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Heather Mills - Amputee Forum


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About paul@plan-a

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    Frank Black
  • Birthday 06/20/1958

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  • Interests
    Golf (I play off 13)
    Sings in a choir
    Access for disabled people

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  • Amputation Type:
    Above Knee
  • Amputation Date:
  • Amputation Cause:
    Nectrotising Faciitis
  1. paul@plan-a

    Cost of the C-Leg in the UK in 2011

    Thanks for the great reply's people. I have decided not to trial the C-leg. This is purely an economic decision. I am not prepared for my family to go with out for my benefit. I have changed my car which we all benefit from. I spoke at length with my prothsetist before coming to this decision. My wife would have supported me in buy the C-leg, but it would have been on my conscious. I live a very full life as it is, I play golf twice a week and work full time, I'm afraid £25k for me is just not affordable. HAGWE Paul
  2. paul@plan-a

    Cost of the C-Leg in the UK in 2011

    I'm always on the look out for alternatives and would welcome suggestions. The trouble has always been the swapping over of components. My leg I am wearing today is made by 4 different companys. The NHS are now saying they do not want their sockets used on hardware that is not of their fitting , which I agree they have a good point. However they (NHS) tell you they are skint and you can only continue on your existing limbs? The cruelness of this industry is that people have to suffer if they cannot pay for quality, which is wrong. Otto Bock have now made thousands of C-legs but the limb is still an enourmous cost. In fact the latest model of the leg will be even more expensive than the existing model. Ossurs Rheo and power knee, Blatchfords Adaptive all lack the reliability that C-legs boast and are all very expensive or not suitable. I have decided to stay with what I have, perhaps update some of the components. I think it just fair to stick a price tag next to these glossy images shown in magazines at limb centres.
  3. paul@plan-a

    Cost of the C-Leg in the UK in 2011

    Many thanks for your thoughtful replies. As you have both pointed out there is no easy fix to this situation. I've been down this road before 9 years ago; it ended up being brought up in Parliament by my MP. I got a nice letter from the health Secretary John Reid (who was in power at the time). Basically he told me to back off, and that he thought I was receiving good prothstetic care. I did debate taking my PCT to court but couldn't take the risk. I have been liaising with amputees in Holland who looking to raise the cost of prothstetic’s at the European parliament not sure that will make a difference. Maybe the monopoly commission should be involved? The long and the short of it is if you’ve got money you get to choose, if you haven’t then tough you get what your given.
  4. paul@plan-a

    Sick of the pain!!!!!!!!!!

    Hi Amptrooper, I have lived with PLP for 10 years, I have tried many remedies. In the last year I have used Homeopathy and had the best results yet. Do try it. The powerful drugs just mask the condition. Pain management using Homeopathy can greatly reduce your symptoms. Homeopathy is proactive not reactive which I think is the key to this dreadful issue. Do some research ask around and choose your consultant carefully. Good luck all the best Paul
  5. Hi all its been a while since I have written a post. I have just recieved my quotation for trial and fitting of the old basic Otto Bock C-leg TDM Socket and C- leg trial £900 Modular Socket £4,100 Otto Bock C-Leg Inc 5 year warrenty £18,500 Trias Foot £820.00 Total Cost £24,320 After 5 years the leg will require a £4,000 service/upgrade that will give the leg a further 2 years of life. As the NHS do not fund this equipment this is a huge decision for my family. My disability living allowance is £270 a month but cannot be used to dirctly fund the leg. I would appreciate others comments before I express my own thoughts Kind regards to you all Paul
  6. Thanks for that, made my day:)

  7. love every good thing you do

    like all your's good ideas

    your smile is very friendly too

  8. paul@plan-a

    Comments on phantom pain

    Hi all some great stuff here. I suppose I experience the same pain as Shane. For me 10 years down the line homeopathic treatment has had the best effect. I have had about 4 attacks this year using homeopathy. As others have said pre warning of the amputation seems to generate less pain? I have tried EFT for distraction and hypnotic cd's with very limited success. Atmospheric pressure may have some input as well who knows. I feel for all of you that suffer, the sleep depraviation is a killer for me. Paul
  9. paul@plan-a

    My Battle with Hastings!

    My Battle with Hastings! My wife is an osteopath and as part of her CPD (continual professional development) she has to attend courses each year. Sometimes these are in remote places that give me an opportunity to accompany her for a restful break. A year or so ago a trip to Hastings on the south coast was arranged, I had not visited this part of Sussex for many years and was happy to join her on the 3-day trip. We stayed at a remote farm in between Lewes and Eastbourne. The weather was cold and snow was on the ground, the Saturday I had a brisk walk along Eastbourne seafront and then spent the afternoon in the warm watching Rugby on the TV. On the Sunday I dropped my wife at the venue for her conference and thought I would explore the coast and perhaps find a warm pub for some lunch, my wife’s lectures finished at 4.00pm. As I drove alone the coast I began to see signs for Hastings and Battle, I opted for Hastings, which was a bit disappointing, it was a cold and dreary and Hastings didn’t have much to offer on a Sunday morning. I saw the signs for Battle Monastery. It sounded interesting and I have always had an interest in the Norman Conquest so I set off to find the car park. I walked up the town in search of a pub, settled for the 1066 and ordered some lunch, after my meal I took a slow walk back towards the Monastery. The wind had now got up and the temperature had now dropped to around freezing, there were a few snow flurries in the air. I walked back to the car and debated putting on my water proof and my woolly hat, but thought better of it, collected my walking stick and left with my fleece on, I would only view the museum and waste an hour, the time was around 1.30ish. I entered the Monastery and looked in the small museum, which did not take long, but got me interested in the invasion that William brought with him, and how Harold had done his best to stop us speaking French! With my interest up I noticed a display offering listening walking talkies that gave commentary of the battle, and information on the characters involved. I spoke with the fellow hiring these out, he said the program commentary is a guide around the Monastery and also a tour of the Battlefield, noticing I had one leg, (I was wearing my peg-leg) commented that I should stick to the monastic tour and just listen to the battlefield jaunt. The whole tour would take 40 minutes but if I stayed at the Monastery probably half of that time! It was now 2pm as I took control of my walking talking guide to medieval warfare. The walking talking device had onboard 13 (unlucky for some!) number press pads. These where linked to a number board situated along the walk, there would be a plinth with a diagram of a situation in the story, you press the walking talkie at the appropriate liaison, matching with the number on the machine and at the plinth point. I had a arrived at number one I pressed the button; actors laid the scene for one of the most historical dates in English history and a date that I wouldn’t forget for a long time either. Well I’m really getting into the play, the actors are portraying the scene Harold this, William that, soon I’ve passed point 2 and on my way to point number 3. Then I get to a fork in the tour, the sign reads to the battlefield down a section of steps or straight on to complete the monastic tour. Sections 4 to 9 are on the battlefield! Now its well after 2 and its starting to snow, but the actors have done such a great job in building the scenario of the pre battle excitement I will not enjoy missing out on the realism of the actual event. On to the battlefield I descend, this can’t take long I walk down the mulch filled path, the snow is coming down harder now and the wind is getting up, as I leave the protection of the Monastery walls. I wish I put my hat on and my waterproof but still if I keep moving I shall remain warm. At point 3 I press the button on the walking talkie, the battle is under way, William is pushing on towards Harold, the Housecarls (Harold’s body guard) protecting their leader. I had now transcended the slope and was approaching point 4 and then on to five which was at the bottom of the hill, pressing the button I got to hear the roar of battle and the sound of arrows in the air, Harold was winning unfortunately I was not…………………….. Once I left the comparative firmness of the mulch, I had started to slip and slide and slowly sinking into the sod, which was the historic battlefield. William (The B.....D) as he was to be known was also having issues with the terrain but the battle was fought in October, his problem was a few thousand cheesed off Saxons mine was the temperature which with the wind chill was dropping dramatically, the snow which was falling fast and my footing which was fast disappearing into the soggy bog. I soldiered on towards point 6, slipping and sliding it was taking me longer and longer to make any headway I was getting into dire straits, part of me wanted to return to the safety of the mulch slopes but part of me wanted to get to point 6 and listen to the next episode in the great battle! I got to point 6 listening to William who had been un- horsed rallying his knights for one big push back up the hill. Off I set towards point 7, I was starting to get really cold there was not another soul on the walk, and obviously others had more sense. My situation was starting to dawn on me. The further I pushed onto the battlefield the worse the terrain became. Know body knew I was here; the peg leg was gathering mud like a rugby players boot! I was soaking wet and starting to shiver. I had my mobile phone and considered ringing the Police for assistance. Oh hello I’m stuck in the mud with one leg in the middle of the Battle of Hastings battle field would you send a helicopter!! It wouldn’t work they would tell me bugger off and bother someone else. It is now 3pm, here’s the scenario, I cannot go back the snow and terrain would make that impossible, I have just arrived at point 7 a patch of concrete surrounded by a sea of mud and slush. My body temperature is falling fast and I want to sit down and have a cup of tea, my leg is beginning to hurt and I now have ½ a hundred weight of mud attached to my peg leg! I must not listen to the walking talkie again or I will end up like Harold did. Off I set more like Captain Scott than William the Conqueror, I am wearing leather trousers that keep the cold out but they are now covered in mud I slip and slide inching up the slope of the fortified Monastery, I debate crawling and clawing my way to safety things have just got serious!! I jam the bloody walking talkie in the back of my trousers and concentrate on survival, I will find out more on Harold and William once I’m safe, but I am still intrigued how the battle is going, it’s a little like reading Julius Caesar and being surprised when he gets killed! Slowly yard by yard I emerge from the bog, step by step I get to firmer more solid ground, past points 8 and 9 onwards and upwards I trudge, at last the Mulch reappears like a lit stairway to heaven, I’m saved, I arrive at point 10 and reclaim the walking talkie to find out how Harry is getting on, he’s dead and so are most of his Housecarls the battle is lost, William had come up that hill a lot faster than I had, and stormed the bastion. While listening to this I look up to the battlements of the monastery and notice dozens of cold faces pointing and shaking there heads in my direction, it’s suddenly dawns on me that my whole sorry adventure has been viewed by the amazed normal visitors to the historic monastic site, they have watch as the whole sorry tale unfolded enjoying the disabled madman’s plight. I decided to walk on as though nothing was amiss, brassing it out they call it in the army. When I emerged onto the monastery-cobbled walkway I realise how filthy I am, I am caked in mud, the mud on my peg leg now is the shape of a flying saucer. The people’s faces are totally amazed their mouths open like they have seen the ghost of dear old Harold. I slip around the corner knocking mud off on the stonewalls I’m in a shocking state. I still have to return to the gift shop and hand in the cause of my position the dreaded walking talkie. I slipped into the warm shop my body lapping up the warmth my cheeks redden with the heat and embarrassment. Not wanting to confront the man who had told me not to go on the battlefield, I pretend to look at the cheap nasty images on sale, to prove where Harold got wiped out, Mugs, cups, ties etc. Slowly limped towards the walking talkie drop off point leaving a trail of authentic Battle of Hastings mud. The look on the curators face was a picture I tried to leave his device without drawing attention to myself, but as steam was starting to rise from my clothing as I slowly dried out, there was no chance in leaving un-noticed. He said nothing just looked me up and down with pity, gawping at the state of this humbled visitor. I fled to the car park probably as many of Harold’s House Carls had done 1000 years previous. On reaching the car I took stock of what a retched state I was in. I tried vainly to wipe the battlefield from my person, it was useless I was smothered in clay, I had to get warm as the sleet streamed down soaking my clothing even more. I sat in the car waiting for the engine to warm up feeling pretty stupid, the time was getting on fast towards 4.00pm when I was due to pick up my wife, what was she going to say with me in this state, as I drove back towards Eastbourne I saw a car jet wash, perfect. I pulled up feed the machine with sufficient funds filled a bucket with hot soapy water, then proceeded to wash my self down, I was already soaked so I couldn’t get any wetter, again I was the source of amusement for passers by, but by this stage I was past caring, my male ego in tatters. Luckily my wife was late leaving her lecture and I had 10 minutes to gather myself for another onslaught, of what on earth have you been doing….. Put it this way, if I visit one of our historic memorials again, I shall take a book and find the coffee shop with a comfy chair, that’s one in the eye for English Heritage!
  10. paul@plan-a


    As some of you may have gathered I have only one leg. I wear a prothstesis which pretty much enables me to do most things, except run for a bus or go down stairs two at a time. Venturing out into my ‘brave new world’ on this contraption was like Bambi on ice on the first few occasions, from the start I refused a stick as I needed two hands to cushion the fall as terrafirma had a nasty habit of coming towards my face at a great race of knots without warning. Since I had just survived a life threatening illness my wife thought it prudent that I addressed my will, as at the time of my illness I did not have one. So off I set to the solicitors with my last will and testament pencilled on a small note pad jammed in my back pocket. I was a scorching day in June well over 25 degrees, I parked up as near as I could to the lawyers building, feeling confident I marched down the high street with the composure of Eddie the eagle Edwards, flapping for balance with my arms like Eddie did after a 30metre jump. Mums grabbed their infants out of my path; the elderly dived in the road rather than face this unsteady juggernaut. At last I reached the solicitors reception, I flung open the door marched in with the subtlety of Harry Worth! Sporting shorts and my new titanium leg I was a bit of a surprise to the receptionist who was certainly old enough to remember Douglas Bader, but perhaps missed the film ‘Reach for the sky ‘ as the look of horror on her face told a story of ‘Oh my god’. She composed herself enough to offer me a chair, but then worriedly asked if I would be able to manage the stairs? No problem I confidently exclaimed showing her my skills of pirouetting on a highly polished wood block floor. Now these offices reflected a décor of between the wars, air conditioning still a distant vision, ceiling fans rotated slowly forcing the warm air around the room. Now an amputee’s body temperature is above than of our able bodied counter parts, sweat was now trickling down my back; my stump was becoming sweaty also. The down side of wearing an air suction prothstetic socket is that the socket relies on dry air to hold the thing onto your residual limb. When the stumps starts to get damp the leg slowly starts to slip off. This can be remedied by standing up forcing the stump down into the socket, this intern forces out the now excess air through the top of the socket, giving a short sharp farting noise. No problem in the right surroundings but not very appropriate in a lawyers practice. The receptionist is now comfortable with her bionic customer and ventures that Mr Smith will see me now, she reminds me to be careful on the stairs. Making sure my stump is secure in the plastic socket I glide up the stairs greeted by my Solicitor at the top. He eye’s my leg smiling with enthusiasm. His office is decked out like a scene from Rumpole of the Bailey, He offers me a seat and goes back around his beautiful polished desk. On his desk are family photo’s an ornate clock, pens and pencils all neatly laid out. After the best part of an hour my will was complete, the solicitor had heard the whole sorry story which let up to my leg loss above the knee. The meeting was coming to a close, I started to feel for my stump in the socket, unfortunately the lawyers office was as hot if not hotter than the reception area, my stump was nearly out of the socket, I tried to force my now hot swollen stump back home into the socket, while reaching out to shake the unknowing lawyers hand, an enormous fart sound echoed around the room, followed by a succession of small farts like a back firing car, the lawyer looked shocked, I lost control of the knee which first threw me backwards grabbing the table for balance I just managed to stay upright before another enormous fart let fly from the socket as the stump reached the bottom of the socket, the knee shot forward making me lurch across the now bewildered lawyers desk scattering his possession’s to the four corners of the room. Pencils, ink, photos all now decorated the hard wood polished floor. After what seemed an eternity I got the leg under control and stabilised, my faces now red like a beetroot. My god the lawyer exclaimed are you alright, I’m fine I assured, leaving the lawyers blitzkrieg office, he got off his knees from collecting his upturned table ornaments, to wave me off down the stairs. I smiled an unconfident smile as I carefully negotiated the steps, my confidence now severely knocked. I smiled towards the old receptionist who met me at the bottom of the stairs obviously having heard the commotion. My adventure nearly over, I staggered back to my car before noticing that the leg was not correctly aliened in fact the foot now stuck out horizontal like one of Charlie Chaplin’s, still nothing that a set of alun keys and a spanner wouldn’t sort out before my next adventure.
  11. Being a public servant and a chair of a voluntary group, I get invited to some odd meetings. Yesterdays was entitled ‘Trustee Essentials’. Basically it was an informative on the pro and cons of working in the voluntary sector or as Gordon likes to label us the ‘3rd Sector’. I was in 3rd Chalkwell Bay Sea Scouts as a boy so I don’t have a problem with the title, and weren’t the organisation Captain Blue and Captain Scarlet belonged to called ‘Sector’? Can’t all be bad. The meeting was being conducted in two hundred year old Town Hall, the room was adorned with wood cladding, one of those ones that the door disappears when closed, like a Commando all camouflaged up in a corn field. The room was already warm; a large lady greeted the attendees as they slowly filed in. The temperature started to climb. Once we were all in place the large lady who happened to be Canadian announced “let’s gets some air in here”. Now the windows opened by a bizarre weights and pulley system that was probably en vogue at the time of George 1 but in this day an age was not quite working smoothly. In reality you could either have the windows fully open or closed, the push me pull you system had obviously failed to incorporate the ‘a jar’ terminology. Anyhow our carefully prepared hand outs where now all neatly stacked on the floor in the well created by the tables being arranged like a wagon train fighting off Red Indians! The large lady surprisingly flexible dived to her knees and shuffled into the centre, ‘Dawn French meets Pocahontas’ springs to mind; well it did in my strange brain. Handouts restored the trainer started proceedings, ‘Dawn French meets Pocahontas’ announced him as Mike……. close he replied it’s actually Mark, oh Christ she shouted I would throw myself out of the window into the street if I could fit through it! She left, I smiled at the chap next to me, he looked uncomfortable, I am not sure whether it was the thought of ‘Dawn French meets Pocahontas’ near suicide attempt or the view he had had of her ample chest restrained by a ridiculously tight cheese cloth top, I of course averted my eyes well I did have a sneaky look but I didn’t stare you understand. The meeting was under way, I made notes, revisit our constitution, make sure we have a budget for training, consider legal structures …….I started to doodle. A quick toilet break made me realise that the toilet situation in Georgian times was a real close relief affair. I am not saying the facility could be classed as bijoux, but containing a little privacy was not easy. You all had to wait until you had finished before shaking as our arms where touching, still it helped to get to know the each other. All sorts of strange language was used in the seminar, but one word had me flummoxed ‘Propinquity’ others seemed aware of its meaning? My secondary school English education did not extend to this, I stopped the meeting and asked for an explanation, ah…… closeness of course, so what I experienced in the gents was Propinquity, I’ll know for the next time I’m in there. Lunch was a welcome adjournment, I gazed out of the window now fully open I came to the decision that depending on ‘Dawn French meets Pocahontas’s’ trajectory in her approach to the opening she would have made it through maybe clipping the window ledge on the way down, her landing would have caused a stir in the market place which was laid out around the Town Halls entrance but it could have been achieved. After lunch it was more of the same; legalities, retention of accounting records and effective board motivation! Phew ‘Gods teeth how long was this going to go on for. I had put on a favourite watch in the morning so I took the time to examine it in detail. The chap sitting next to me represented a male voice choir; he seemed distressed when informed that being a choir just for men could be considered discriminatory? The afternoon break was upon us, I help myself to an unopened bottle of ice cold lemonade, as I released the cap a shower of the substance shot out over the male voice choir member I tried to close the cap, there we were fighting over the bottle like two racing drivers over the champagne on a formula 1 rostrum. I eventually got the cap off. Being the holder of the bottle I only had a few splatters, but my colleague was less fortunate and the wafer thin serviettes where making matters worse rubbed by other members of the group on his now ruined sports jacket. The last hour of the meeting took an eternity, at last Mark asked for the monitoring feedback forms to be handed in, I had filled mine out before lunch now was ready to go, I pushed back my chair and prepared to stand, I did not feel level, my prothstetic leg had landed on something uneven, to my horror I realised that I had used a ladies foot to purchase upon before getting myself up right she let out a hell of a scream, I was so apologetic, she had been helping herself to the unwanted sandwich left overs from lunch which where set out on the table behind me. She fell in a chair clutching he fast reddening toes that extended from a sandal. Announcing my departure I fled towards the Georgian staircase and was half way down before I realised I had left my walking stick by the window in the meeting room. I returned to no fanfare, I had to lean across the very upset lady whose foot was fast swelling to the size of a small water melon, to reach my walking stick; again I apologised and stole away. Returning to my car I thought about the chaos I had caused, why me? Does Barack Obama stamp on unfortunate colleagues feet or shower them with cheap Asda lemonade? As a public servant am I doing any good at all? This question will remain unanswered, the by pass for the small town got me back as it took me 30 minutes to find the ring road that lead to the main artery road back to my office, I very much doubt I shall be asked to attend another of these meetings again, especially if there will the men’s choir or the very large Pocahontas appreciation society in attendance.
  12. paul@plan-a

    Easing nerve pain post-surgery

    Thanks for that Johnny
  13. paul@plan-a

    Phantom limb pains

    Hi Derrick, as others have said there is rymne or reason to PLP, I am suffering big time at the moment. The worst attacks I have had in years. I am back on Amitripyline which is a real knock out drug, talk about Zombified. I try to use EFT (Emotional Freedom Theropy) for distraction which I find helps. I also use Arnica and Austrailian Bush flower essence. If anyone has an answer to this dreadful ailment I would love to be shared with it!
  14. paul@plan-a

    Amputee fraud in the UK

    Please see attached link, I am absolutely livid! http://www.surreycomet.co.uk/search/415299...jump_NHS_queue/ Amputees.pdf
  15. paul@plan-a

    Ottobock are horrible

    Yup I hate em as well!