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Heather Mills - Amputee Forum


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Everything posted by jberna

  1. jberna

    Re-training the brain

    I sometimes tend to post only the *good* that is happening since I got my new leg and the new active life that came with it.....but I have had a few things that surprised me recently, in my progress, and thought I would share. I hope it might help someone else along the way... As most of you know I dragged around a deformed foot my whole life and decided to have th amputation so I could get a foot that worked. I have been very pleased with the life I have found *on the other side*, am having fun discovering what it is like to have an ankle that bends on BOTH feet....am getting stronger every day now that I am walking more correctly and can work out more efficiently. In Jan, before my surgery, I set some mental goals. One was that I would achieve perfect gait by late summer, then learn to run for the first time in the fall. Well, it is now winter and I am still working on the gait thing. I have been amazed at how hard it is to re-train my brain. I walked wrong for 37 years and my body does not want to give that up! The whole "heel-toe" thing just escapes me! If I try too hard I look stiff and unnatural...if I relax and just GO I tend to want to do the marching step that I used for those 37 years. I read stories about amputees who are running 5Ks, or even marathons, less than a year after their amputation and it used to make me feel like I was "behind". Now I realize that they were people with normal gait, had known the feeling of walking correctly in their brains, and just had to *re-claim* it. I have nothing close to *normal* to re-claim. So I am taking it slow still. I missed out on ANY working out, weight lifting or otherwise, for almost three weeks while we were out of town for Thanksgiving, so now need to pick back up again and move forward. I have decided I will spend more time on the treadmill now, trying to train my brain, by repitition, how to make a normal step. The other issue is my permanant leg. I have stabilized now, have been stable since early fall....but cant seem to get my socket to fit just right...I would love to get my permanant, laminated socket by years end for insurance purposes, but am having small pains with this socket still and am having trouble narrowing down why.....such a mysterious thing, huh? I want to walk in and say, "fix it, it hurts, but I'm not sure where it hurts..." but for some reason my prosthetist needs more specifics than that! :P So in the meantime I have ski lessons in January....we'll see how that goes..I cant wait but am a bit nervous...it looks SO fun when I take my kids and I want to be out there SO badly..... B) Overall things are going very well but I am getting the feeling there always might be some *issue* every now and then, for years to come....is that true, you old timers? Good to be back, having fun reading thru the postings I missed the past three weeks....hope everyone is having a great holiday season! judy Utah LBK
  2. jberna

    Then and Now

    Sorry Afet, I am just catching up with the website...I will go find the name of that boy today....have the book in the house with the article in it. Give me a day to find it! Judy Utah LBK
  3. I have to chime in and agree with Linda. I think it was a light hearted thing...it is this girls choice and I have to agree that even if *I* wouldnt do it and dont want my daughter doing it, if she wants to let other girls know they can be beautiful enough to be in a magazine like that, even without all her limbs, let it be her crusade. No hard feelings.... :( Judy LBK utah
  4. jberna

    Air Travel

    I now have four more flights "under my belt" after flying from Utah to NH, via Vegas. I have to say I had a great experience with the whole thing. Security at the airport in Salt Lake City, and in Manchester NH was top of the line, very professional. I helped them out by wearing pants those days that I could pull up to fully expose my leg, so they could see the top of it. My kids knew ahead of time that I would be pulled aside so we worked out a plan for them to get my stuff from the xray machine. As I approached the metal detector I would just pull up my pant leg, show them that I knew I would "beep" and they would shake their head and point me over to the chairs. I would sit on a chair, they waved the wand over both my legs, did the swab test on my leg and my palms and I was done. I got patted down a tiny bit, very professionally, and was reminded the second time around that wearing a bra with an underwire is not a good thing in these situations...that beeper thing goes crazy! ;) We flew southwest airlines, which has a funny seating system, you board according to the time you checked in. So we just made sure to check in early, get early seating. I had the option to pre-board this time because I have a preschooler but I am sure I could have pre-boarded anyway, because of my leg. That way I can pick out my own seat before everyone else gets on board. I have to comment that southwest has a LOT of leg room...I even sat in the middle seat on one flight and was not cramped. I fidgeted some in my seat, got my leg in different positions, but overall was very comfortable. One flight I did pop my leg out of the socket halfway, just to let it breathe..and it went back on fine. I was also amazed at how funny and good spirited the folks that work for southwest airlines are...even during a busy holiday season they were all in good moods, very helpful and friendly....that is a comment above and beyond the amputee perspective...I just may write a letter to them, telling them they are doing something right! ;) judy utah lbk
  5. jberna

    Socket Color

    Johnny...VERY COOL socket! I have been thinking about this question a lot in recent weeks. I am trying to get my permanant socket made before the end of the year for deducitable reasons (insurance) and have to decide what I want...I know I want a seahawks logo, have followed them for many years...but dont know if I want them on the outside of my socket or inside.....I wont get skin/padding for now, like brenda, love the bionic look more than I thought I would....now I just have to check with a fabric store to get some seahawks fabric...thanks for the tip about getting a dark background, johnny....when/if I get it done I will post a picture. Judy LBK Utah
  6. jberna

    super bowl/paul mccartney

    Im a bit late but tried going to the posting and it has expired....what did it say? The curiousity is killing me now! :o Judy LBK Utah
  7. jberna

    Gadgets, Gizmos and Trinkets--oh my

    Ed, love the idea of this posting, hope more people chime in.... Cat, as always, you cracked me up! Judy LBK Utah
  8. jberna

    Happy Birthday Judy ! "jberna"

    :lol: You guys are so great! I just got back from NH, two days ago, and have been lost in unpacking and getting kids back in school. I have been itching to get back to this place, say HEY to everyone, but knew there would be LOTS of new posts to read...I was right, which is a great thing! I feel like I am back amoung friends. It is early morning, I need to go make pancakes for my crew, get them out the door to school, then I will sign back on and catch up around here...cant wait! Hope everyone had a great holiday and THANKS for the bday greetings! Judy Utah LBK
  9. jberna

    Going to miss you guys

    Just wanted you to know I am not being rude if I dont answer any postings in the next two weeks. We are flying out in the morning, flying across almost the whole USA, from Utah to NH. The kids are THRILLED. First a fun plane trip, then two weeks with grammy, grpa, tons of fun aunts/uncles and cousins....this IS the good stuff in life. I get to show off my leg for the first time to this side of the family...so excited! I know they will love it, have been so supportive long distance. I am taking one pair of shorts so I can have my "demonstration" session! (esp for the neices and nephews...) Jeff and I will celebrate our 15th anniversary on Tgiving day, very appropriate since I am everything I am today because of that precious man. He has seen me thru a lot and I adore him. It will be fun to celebrate with a HUGE family party after the Tgiving meal. Then, four days later I celebrate my 38th bday...big week for me! This is exactly where I wanted to be when I was 38, and even better than I could have imagined, mobility wise. My 40th is going to be a huge FUN bash! To everyone who celebrates it I wish a very happy thanksgiving holiday....and for every friend I have on this website, know you are on my list of MOST thankful things in my life. You all are precious to me. See you in two weeks....just in time to start panic-ing about Christmas! Judy utah LBK
  10. jberna

    Tami's big day

    Just wanted everyone to know that yesterday (wednesday) was Tami's surgery. She was very nervous about it. I am going in to the hospital to visit her today, remind her that life will go on....Thought we could post some encouraging messages here for when she gets back home and signs on..... ;) Judy LBK Utah
  11. jberna


    Hey there Simon! Welcome! I have THE greatest respect for firefighters...to choose a profession where you CHOOSE to run into burning buildings...I know I couldnt do it and am grateful there are people who will! YES, you are rushing things! Four months post op is way too soon to be discouraged. I didnt really feel like my stump had "evened out" until about six to eight months after the surgery. ( I had a healthy, no other health issues amputation). I would give it more time, take it slowly. You will do amazing things if you approach them at the right pace. The phantom pains I think will ease some too as time goes on. I dont have a lot of experience with them, hopefully someone else here will sign on and help with that. Great to have you aboard! judy utah lbk
  12. jberna

    What do you all look like?

    :D Great picture Pam! Thanks for posting...you seem more *real* now! Judy LBK Utah
  13. jberna

    to much to drink

    Good luck Sarah...my heart goes out to you. judy lbk utah
  14. jberna

    Then and Now

    Just last week I was waiting for my son in speech therapy and there was a vintage copy of a Saturday Evening Post (a general magazine here in the US in the 50s-80s I think...) It was a hoot to look at ads from 1957, but as I was flipping thru there was also an article about one of the first children to receive artificial arms. (with hooks and all). Until that point, I guess, they didnt bother trying to fit children. This boy was back at school by the time autumn came and writing his name on his paper. I wonder where that "boy" is now....I guess you could research that, huh? He was bilateral, touched an electrical wire while climbing trees. Very interesting read, a dip into the past... Judy Utah LBK
  15. jberna

    Tami's big day

    Thanks Afet...I definately should have been more clear about WHICH tami! Sorry! I went by the hospital yesterday and had a nice visit. It worked out very well because her teen aged kids and then other close family members came by when I was there. I got to show them all what her leg/life will probably look like in less than a year. They were encouraged to see that I just look like a "regular person", and their mom will too. She should be home soon and I encouraged her to check the site and see the well wishes from her friends here. Thanks for posting, everyone. I know she will need your help with questions as her new life unfolds. Judy Utah LBK
  16. jberna

    I'm so sad...

    :( I am sorry it took me so long to post here....I dont check the site every day. But I wanted to extend my deepest sympathy to you and your family. Animals are a special gift we are given here on earth and you were blessed to be touched so deeply by such a special dog. The more you loved him the deeper the grief...he was one lucky dog. ;) Judy Utah LBK
  17. jberna

    New Leg

    :D VERY COOL! Loved both pictures....nice lookin' men in the first one! ;) judy lbk Utah
  18. jberna

    Amputee Competitor on Survivor

    I have noticed that some shows you see his leg a lot, others you hardly see it at all....I know they are strategic about how much they play it up/down....wonder if any week it will be a *deal*, they will discuss it or talk about it. I may miss the next few episodes, will be on vacation with family in NH....keep me posted! judy utah lbk
  19. jberna

    Silver Strand

    WHOOO HOOO! Way to go BRENDA! :D I get so inspired just being your friend! I am working hard to be able to do all the things in my dream book and you sure push me on! Dont worry about your times...just run at a good pace and enjoy the process! My bday is nov 29th so on the day of your second half marathon I will be enjoying my last day of being 37! Have fun! judy utah lbk
  20. jberna

    I your colleague.

    Welcome Asslan! I understood your posting just fine. I have no advice about getting you a new leg but hope someone here does. It is good to have you join us. judy utah lbk
  21. jberna

    i'm new here

    Hello Aldo! I live in the United States, the state of Utah and am fascinated to read postings by amputees from around the world. Some of the experiences are very similar no matter where you live, others are very different. I encourage you to post your story on the posting called "my story", where everyone types out how they became an amputee. A few weeks ago my four year old took some ski classes and his instructor was named Aldo. I had never heard the name before and now know two people who have it! Welcome to our fun world! :P judy lbk utah
  22. Cool story, Afet. Thanks for posting it. This guy has a great attitude. I was amazed at the quote saying if he had not been willing to lose his legs he wouldnt be in racing....I dont think most racers would have that attitude! Seems like a guy with his head on straight. There was a much more tragic story in the Salt Lake Tribune yesterday. An amputee, age 42, was crossing a street in the dark and his leg came off. He stumbled toward the curb but then started to crawl back to get his leg and was hit and killed by a driver who didnt see him. So sad. So the moral of the story...if your leg comes off in traffic, dont go back for it! Judy Utah LBK
  23. jberna

    Learning to ski

    There is a lot of discussion on this website about 'dates being set' and it usually is for surgeries...I have a GOOD date that was set this week. I have been very excited about learning to ski but really wanted to go someplace to learn how to RIGHT before I hit the slopes with this new leg. We have a great place here in Utah called The Ability Center. They teach people of ALL abilities a whole range of sports, including skiing. The resort we bought season passes to opened last weekend, we took the kids and had a BALL two different days...for now I am the picture taker. Even my just turned four year old was flying down the slope by the end of the day. It made me so excited to get out there myself. So I called the ability center and they have a five week session that starts in January. I will go the same time every week for five weeks in a row and have two hours of personal instruction, be outfitted with equipment and get a free lift pass for my hubby...a great deal. The fun thing for me was the date the sessions start.... When I had my surgery date looming I found this site and found brenda. I found out she was running her first marathon on the day before my surgery. It really inspired me. I had wanted to do something significant on the first anniversary of my surgery but running at ALL is not in the cards right now, much less a 26 mile race! But what do ya know...my SKI LESSONS start just two days after the first anniversary of my surgery! How perfect! :P For now I will go with my hubby and kiddos and watch them ski, taking notes as I sit on the sidelines and wait for "my date". We have a big trip to New Hampshire coming up anyway, for three weeks at the end of november, then christmas will come and go quickly..and THEN it will be my time again! I get to feel that wind rushing thru my hair and come down those slopes myself. I just cant wait.... In the meantime I'm really working hard at the gym, when I can get there. I have noticed a big difference in my leg strength since I started lifting. Hope they are strong enough to ski by january...... I will let you know how it goes...I may fall a LOT the first few sessions (something I work so HARD on in regular life, NOT falling down!) but as long as I dont get an injury I am willing to get up and try again....my kids love it so much, I dream of flying down those slopes with them by late spring. The fun of living in Utah.... Thanks for all the encouragement you guys have given me the past year....it has been a VERY enriched year because of my support right here. ;) Judy already snowy Utah LBK
  24. jberna

    Learning to ski

    Pam, I am SO glad I got you thinking! My big life motto right now is "this time next year" (makes afet laugh...) and I think there are so many MORE things I will be doing next october....looking at MY two year anniversary....for now I cant run yet but by golly I will be skiing in a few short weeks! I told my husband I may hate running...but I have never been able to run so just knowing I CAN will be a huge deal. I predict I will learn how, realize I hate it, and never do it again (except in rain storms!) but I really think I will like skiing and rollerblading (maybe next oct?) and hiking with my kids....we all have our "things". Debbie, thanks for telling Eric for me...tell him I miss his ski inspiration for ME...and I will keep him posted on my progress. I think of him when I take my kids to the slopes now....know he will come to mind when I am skiing myself! It is very exciting to have a whole world of sports open up to me, now that I have a leg that works! Judy Utah LBK
  25. jberna


    WHOOO HOOO Pam! I am so proud of you....things are not as scary as they seem once you get to the "other side"....am I right? ;) Keep up the great work and congrats on your progress! :D judy utah lbk