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Heather Mills - Amputee Forum

jberna

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Posts posted by jberna


  1. 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


  2. This thread cracks me up! Looks like you guys smoked out this guy...makes me feel better that you all are so protective of our little world here...voicing suspicions when necessary....something tells me we wont be hearing from Joe again.... ;)

    Judy

    LBK

    Utah


  3. What a GREAT day ED! :D I am cheering for you...know how big this is! I am glad you posted....it is inspiring and will help many others for years to come...I also love your updates, what you can do on certain dates...we should all do that. Even just for our personal progress journals...keep it up! As a BK I am fascinated to read about bi-BKs.....

    Celebrate tonight! (I'll celebrate with you, tomorrow is my first anniversary date!)

    Judy

    LBK

    Utah


  4. I am due to start my first ski lessons on friday.....I am very excited but honestly a bit nervous about injury. I sure dont want to be on crutches for six weeks, or more, because of a crazy move on the slopes!

    My pros. recommended I wear a knee brace when I do sports like skiing....I saw some on the disabled skiers we went to watch competing for the Huntsman Cup a few weeks ago. (it is good to live just an hour from a dozen major ski resorts!) I was wondering if anyone had any advice on brands/types. I have been told to look at donjoy brands....

    They are all made for non-amputees and I was wondering if it ever hits the wrong place on the prosthetic, on the lower part...does that make sense? Like it might not want to grab onto the socket if it does not go down low enough on the socket...any suggestions?

    Thanks friends! :D

    Judy

    utah

    LBK


  5. ;) I know my story is kind of "backward"...in that I had a bum foot before and then cut it off so that I could have a foot that worked...so my anniversary date of my surgery is like a true "birth"day to me....I truly got to start life again, with a foot that worked, on January 12 of last year. I believe I share that date with Heather Mills (her real bday) and my precious neice who lives in London, who will turn four tomorrow.

    I have had some fun this year....just as I had hoped....a lot of time at my prosthetists office (my four year old considers him a good friend!), and a lot of figuring out how to read my new limb...but I am on my way to a much more active life. It is up to me now, how much time I put in the gym, getting those withered muscles back, how much time I put into PT and learning correct gait...but I love that it is MY choice now....with that bum foot I felt like I had no choices.

    So we will have cake at our house tomorrow...to celebrate mommy's new life. And I will go by my surgeons office, with a photo album in hand. I have filled it with pictures of my new life, pictures of me doing everything from rafting to hiking. He was a bit skeptical, because my leg had no disease, no current infection, but I argued the "quality of life" stance and he trusted me, that I knew what I was in for. I am forever grateful that he did.

    Just wanted to share my happy day with all of you, my true extended family.... ;)

    Judy

    Utah

    LBK


  6. :D Okay, to feel "part of the family" I feel I must add my resolutions also...nothing like starting them mid january....is that a hint as to how successful I will be?... :blink:

    1. Explore new activities with my kids, things I couldnt do before.

    2. Get better balance

    3. Get stronger all over, and become more active, to keep that strength up.

    4. Of course to lose some weight, but more than that to gain muscle, feel stronger.

    5. Remind my kids more often how much I love them and adore them.

    6. Encourage my husband on a daily basis, telling him specifically WHY I appreciate him.

    7. Get our family paperwork in order (!)....from school papers to office/bills paperwork...get a better system and clean out my files!

    8. Make a quilt for the new neice who will be appearing in the spring.

    Thats good for now....I love the idea of taking stock, reminding ourselves once a year that we need to live by what is important to us, not by what gets thrown in our face on a daily basis...life is about choices.

    It will be fun to look these up in December... :rolleyes:

    Judy

    utah

    lbk


  7. Hey Lynne...so good to read thru your posting and see how things have worked out for you....very encouraging for others who might come along and read thru these....one thing I did want to mention though...

    You may feel better, feel less like you are "aging" so fast once you are off the painkiller concoctions. THey sure are great to help when you want to lead a normal life without pain but my husband always says I am a different person when I am on them, even for short times. I felt much more in control of things once I was able to get off them.

    I am sure if you are postponing your surgery you might have them awhile longer, but just keep it in the back of your mind that some of the stuff you are "feeling" may be caused by the painkillers.

    So glad you have a supportive family! Keep us posted!

    Judy

    Utah

    LBk


  8. I have a renegade and it has a foot cover over the part that goes in a shoe, so my sandals fit better...and my pros. said it would be no problem at all to make the ankle part....I dont see any problem with covering it....although I wear mine "out", like brenda....

    judy

    utah

    lbk


  9. :( I am so sorry I have not responded...to such an important posting. I have not checked in since the first of the year and am just now catching up. I am so sad to read that this is happening to you, Johnny. Along with the others here, I am honored that you are honest with us and are willing to share with us. What a terribly painful season of life you are going through...but like the others said, seasons will come and go, in nature and in your life. Hold on and ride it out. Your daughter is blessed to have a dad who loves her so much. She knows it in her heart now and will know it even more when she is grown with kids of her own. Just keep loving her like you always have and you will 'do right" by her.

    Know you are in my thoughts and prayers....I hate to see a friend hurt. Praying this year turns out to be better than it seems at this poing.

    Judy

    Utah

    LBK


  10. :lol: I just had to add my funny story here...I rarely go to the bathroom at night, watch water intake after dinner....but at times I have "heard the call" and slip down onto the floor and quietly crawl to the bathroom. One night I suppose I crawled just a bit TOO quietly...trying not to wake my light-sleeper husband...when I came out of the bathroom, on all fours, our cat, who must not have seen me go IN...just about had a cardiac arrest! Here is this big "thing" coming out of the bathroom, towards him (!). In about a second and a half he flew across our bed, right across my sleeping husbands face, and was down the hall....in the meantime my husband, fully asleep then has this fur ball fly across his face, woke up in a second, and was out of bed in a flash, thinking I had fallen or something....I was laughing so hard, watching it all transpire, that I was glad I had ALREADY gone pee.....I still laugh when I think about that night.... :lol:

    Judy

    LBK

    Utah


  11. :rolleyes: Annie, your message brought tears to my eyes. What you describe is also what I found a year ago....you said it so well. I dont poke my head in here nearly enough, a sign I am back to 'real life' and have less sit down time...but just want to say I agree with you...the people here are amazing angels.

    Judy

    LBK

    Utah


  12. Carrie, I am sure you have thought of this one, but how about becoming a 911 dispatcher? We had a local woman here get a "dispatcher of the year" award recently, read about her in the paper. She loved it, was involved in "helping people", was always calm and in control on the phone with frantic people, and felt like she was "out there" even though she was in a chair. She is definately a part of the "rescue" team. Have you considered this option?....they sure need people like you, who care about others....

    Judy

    Utah

    LBK


  13. Hunnypot..it is christmas eve and I have just a tiny bit of time on the computer before santa comes (I have four little ones...) but wanted to offer my encouragement to your friend. It will be a rough holiday for her this year but this time next year things may be MUCH better. I would encourage her to get counseling. Esp if the therapist has worked with amputees. It cant hurt to have someone to talk to who you dont have to be afraid of hurting their feelings. Also find other amputees in your area who are her age...thru the prosthetists office maybe...have them visit or call her.

    Find a good prosthetist and she can have a great quality of life, but it WILL take time....life is NOT over, trust me! I had my surgery a year ago and am amazed how much changed in a year.

    Good luck, my friend...keep us posted. Tell your friend we are thinking of her.

    Judy

    Utah

    LBK


  14. I dont have NHS so am not familiar with what they would give you but I do know that my first leg was a LOT heavier than the one I have now. I had my surgery jan of this year, got my leg in late feb. It was big and heavy and every time I got a new socket, because of shrinkage in my stump, it got smaller and lighter. And I hear that my permanant one will be even lighter than the one I have now.

    That is all the info I can give. I am hoping some of our other friends that got legs thru NHS will answer this question for you too...

    Judy

    Utah

    LBK


  15. Hate to say it guys but I am done watching...it was a big deal to make time to watch it before but it was worth it to see chad romp on the challenges. (I usually taped it and even then had trouble finding time to watch it!) I am so sad that Chad was sacrificed, esp on a day he almost WON the challenge, a challenge he was at a distinct disadvantage on....he was robbed!

    Chad, you made us proud....I will see how won by watching the articles in People magazine but wont be watching the show anymore...you were my sole reason for watching!

    Guess I just have more time to play with my kids on thursday nights now! ;)

    Judy

    LBK

    Utah


  16. I havent read this post for a long time but think maybe I can offer some other suggestions. I have found that when I travel (about five times since my amp.) I just deal with a tub. I am a bk and so I just know I will have to bring a big cup with me to the bath. I run the water and use the cup to dump water on my head/wash my hair, while the water fills the tub. Then I bathe. It is always trickier and takes twice as long in a different bathroom because I am very nervous about falling, so I go slowly when getting out. I never feel as clean after bathing this way as I do in my shower at home (with shower chair).

    We just spent two weeks in NH at my mother in laws house...TINY bathroom, old facuets with low water pressure....a REAL trick to stay clean and feel clean. I had to really be diligent about washing my liner/stump so I didnt get skin break downs while on vacation. I cant tell you how GREAT it felt to have a shower in MY shower the first day I got home! :angry:

    Just a few suggestions...

    judy

    lbk

    utah


  17. I totally understand what you are saying here....I come across this a LOT. Even in OUR house, all the kids that come in the door know the shoes go immediately in a basket by the door...friends and neighbors all do it. It helps us to find our kids shoes when it is time to go somewhere :angry: and also must be keeping the carpets somewhat cleaner. (although they are filthy....four kids plus tons of friends...)

    So far I just dont take off my shoes and dont say anything. Most people know me, know I have an artificial leg, and dont ask. I assume ONE exception wont be critical....if everyone else is shoeless they are still going to keep their floors pretty clean.

    If anyone had a problem I would just avoid going there again...sounds kind of sad, but I really have no choice but to keep my shoes on...sorry!

    If I had obviously dirty shoes I would just not go in...to spare them the dirt. But my shoes dont get that dirty, esp nice ones I wear to get togethers.

    Just my view of things...I feel your pain, have been there myself many times. Even before my amputation I wore a leg brace that required a shoe to hold it on...could not walk without it....so for almost ten years. Good luck with the holiday season...many more get togethers than usual! :huh:

    Judy

    Utah

    LBK


  18. 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? :rolleyes:

    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


  19. 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


  20. 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

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