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allen-uk

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About allen-uk

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  • Membership Type:
    Amputee
  • Amputation Type:
    bka
  • Amputation Date:
    10-03-2005
  • Amputation Cause:
    alcoholism
  1. Taxes - What Happened!

    Little bit of history. In 1945, after US industry had enjoyed 3 boom years during its involvement in WW2, some industrialist (half-jokingly) said "Wouldn't it be good if we were permanently at war!" Unfortunately, US capital took him at his word, and the country has been, largely, at war ever since. Result: Military Spending as a percentage of your GDP has grown in each decade since the 40s. It now runs at around 50% of your annual tax bill. (JFK, the Great Man of the People, pledged to reduce it when he came to office. He didn't, needless to say). Point being, if point is needed: if you could somehow stop your country from its demented self-appointed role as World Policeman (and stop your intelligence and military from fomenting conflict in order then to police it - neat trick), you could pay ALL those taxes listed, you could DOUBLE the amount you spend on healthcare, and still have money left over to spend on frivolities. (I know, I know, the UK ain't blameless - I suppose we're luckier than you, as we no longer HAVE an Empire to police, even though we still act as if we do, and incidentally spend vast amounts on keeping up our Military Appearances). Allen, bka, London (England - part of a tiny island off the coast of Europe).
  2. One thing that might help is: http://www.kneesaver.net/ (This assumes you've got your own exercise bike (stationary bike) at home somewhere). They're pedal extenders which move the pedals out by up to 30mm, which move your feet and thus knees away from the frame of the machine. I use them for road cycling - if you're buying them from that site, make sure you choose the correct type for exercise bike. Allen.
  3. BEST WAY TO DRY LINER WITHOUT DRYER

    News to me. I use 2 liners - an orthodox Alpha liner, plus a silicone distal cup. I don't soak either, but wash them with a flannel, mild soap and water (facecloth, I think you call them), then wrap them in a towel and gently rub. The whole process (including drying) take about ten to fifteen minutes. Might be worth asking your prosthetist, who ought to know about such things... Allen, bka, London.
  4. When to stop trying.

    Mary: depending where it is, it is sometimes possible to create a 'window' to relieve specific pain such as you describe. Simply, that means cutting a hole in the outer socket, and then 'blowing' the inner socket with a hair-dryer-type apparatus, so that the pain point isn't load-bearing. There are times when it isn't possible, and around the stitched area is a difficult place, but NOT impossible, as it in fact is NOT totally load bearing there - the weight is carried partly on the sides of the socket, and partly around the base, but it's not like a shoe, where all the weight is on the bottom. If your prosthetist hasn't tried anything like it yet, ask him/her about it. (I have had a similar point on my stump for ages, at my tibia 'point', and it's been a running problem which we haven't yet completely solved). Allen, bka, London.
  5. I hate cold weather!

    I know we've been here before, and none of us can help you find a pain-free job, but my take on your problem remains as this: You can have an amputation, end up losing part of your body, and quite probably be pain free. It all needs careful long-term planning, of which one of the most vital parts is ANAESTHETIC planning - you have to go into the operation as absolutely pain-free as possible. Anything else, and your brain will remember the pain, which believe me you Do Not Want. At present, people can only offer you sympathy and paracetemol. None of us can really offer you help coping with constant pain. But, and this is important... after an amputation, there are many thousands of us who have most definitely been there, done that, etc., who WILL be able to help you get through all the new problems you will undoubtedly face (no-one skips off into the sunset, I'm afraid). I really hope this helps you take charge of your problem; for what it's worth, you have my deep sympathy, too. Allen, bka, London.
  6. help with new foot

    Not so sure about the 'widely', but at Stanmore (Blatchfords/NHS) several other patients have Echelons, and the prosthetic staff there are actively trying to push the NHS consultants to approve it whenever they can. Not sure where you are, Tim, or which partnership you work for, but like most other expensive items, I would have thought that if there is a clinical need for them, a good case can be made for supplying them. Allen.
  7. help with new foot

    I have an Echelon, which articulates forward and back (controlled by micro-hydraulics), and somewhat to the sides. There are several video clips on this link from the manufacturer. http://www.endolite.co.uk/Echelon_Foot/ech_exp.html The foot is widely available in the US (as long as your insurance company will pay for it). We CAN get it in the UK on our health service, but as it's 7 or 8 times the price of a 'standard' foot, not that often. I believe that Ossur do a similar foot, but I don't know the name. Anyway, I'd certainly recommend the Echelon, but with the usual caveat that if your SOCKET ain't right, then however fancy a foot you stick on the end of your leg, your problems won't go away... Allen.
  8. Our Fiona is at it again (running this time)

    Email from Fiona, which I thought you'd like to read. ----------------------- Dear all, Thank you so so much for sponsoring me for the 10K run on Sunday. I made it all the way around, actually ran all the way (albeit slowly), in 1 hour 26. I told myself as I was finishing never again but am already starting to wonder whether I could do it faster next time! Through your help and support I also managed to raise about GBP1,700 for the Cambodia Trust. This is great, and I really appreciate it as does the Cambodia Trust. Anyway, thanks again, and all the best, Fiona ========================== Allen.
  9. Hello there. She's not one for self-publicity, so in case friends haven't heard the latest, (our) Fiona is coming to London next week to RUN 10K in aid of the amazing Cambodia Trust. Here is the email she sent: -------------------- Hi all, I have recently (well on and off for the past year or so) been learning how to run, and to put my newfound abilities (or lack of) to the test I've signed up for the London 10K which is on 11th July. I am doing the run for the Cambodia Trust, which as most of you will know is a charity that I've raised money for a few times in the past. The Cambodia Trust trains prosthetists and orthotists from all around Asia to make prosthetic legs and other walking aids for disabled people in Asia, people who aren't as lucky as I have been since I lost my leg. The Cambodia Trust also helps to give people with disability in Asia new skills so that they can earn their own livings, something that is key to truly enabling them to live normal lives, just like I can. It would mean an awful lot to me and also to the Cambodia Trust if you would sponsor me for this run. I have created a justgiving page which is set out on the link below. It is fast and totally safe to donate through justgiving and if you are a UK taxpayer justgiving will also donate the tax that you have already paid on your donation to the Cambodia Trust. If you would prefer not to donate through justgiving however you can send a cheque or cash either to me or to The Cambodia Trust, C4 Station Yard, Thame, Oxfordshire, OX9 3UH, England. http://www.justgiving.com/Fiona-Callanan-Thorsby Thanks so much, Fiona ====================== I first met her shortly after the tsunami had amputated her leg - she breezed into the gym at Stanmore hospital on one leg (plus crutches) having just travelled ten miles across London by underground (subway), not an easy journey for anyone. She was an inspiration then, and over the years has never ceased to surprise me with each new achievement. Hats off to you, Fiona. Allen.
  10. Question for all NHS patients

    OBL is right, of course, but... I fear the problem is made worse by having an outside supplier (RSL or Blatchfords) involved with an NHS department. In an ideal world, the NHS managers would SHOUT at the supplier and say precisely what OBL said. But (a) they can't as there is probably a clause in the contract about 'interfering' with internal matters and (b) they haven't got the bottle (translation for non-UK readers: courage). (And of course the RSL management could do the same, i.e. do what OBL suggests, but commercial interests and of course THEIR lack of bottle will stop them doing it for as long as the sun sets). Allen.
  11. Question for all NHS patients

    Absolutely, Ann, without any shadow of a doubt. And why some of us are lucky and have decent limb-fitting centres and some of us are UNLUCKY and have rubbish ones, I know not. Fairness and top-quality care should be watchwords by which health services are provided; they aren't. There is no supremo, no man (or preferably woman) in charge of this branch of the NHS (limbs and prosthetics). If there WERE, then their first duty should be to standardise provision across the country, and to bring ALL limb-fitting centres up to the standards of the best ones. And if there ARE failing centres, like Leicester, or failing 'partners', like RSL, then arses should be kicked and jobs (preferably management jobs) should be cut. Dream on, of course - but unless we dream of what we want, and shout about it, there is no chance of improvement. (Now, if I ruled the world...) Allen.
  12. Question for all NHS patients

    Grum: Just to add this for your information (and of course your question is going to become much even more relevant nationally as the government's cuts take hold)... The vague pattern beginning to emerge is that RSL do not have a good name, whereas Blatchfords have a better name. But even then, the quality of the NHS management matters as well. Leicester, for example, which is Blatchfords, has a bad name, to the extent that I have met a couple of people who travel from Leicester to London to attend my limb-fitting centre instead. It seems that the problem at Leicester is a war being waged by the NHS management there. One guy from Leicester had a new leg made for him in four days (from cast to walking), at Stanmore. Not the usual speed, but he had special needs. Anyway, how have you been getting on with your own brick wall up in Norfolk? Any joy yet? Allen.
  13. Persistent rash

    I think you're on the right lines with the detergent. Wash the sock by hand for a week using just soap (pref. 'Simple' soap, i.e. non-perfumed, no additives), and see if it clears up at all. As far as a non-toxic detergent is concerned, I'd recommend Filetti - I get rashes from many others, but not that one. Good luck. Allen, bka, London.
  14. Just a thought on the shrinkage, Lobbster: I was about 200lbs when I was amputated, which I think is probably relevant (if you're skin and bone to start with, much less to shrink!). My shrinking took about 18 months, and the last few months of that were quite difficult, as it was only ever small enough to mean an extra stump sock. I had about 5 legs in that 18 months, and they never lasted more than a few months each. Force the shrinking by wearing your shrink-socks at night, as once it's out of the way it's just one less thing to worry about. Allen.
  15. Hello. My prosthetist (unhampered by considerations of insurance, I'm glad to say) has recommended just that split for me. Suction for walking, pin-lock for cycling. And for similar reasons, i.e. that the pin-lock gives me more ability to bend my knee further, useful on a bike, whereas the suction seems to move about less, good for walking. My only comment on the insurance aspect is that if YOUR companies are anything like OURs, then the rule is: If they can find a reason not to pay, they won't pay. (However frivolous). So, good luck either way, Lobbster! Allen, bka, London (UK)
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