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Ally

MAS Socket - My journal

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Hi Ally,

Keep up the good work-great journal and thanks for the postings. Dont' wear yourself out.

Don't forget to let me know what info you need for the peer support stuff & I'll send it through.

Mel.

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Hi Mel, thanks for the post. Jeez girl, I am battling with this thing. I'm not ready to give up just yet, because I have felt comfortable in it a few times. And it felt good. Or is it just my stubborn nature....? I forget now.

I need anything and everything you can give me about being a peer visitor. There must be some basic guidelines....just some common ground that people have put together. Shocking though, that there's nothing like that here. Or nothing that I know about. Or nothing semi-official and monitored.

Ah well, here it goes with my next installment. Not the best news in the world, but not the worst either.

Ally

<_<

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Monday 22 August 2005

I’m sitting at the PC now wondering how to document everything since last Thursday. It feels like eons ago.

Thursday (the 18th) saw me back at Marco’s rooms with a slightly tweaked MAS socket waiting for me. Hells bells. Such small changes made such a big difference. I just couldn’t get comfortable. Not for love or money. The socket was slightly bigger to ease some of the pressure, but then I think I slipped further into the socket, because the ear nailed me again. Oh, did I mention that the 'ear' has a 'shelf'?? Mmm, the ear's evil twin.... So we had another day of off-tweak-on, off-tweak-on; it seemed endless. Even Marco was disappointed. We had almost got it right on Tuesday. How could such small changes make such a huge difference to the feel of the socket?

At one stage, Marco started to mark the places (again) where he was going to fiddle with the socket, and I moved it ever so slightly on my leg and it made such an immediate difference. I did the off-on thing again, and the fit was 100% better. Marco said that I put it on only 1 or 2 degrees differently. We both couldn’t believe the huge change.

The socket still felt tight. I had been there for 5 hours, and at the end of the day, I didn’t know if I was coming or going when it came to comfort. I was sore and dog-tired, and I really couldn’t tell anymore how the socket fitted. So I decided to take it home and give it a test drive.

By the time I got home (an hour’s drive), the ear was really digging into me, and I couldn’t walk properly, felt like I was briused everywhere. Took it off, collapsed in a heap, and didn’t look at it again till Friday morning.

Friday at about 11am I gathered up the courage to put the leg on. ‘Gingerly’ doesn’t begin to describe it. Marco had brought the sidewall up and it fitted very close to my hip. Well, one step and that was me. Instant agony. My hip was so sore that I even forgot about the ear. You can imagine. I tried to push through for about an hour, but I could see that it would be impossible. Phoned Marco and back I went.

Only spent about an hour there – Marco ground down the wall around the hip and flared it out a bit. I still wasn’t too sure about the ear, but decided to take it home again and give it another go.

Saturday was going to be a long one for me. I had 3 functions to go to, which means a lot of leg work. I put the socket on and it felt really tight. More so than yesterday. In fact, I kind ‘bulged’ out the top, even though I put it on 3 times. I think I was a bit swollen, and I didn’t manage to get in as deep as the day before. I thought that if I wore it for a while, I would shrink a bit, and then I could put it on again. Sounded logical to me....

Well, that didn’t happen. The shrinking, I mean. I must have put it on about 5 times from 3pm until just before midnight, but my leg was aching from the pressure, and I could feel that my prosthetic leg was definitely longer than it usually was because I just wasn’t getting in properly.

I didn’t wear it at all on Sunday.

Today I put it on again, and I went in easier than before, and deeper. I’ve been sitting at my desk for most of the day, and this is definitely not a comfortable socket to sit in at the moment. The ear isn’t hitting against any bones, but it is digging into my flesh properly. Feels like I am sitting on a rock. This can’t be right. I’m just wondering if the ear needs to be flared out a bit, because it also catches me like that when I stand. Or maybe if it wasn’t so damn hard it wouldn’t hurt like this. I don’t know. Am going to try again tomorrow and see if maybe I can get a better fit. Could be that I am still a bit swollen, although that doesn’t make any sense. I am feeling like I should be further in. Maybe.

Marco offered to send a courier collection service to my house to fetch the socket today if I didn’t come right so he could make a new one by Wednesday. How nice is that?

The one thing I learned about this socket is that you’ve got to put it on correctly. A few millimeters in the wrong direction, and you’re stuffed.

So where am I now? Tired, a bit sore from the rock-ear, and totally confused about why I can’t seem to get it on right.

Courage does not always roar. Sometimes it is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, “I will try again tomorrow”.

That never rang more true than it does tonight.

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Hi Ally,

I have been following your posts, and, like everyone else, I must commend you on your wonderful writing skills! You are so descriptive that I feel like I'm there with you! : ) In fact, I wish I was because you could probably use some support at those visits!

I'm so sorry things aren't progressing a bit faster for you. That is so frustrating, not to mention the pain that darn ear is causing you. No one deserves to have pain like that with any socket, ear or no ear! But, I completely understand your determination and I applaud you for hanging in there. At least you will know you gave it your all, no matter what the final outcome is. I'm sending good wishes your way that Marco gets things comfortable and funtioning for you Ally!

Blessings,

Cheri

P.S.~ I'm not able to view the photos on your website. The homepage pics have that box with the small red x, and then when I click on the MAS photos it's just blank where your photos are. All I can see is your description underneath. Can anyone help me with that?

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Thanks Marco and Sheri.

When Marco spent 5 hours with me trying to get it right, I thought that was really nice of him. However, he didn't see it the same way. And he told me so, and he also mentioned 'professional ego'. Hehehehehe, ah well.... I still think he is great to afford me so much of his time and be on call night and day for me.

The last time I tried to post a MAS pic here, I just got the finger from the forum :P

I'll give it another bash, Sheri. I have no idea why you can't view the pics. Maybe someone with a better computer brain can let us know why......

Otherwise, PM me and I will mail some straight to you.

Here's one where Marco is bending the 'ear' out - or flaring it (I'm getting so smart with my words don't you think....) and this was after the ear was made shorter.

mmasbend18aug.jpg

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This is a pic where Marco had made the ear wider in an effort to get more comfort. Spoke with Marco today and I asked if the ear could be too thick? And maybe that's why I am feeling like I'm sitting on a rock. He said "that's a first".....

mmasmeasure18aug.jpg

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Here is one taken next to my Ischial Containment Socket. You can see the low trimlines on the front, which probably make the scary ear look even more larger than life....(we are facing towards you in this pic)

mmasicfront18aug.jpg

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And finally, is this taken from the back (bum facing you)

mmasicback18aug.jpg

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Great pic's Ally, for some reason I expected the whole socket thing to be even lower at the front & back, don't know why maybe because that's how they make it read in mags and on the site. I understand that probably on it's much lower; as I can see from your pic up against your other one, just different to what I had expected & visualised.

Keep up the good work.

Mel.

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Wednesday 24 August 2005

Pretty soon I am going to be able to put my car into auto-pilot and it will get me to Marco’s on its own. 12pm and I’m going back. This week has been pretty dismal with the leg.

I’m still feeling as though I’m not in properly and the leg is bugging me. The ear in particular. I wouldn’t admit it to Marco, but I’m beginning to think that maybe it’s too short. :rolleyes:

Marco decides to re-measure me and compare it to the original measurements we took for the first socket. He takes one look at me, and declares me ‘definitely not in’.

I am convinced that my stump is at least twice its normal size. Marco measures, and then we compare the new notes to the original ones. Unbelievable. I am smaller. Ever so slightly, but smaller. And this is not making any sense to me.

Marco says that my residual limb is a bit fleshy (careful now... <_<), so he takes another set of measurements. This time, with a tape that is not elasticised at the end. And the sizes are a bit bigger.

Right, the new plan is to make another socket, use the third measurements (the bigger ones), decrease them by 5% (which is usual I think), and take it from there. Marco isn’t going to change anything to do with the ear, but I am slightly appeased with the fact that the new socket’s ear won’t be so thick.

I leave his rooms feeling tired, even though its only an hour’s visit.

Weary. And concerned that maybe I have expected too much from Marlo’s Marvelous Mas.

:(

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Thursday 25 August 2005

8am phone call from Marco (doesn't this man sleep?), and the new test socket is ready. I get a couple of things done around the office and contemplate cancelling today’s appointment. But that would be silly. So off I go again.

The new test socket looks clean and shiny. And the ear doesn’t look so bad either. The shape of the MAS socket is still a thing of wonder. So very different to my IC Socket.

And on she goes. Nope, not right. On she goes again.

I think, “something’s not right”.

I say, “it’s too comfortable”.

It’s not tight enough. The ear isn’t digging into me. The front lip doesn’t hurt. I take a few steps. Where the hell is that ear?? :o I cop a quick feel just to check. Yip, it’s there alright. But where….

No man, how can this be? I ask Marco to check if I am sitting in deep enough. He says it’s fine. I feel like I am waiting for Chicken Licken to run in screaming that the sky is falling. Or something.

This is almost perfect. This is good. This is, like, WAY good. This could be it. This could very well be IT! :)

I sit down to do the cross legged thing and I manage to get right down to the floor. Both legs flat. But I feel that the socket has moved, and when I get up the socket fit is not right again.

Marco helps me to don the socket once more, and he pulls me into the socket this time. I can feel that I go in deeper than before, and when I walk now, I can feel the ear, or is it the shelf. I feel something, but it doesn’t hurt. And it doesn’t dig up into me either. It’s just there. Barely.

Because Marco has made the top of the socket wider, it no longer feels like the MAS is hanging on to me like a rabid animal. I have a very graphic imagination, and that was the exact image that flashed through my mind when I pictured the socket (between the ear and the hip) latching onto my bum.

And I am absolutely ready to take this socket home today.

I stop off at the mall and buy myself a bottle of KWV. B) I think I shall make a few toasts tonight, and one of them shall be to Marco, and Marlo’s Marvelous Mas!

Post Script : It is now 9pm and I have done a good deal of sitting at my desk today. The ear is behaving and has lost its rock-like qualities. I can sit, I can plop, and best of all, I can slouch!

:D

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Woo Hoo Ally!!

That's great news about the latest socket! So happy for you!

Thanks for posting those pictures the other day, they were great close-ups. Even though you now have a new socket, at least it gives me an idea of the ear and all.

I hope the comfort level continues to improve each day for you! Keep up the great work of keeping us informed.

Blessings,

Cheri

P.S. There is a fine line isn't there, of when to keep persuing something that doesn't feel right, and when to throw in the towel and think, "this just isn't for me!" I guess a lot of it is the determination of the CP working "with" us, as opposed to just saying it's "something you have to get used to." Ah, the things us amps have to deal with...

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Excellent news, Ally! :D :D

Your perseverance has certainly paid off and I'm delighted for you! :D B)

What's important is that you NEVER gave up, though I'm sure that you were pretty close to it at times. <_<

Hope things continue to get better and better for you. :rolleyes:

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Thanks Cheri and Afet - it's been a ride and a half - and we're still not there yet.

Including drive time (an hour each way), I have spent 28 man hours on this leg since August 3rd. Damn thing's just got to work after all this :P

Oh, and cheers <---- "sips a good KWV and thinks she deserves it!"

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Looks like it's coming together, Ally. Glad you hung in there and didn't quit. Your prosthetist sounds like he's quite something. Better keep him forever!

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Hello Hurray! :D Now let the show begin! Good for you girl, Jesus you really wanted that socket!

I have learned from you Ally that the measly 10 hours I have spent setting up my leg set up is just not enough?

I love my new socket, but the liners keep failing :( Bloody Otto Bock can't keep :rolleyes: up.

I will have a go in the go on my leg, tomorow on the grass in case I fall! :(

I will take heart from your determination and learn again to walk with the Mauch

Have good weekend! :D

PJ

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Thursday 1 September 2005

Happy Spring Day! And I am running around with all the allergies that come with the end of winter and the fresh buds of a new season. :P

The new socket is behaving quite well. It has its moments, as do I, and generally most discomforts are rectified by re-donning the leg. I have been able to wear the leg for quite long periods at a time. There have been no blisters and no bruising. The ear only gives me trouble when I'm not positioned correctly in the socket, otherwise it has been relatively unobtrusive.

This test socket came with a slight flaw in the form of a hairline crack running down the outer length. Initially I was able to halt the suction loss with some carefully placed tape, but the other day, the crack deepened and I am finding that after a couple of hours, the leg needs to be put on again as it starts to feel very loose.

I know that I am running the risk of landing on my nose as the test socket material is very brittle and can quite easily shatter, but I am going to try and hold out until at least next week. Then Marco will make another test socket and fingers crossed, it may well be the last one.

I was battling with quite a tight ring of pressure around the bottom of my stump, but it seems to have eased considerably now. Only question is - is it because of the crack in the socket, or am I really getting used to it? Another problem that the crack may be responsible for is that I seem to be turning in the socket ever so slightly after wearing it for a while. The new test socket should sort these things out either way.

I am also sitting quite comfortably.

Marco is probably going to have a fit when he finds out that I never told him about the crack getting worse. Quite frankly, I think he has other things to worry about at the moment, one of them being that of becoming a first time DADDY today!

WHOOOOHOOOO - WAY TO GO MARCO!!!!! B)

Anyway, a huge thanks to everyone who responded to my frantic plea on how to fix a cracked test socket on my own just so that it would hold for a while. At the moment, duct tape is my new super-hero!

All in all I am very happy with this test socket at the moment and full of the joys of Spring.

Atchoo!

:lol:

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Wednesday 07 September 2005

Well, pffftttt! :huh:

This weekend didn’t go too well with the duct-taped socket. I really battled on Sunday. I bottomed out and really knocked the hell out of my leg. I've done something really nasty to my back as well and I wonder if it's because I was favouring the prosthesis. Marco suggested I see a chiropractor. Quite frankly I would rather stick needles in my eye.

Anyway, went back to Marco today and left the MAS socket there. He will make a new test socket, with a few changes (make it a bit longer and bring in the side around my hip a bit). He looked at the ear and said “I wonder if I need to make it a bit longer…”. <_< I don’t know if he was kidding. I nearly collapsed.

So I am back on my IC socket after a week of walking with the MAS. Marco wanted to know what it felt like. I said, “like I am wearing a tree stump”. Jeez – this IC Socket really comes high up and feels SO big. The MAS doesn’t feel like it is swallowing my stump. I think I like it better.

I also find that the IC Socket grips the top half of my thigh, where the MAS locks onto the bottom half very close to the end of my stump. Very different.

I will probably have the new test socket by the end of the week. We are hoping that it will be the last.

And I saw little Nina du Plooy today. What a beautiful baby!

:)

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Glad to hear you've finally given Marco the cracked socket to sort out and I hope the replacement is just right for you.

Give Marco my comisserations when you next see him. He has a lifetime of trouble ahead of him ;) :)

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I think the baby will be far more demanding

Debatable.................... :lol:

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Well done Mate; you've done an exceptional job hanging in this far I really hope the finish line is in the very near future.

Mel.

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Friday 9 September 2005

Went back to Marco today, very hopeful that I would be fitting the last test socket and all would be well.

It seems we have got the top fit right, or as far as Marco can see and I can feel, it’s good. However, after walking up and down (yeah yeah Sergeant Marco) <_<, I felt the socket pushing at the bottom on the outside of my stump. Almost like I wasn’t standing straight into the socket. And it started to hurt quite a bit. I really wanted to take the socket home, so we changed the alignment a zillion times, and eventually even tried a different knee, but it didn’t quite work.

Marco asked if I wanted to take it home and try to walk through it. As much as I wanted to say ‘yes’, I didn’t think I would be able to do it. I had a lovely red pressure mark on my leg that was more painful than I wanted to admit.

And so……………..much to my dismay and horror………………Marco chopped my new test MAS socket IN HALF! :o :o Eish, my aching nerves. We recast the bottom of the socket, and Marco is going to make another socket using the same top measurements, and new bottom ones.

Will be going back next week to try, try again.

Sigh.

:angry:

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