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Dick Stevens

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About Dick Stevens

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  • Amputation Type:
  • Amputation Date:
    Oct 2000, May 2001
  • Amputation Cause:
    Diabetes, vascular deasease
  1. Dick Stevens

    Where Y'all from

    I'm from North Wales, PA - a suburb of Philadelphia. (Yes, some Welsh settled here long, long ago) Chowbox: The "Conference" is the annual ACA Conference. Met in 2006 in Minneapolis (Bloomington), and in 2007 in Atlanta. Will be back in Atlanta in 2008 - come join us. Dick Stevens, DBKA in PA
  2. Dick Stevens

    crutches -what color???

    A crutch-maker here in PA offers snake-skin slip-on sleevs that look sharp. Two or three different varieties of snake, as I recall. Me? I stick with the basic black crutches.
  3. Dick Stevens

    Regrow our legs????? or arms?????????????

    Growing back our legs! What an idea. I can see all the prosthetinsts running scared. LOL
  4. Dick Stevens

    Prosthesis or Crutches?

    OK, I'm the odd-ball. I use prostheses (DBKA) AND fore-arm crutches. So it's not an either-or issue for me. My residual stumps are very short, 3 to 4 inches each. While I can stand and walk short distances, I need the sticks for balance. For long distances, I need the wheelchair.
  5. Dick Stevens

    Overdue Update from Marilyn

    Marlilyn: Sorry to hear about your double-whammy -- the loss of your son, AND the cancer recurring. I can't even pronounce it, "dermo........blastoma" or whatever. Will keep you in our prayers.
  6. Dick Stevens


    Andy: Best of luck on your moving and studies. It's always a great step getting out on your own. You remind me of my daughter when she went off to college, years ago. She was always very independent and anxious to be on her own. Even tho her school was one hour's drive from home, she definitely wanted to live on campus. And yes, the old folks were ready for some "space". A friend's mother asked our daughter, "Aren't you going to be home-sick?" Dear Lisa pipes up, "Home-sick? Nope. I'm just sick of home." Oh, fear not. We are a close family, and she visited often. But she was just ready for that independence that most kids crave. Our very best wishes for you, Andy. May it be a good year for you. Let us know how it goes.
  7. Dick Stevens

    More prosthetic etiquette

    Shane: You say, "I am a LAK and very rarely wear pants. " Hmmmm. I have this mental picture of you in your knickers.
  8. Dick Stevens

    New restrictions in place

    Apparently, this most recent scare applied only to flights between the UK and US. There you could carry on virtually nothing but wallet and passport. No electronics. But for flights within the US, we could carry on the usual stuff, except no liquids or gels. I am a DBKA bringing my own wheelchair and fore-arm crutches. I get the special screening that involves a pat-down and swabbing the prostheses for explosives. By TSA rules, they can't ask me to take off the prosthesis. They ask to take off the shoes, and when I say it;s very difficult, they ussually say OK (maybe one more swabbing). The crutches get sent thru the xray with my carry-on, and the tray full of pocket contents. Happily, I travel with my wife, so she can keep an eye on my items when they are out of sight. Last year at the ACA, I got to sample the new portable x-ray gizmo. It would allow them to x-ray thru a cast or prosthesis. A very small area - about 4 by 8 inches - so it took several x-rays to cover a whole prosthesis. They said it would be a year or so before they are in use in most airports.
  9. Dick Stevens

    Does anyone here class themselves as Disabled?

    All of you - collectively - have said it so well. Handicapped? Disabled? Differently-abled? I'm not really worried about the labels, and can use them more-or-less interchangably. We adapt as necessary, and go on living. Yeah, I have some limitations, as a DBKA with low vision. I use some equipment to get around. And life goes on.
  10. My two amps were done by a vascular surgeon, and I am happy with the results. I have diabetes, and the limbs went as a result of PVD, leading to non-healing ulcers, gangrene, and osteomylitis. The great debate was how high to cut. As explained to me, an orthopedic doc might have left more length, which would have made fitting prostheses easier - but with my PVD, would probably have breakdown and require revisions. The vascular surgeon cut higher, insuring better circulation, and no need for revision. So far, he called it right. Five years later, and no breakdown and no need for revisions. The shorter stumps make fitting and mobility more difficult -- but no problems with circulation. Because of my PVD, the vascular surgeon was the logical choice. For others, the ortho route would be more appropriate. When I hear of some peoples' probelms with severe pains and breakdown, I feel quite fortunate. .
  11. Dick Stevens

    To amputate, or not to amputate?

    Oops! I guess I should have called you "Lauren" instead of "Peggy". Anyway, wishing you the best.
  12. Dick Stevens

    To amputate, or not to amputate?

    Peggy: What a dilemma - to chop or not to chop! On the one hand, your doctor has several valid points in favor of amputation. 1. As a young woman, you could have a more "normal" looking foot and leg that would match you other "good" leg. 2. As an active person, you could have a high-end multi-axial foot that would give you some passive ankle movement. 3. With a good-fitting prosthesis, you should be able walk, run, cycle, and do other activities. From what you say, I'd guess you would have more stamina and mobility WITH the amputation and a good prosthesis. Those would be arguements FOR amputation. Some others say "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." I like that saying when it's true. But from what you say, it IS broke. Your foot-ankle-leg doesn't look and work the way it should, right? Of course, we can't see you in person, so it's hard to evaluate on-line. Of course, going into any kind of surgery is risky and unpleasant. And there will be a period of time when you're off your feet. You need to weigh whether the anticipated results are worth it. Another factor to consider: You are a fire-fighter. How will this surgery affect your ability to continue your profession? Since you're already an amputee of sorts, I suspect you're already past that hurdle of acceptance. From what you say, you should be BETTER able to do your work after getting a good-fitting prosthesis. All-in-all, I would lean toward doing the surgery -- but only you can decide. It's a big step, so decide carefully. Do get second opinions and check with prosthesists before surgery -- also physical therapist. Check to see how all of this will affect your employment. Do meet and talk with other BK amputees who are young and active like yourself. Do a Google search for the Amputee Firefighters Association. Two whom I know are Dave Dunville (Michigan) and William Malmskog (California), Don't know if they have any UK members. (If not, you could be the first.) Wishing you all the best.
  13. Dick Stevens


    "I highlighted a problem at work, when the fire alarm goes off the lifts/elevators are automatically turned off - not much fun when it is your only way out when using a wheelchair (BiBKA....)" This can be a major problem, as I doscovered last year. While traveling, we stayed in a high-rise hotel in Pittsburgh, ended up in a room on the 19th floor. Ready to leave in the morning, we discovered the elevators turned off because a smoke alarm tripped in the garage under the hotel. No fire or smoke in the hotel itself. But we had to wait for the Fire Dept to reset the alarm system. - Approx 1/2 hour. That was enough of a scare - we cancelled the reservations for the return trip - and transferred to a suburban hotel with a h/c accessible room on the ground floor.
  14. Dick Stevens


    Hi, Victoria: Welcome to the forum. Always remember, you are among friends. The decision is a tough one to make, but from what you describe of your pain and injury, I believe it's the right one for you. You are a young woman with so much life ahead of you. If you can get rid of all that pain and infection, it will be so much better. In these next few days are the scariest, wondering what will come next. Hopefully, after the initial post-op days, you'll have much less pain. One day you'll wake up and say "Hey. I can do this." With that awful pain behind you, and a bright new day ahead. There's something to this pain-mapping idea. If you can get the pain reduced as much as possible in the days before surgery, you can "fool" your brain into not remembering the pain-filled foot/leg. It works for me. Don't be shy. Talk to us, cry, scream, rant, ask questions, vent all you need. You are in our prayers. Just think, Victoria. In a few weeks or months, you'll be one of us, encouraging the next generation of new and soon-to-be amputees.
  15. Dick Stevens

    Hello everybody

    Hi, Sue: Welcome aboard. I'm fascinated by all you folks who began ampdom as kids. I didn't start losing limbs until my 60's - thanks to diabetes and PVD. First my LBK, then 6 months later, the RBK. My amps came after months or trying to save the legs. Gradually, it became more obvious what the outcome would be. It's enough of a challenge making such decisions as an adult. It must be a real challenge for a 10 or 12 year old kid to face. My hat's off to you, Sue.