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ann

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Everything posted by ann

  1. Hi Kate, I am bilateral, so don't quite have the same problem, but know from my hours of sitting around in various prosthetic centre's, there is different schools of thought on hopping, depending on where you go. I think in the early days it is thought can be detrimental to forces being put through the actual stump when hopping, also risk of falling etc, so some places will not allow you to hop at all initially. Longer term I imagine most single amps have to hop at times, and most I see use crutches for that. I think sometimes just getting hold of crutches can be an issue too, as they don't seem to like to give them out these days, though you can buy them yourself or sometimes borrow them from the Red Cross. I have no idea why they make it so difficult in the UK for us these days, having also myself experienced non-existent physio too for established amps know that it often doesn't make a lot of difference if you have a prosthesis or not, again a bit of a lottery,depends on where you go and who is treating you.
  2. ann

    Good to be back

    Hi to Mark and Gwyneth65. Think you know me Gwyneth.
  3. ann

    Blisters

    Hi, sorry Caveman, have only just picked up your posting. We are now probably about six or seven months on and the blisters did heal. I learned that my problem wasn't actually stump shrinkage as such, my problem was that my prosthesis had been made too tight at the top/mid section and was way too big at the end, so higher up it was constricting the circulation somewhat and the end not making contact, so the blood flow was not returning and the end of the stump went hard and red and blistered along the scar line. Luckily at this point I stopped wearing it and got medical advice, but took me a while to find out what was going on. I was actually off the leg a couple of months whilst having a new one made, all is ok now, except I am now in the process of getting a new socket made for the other side which is for some reason they are having problems with and am now into five months of fittings which is pretty frustrating. I am always trying to keep my weight down, though whatever I do it seldom changes, perhaps I need to try harder! I find cutting calories now beneficial, though sometimes need to eat more for energy. However, a very experienced prosthetist explained to me that in an established amputee the stump doesn't really change very much, in fact what I find changes the shape particularly is different shaped sockets etc., recently because of issues getting my prosthetics made I have had to switch to a leg I had made about three or four years back, which has a few of its own issues, but it actually fits me very well indeed, yet in that time I have had umpteen sockets/legs made which haven't fitted and after a few months got far too big and had suggestions that I had shrunk but I don't think I actually had, it was just the sockets didn't probably fit me in the first place. But just my opinion. To be honest I would probably be very hesitant of using any sort of stuff to firm up the skin, am really careful about using chemicals. Interestingly though I have had plastic surgery on the other leg, not really for that reason, but it has given me a much better shaped stump with more bulk though I am not sure if this is actual muscle or not now. Like you say it is hard to remember to exercise the stump especially when you are wearing the prosthetics, over here we are not really given exercises for the stump and most are concentrated on the core muscles etc. though as a b/k amp I have worn many types of prostheses and the conventional type most of us wear now I have only worn for just over twenty years, though I do notice that in that time the muscles in the stump have atrophied more and quicker than they ever were in the old metal type legs, so not sure if this is age related or anything to do with the type of limbs most of us are are wearing nowadays. I remember when I had to swop to the modular type limb and remember being told that one of the benefits would be that i would be exercising the muscles more, but don't think that has been the case for me. Though I notice you say you are an arm amp so you probably have different issues to me as a leg amp.
  4. ann

    Blisters

    Am needing some advice on blisters, have developed a line of blisters across the scar -line of one of my legs, have been on antibiotics for a week now and almost finished what was given, but they are still there and not budging, even though am not wearing the prosthesis. Have never encountered anything like this in over forty years of wearing prosthetics, however, have been having problems with a new prosthesis, in the same area, but being bilateral this is causing real problems now and even though I am using a wheelchair its causing problems with my leg. Just wondered if you guys had any ideas on blisters, how long they generally last and what best to do with them.
  5. ann

    Good to be back

    Hi Sparky not seen you around the forums in a long time, hope you are ok .
  6. ann

    ossur z liner

    not heard about Medihoney here, its something I will ask about next time I have probs though, thanks for the info.
  7. ann

    Good to be back

    Hi ya Lynne, nice to see you again.
  8. ann

    FORUM CHATTER........

    Hi Everybody, here's one from across the pond, happy to have this forum back.
  9. Not started up a support group Cheryl, though over here in the UK we do have something called Limb User Groups. These Groups were initially the idea of the Gov, I think, who nowadays are often wanting feedback from people using the services and are usually set up by the prosthetic centre. I got involved with ours some years ago, primarily because I was having problems with the service, and got quite involved with it for many years. The user group tried to set up a peer support, such as you are suggesting and I remember visiting a few people but I don't think that side of things really took off, however as Kate says the Limbless Association in the UK does have a volunteer visitor system where experienced amputees meet with new amps etc., over here in the UK volunteers are required to have what they call a CRB check, this is a national check required for all people working with what they class vulnerable people, but think it applies to anyone who works with children, the elderly or visiting people to make sure they do not have a criminal record, or could be a danger to people they are supporting. With regards to group meetings, I think a lot might depend on the age of the majority of people who attend, perhaps the way the meeting is organized etc. In the area of the Group I was involved with, there was a higher percentage of elderly amputees who enjoyed some of the activities like coffee mornings etc., but we very rarely got the younger amputees attend. It was also organized around a Committee, which a lot of people just didn't want to be involved with and I can't deny that we also had our fair share of personality clashes at times. However, I have been to other user groups around the country which were quite lively organizing all sorts of activities and also some had speakers at that meetings. I think a lot will depend on the location and the average ages of the locations amputees.
  10. ann

    Hello There

    Thank you Higgy ..... it did make me chuckle when you said about loosing patience with the time thing .... I kind of did that yesterday .... after around four months of fittings and things not still being right .... but you have to have them right so I think a flip sometimes is justified !!! Hopefully getting back now on track though one probably has to be started again.
  11. ann

    Hello There

    Wow ... nice to be back again as missed everyone on this forum. Not a lot of news to report, leg-wise lots of ups and downs and still struggling with getting prosthetics that fit again, such is the system here, but am on the case again and fingers crossed.
  12. ann

    New to amputation and new to here.

    sounds like you are doing really well Katiebeth, am so pleased for you.
  13. ann

    Stump Shrinkage

    Speaking as a leg amp., of over forty years, yes I have had problems with shrinkage, especially in one of my stumps ....and do see many amps having similar problems, and stumps do always shrink somewhat due to muscles not being used ... however, I do wonder if the type of below knee prostheses most of us b/k amps tend to use nowadays are contributing more to the problems we are having with shrinkage. In my time as an amp I have worn various types of prostheses, I started off more on a framework with rocker feet, then progressed on to metal legs with a thigh leather corset, and then on to metal PTB's (patella tendon bearing) and I wore this type on one side for about fifteen or so years until this new modular type took over, which tend to fit a lot tighter and bear weight all around, rather than just under the knee. It was after I started wearing this type of prosthesis that I noticed my stump shrinking more. On the other side I still wore, what they called a no.8 type with thigh corset and metal leg with a leather socket, where my stump was a lot looser and although my thigh muscles atrophied my stump didn't shrink down as much as the other side. I now wear a modular b/k prosthesis, with liner on that side and it is now a better shape than the other side (which is longer), however I had a revision and reconstruction on that side a few years back which might have something to do with it and because of grafting still cannot wear a tight socket on that side. I tend to agree with what Cheryl has said about the prosthesis needing to fit properly, if its too big it can as Cheryl says, feel very heavy, likewise if its too tight in certain parts and too big in others, it can quite dramatically change shape and swell to fit the spaces. Over the years I have spoken to many prosthetists and most have said that once the stump gets to a certain size it does not really change much, and tend to agree, I went through three pregnancies, and (apart from the middle one when I had pre-eclampsia), I was able to wear and walk on my prostheses all the way through with no change in sockets ... however this was years ago on the old type metal legs and I am not sure I'd get away with that with the type of prostheses I wear today as they are much tighter. Like Cheryl says, if they are too big they feel heavy and can cause other problems, if they are too tight in one spot and too big in another spot they can actually make the stump swell. I find my stumps are more likely to change shape when I have been fitted with a new socket which is a different shape, be it tighter or looser, my stump shape will adapt to the shape quite quickly, sometimes it will be assumed that I have lost body weight, but I actually haven't, it is just a tighter socket. Am not too sure about skin firming potions Caveman, I am a bit wary of putting any products on my legs that I am not familiar with .... the other thing of course is that leg amputees might not want to hold on to too much muscular bulk as this is obviously going to make the sockets bigger and possibly cause problems with clothing etc., I know most are quite relieved after the initial shrinkage because it allows people to wear ordinary trousers, jeans etc. However, am only speaking from the experience as a leg amp, and not an arm amp where its a different set up.
  14. ann

    Blisters

    arhh ... thanks Flip.. the blisters are now healing/healed ... though prosthesis on that side still doesn't fit on that side ... so am resting up quite a bit .... and watched more Christmas films in the last month than I think I ever had watched !!!
  15. Hi Edwina, I haven't tried the new P3 Harmony, but know someone who uses that system (though probably not the new P3) and who gets on really well with it. I think there are quite a few of us who can't tolerate the pin lock system, but I think a lot of the discomforts we experience are often down to how well the socket actually fits us, and I don't really think time makes a lot of difference. I am currently over forty years as an amp, and if I get something that fits me properly then things are really good and I get very little discomfort, but if a socket is not fitting properly I get all manner of problems, how I walk, if I walk, and how much discomfort I have can change overnight with a bad fitting socket.
  16. ann

    Blisters

    Update folks. The blisters have now gone and just have one huge scab. Had the leg checked by the nurse several times and there is no infection, so all should be ok. However, the prosthesis still doesn't fit properly and after twenty minutes or so of wearing it is aggravated again in same spot, so am wary of pushing it too much. So am currently really sitting and waiting which is driving me slightly crazy as its been about four weeks now I haven't been walking and although the stump looks ok, the rest of me isn't and everything seizing up gradually. Am waiting for an appointment at another place, but they are still waiting for the paperwork from the previous place, so all being held up ... very frustrating.
  17. ann

    I Am Still Alive!!

    Glad things are going well Cheryl and that you might be home sooner than expected, hope you make it home for Thanksgiving. Sending positive vibes your way.
  18. ann

    Blisters

    Yes understand the circulation bit Caveman, I had a revision on the other side few years back which some thought wouldn't heal due to the grafting, but it did, so am well versed on that and currently using similar techniques as I did then. Also, remember the bad old days too (though not sure they were all that bad) in the 1970's remember having various substances applied to my stumps to toughen them up, though think even the toughest stump will eventually break down if the prosthetic fit is not right, but the troublesome stump/scar line at the moment has been very well acclimatised to prosthetic wear for all those years since the 1970's, so whilst I am thinking naturally about diet, vitamins, circulation etc., I am also heeding the medical advice I have now sought, as am only too well aware of the consequences if this doesn't heal. But thank you anyway for your concern.
  19. ann

    Contact dermatitis

    Hi Jane, I am in the UK so may be different where you are (and no voting over here). In the past I have used different, what we over here call 'bath' soaps, with very few problems, even though I have skin grafting. I had some surgery on one leg a few years ago and going into hospital was advised by people to take in liquid soap, because of infection/contamination etc., which I did. I used 'Simple' liquid moisturising soap, which worked well, however, I use this on myself, not on my liner, as have been advised not to use any soaps on this that contain moisturiser, or any oils. So on my liner I use a supermarket brand liquid antibacterial soap, which is rubbed on, left for a min or so, then thoroughly rinsed off and dried with paper towel. The only problem I get is mainly between the liner and the sleeve (which is made out of different material) where I get very tiny raised red bumps, which I have been told is a sort of chafing (like you'd get with tight jeans) and that I can't do anything about these ... but they don't irritate and don't cause me any problem. However, I now make sure I moisturise this area at nighttime, and since then they have occurred less. Also, when I get a new liner, I very thoroughly wash it a few times before I wear it.
  20. ann

    Blisters

    Thanks Caveman, understand yours is an arm and mine is a leg, I too normally wear that prosthesis 24/7 and am bilateral , with the other side not so great, so, bit like you with your arm, not wearing it causes major problems, but at the moment it won't tolerate any pressure, and the prosthesis not fitting anyway, but we do all become very dependent on wearing these prostheses, don't we? Guess now I just have to be patient though and let it heal.
  21. ann

    Blisters

    Been back to see GP today, he says there is no infection but concerned about the scar line very fragile, said didn't need more antibiotics, just not to wear the prosthesis for the time being.
  22. ann

    Blisters

    Thanks for the info Caveman, I too usually like the natural approach, though at the moment going with the antibiotics, had a similar thing with other leg some years back and didn't get them quickly or strong enough and in the end were what worked, very quickly when i got the type I needed, but it was a long haul and not wanting to go down the same route again, but would agree and am doing everything else with the vitamins, food, etc.etc.
  23. ann

    I Am Still Alive!!

    Goodness Cheryl, was surprised to read this am really sorry to read about your foot, but glad they are taking care of you. . Have done rehab a few times, so know how it is and can be what you make of it, one computer is a bonus ... just try and get first in the queue. Stick with it, you can do six weeks, which will be worth it in the long run, take care Cheryl am thinking of you.
  24. ann

    Blisters

    I was expecting something like this to happen, long story, but you are right Neal, the prosthesis is/was not making contact properly. Ann, the leg is actually far less swollen now on the end than it has been for ages, so not sure if I had an infection before the blisters, or it was due to the fit of the leg, either way, apart from the blisters it looks calmer and more normal and not so painful. Cheryl, thanks for the advice, I am between prosthetic centres at the moment, so again, long story and complicated. I finish the antibiotics today, but the blisters are obviously still there and now discoloured which is concerning me a bit, I've had the odd friction blister now and again, which has gone after a few days, but this has been quite different, so will probably be contacting the GP again.
  25. ann

    New to amputation and new to here.

    yep Marcia I think it is to do with all the gear, perhaps also less blood going around the system, less sweat glands etc., I've had my amps for over four decades and always felt the heat ... meno heat is different ....just an added bonus for us lady amps! lol
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