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Heather Mills - Amputee Forum


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About phillycarole

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  • Amputation Type:
  • Amputation Date:
    July 2003
  • Amputation Cause:
    Heparin Induced Thrombocytopenia
  1. phillycarole

    Good tunes, great vibes

    My favorite still goes to ol' Blue Eyes, Frank Sinatra with his song, "That's Life." The song has gotten me through a lot of bad times other than my amputation. Favorite line is, "Each Time I find myself lying flat on my face, I just pick myself up and get back into the race." That's what everyone has to do in this life no matter what hits us. I just wish the last line were different cause I'm never going to roll up into a ball and die until it's time for the final check out. That's life, that's what all the people say. You're riding high in April, Shot down in May But I know I'm gonna change that tune, When I'm back on top, back on top in June. I said that's life, and as funny as it may seem Some people get their kicks, Stompin' on a dream But I don't let it, let it get me down, 'Cause this fine ol' world it keeps spinning around I've been a puppet, a pauper, a pirate, A poet, a pawn and a king. I've been up and down and over and out And I know one thing: Each time I find myself, flat on my face, I pick myself up and get back in the race. That's life I tell ya, I can't deny it, I thought of quitting baby, But my heart just ain't gonna buy it. And if I didn't think it was worth one single try, I'd jump right on a big bird and then I'd fly I've been a puppet, a pauper, a pirate, A poet, a pawn and a king. I've been up and down and over and out And I know one thing: Each time I find myself laying flat on my face, I just pick myself up and get back in the race That's life That's life and I can't deny it Many times I thought of cutting out But my heart won't buy it But if there's nothing shakin' come this here july I'm gonna roll myself up in a big ball and die My, My
  2. phillycarole

    An Ode On Being An Amputee

    Thank you for the replies. I'm not great at poetry, but felt there is something to be said about our situation. Most of us though labeled "disabled," don't feel we are. We just have a different way of doing things now. I'd like others, fortunate enough to have their own 2 good legs or whatever to realize this and be aware of how "we" see ourselves--as useful, productful individuals capable of tending to our needs. I hate it when others look at me with that poor you, let me do this or that for you, especially when I'm doing it alright on my own. Oh well, that's life. Just thought I'd run this by those who are in the same boat.
  3. phillycarole

    Things I have learned......

    One of the things I learned right out of surgery is that our stump has a mind of its own. An attendent was taking me from recovery to start hyperbaric treatment. I had been through this prior to my amputation, so I knew every elevator on the way. We got to one set of elevators and I told the fellow the one he was about to take me into was too short for the gurney I was on. He thought he knew better than me. The door started closing quickly on the gurney. Well, my long leg pulled back, but not without the short one following. The stump flew up in the air and just about had me doing a summersault backwards. Thank goodness my long leg hit the back of the elevator and stopped me. I learned the lesson again when I was up on crutches and shorty leg decide to fly a little too forward and I just about flipped backwards. Since shorty isn't grounded to the floor anymore, I have to watch it when doing things without my prosthesis on. You should have seen the face on that attendent. I don't know who was more shocked and horrified, him or me.
  4. phillycarole

    An Ode On Being An Amputee

    Okay folks, haven't been here a while, but wanted to see what you might think of a poem I've written about our situation. I'm a 6 year RBK and thought it was time for something on this subject. I appreciate anything anyone has to say. An Ode On Being An Amputee Though this body of mine is no longer perfect There is much to be grateful for. The loss of my leg is my badge of strength and courage That others before me have born. Others have lost a breast, arm, or leg And not because of choice; Rather, it has been due to unfortunate necessity. So now we give our loss a voice. When we look into other’s eyes We see a wide range of emotion. Some eyes full of compassion, some of pity. Fortunately, there are those of devotion. Our life goes on, as it should. All we want is acceptance To live our lives as normal as possible. Please accept that fact and give us our chance. Though our body is lacking a part We are not diminished. From a once perfect body, we have adjusted To the imperfect one that will take us to the finish.
  5. phillycarole

    How on earth do you start!

    I'm a female RBK. At Christmas I decided to but myself a girl's 15 speed bike at Walmart to get started doing something athlectic. My son tried to help me get started, but it didn't work too well at all. He is gone now, but I still have the bike and want to try again. I think part of my problem is that I have a short stump and it is darn near impossible for that leg to bend and stay with the pedal. I'm going to try the velcro trick shown on the video listed. Also, our community has a recreation center with stationary bikes that I think I'll practice on. My prosthetist said I might need to have my old prosthesis altered, cutting the lip of the socket cut way back to give me more range of motion, but I'd only be able to use it for bike riding because it wouldn't support my stump for walking in. Now guys, I'm 62, not in my 20 or 30s. Do you think I have a shot at accomplishing getting some joy into my life by going back to something I enjoyed when I was quite young? Anyone out there had this situation? Through the winter, would practicing on a stationary bike see to help? Thanks for any input anyone can give me. Carole
  6. phillycarole

    Exercise Vote

    First I love water aerobics because it makes my whole body feel good, just can't do it in the evening because I get to hyped up to sleep--that's an old lady for ya. Secondly, after watching Heather on Dancing with the Stars, I decided to give my love of dancing another try. I'm pretty good at the mechanics of the steps, but I can forget every turning since we gals turn on our right foot. The upperhalf may start going, but I'm afraid that being an RBK, my foot won't be able to take my leg and lower body with the upper. But, I'll keep working at that, too. Anywho, those are the active things I really enjoy doing. Thank goodness we can do some activities or we'd all be outgrowing our prosthesis. Carole
  7. phillycarole

    A question about costs

    Thanks to everyone for the help. I've learned the way they do things in one area of the country can be totally different in another. It becomes disheartening to know one needs something new in the prosthectic area and not know who to go to in order to get it done. Guess I'll start with my primary care dr. and go from there. I've been going to him about a year now so hopefully he knows me well enough. What makes it hard is that cousins and the such seem to think I should be getting around better than I am, but they have no idea what all is involved. It's just not like buying a pair of shoes in the store and knowing what these things cost also makes it a bit scarey because someone else is paying for it (hopefully, anyway). Ya'll cut through that with a simple answer and I am grateful. Carole
  8. phillycarole

    A question about costs

    If you are on medicare you need to have your medical doctor working with your prosthetist to justify the claim. Given the doctor can state the proper medical reasons medicare will have to ok the purchase unless the part you are replacing is rated for a activity level that you do not meet. Even then you can appeal your claim by providing more medical support. Go to a prosthetist and have him work with the doctor who provided the prescription. Dave Thank you for the information, Dave. Can the prescribing Dr. be one's primary dr., or does it have to be someone like an orthopedist or a vascular physician (my amputation was done by a vascular surgeon in another area of the country)? Carole
  9. phillycarole

    A question about costs

    Carole, why are you "stuck" with what you have? If it's not working you should be able to try something else. -------------------- Marcia I guess I'd say I'm stuck with it for a number of reasons. At first it seemed fine, but then I broke the hip of the same leg, the knee of the same leg was worsened by the fall, my husband was dx'd with stage 4 colon cancer, we move half way cross the country back home, and my husband passed away. By the time I got to a prosthetist where I'm at, all he was interested in doing was more tweeking my prosthesis because it was still in good condition and giving me new liners. The prosthesis was done through vocational rehab when I was planning to go back to work prior to my list of things above. I am on full disability for Crohn's Disease and get my widow's portion of S/S as well. I am on medicare and a supplemental and medicare dictates how often and for what reasons you may get a prosthesis. At this point, I haven't a clue as to what type of doctor in this area to go to to have my leg's situation accessed for a lighter prosthesis. The one I have really hurts my hip and lover back area. I don't seem to walk in my prosthese, but rather sling it ahead to walk because of it's weight. That's where I am at present with it. I just wish prosthetists would show us what's available so we have some decision input into the matter since we have to wear it. Thanks for your reply, Marcia. Carole
  10. phillycarole

    Are you happy

    Thanks, Marcia. I float in and out, kinda like ocean waves. Well, maybe more like a hurricane since they occur less frequently. One thing I have learned over the past few years is that everyone early on was right, we have to seek getting what we need for our individual cases. One thing nice about being in the St. Louis area now is that there's an amputee support group meeting here once a month. It's a small group, but great people. First person I met at the meetings lost both his legs also to the Heparin allergy thing. I also learned stumps are all different sizes. I know, what was I thinking way back when. But, it's great to get together with others who know what it's really like. Keep on truckin, Marcia. Glad you remembered me. Carole
  11. phillycarole

    Plastic Prosthtics

    Thanks for the replies. Since my son lives a few hours from Maryland, I figure I can go to his place and make the drive. My present prosthesis with a sneaker, the liner and all weighs about 8 1/2lbs. The prosthetist who made it up for me said it probably didn't weigh anymore than the part amputated. The problem being, that leg had ligaments and everything else to help with movement. I think they're talking dead weight which is totally different from live weight--if you get my drift. I just want to see the whole thing together to compare it to what I have. At the end of the day, my back just aches from hoisting the prosthesis around and is discouraging to using it. If I would get one, I won't give up the one I have just to be on the safe side. It's wonderful for us to be able to talk these things over with others in the same boat. I figure what I have beats getting around on crutches or a wheel chair all the time. Carole
  12. phillycarole

    A question about costs

    I wish I could help you. I've been searching for several years on and off for such a website and have never found one. Earlier today I posted to one posting about how satisfied we are with our prosthetics. I'm sure we all realize our prosthetics are 10K USA $ and up. It is my firm belief that we as amputees deserve to see what our prosthetists have available and the price of the various parts in advance to getting a prosthesis. We wouldn't have our cars repaired without getting an estimate or anything else for that fact, so why can't we know what the parts of our prosthesis run. The medical field needs to get real with individuals, not just prosthetists. A lot of the blame goes to the health insurance organizations. I don't know about anyone else, but I got stuck with what was chosen for me and if it wasn't just right, they played with it to make it duable--unfortunately, I don't find mine to be duable, but I moved from one area of the country to another and am stuck with it. Good luck on your hunt and let us know how you make out. Carole
  13. phillycarole

    Are you happy

    Oh boy, my pet peeve subject. I don't like the way prosthetics are dealt with in the US, particularly for 1st time users. One goes to a prosthetist and he decides what type of prosthesis you're going to get. I'm not sure if it is based on the type of insurance an individual has or what. The individual never gets to see the full line of products available and the cost of the various parts. The cost of the parts seems to depend upon the type of insurance the person has. Do we buy anything else this way? One doesn't get an itemized bill for themselves, it's just sent off to the insurance company. When one's insurance sends them what they paid out, one nearly has a heart attack because the bill is upwards of $10,000 US dollars. In my first year as an amputee, $33K was paid out for my 2 prosthesis. That amount would have bought a very, very nice car. In the end, I don't wear the dagnabit thing because it's so heavy. We should be dealt with, this is what your insurance pays, this is your cost, this is the insurance company's costs, if you want different parts that will be more beneficial for you, this is what you will have to pay additionally. We should be dealt with straightforwardly instead of what seems to be a big, dark secret of the industry. Okay, I'll get off my soapbox. As they say, there oughtta be a law. Carole the big mouth
  14. phillycarole

    Ooch! Ouch!! Waah!!!

    I'm all for having the shrinker on whenever my prosthesis is off. At the support meetings I go to, any of the prosthetists that come in say this is the way it should be. They suggest having 2 or more. One on, one having just been washed and drying. It was also suggested that they be washed with the same soap we use on our stump, done by hand and hung to dry after every use. I have a flabby stump and being w/o my shrinker is just uncomfortable, it needs the support the shrinker gives. My favorite ones are the long white ones with the little plastic ring because they're so soft on the skin and don't irritate the skin at all. Carole
  15. phillycarole

    Plastic Prosthtics

    In the past couple months I've been doing some research for lightweight prosthetics. Since I've heard of people going out of state in search of prothetists and prosthetics, I decided that might be the way to go. There is this company that does business in the Maryland, Virginia, DC area that produces plastic prosthetics that are over half the weight of what I have (Ossur). Has anyone heard about these? This is the website address for the place: www.rothschildsorthopedics.com Also, since I am 100% disabled for another reason and on medicare, does anyone know how often Medicare will allow one to get a prosthesis? I have had my present porosthesis since the summer of 2004. Medicare did not pay for it because I didn't qualify for Medicare at that point. This thing feels so heavy that I only wear it when I absolutely have to, especially in the hot summer. I've tried wearing it more to get used to the weight, but it tends to wear me out and limiting me at how long I can walk. I've been told I have a very short stub for being a BK which may be part of the reason this thing feels so heavy. Since I'm 60, I know things aren't going to get any easier with age. Oops, forgot to mention I'd also broken the hip of the same leg after amputation and have a ball and pin in the thigh. If anyone has heard of these types of prosthetics, I'd like to hear. I believe the designer of this prosthetic is himself and amputee. Since watching Heather on TV, I've been trying to get back to my first activity love of dancing. I can R/R, but since I'm a RBK, I have trouble trying to turn since we gals turn on our right leg. On the bright side, I have picked up being able to do the Macarena and Electric Slide--well an adjusted version. Dancing is great exercise, but I would like to be able to walk around the block and maybe try bicycle riding again. Somedays I watch others and realize I have "leg envy." Is that not pathetic? Thanks for any info and also hope this website brings about further education. Carole