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Heather Mills - Amputee Forum


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Everything posted by jberna

  1. jberna


    I'm sorry to be so late to offer my welcome. I dont get to this site as often as I would like, keeping up with a housefull of kids like I do. But I was cruising thru today and found your story. Just know we all are here for you, and all understand the emotions you are going thru. I am glad you are talking to a counselor, I am sure it will help more than you realize now. Hang in there and know this time next year things will be much better... Judy Utah LBK
  2. jberna

    Amy purdy as lead role in movie

    Amy, I am thrilled for you! Is there any way this film will come to the Sundance Film Festival in Utah?...I would stand in a long line to get tickets! I am with you, like wearing my metal legs, it is who I am now. HUGE congrats on the movie and I cant wait to see it! (tell me when Netflix has it, I will order it!) Judy Utah LBK
  3. jberna

    New to the group

    I just had a second to check in quickly with my friends here..the weeks fly by and I dont get here as much as I'd like...but I HAD to give a big hello to the OTHER judy around here! I never find anyone with my name...welcome, fellow Judy! Judy LBK Utah
  4. jberna

    Hello - I'm new

    Julia, if you have any ski questions, send them my way...I am a LBK (one year) and just learned to ski this winter. I had never skied before and learned a LOT in my five week session. Best of luck in all your adventures! Judy LBK Utah
  5. jberna

    I'm very sad

    :( Have to add my condolances here Marcia...I also lost my mother, when I was in my mid 20s. She died suddenly, unexpectedly, of an anyurism. My heart ached for a long time and, like Pam, I dont have a day that goes by still, after ten years, that I dont think of her. A mother is such an important part of your life, forming who you are....I had to let the pain of that idea translate into making ME a better mother to MY kids...realizing how important now, that I am to them. Know we are all thinking of you and your family today. Judy Utah LBK
  6. jberna

    How do you sleep?

    This is an interesting question....I'm glad someone brought it up. I have found that sleepign with my *long* leg on the sheet (right side for me, since I am a LBK) is very uncomfortable...when I am on that side I feel like my short leg is just "hangning" off my right knee, does that make sense? I have found one thing that seems to help...if I put a pillow between my knees, and a bit lower, somewhat like I did when I was pregnant, it helps that shorter leg feel supported. When my shorter leg is on the mattress it tucks in under my longer leg and is more comfortable. It is a weird thing, not having two ankles on the bed, something a non-amputee might not understand. It also takes more effort to turn over, for some reason (need to work on my abs?... :P ) and I find I also sit up fully then turn over... judy utah lbk
  7. jberna

    Sad News

    Brenda, sorry I am so late in adding my condolances...I feel your pain. A good friend of mine had the same thing happen to them. A routine ultrasound in her last weeks of pregnancy and there was no heartbeat....this was after years of fertility treatments to conceive this baby. If it makes you feel better, my friend also had to go thru labor, and she was well insured...AND had had a previous c-section with their first child...but they thought it was better for "her body" (forget about her mental health..) for her to deliver naturally. They now have a one year old boy, born a year after his sister died....it is a tragic thing, but time will move on and the ache they feel will lighten a bit. Know I am thinking of your family today... :( judy utah lbk
  8. jberna

    Skiing and sledding

    Hello all...I have not been checking in as much as I used to but still enjoy it immensely when I do....you all are such good friends, to me and to each other. :D I took my first ski lessons and wanted to share.... First of all, while I was having my lesson, on the other side of the mtn we were on they had a huge avalanche! Right during my lessons! We noticed the helicopters hovering and found out later that was why....you might have seen it on the news, for the US people...the big avalanche in Park City Utah? Kind of weird to have "been there" when it happened.... :( I was a bit nervous going in for the lesson....mainly because I REALLY wanted to ski and was skeptical I could do the skills I see my kids use to ski, with my muscles not being 100% back yet.... But right away my instructor suggested I use outriggers. They are like poles but have a tiny ski on the bottom, and a metal "claw" on the bottom too. Most people "snowplow" to slow down/stop when skiing. That takes manuevering the skis so that the tips go inward, the backs of the skis spread out in back...a lot of control issues that I was not capable of....BUT with outriggers I just keep my skis straight (not too hard) and use the poles for my brakes....it worked GREAT! One of my fears had been not feeling in control as I flew down the hill but with these outriggers I could totally be in control and go as fast/slow as I wanted. I suspect I will use them this season and into next, until my leg muscles get stronger. In the meantime I get to ski with my kids/husband finally! I never dreamed we would go up on the lifts the first week of lessons but we ended up doing about 15 min of lesson and then went right on the lift, went up/down about four times...every time I felt more in control. This friday my husband will also be on skis and ski with me during lessons, then afterwards we can ski together the rest of the day for free....if I am not too exhasuted! Then on Sunday of this weekend we went sledding....my neice was in town from MO and she loves to sled so we found this huge hill on a golf course and had a BLAST flying down the hill...all four of my kids, my neice, and my husband...got some priceless pictures...my boys thought it was funny that I would scream as we went down, like you scream on a roller coaster....glad I could humor them! :P I had to walk back up the hills sideways, toeing it made my knee wiggle too much in my socket....but my leg never hurt, during or after, a huge change from my old life/old leg. On a side note....I am due to get my permanant leg made but am not 100% happy with the fit of this leg, enough to have it laminated....it just seems that in everyday walking it does not fit as well as some of the temps I had last year...I find I am having trouble "committing" to this permanant leg, knowing I have it for three years....guess I will follow advice I give others, keep telling my pros. where it bothers me and keep tweaking the fit....such a hard transition for me, for some reason... :( Just wanted to share where I am......I am now in my second year as an amputee and am excited for what this year might hold...I treasure each of you and the encouragement I feel coming here! :D Judy Utah LBk
  9. jberna

    Paul McCartney in US

    My husband and I are huge football fans (US football...not soccer!...sorry you UK-ers!....) Our big super bowl is coming up in two weeks and I saw an ad saying Paul would be playing during halftime. Should be fun to have such DECENT entertainment during the half time show...a nice change from years past when it was just getting too racey .....but it made me wonder if his lovely wife and daughter would be along for the ride. I would encourage them to come up to Utah to ski a bit if they do come across the pond...the skiing is great right now and I know they love to! judy Utah LBK 140 inch base of snow here!
  10. jberna

    Paul McCartney in US

    Only a week late in posting this...but the halftime show was fabulous! I have never seen Paul in concert, just enjoyed his music in my youth....but really enjoyed this show...great special affects, great songs (hey jude, one of my favorites, because of my name...) I was pleased...a nice clean halftime show I could be proud to watch with my kids. Also, last week I saw a nice article about Paul in our U.S. "People" magazine. It was a two page article, very complimentary, and had some nice current photos of baby bea and heather. I was pleased they were shown so positively. I forget, most of the time, that this is "heathers" website...I just see it as a great forum for amputees who need some advice/support. But I thought some of you heather/paul fans would like to know an update of what's going on in the US. ;) Judy Utah LBK
  11. jberna

    Skiing and sledding

    I had my last lesson yesterday, really had a great day. I had finally lost my fear, the biggest hurdle I had to overcome, and just did it...a lot of the trick to skiing is feeling like you can stop if you want to, and since I have learned the side stop (hockey stop) I am now not afraid to gain speed going down the hill. I am still most comfortable on easy greens, but will have fun practicing the things my instructor coached me on in the weeks to come. I will have to call around about renting the outriggers. I found the (wonderful) group called Challenged Athletes Foundation, who will possibly help me buy outriggers but the earliest I could get them would be a year from now...I would miss a whole season of skiing with my family. It really is a fun sport, esp when you live close enough to practice a bit. Marcus, did you ski before you were an amputee? I was quizzing my (expert skier) husband he he thought skiing would be easier to "pick back up" vs. starting for the first time as a one-legged person...do you agree? If anyone wants to try skiing and are afraid, feel free to post here or email me and I will give any advice I can....I just started six weeks ago and have really learned a lot in just six lessons. It is VERY do-able, for amputees of all levels....I saw people around me skiing with all levels of disability. Dive in! :D judy utah lbk
  12. jberna

    Questions to Orthopedic Dr's

    Lynne, this is a huge topic for me...I have quizzed orth docs my whole life about amputation and they always told me it was considered failure/last resort. In my case, my quality of life skyrocketed after my amputation. I had my first anniversary recently and took a photo album to my ortho doc (who had been willing but skeptical)...it was full of pictures of things I could do with my new leg....I think most believe you are giving a person a kiss of death to amputate..when in reality their life can go on in a nice way...good for you, for showing these docs how *good* amputation can turn out. judy utah lbk
  13. jberna

    AK Snowboarding

    Hey nicole...where was this camp? I am in Utah, I would have loved to come and just watch/take notes! Im not a kid, wouldnt qualify for shriners...but would love to know if another comes up! Judy Utah LBK
  14. jberna

    Ten best things

    :P Okay, I cant resist this one....great idea, Cat! I love reading thru other peoples answers and they make me think of my own.... 1. Seeing that his man I chose to marry 15 years ago is as precious as he seemed to be, as supportive as I needed him to be, and twice as priceless as he trusted me with this decision. 2. Now having four able bodied kids who understand how disability is so NOT what a person is about, how peripheral it is to a persons true worth/character. They are so helpful to me, encouraging to me, and accepting of others, of all abilities. 3. To be blessed with this beautiful outdoor playground some call Utah...that calls me outside to play, to try out all the things my new leg can do. There is no season where being inside, sittiing on the couch, is a decent option. 4. To be blessed with a church family who came to know me just a few months before my surgery yet were there for me all the months after, encouraging me and cheering me on. 5. Finally feeling like I am whole, even though I am missing a part. I never felt "right" with my twisted foot, but once they put that new leg on me I felt like I had become whole...probably hard for most amputees to understand. 6. Being able to go on adventures with my kids this summer, that my kids saw me as able for the first time and didnt just assume I would stay home. I got to go rafting/camping at Flaming Gorge, hiking in Zion National Park, and now skiing in the beautiful mountains. We also have ridden bikes many times together, and gone shopping together without mom having to rest often. 7. Meeting so many new people, understanding the struggles that people go thru, and being thankful that mine is so minimal in contrast. 8. Meeting all of you and getting a great sense that people all over the world, amputees or not, are a lot more the same than different. I refer to my "online friends" often in conversations. 9. Being able to feel athletic for the first time....going to the gym and gaining strength, gearing up for learning to run...but in everyday life, feeling like a person who qualifies to be athletic finally. This spring I have high hopes of learning to roller blade...something I could never consider before. 10. Feeling like a whole new world has opened up in this amputee community...I have enjoyed researching thru the ACA, thru the OandP, and just finding out more about the people and technology that are in the amputee world today. Sorry to be so long winded...the other responses really made me think of all the great things that have happened this past year....Thanks for starting this thread, Cat! ;) Judy Utah LBk
  15. jberna

    Double AK Amputee Climber

    Is this where I add my aussie notation?... just skimming thru and reading the references to austrailia I was reminded of a guy I shared a ski lift chair with two weeks ago...he asked about my outriggers (very nice guy, by the way) and he sounded JUST like "The Wiggles"...I knew he was an Aussie! I told him I have *friends* from australia....you guys! Judy utah lbk
  16. jberna

    Skiing and sledding

    Thanks for posting those Johnny! The first one is me, feeling free, flying down that hill..the second is of the outriggers. Notice they hav a claw on the back of the mini-ski...you can set it high, where you brake a lot, or low, where you dont. I am learning more and more to use the hill to slow me down, making wide turns. Marcus...I am curious...do you use outriggers when skiing? I just cant imagine being able to do a snowplow with a prosthetic leg.... One last lesson this friday....once I can afford some outriggers I will start skiing with my kiddos and husband..... :D Thanks again for posting those pictures for me, johnny! judy utah lbk
  17. jberna

    Skiing and sledding

    :D Just had to report, after lesson three yesterday...I am a bit sore today, for the first time. Two issues...one is my foot has not been adjusted right all week so I have a sore spot on my stump. Didnt bother me skiing since my leg is held straight with a good brace, but today it is sore, walking around. Then I took my first big tumble down the mtn yesterday...had to happen eventually.... I was doing well...had a rough start until I realized I had clicked my leg on a tiny bit off center so my ski kept wanting to plow sideways on that side...fixed that then headed off, got my snow legs back quickly on the smaller slopes we had been using. Then my instructor said we could try some longer greens (the easiest kind)...I was game, feeling confident...had a nice lift ride up the mtn with a great Aussie guy, he was inquisitive about my outriggers, had a good conversation....had to tease him about sounding like "A Wiggle"...he laughed! You good natured aussies... :D Got to the top and headed off to where the trails break off and was concentrating so hard on not running over the others around me I totally didnt hear my husband or my instructor saying, "GO LEFT!" I ended up just following the group in front of me....came over this incline to see a STEEP hill ahead of me and I was headed down it, picking up speed fast! :( I tried to hang out, pull it all out, thinking this was a green and technically I should be able to do it...but mentally I just got freaked out and ended up dumping it and sliding down the hill a bit.... The falling didnt bother me, but my outrigger grabbed the snow and jerked my shoulder back in a weird way so that was screaming at me. I suddenly had a new appreciation for football players after each play...laying on the ground holding an injured body part! I caught my breath, then realized I had to FINISH this steep hill, which I found out was a BLUE (next level), to get back down the mtn.....it took a LOT of mental guts to get up and start down again...my coach was great, husband very encouraging...and I made it, without falling anymore! I was amazed...but EXHAUSTED by the time we got to the bottom...so glad it was our last run! Mentally and physically I was beat! So I shuffled into the house when we got home, propped up on the bed and played games with my son, talked to my neighbor most of the night....still sore in my shoulder, range of motion limited, but just feels like a minor thing, will clear up in a few days....very worth it still! I sure learned my lesson...check with the instructor before you pick a trail! ;) I have two more lessons...the next two fridays....am feeling more confident every time. And Ed, I see people of ALL abilities getting geared up for lessons while I am there...the classes all start at the same time. I am pretty sure they put bilateral amps in a monoski...a seat with skis on it, and they use outriggers like I use for "poles"....steer by leaning your body and use the outriggers as brakes like I do...there are several guys who use the mono skis..have a BLAST going down the hill. I will ask next friday if bilateral amps ever ski on two skis. I find I use my right (sound) leg a lot for control and turning, and my left just does a good job staying parallel to it.....some day when I am stronger I will really try teaching my left leg to do more, some turns I make it work harder, but for now I use my sound leg a lot....think you might do best with a monoski. Hope that answered your question! :) judy LBK Utah
  18. jberna

    Skiing and sledding

    Hey Mike, I'd be glad to help.... I cannot "snowplow" like most people, in order to stop. I just cant get my knees/feet in that position, and esp not when I am flying down the hill... So when I found outriggers, that made the difference of me being able to ski or not...they are the poles with tiny skis on them, and metal claws for brakes. So I brake using my arms...just push the poles forward the the metal claws dig in the snow, slowing me down or stopping me, depending on how far forward I push them. I also highly recommend lessons with a disabled-trained instructor. The girl I got has trained disabled people for ten years...is very helpful with tips. She is teaching me how to use the mtn, the angle my skis are on the mtn, to control my speed better, relying less on the pole's brakes. I felt MUCH more in control my second lesson, just using her tips. No, I never skied before my amputation. I had a deformed foot that wouldnt go into a boot comfortably and until two years ago, I never lived near a ski resort. My husband grew up skiing in NH and is very good, as are all four of my kids (ages 4-13)...so I wanted to join them on weekends. I have only fallen once, and that was getting off a lift chair....that whole standing straight up thing gets me still....but I have mastered it now, dont fall on that anymore! I have just had two lessons and love it, feel like I could do this for the rest of my life. If you have any other questions please feel free to ask....we used to have a guy around here named ampskier, who gave me encouragement and advice, but he skied for years...I am still a newbie so wont have ALL the answers....just the ones pertaining to beginners! Judy Utah LBK
  19. jberna

    Paul McCartney in US

    Pam, your response made me laugh out loud...my cat turned to give me a funny look because out of the blue I just cracked up! I will laugh again, in a week and a half, when he walks on the field to "play" and there is no "football" involved! :D Cat, I didnt mean to leave you guys out....I forget how many kinds of football there are in the world...sorry! ;) Judy Utah LBk
  20. jberna

    putting on your pants

    Right now I am living with an AFO brace, until my amputation surgery. I had a thought this morning, wondering about how life will be different when I have a prosthesis, not an AFO brace. I dread changing long pants (esp slim cut leg jeans) because to do so I have to take off both my shoes, then un-velcro all the parts of my leg brace, take it off, change clothes, then go thru the hassle of hooking back all that velcro, putting shoes back on. When you have a BK artificial leg, do you put it on before or after you put on long pants? The foot doesnt really "point its toe", to ease into shoes or pants, right? I know either way, clicking a leg on will take much less time than all these velcro straps, and trying to get my deformed foot to lay flat in the brace. I would guess there are times during the day where you have to click your leg off to put on more/less socks....does that take long? Also, I saw some mid calf, low heel boots in an ad the other day and wondered if you would be able to get an artificial foot in a narrow boot like that? Since you can't point the toe? Just wondering... judy
  21. jberna

    Amputee Coach

    In our Salt Lake City Tribune there was a great article about a bi-lateral amputee who coaches a high school girls bball team. He lost both legs in vietnam, I believe, and has gone on to do athletic things since, including raising EIGHT kids.... If someone could see if it is possible to dig up that article, I would love to have it posted here....I think the newspaper website is slctrib.com or something like that.... Thanks! judy lbk utah
  22. jberna

    Athletic Help

    When I was doing my research before my amp. I found out about a group who helps out amputees, by helping buy them equipment for sports they might want to do. Does anyone know what I am talking about? Like they help you buy an adapted bike if you want to learn to ride.... I have really fallen in love with skiing and would love to do it outside of my lessons at the Ability Center...BUT the outriggers I need to be able to do it are 300 bucks.....out of my budget. I truly cannot ski at all without them....was wondering if this organization I was thinking of would help....anyone have any ideas as to what it was called?.... :( Judy Utah LBK Skier-wanna be.....
  23. jberna

    Amputee Coach

    ;) That's it! You are amazing Afet...now if you could learn to shrink a picture... ;) Judy Utah LBk
  24. jberna

    Athletic Help

    Thanks for the suggestions! Judy
  25. jberna

    Sarah Reinertsen

    Wasnt she the one on the front of Runners World recently?....Dec 04, I think...an article about "heroes"....a friend gave me a copy. GREAT picture. I too was inspired and wondered if I could EVER do something that big...but then read she has been an amp since she was a child, has been athletic since then...I have never been athletic and am just discovering that world, so have "smaller" goals for now...hang in there afet...let her push you on to do what you truly desire to do! :D Judy Utah LBK