after getting the Iceross system, I had driven two days to get the the prosthetist, and had left my leg off while driving. This caused the stump to fill up with body fluids and asume a larger size than when wearing the leg. The prosthetist cast me as I arrived and I had a fitting the next day. My stump had gone down overnight, and then I wore my (old) leg about for a couple of hours before going in to see him. He was amazed that the new socket was loose, just as loose as the old one! Luckily he had seen something like this before, and recast me immediately, while the stump was still "down". The following day I collected my new socket, and it was very tight. In fact I had to bind my stump either overnight, or for an hour or two before putting my leg on in the morning. Not long after that refit, I was showing off my prowess at tennis, and rather overdid things. The next morning I could not get the leg on, and I was seriously depressed. I phoned the prosthetist, and he advised keeping the limb elevated, and applying ice (limited time of ice to max 15 mins/45 mins without) and after a couple of hours, I was able to get it on. As I warned at the outset, this was my experience, and yours may be quite different. As a follow-up, I must report that on subsequent refits, I have always ensured that I am cast after having worn my leg for at least a couple of hours, and no repeat of the problem. Also, as the years have passed, my stump has stabilsed somewhat, and re-fits are few and far between now. Also the fluctuation of stump volume has lessened considerably, but still noticeable - in fact, I am well overdue for a refit right now. Wearing two stumpsocks, and the socket still loose - I am scheduled for a refit in February, but in the meanwhile, if my leg gets too loose, I can take it off for an hour or two (I am mainly office-bound) and let the leg regain some volume before putting it back on again. I hope that this little bit of info helps, and that some others jump in with their own experiences. Cheers, Mark
  4. Kamwendo

    Fender bender

    I was asked by one of our ladies in accounts to take the month-end tax figures down to the tax department, on Friday, being the last working day of the month. They asked me to go, instead of the usual driver, as it was getting late: you see I travel by motorcycle, so I would have less trouble getting through traffic, and finding parking at the other end. But before I even got out of the harbour, a lady came out of a concealed entrance in a car without looking - there was little time to do other than brake hard, and skid sideways into her car door. My first inclination was to swear at her, but she apologised so quickly and admitted that she "didn't even look", that I examined the damage instead. I had a broken indicator, and not much else, whereas she had a huge dent in her door from my knee, and her wing mirror was smashed by my handlebar. We were just in the process of exchanging contact details, when her son and her husband came up to lend some support - very nice of them, insisted that thwey would pay for any repairs. Then the son asked me if I was ok "You know, you are limping - are you sure you're alright?" I quickly sussed that he had a sense of humour, and whil he watched, I fely down my leg, allowing my face to crumple when I got to the knee: "I think you're right - I think my leg is broken" Whereupon I pressed the shuttle lock on my leg, and let it drop from the pant leg. Needless to say his jaw dropped and he did a complete double take! As soon as he realised what had happened, I apologised, and told him that I just couldn't resist - he nearly fell down he was laughing so hard!
  5. Kamwendo

    Top 10 Reasons It's Good to Be One Legged

    10. It takes half as long to get legless.
  6. Kamwendo

    Biker Amputees

    Hey there Glenn, I am an LBK since '92 - lost mine in a head-on between to 125's on a farm. Now ride a Roadstar 1700 to work evry day, come rain or shine. Hang in there, and keep your attitude right, and you will get there. Set small goals, milestones, and go at your own pace. Never give up! Cheers, Mark
  7. Kamwendo

    Everyones story

    Hi again folks, as promised in my introductory posting, a little more detail on how and when I became an amputee. I apologise if it is long. I grew up as a farmers son in Zimbabwe (then Rhodesia) and after school I joined the Police, where I became a Patrol Car Driver, then later a Ballistics Examiner (CSI) and a volunter member of the Sub-Aqua section (Police Diver). In '82 I left the Police and trained as a tobacco auctioneer, working on my Dad's farm when the auctions weren't running. In '88 I was married, and had a son in '89. In '91 my Dad sold his farm, and so I bought my own farm, continuing to work at the tobacco auctions seasonally. On 22nd of January '92, I was riding a small motorcycle (ER125) on the farm road without any safety gear, when I collided on a blind corner with an employee on another bike. He was OK, but my left leg was "de-gloved" below the knee, with my calf muscle completely torn off by his bike, and the remainder of the limb entangled in my bike. My medic training from the police kicked in, and I was able to doctor myself, at least well enough to stand the trip in the back of a truck 70km to the hospital. I lost 21kg before the amputation, and was addicted first to morphine, then to pethadine. 17 antibiotics later the infection was killing me, the smell of rotting flesh permeated my nightmares, and the oxygen mask, and in lucid moments, I begged them to cut it off. I came around from my 5th surgery (in 11 days) feeling much better, and calm - and as a LBK. My appetite was back, and so was my zest for life. I was in hospital for another 3 weeks, and they just about threw me out, they were so happy to see me go - myself, and the bloke in the bed next to me had made it our mission to keep the whole floor of the hospital amused: After my birthday, in early Feb, I asked one of the orderlies where my leg was. Very embarassed, they called a nurse, who was also unsure of how to answer me (after all, perhaps I had forgotten the events of the last few days?) In due course they called the Matron in charge, who as luck would have it, was the mother of a schoolmate, and I hadn't seen her for years. Very solicitously, she asked why I had been asking for my leg? I responded that I had a few friends coming around for a birthday barbequeue. Of course she didn't immediately see the humour, but the other blokes on the ward were delighted. After three months I was fitted with a PTB leg and a sach foot, but the poor quality of the skin grafts that had closed my stump meant that each time I tried to walk without crutches, the stump burst open, and took about a month to heal each time. This didn't keep me from the auctioned, and many a time I continued to "walk the line" on crutches without my leg. After a year, I was referred by a valued family member, to a CP in Durban South Africa (a cool drive of about 2000 km from the farm!), who fitted me with an Iceross socket, and an Ohio Willow CC2 foot. The same day I walked abot a kilometre at the local mall. I stayed with this saintly man for two weeks while he tweaked my leg and made a cosmesis. Within days of getting home I was back to playing tennis. I visited the CP for a new socket every 5 months for just over 3 years, and then the stump stabilised. That CC2 foot only lasted about a year, as the farm conditions were very hard on it, and I upgraded to a Flexfoot Reflex VSP. I have had a few small revisions to my stump, after hassles with either skin, bone or nerves. I have had my fair share of ghost pains, and not a few amusing incidents over the years. My wife barely lasted as long as the first leg - she was repulsed by the thought of contact with a "cripple" and after a year of marriage counselling, she left, taking the children. Once I came to terms with the new domestics arrangement and the wrench of having to take the kids back after each weekend, my life really changed for the better. After a year alone, I met and married a wonderful girl, Sue - my soulmate. She took over as mother of the children (we got custody by default) and things were perfect. Until a certain mad politician decided that he wanted our farm. We were forced off by "war vets" in 2003, and moved to Cape Town. Having lost our lifes work, we have started all over again in this beautiful place, and after all this time, we are just beginning to feel back to the way things should be. I. still follow the goings on in Zimbabwe with interest, and my heart breaks for the brave people that remain there. I now work for a commercial diving company as quality manager, and though more sedentary than I would like to be, I have mastered it. I will be 50 next year, and feel the need to change. I still ride a motorbike (a 1700cc Yamaha Roadstar) every day as transport to work, rain or shine. It is such a stress reliever that by the time I get home, the worries of work are gone. if I can put enough by in the next few years, I want to start my own business - a motorcycle touring company. I am glad to be here, to learn and share. Regards, Mark
  8. Hi there evryone. My name is Mark and I live in Cape Town. I am 49, married and have been here since 2003. Before that I was living in Zimbabwe as a farmer and tobacco auctioneer, but had my farm expropriated by "mad Bob's" land policies. I became an LBK in January 1992 as a result of a motorcycle accident on the farm. I will post more detail under the "how I became an amputee" heading. The accident kept me off work for about two months, and off bikes for another couple of months after that. I now work in an office in the harbour, and ride a Yamaha Roadstar to work every day, and spend some time cruising the beautiful scenery here each weekend. My bike is not modified, as it has a "heel-toe" shifter. I was initially fitted with a PTB leg with and Otto Bock Sach foot, but after struggling with that for a year, I moved to the Iceross system, with an Ohio Willow Carbon Copy 2 foot. Unfortunately this was not robust enough for farm use, and so now I am fitted with a Flexfoot Reflex VSP and an Iceross socket. I am glad to be here, and to have found this resource - hoping to learn as much as possible, and maybe help, where I can. Regards, Mark