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Heather Mills - Amputee Forum


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Joe last won the day on April 13 2012

Joe had the most liked content!

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About Joe

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    Central Florida

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  • Amputation Type:
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  • Amputation Cause:
    Severe damage from crash
  1. Hey everyone! I wanted to hop in and say hi and say thanks. My 1 year ampiversary passed a few weeks ago and I'm doing better than I imagined. Thanks so much for all of the info and support on here. It really made things a lot easier when I had questions. There have been many ups and downs and it has been quite a journey. Here's to the years to come! After many months of battle, I have scored a decisive victory against my insurance company and their embarrasingly low maximums for prosthetics. I now have a Renegade LP-AT and can run and jump around. The usual goofyness returns! Here's a few tips for how I did it: 1) Be relentless. - Become a juggernaut, you are not here to be told no! Be firm and confident. Kill them with kindness. Be aggravatingly pleasant but stern. HAVING A PROPER PROSTHESIS THAT IS SUITABLE FOR YOUR SPECIFIC NEEDS IS NOT A PRIVILEGE! If you only need and plan on using the capabilities of a SACH foot for example then you should indeed get that with no hassle. If you can prove that you absolutely need and will use to the fullest extent (and absolutely nothing lower will do and if such a thing exists) a gold plated prosthesis with lasers and a time travel module, so be it it should be yours. 2) Make friends with EVERYONE relating to the new war you're fighting. - The closer you are with them, the more info and time they'll be willing to volunteer to you. The more allies in your coalition, the better. The billing people will help just that much more. If there's a third party insurance broker, get them to help! 3) Get contact info of employees at your insurance provider.* - Start from the bottom if you must. Work your way up until they are thouroughly annoyed with you, then keep pushing. My favorite presentation is, "I will not be giving up on this. I will call every day, repeatedly if necessary. If you have the authority to override the maximum allowance then it would be in everyone's best interest to go ahead and do it now. It'll save time, frustration, money for the company in the end. There's no need in fighting the inevitable." Something along those lines gets a lot of attention. (See Tip #1) * I had some help getting to the right people fairly early on. I was able to contact my employer's insurance broker who helped everything get started and provided some good contacts. This ladies and gents was the shot heard 'round the world. 4) Set goals and see them to the end. These are your terms for the cease fire. - Know what you want to be able to do with your prothesis. Have your prosthetist help you determine the components you'll need to get you where you want/need to be. Get a copy of their mock invoice so you have the codes and costs. 5) Attack from multiple fronts. - Why stick to one form of communication when there are so many to choose from? In addition to having a coalation behind you helping with your deeds, make your own efforts that much more effective. Use telephone calls AND email! Write a letter when you get things in the mail. I even dusted off the fax machine. With multiple lines of communication, nobody can say they didn't get the message. The only reservation on this one is to try to keep it to no more than two people at the insurance company UNLESS you know that they are in constant communication with eachother. Otherwise they can use it against you and say that you've caused confusion and therefore delayed or non responses. 6) Immerse yourself but do not let it consume you. - Stick to tip #1 but DO take breaks. Even if you build some momentum it can get frustrating to deal with it nonstop. You're trying to burn them out, not yourself. 7) See #1. Rinse. Repeat. Win. This certainly isn't a surefire thing but it worked for me. If you're interested in knowing any more tactics or the specific ammunition I used, let me know! Unfortunately for the time being, much of what I used will only apply to those in the USA. If you've made it this far, thank you. Hold on just a moment longer. Has anyone else noticed that they have static buildup and discharge more frequently since they became an amputee? I am constantly shocking myself now! My guess is that the socket and foot are creating some sort of insulator and becoming a capacitor of sorts. My shorts/pants are moving against the socket creating the charge and what do you know, I'm electro man. - Joe
  2. stubby

    Hello Joe. Congrats on joining the society of amputees. You are doing awesome with already rollerblading and unicycling. Keep up the hard work and good spirits.

  3. Hi everyone! I thought I'd share my new videos with everybody. The other day I thought riding my unicycle would be a good idea so I went for it. All went fairly well until the end of my video "Amputee Unicyclist - Hard Unplanned Dismount" when the unicycle pedal took a bite out of my good leg and my blood tried to run away. Riding wasn't as difficult as I thought it'd be but there were some challenges in finding the pedal and keeping my new foot on it the whole time. Yesterday I also posted a short video of me rollerblading. The uni videos were 12 days into having my prosthesis and the rollerblading was 19 days in all after getting amped at the end of March this year. I hope y'alls enjoy the videos. I had a great time making them! There will be much more to come with even more excitement! **insert shameless plug for my youtube channel - like/comment/subscribe** My videos can be seen here http://www.youtube.com/user/JSavala18 Let me know what you think! I'll be posting an introduction video soon as well as a leg tribute. :biggrin: The first picture is my first ride with crutches used to mount the uni. The second is the very moment that the pedal bites my poor leg.
  4. Joe

    New guy in town

    Okay I shouldn't have said first ever but of course I meant to say fastest...yeah that! Might I ask who else out there is an amputee racer? I never really paid much attention but I'd love to at least try to contact them. I saw that Shane on here but he rides moto, not that its a bad thing. Rock on man, I just love the pavement too much. I was looking at the electronic shifters but I just feel like its worth a try to make something different but still similar. I'll certainly post pictures either way though!
  5. Joe

    New guy in town

    Hi everyone! I thought I'd stop by and thank you all for the warm welcome! This place has already been extremely helpful with so many questions, but like I said, expect more! It is nice to see that I'm not the only elective amp here. It took a long time to convince myself that I wasn't crazy for thinking of - and actually going though with - the amputation. BethMarie and Cherylm, I'll likely have questions specifically for you being part of the elective-amp-to-fix-a-damaged-limb crowd. One hurdle behind me, just a few more to go...and I used to be really good at clearing those back in the day... - Joe S Oh and clanrickarde, I've already begun fabrication of a right side shift linkage which will take over the rear brake which will eventually become a thumb brake.
  6. I saw that there were a few of you out there from central Florida, I am wondering if anyone has any recommendations for a prosthetist for a brand new amputee. I started to see Hanger but now I'm having doubts since the leg guy there told me that he'll be likely be travelling all the time so I'll lose him. I also found out today when my appointment was moved back a few weeks that he is already only there some of Tuesday and Thursday. I'm just not so sure of what to do. I probably have two weeks to go before my incisions are completely healed either way but it seems like the best thing ti get this all sorted out as soon as possible. Part of me says do something to change now and the other says just stick with it, you aren't even ready to miss out yet.
  7. I found something possibly very interesting while looking up my insurance coverage for DME, which looks as if it does include prosthetics. There is an annual dollar limit but right by that there is a link that says "Limitations Link." It says this applies to all policies beginning or renewing on or after September 23 , 2010. It stated that annual dollar limits are not allowed on "Essential Benefits." Below it states "Prosthetic Devices Considered 'Essential Benefits': Replaces all or part of a missing body part." Looking at a few things that it references, it looks like it has to do with the healthcare reform we've had in the US. Am I reading this with misguided hope or is this truly telling me that I'm going to be able to get the equipment that I need, including my prosthetic components and the wheelchair that I was prescribed? I don't think it is a huge problem where it says you're "limited to a single purchase of each type of prosthetic device every three years." It seems like this is a sort of miracle, or am I just getting suckered into feeling like something good has happened? I know legal jargon can basically tell you word for word that you'll be given a million dollars a day tax free each day just for saying please and it will say no exceptions, yet it will have exceptions to the rules that just said they can't have exceptions... I realized that I'm rambling but this is just driving me crazy to know whatis really going on! Another question I just thought of while re-reading this. Does a "single type of prosthetic device" mean you can buy only one foot every so often or could it mean you could buy an everyday leg (or just foot) and next year buy a water friendly leg (or just foot) and count it that way? I suppose the best way to know is to call the insurance company, but maybe someone out there knows what I'm talking about haha. *** EDIT: I thought I'd add that I can show a sample of these pages if anyone wants to see so it makes more sense. *** - Joe S.
  8. Joe

    New guy in town

    Hello everyone! I'm so glad to have finally found a proper amputee message board. I've already learned a lot from reading here but do expect to see a bunch of questions from me! I think my story starts out similar to so many other people. On September 13, 2006 a careless driver made a left turn in front of me. It was so quick that I had no time to brake or evade. I went over the hood with my left leg hitting the front passenger window frame breaking it in a few places. Since I was wearing all my gear my only other injury was about an inch of road rash, on my now broken leg. My helmet took a beating, you could see where it ground into the pavement about 15' for a few months! After several attempts to fix and eventually save my leg, I was left with a mess full of scars inside and out that just caused more pain than it was worth. In March 2011 after talking to my doctors for a very long time, we amputated a few inches above all the mess, a few inches below my knee. Deciding to go ahead with this operation was dramatic but I when I realize that not only is the old pain gone, the surgical pain is just about gone also! I'm not exactly sure what the future will give me but I do know that if it doesn't play along then I am going to give it some trouble. Just wait and see, maybe I'll be the first professional amputee roadracer! Now to figure out how to shift gears andjotbreak the rules... I hope to get to know you all and maybe meet a few sometime along the way. I'm happy to be here (ashappy as you can be to be a member of this club), I'll be around! - Joe S.
  9. Joe

    Where Y'all from

    Born and raised in Central California now I'm just outside Orlando, Florida. I could not have prepared for the culture shock!