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Heather Mills - Amputee Forum


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Everything posted by kitkat

  1. kitkat

    shoes and boots tip wanted

    Maybe carry a pair of thin slippers with you. They sell slippers that fold up for travel and such. When you slip off your shoes slip these on and who will know the difference. I also hope you become more comfortable with being an amputee. I embrace it because that is part of who I am now and I am still the same person I was before - just minus a foot. I find that if I am comfortable with it so are other people.
  2. kitkat

    Medicare and Obamacare

    I agree there is not a bill currently up for a vote in Congress but Medicare is looking to save money - do not doubt that. If they can do it by not paying for advanced prosthetics they will do it - do not doubt that either. I don't see any harm in letting our politicians know that prosthetics are not a luxury. I understand that the "bill" primarily addresses who recommends what type of prosthetic a person requires. Currently prosthetists have a lot of say in what someone "needs". The problem with this is that they also benefit or make money from the sale of the prosthetic. This is seen as a conflict of interest. The document I read indicates that a Dr. or a Physical Therapist would need to be the ones making the recommendation as they don't directly benefit from the sale. The problem with this is that Dr.'s and P.T.'s don't stay current with new advances in prosthetics. There is also wording that a person would have to undergo rehabilitation with a basic (read 1970's) type of prosthetic before they qualified for something more advanced (read expensive). If you have ever tried to walk with a SACH foot I challenge you to have a "normal" gait pattern with one for any distance or on uneven surfaces. Also the type of suspension would be very limited until you could prove you needed a different one. It's hard to prove you need something you can't try first. So, basically, if you failed to walk "normally" with a crappy leg you would never be approved for a better one. And don't think if you have insurance other than Medicare you would be safe. Insurance companies have historically followed Medicare's lead. I am a left BKA and a Physical Therapist.
  3. kitkat

    Bulky Foot Shell Issue

    I use velcro that is self adhesive. I put the "soft" side on the bottom of my footshell and the "scratchy" side on the inside of the shoe. A tip to make it easy to line them up is to put the 2 sides together and stick them on the bottom of the footshell then, with them still together, take off the strip covering the adhesive and put on your shoe. Keeps the shoe from slipping off your heel.
  4. kitkat

    Bulky Foot Shell Issue

    Try papashoehorns.com. They have a money back guarantee on the 12" long shoe horn.
  5. kitkat

    Bulky Foot Shell Issue

    I am a left bka for 5 years now. I have to agree with cherylm. Unfortunately, you have to adjust your footwear to your footshell. This is really frustrating, especially when you change feet and so have a different footshell and the shoes that fit the prior footshell perfectly no longer fit on your current footshell. I do use velcro to help keep ballet flats on and a long metal shoe horn is a must for boots and helpful in general. Also helps get tight shoes off. Athletic lace up shoes are the easiest but I refuse to give up on cute shoes. Just takes more time and effort but it can be done. The one suggestion I have is to get your prosthetic foot one size smaller than your natural foot. This can really help with some prosthetic feet but isn't necessary with all of them. I, too, welcome any other ideas and suggestions.
  6. Hi Cheryl, You should definitely report the incident. It would be doing the facility a favor as people like this give the hospital a bad reputation. At the very least she needs further training in how to treat patients with respect and closer supervision for a time. She most likely is not suited to this type of work and the sooner she is made aware of it the better for everyone. I would write down exactly what happened and hand deliver it, if possible, to the Director of Nursing. What happened is totally inexcusable and inappropriate. Do all future patients a favor and report her.
  7. kitkat

    More legs!

    Running. I am not a runner so that may sound strange but I do miss doing high intensity aerobics and don't get the proper bounce from my walking foot.
  8. kitkat

    How do I get dressed?!

    I am not an upper limb amputee but a left BK. I am also a physical therapist and might suggest consulting an occupational therapist prior to your surgery and then following up with them after. They should be able to give you instructions and maybe even adaptive equipment to help you in dressing and other self care activities. Your doctor might also refer you to a rehab center after surgery for this therapy.
  9. kitkat

    Allow me to introduce myself

    If the passive suction socket is made properly a close fit is comfortable. It takes, maybe, a bit more tweaking than a pin lock socket because there can't be any gaps between the ribs on the sleeve and the socket wall or you will lose suction but it also can't be too tight. You can't adjust the fit with socks, except at the top of the socket, which is not where most people lose volume. It isn't a great socket for someone who has a lot of volume change throughout the day or whose leg hasn't stabilized yet. My husband tried it and though he liked the feel of it he has a lot more sensitivity in his leg, particularly the end of his tibia, and likes to take his leg off when sitting so the pin lock works better for him. This type of system requires a spray (mixture of rubbing alcohol and water) to lubricate the liner and socket to put it on so, depending on what clothing you are wearing, it is not always convenient to take it off during the day. Not like a pin lock that you can just slip off and then step back into easily.
  10. kitkat

    Allow me to introduce myself

    Hi, I am a left BK since 2010 due to a car versus motorcycle accident too. I use the passive suction by Ossur as well and love it. The leg feels secure and much lighter than with the pin lock. I think, though, that most people who do any kind of athletic activities prefer the pin lock because the suspension cannot fail. If you just want to walk and do general activities any of the suspension systems work and though I love mine people who have it rave about the elevated vacuum. Just seems like too much work for me and I absolutely hate the thought of an over sleeve. That's one of the reasons I hate the pin lock too. Can't stand the socks. The passive suction has the least amount of "stuff" - just the liner and the leg. Simple. You have to be able to tolerate a close fit to use it and that is a problem for some people. I hope you find what works the best for you.
  11. kitkat

    Ladies Question re Wearing Dresses

    I only wear a removable cover under pants (skinny ones in particular) in order to "fill out" the pant leg. With shorts and dresses I leave my leg bare. I even have a high heel leg that I leave uncovered with dresses. I don't care if people look. I would look too. Carbon fiber legs look awesome. My attitude may be a result of my occupation. I am a Physical Therapist and am used to prosthetics, orthotics and all kinds of assistive devices and I always notice how people walk and try to figure out why.
  12. kitkat

    Anger anyone?

    I guess I could be angry with the elderly woman who didn't pay attention and hit the motorcycle my husband and I were riding. Left us laying on the ground and would have left the scene if her car hadn't been too damaged to run. Thankfully help came soon and I didn't bleed out from all my injuries. I was angry for awhile - mainly that while my husband and I now have to face the rest of our lives with amputations she received a traffic ticket for $186.00. Fortunately she did have a good insurance policy and hers and ours both paid out fully and promptly but we would give it all back for our legs. Anyway, anger is pointless and takes away from what I have and what I have is a lot. So I have forgiven her and just pray that she no longer drives.
  13. I have been watching and find them very exciting, and sometimes downright horrifying. Especially the downhill skiing events on one leg or a mono ski or with limited vision. Yikes! No one can deny that the competitors are true athletes and it is awesome that they are televised now. I live in the US but I record them, just like I did the regular Olympics, and watch them on my schedule.
  14. It is normal that an initial socket (when you first became an amputee) and a socket made after you've been an amputee for 4 years and your limb has stabilized to look completely different. As your limb atrophies and shrinks the shape changes from round to more angular and the socket usually looks more triangular inside as well as having contours specific to your limb. It should not hurt as it is made to fit you exactly. If your pain is point specific then the socket needs to be modified at that spot. If the pain is in the entire limb and excruciating after about 30-45 minutes it is possible that it is pressing on the popliteal artery behind your knee and cutting off the blood supply to your limb. That usually means that the distance from the front to back of your socket is too short. A socket for an active person is made to fit snugly but it doesn't take much to make it too snug. Cheryl is right that you have to really be able to describe what you are feeling for a prosthetist to be able to fix it. I am also a physical therapist and 2 hours on and 2 hours off is typical for breaking in a new brace or leg but if you're not tolerating it significantly better after a couple of days then there is a problem and the socket needs to be modified or re-made. Don't sign anything until your leg is wearable.
  15. kitkat

    Perks of gimp hood & travel

    Good to know about being able to carry on a bag with medical supplies without charge. I have travelled a lot and always put my leg stuff in my checked baggage but would prefer to have it with me. The difficulty is then carrying the 2 bags as I am not known for packing light. I guess that is where the wheelchair comes in but I don't usually travel with mine. Just a walker and shower chair. I also take advantage of all the handicap line and usually board early as well. As you say, there should be some advantages to gimpdom.
  16. kitkat

    prosthetic "skin" covers

    A skin cover is just a silicone sheath that fits over a foam cover made in the shape of your leg. Hardly any weight at all. I have removable foam covers for my leg with just a stocking over them to wear under pants but with shorts and dresses I don't cover it. I have a separate foot (entire leg actually) that I use for high heels. I can wear 3" heels which are fairly high. Some feet have an adjustable ankle that allows up to a 2" heel. I actually find it easier to wear a heel than flat shoes because there is no resistance to rolling over the foot when walking.
  17. kitkat

    Where Y'all from

    Born and raised in Long Beach California. Transplanted to the High Desert area of Southern California and now living in my long dreamed of location - the Bitterroot Valley area of Montana. As Phil on Duck Dynasty would say, "Happy, Happy".
  18. kitkat

    ossur z liner

    I use the ossur seal in liner with the 5 rings. Has anyone tried the new z liner? It is supposed to eliminate the problem with volume change during the day. I am also hoping it will allow me to stay in my current socket longer.
  19. kitkat

    ossur z liner

    Just an update. Got this liner today and I really like it. So far I haven't felt any slipping or loss of vacuum and it is super soft and comfortable. My prosthetist said they are working on incorporating this liner into an elevated vacuum system with the variflex foot. It has the pump built into the heel of the foot so with every step it maintains the vacuum. No plugging anything in or manually adjusting the suction and you don't have to wear an inner and outer liner. Can't wait until they get this system up and running.
  20. kitkat

    Hello There

    Yay! So glad this forum is back online. I have been checking every week or so and now it is finally back. Thanks to everyone who made this happen.
  21. My husband just got the Triton VS (the one with the shock absorber). He is a left BKA and has had difficulty with rolling over the toe with his prior foot. He loves this foot. The rollover is easier and he feels he gets a little extra push from the toes. He also walks on a lot of uneven surfaces and feels this foot is great for that. If you have problems with balance there is less perceived stability with this foot because of all the "push off". The only possible downside is that the foot shell is fairly soft but that hasn't been a problem for him and he is not delicate with his stuff. Our prosthetist had 3 feet for him to try and doing a side by side by side comparison left him choosing this foot hands down over the others. One of them was a flex foot and both had shock absorbers as well. Maybe you can do a comparison too.
  22. Just wanted to say how thankful I am for my wonderful prosthetist. Had a problem with my air valve - making a wierd, and fairly loud, noise. Called on Friday and he came in on Saturday morning to fix it. Took a couple of hours and a couple of tries but we got it fixed. By the way, he was leaving later that day for a week long vacation so it wasn't at all convenient for him. So grateful that he is such a caring provider and didn't minimize the importance of my concerns but insisted on taking the time to make it right for me. It is easy to get frustrated and complain about my leg, fit, comfort, etc., so I wanted to put out something positive for someone who went above and beyond for me.
  23. kitkat

    Boots with Zips or Fasteners

    I live in the U.S. and am a left BK as well. I have several pairs of boots that zip either down the back or on the outside. Either one seems to work well. I find the inside zip to be the least convenient so I try to avoid those. It helps to have a sturdy long handled shoe horn and it does take a little more work than regular shoes.
  24. kitkat


    Not only watching but attending. My daughter really wanted to go and my sister lives in London so... I was able to get tickets for the men's individual all around gymnastics finals, judo (lightweight) quarterfinals, beach volleyball qualifying and women's field hockey qualifying. Just got back last night. Had such a great time and all of the venues were beautiful. London has done a great job with transportation and directions. I understand a lot of people volunteered to work in these areas. I was kind of dreading all the crowds but it was really a very pleasant experience. I also am really pleased with all the interest in the ParaOlympics. Wish our schedules had allowed us to attend some of those events as well. Cheering for all the athletes.
  25. kitkat

    The People Who Stare

    I get some stares but hardly notice. Most comments are about how well I am getting around with my leg. Most of the double take stares are when my husband and I are together as he is an amputee also (both injured together in motorcycle accident). Early on one man, trying to be funny I think, asked if we met in a one legged ass kicking contest. Seriously wanted to kick his.