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Heather Mills - Amputee Forum
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Re-training the brain

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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!




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