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Heather Mills - Amputee Forum
eddie103

:::Thoughts:::

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Ed-

I'm so glad you shared your personal recipes for success! I found so many truths in it. It, also inspired me too! :D I used to be a hair styist, TSS changed my life. I receive so much joy from doing simple thing like cutting & styling a person's hair. Their smile was a big payment to me. I used to do my grandmother's hair until the time I became ill. I have so many things I want to--I need to learn to for myself. Simple things like taking a shower by myself without my huband standing there bathing me. Simple things like household chores--believe it or not--I miss not doing these things myself.

My father had a favorite saying as I was growing up. It went like this:

"If it's to be--it's up to me! :unsure:

I love the saying--I try to remember it whenever I'm face with a challenge of something that I need to do for myself!

Patti

St. Louis, MO

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Being in contact with other amputees has been invaluable for me. It restored a feeling of normalcy to my life.

Peers are priceless people.

Normalcy? :huh::blink: :P

AMEN!! I know what you are saying! When I lost my leg, I grew up around "normal" people. Now I hae mingled with you guys, and now I feel NORMAL! LOL..

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Gee... I'd missed this thread before... thanks for posting here and bringing it to my attention, Sam!

Some really, really good ideas and inspirations here! Thanks for starting it, Ed... now, having met you, I can just imagine you sorting out "chair recovery!"

One thing I'd like to add to the "recipe ingredients" others have posted here would be:

Educate others: Blow your own horn!

Sometimes people who want desperately to be supportive are so afraid of saying "the wrong thing" that they don't say anything at all. Let them know it's OK... let them know that you're NOT "poor Cheryl" but that you have an active, involved, interesting life doing many of the same things you've always done. If you can "teach" an AB about your situation, who knows how many others it may help in the future?

For example, I "educated" my dermatologist yesterday. I have scarring on my right leg, a reminder of a bad bout of stasis dermatitis. When I had my check-up yesterday, my doctor commented that the leg was looking much better and asked what I'd been doing for it.

"I have a better fitting leg: it's allowed me to be more active recently, and that seems to keep the ankle from swelling," I replied. When asked what types of activities, I said, "Walking and swimming."

My doctor said that was great. He then said, "Being in the water is especially good for problems like this. What do you do when you're in the pool?"

"I just told you: I swim," I replied.

This is where the conversation got a little surreal.

"You DO? You know that all you really have to do is stand there."

So I explained that I swim, I stand, I hop, I float... everything except actually walk across the pool. And I added that, since I'd attended the amputee swim clinic at the ACA conference, I was now much better at getting OUT of the pool, so I was inclined to swim much more often than before.

"The WHAT?" he asked.

"Amputee swim clinic," I replied.

"There ARE such things?"

So I told him "absolutely yes," and they were very useful, and it was something he could recommend to others in my situation.

Now I may be his only amp patient at the moment... but he learned something new from me, and it might help some other middle-aged amp with a puffy leg somewhere on down the line. And at the end of my appointment, he didn't go through his normal "fussing" about whether I needed help in order to get off the exam table... I'd done something to take away part of the "poor Cheryl" response.

Soooo... when you accomplish something new, be proud of it, and let folks KNOW you're proud of it! It could open the doors to communication... and communicating the fact that we're just a normal part of society benefits everyone.

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I guess I sort missed this one too, in the beginning Ed... you are so right...

If I were to add anything it would be...... Don't be an impostion to other people if it really isn't necessary.. I, like you, see people "letting" others do for them, when in reality, they could do it themselves...

Personally, I always hated asking someone for help..

You couldn't of said it any better Cheryl......

As a peer visitor, I can see you being a huge help to anyone that you talk with......

Keep it up, lady.....

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Hi Ed,

I like your list a lot--that is what I have lived by for the last 8 months. The only one I view differently is people staring. I am a teacher, both in reality and at heart. So if someone is looking persistently I say: I was in a car accident and I lost my leg in it--don't you think I am doing great! It is educative, requires a response and usually the other is taken a back. I don't say it angrily and it seems to work for me to be positive.

I have said I would wear shorts this summer--and with it being 37C this week it has been a good choice. Sometimes when children come up and touch I tell them I had a bad car accident and they gave me a new leg. I know I have to practice this as I am leading a tour to Viet Nam in two weeks. The Vietnamese are fascinated by difference--they mean absolutely nothing other than curiosity. I am working on my Vietnamese to say the same thing.

Peace, Beth Marie :P

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Hi Ed,

I like your list a lot--that is what I have lived by for the last 8 months. The only one I view differently is people staring. I am a teacher, both in reality and at heart. So if someone is looking persistently I say: I was in a car accident and I lost my leg in it--don't you think I am doing great! It is educative, requires a response and usually the other is taken a back. I don't say it angrily and it seems to work for me to be positive.

I have said I would wear shorts this summer--and with it being 37C this week it has been a good choice. Sometimes when children come up and touch I tell them I had a bad car accident and they gave me a new leg. I know I have to practice this as I am leading a tour to Viet Nam in two weeks. The Vietnamese are fascinated by difference--they mean absolutely nothing other than curiosity. I am working on my Vietnamese to say the same thing.

Peace, Beth Marie :P

BethMarie,

I have been an amputee for over 25 yrs., and I have that problem with people staring. I never knew really how to deal with it, was making it all awkward, and all. i do wear shorts, being it is like 95 degree. I guess i need to try your technique.

Samuel

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Sam, "staring" could be a topic all in itself! I've only been at this for a couple of years, but I've found that there's "staring" and there's "staring"... and that how we respond can make all the difference.

Kids' stares are almost always due to curiousity. I let them stare, and I answer their questions. Again, it's that "education" thing: letting them know that some people have one leg (or arm, or whatever combination of limbs applies) teaches them something and may save others from "stares" in the future. In my case, the actual reasons for my amputation make a pretty long story, so I just say that my foot was badly broken and the doctor couldn't fix it, so he gave me this new foot and leg instead. That usually takes care of it.

MOST adults' stares are also curiousity... not necessarily about YOU... they could just be interested in the technology! Or, they could have a family member or friend who's an amp. So my first reaction to a stare is to look back, with an "approachable" expression. I've had a good number of pleasant conversations start up that way. BethMarie's approach is another really good response! (As is your attitude about it, BethMarie!)

SOME stares, however, are just plain intrusive and rude. Mostly, I ignore them. Sometimes, if I'm in the mood, I'll stare back. And, occasionally, if they're being REALLY pushy about it, I'll say something like, "I lost my leg, not my mind." They usually look embarrassed and take off fast.

NOW.... Having said all of that, here's the most important thing I've found about the staring: If you're comfortable and confident about yourself, you're not even likely to notice the stares. I was VERY aware of how I was being "looked at" my first year... and I noticed whenever someone stared. The second year, I was a lot less concerned about what people thought, and a lot more concerned with just getting on with what I was doing... and it seemed that fewer people stared. This is my third summer since my amp... I'm just living my life, and the stares are rare indeed.

I don't believe that society as a whole has changed the way it reacts to people with disabilities in three years... I believe I've changed the way I think about being a person who lives with a disability.

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I don't believe that society as a whole has changed the way it reacts to people with disabilities in three years... I believe I've changed the way I think about being a person who lives with a disability.

This is a great thought and I sure can understand and believe in this. Now if the people who are responsible for structural assessability would change :lol:

Peace, Beth Marie

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BethMarie, if you look around the forum, you'll find all sorts of discussions on accessibility issues... it's a "biggie!" The newer you are at this "amp thing," the bigger the accessibility issue looms... but it pops up every so often for even the most skiiled and experienced of us.

My personal opinion is that ANYONE who is involved in ANY type of business or service to the public ought to have to spend one full day trying to access their product or service from a wheelchair. It would open a LOT of eyes! I've learned that the the "handicapped accessible" symbol on the doors of many businesses has little or no meaning... simply because no-one stops to think about a disabled person's needs once they get in the front door.

A good sense of humor and a willingness to "educate" helps here, too. Don't just chafe when you encounter an obstacle, and don't just slink away. And, most of all, don't just get angry... simply make your needs known and tell folks what's not working for you.

A couple of examples from when I was first starting to get back into circulation:

At a local floral/decorative supply store, their annual Christmas display of decorated trees was set in the center of the shop, walled off by a freestanding fence, accessible only by a single narrow gate and an equally narrow path... and the path was covered with a layer of loose straw! I was using a walker in order to get around. The display was completely inaccessible to me... and I'd driven several miles to that store specifically to see the display!

Soooo... I went to the customer service desk and explained that their arrangement of the trees, while a lovely idea, made then impossible to be viewed up close by anyone in a wheelchair, a walker, or simply anyone with balance problems. And I pointed out that their shop was located next to a very large senior citizens development with MANY prospective customers who would not be able to enjoy the display... which would probably mean that they wouldn't stay to purchase things. Then I explained that I'd been shopping there for thirty years, and that a big part of my annual holiday traditions had been declared "off limits" by the straw.

The clerk contacted the manager... someone came and swept a path clear so I could at least step inside the area and see the trees... not perfect, but OK. And they LEARNED SOMETHING: the next year, the fence, gate, and straw were still around... but the trees inside the fenced area were UNdecorated. The decorated display trees ringed the outside of the fence and were scattered in other places throughout the store, along wide, clear aisles. And they made arrangements for performing groups from the senior citizens' development to come and provide entertainment throughout the holiday season. And, of course, the "seniors" stayed to buy stuff. Success all around!

Another time, I went to a large discount store, simply to get out of the house for an extended period of time. I chose that particular store in that particular chain because I knew that they kept more than one electric shopping cart. (I was still without a prosthesis then, and I was also not yet cleared to drive, so I had to take a cab there.) When I arrived (without my wheelchair, because I was planning on being able to use one of the "scooters"), I discovered that there was not a cart available for me... not because they were all being used by other customers, but because the store staff hadn't bothered to charge two of them, and the third one had a cut power cord and had been left to languish in the back of the store.

Soooo.... Off I hopped on my walker to Customer Service. The clerk there was not as accommodating, so I asked for the manager, stating I was sorry, but I wished to complain. When the manager arrived, I explained what I'd gone through to get to the store, and why, and asked what could be done.

What could be done was one of several options: they could send a staff member to shop for me (not what I wanted)... they could get me a wheelchair and assign a staff member to follow me with a shopping cart (better, but not quite "there"), they could reimburse me for my taxi fare and I could come back later (no, sorry... I didn't WANT to be at home; that's why I was at the store)... OR they could buy me lunch at their food court and let me rest there while they went and charged up and repaired their carts. Bingo! Not only were they true to their word on that... I have never again been to that store and found the carts not in working order. If I'm having a day where I need one now, I may have to wait for another customer to finish with one... but they ALL work.

You'll find ways to work around many of the accessibility issues that plague new amputees, BethMarie, and one day you'll realize that accessibility is no longer a primary concern. But until then, be pleasant, assertive, and creative and you'll be surprised at just how much you'll be able to do!

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BethMarie, if you look around the forum, you'll find all sorts of discussions on accessibility issues... it's a "biggie!" The newer you are at this "amp thing," the bigger the accessibility issue looms... but it pops up every so often for even the most skiiled and experienced of us.

My personal opinion is that ANYONE who is involved in ANY type of business or service to the public ought to have to spend one full day trying to access their product or service from a wheelchair. It would open a LOT of eyes! I've learned that the the "handicapped accessible" symbol on the doors of many businesses has little or no meaning... simply because no-one stops to think about a disabled person's needs once they get in the front door.

A good sense of humor and a willingness to "educate" helps here, too. Don't just chafe when you encounter an obstacle, and don't just slink away. And, most of all, don't just get angry... simply make your needs known and tell folks what's not working for you.

A couple of examples from when I was first starting to get back into circulation:

At a local floral/decorative supply store, their annual Christmas display of decorated trees was set in the center of the shop, walled off by a freestanding fence, accessible only by a single narrow gate and an equally narrow path... and the path was covered with a layer of loose straw! I was using a walker in order to get around. The display was completely inaccessible to me... and I'd driven several miles to that store specifically to see the display!

Soooo... I went to the customer service desk and explained that their arrangement of the trees, while a lovely idea, made then impossible to be viewed up close by anyone in a wheelchair, a walker, or simply anyone with balance problems. And I pointed out that their shop was located next to a very large senior citizens development with MANY prospective customers who would not be able to enjoy the display... which would probably mean that they wouldn't stay to purchase things. Then I explained that I'd been shopping there for thirty years, and that a big part of my annual holiday traditions had been declared "off limits" by the straw.

The clerk contacted the manager... someone came and swept a path clear so I could at least step inside the area and see the trees... not perfect, but OK. And they LEARNED SOMETHING: the next year, the fence, gate, and straw were still around... but the trees inside the fenced area were UNdecorated. The decorated display trees ringed the outside of the fence and were scattered in other places throughout the store, along wide, clear aisles. And they made arrangements for performing groups from the senior citizens' development to come and provide entertainment throughout the holiday season. And, of course, the "seniors" stayed to buy stuff. Success all around!

Another time, I went to a large discount store, simply to get out of the house for an extended period of time. I chose that particular store in that particular chain because I knew that they kept more than one electric shopping cart. (I was still without a prosthesis then, and I was also not yet cleared to drive, so I had to take a cab there.) When I arrived (without my wheelchair, because I was planning on being able to use one of the "scooters"), I discovered that there was not a cart available for me... not because they were all being used by other customers, but because the store staff hadn't bothered to charge two of them, and the third one had a cut power cord and had been left to languish in the back of the store.

Soooo.... Off I hopped on my walker to Customer Service. The clerk there was not as accommodating, so I asked for the manager, stating I was sorry, but I wished to complain. When the manager arrived, I explained what I'd gone through to get to the store, and why, and asked what could be done.

What could be done was one of several options: they could send a staff member to shop for me (not what I wanted)... they could get me a wheelchair and assign a staff member to follow me with a shopping cart (better, but not quite "there"), they could reimburse me for my taxi fare and I could come back later (no, sorry... I didn't WANT to be at home; that's why I was at the store)... OR they could buy me lunch at their food court and let me rest there while they went and charged up and repaired their carts. Bingo! Not only were they true to their word on that... I have never again been to that store and found the carts not in working order. If I'm having a day where I need one now, I may have to wait for another customer to finish with one... but they ALL work.

You'll find ways to work around many of the accessibility issues that plague new amputees, BethMarie, and one day you'll realize that accessibility is no longer a primary concern. But until then, be pleasant, assertive, and creative and you'll be surprised at just how much you'll be able to do!

they don't think an "AK" amputee can do.

Who is they?? They need to be educated about us AKA amps. :angry: IF our limbs fit right and knees function properly, there are no limatations as to what we can do. :blink: You will need a good knee. If you are using a chair, be careful not to reach for things to far away or you will find yourself on ur butt ;) facing the floor hehehe. That chair can be flipped very easily, :( so make sure your breaks are on before doing reaching stuff, best to have someone around before attempting this on your own. :) Safty first or risk another hopitalazation. :rolleyes:

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Great topic!

"They" told my wife I was going to die. Obviously I did not.

"They" told me I will never walk with out a crutch or cane. I walk with out any help.

"They" told me I might never be able to do my job. I fly somewhere ever other week and continue to work.

"They" told me my life will be very different. I continue to do everything.

"They" told me my stump was too short for a proper fit. I basically do really well in a mild climate!

"They" told me I would fall alot. I have not fallen in over a year

"They" told me I am disabled. huh? What?

"They" do not know the power of me or what the heck "They" are talking about!

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Oh yeah, also about people staring at you and your leg. Big deal....think of it like you are a movie star or something and people do not mean any harm they are just curious just like any of you would be. Smile at them, confront them and just explain your deal. Kids stare all the time...they need to learn about our prosthetic limbs...maybe if you explain it correctly you might interest them even more and they might persue prosthetics as a carrer.

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Great topic!

"They" told my wife I was going to die. Obviously I did not.

"They" told me I will never walk with out a crutch or cane. I walk with out any help.

"They" told me I might never be able to do my job. I fly somewhere ever other week and continue to work.

"They" told me my life will be very different. I continue to do everything.

"They" told me my stump was too short for a proper fit. I basically do really well in a mild climate!

"They" told me I would fall alot. I have not fallen in over a year

"They" told me I am disabled. huh? What?

"They" do not know the power of me or what the heck "They" are talking about!

I like that!! Very well said. . Even "Profound" I would say.

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Guest bearlover

I don't believe that society as a whole has changed the way it reacts to people with disabilities in three years... I believe I've changed the way I think about being a person who lives with a disability.

This is a great thought and I sure can understand and believe in this. Now if the people who are responsible for structural assessability would change :lol:

Peace, Beth Marie

Our so called diability dose not identify who we are and for me it never will. I was born with a rare birthdefect so I have been physically chachallenged all my life.. Iam about many more things than my prtosthetic or my amputation. many more things! :)

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Guest bearlover

I don't believe that society as a whole has changed the way it reacts to people with disabilities in three years... I believe I've changed the way I think about being a person who lives with a disability.

This is a great thought and I sure can understand and believe in this. Now if the people who are responsible for structural assessability would change :lol:

Peace, Beth Marie

Our so called diability dose not identify who we are and for me it never will. I was born with a rare birthdefect so I have been physically chachallenged all my life.. Iam about many more things than my prtosthetic or my amputation. many more things! :)

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Hope this is not too old a thread-

What I've Learned in Three weeks Post-Amp

Had my L leg amputated BK on 28 January 2008, due to bone breakdown from injury complicated by diabetes.

I was told that I would never be able to "just" have a Below the Knee--- well not from THAT doctor obviously!

That the "Knee Walker Scooter" I hated before is now MY BEST FRIEND

That sitting down to shower- ALL BY MYSELF!

- is far far better than bathing while on the john using a bowl cause I couldn't balance on one leg

That being born with a birth defect thqt affects muscles means I CANNOT HOP and that using a wheel chair is not an admission of defeat like the Phys Therapy peeps seem to think it is.

That my CP (who has worked with me for months trying to save the leg with devices) is truly one of the most dedicated guys in the world- even meeting me completely with out warning when I called from the parking lot of the surgeons to say--- I AM SHRINKER APPROVED! And was SO HAPPY for me to be at that point!

That being able to stand up to pull up my drawers is almost a good a feeling as--- well YOU know!

On the practical front- If you live in snow country get an ICE TIP for your cane,or two for crutches, or even four for a non wheeled walker! About $5.00 each they flip down and have prongs to grip the ground- also good for slippery grass--and except on the hardest frozen glossy ice- this will give you TRACTION-priceless! Do NOT however attempt to use these on any hard surface indoors like tile, vinyl or wood- the thing will immediatly shoot out from under you and deposit you on your butt in front of the people you most want to impress. Flip back to regular cane tip BEFORE you enter building! You can get these at drug stores- most local drug stores can order these and many other things for you if you ASK- and in catalogs.

Cargo ramps are really TOO STEEP for everyday in and out and the rescue squad is getting sick of me. Must get insurance co. to concede that a ramp- a PROPER ramp- is not a "convenience item" and that YES they can pay for it even if it WILL benefit "Others". What others is still unknown!

That my leg wants to have a foot to support it- it has that "Sinking Feeling"- and a rolled up baby blanket behind my knee will bring it up to the same height as it used to be and thus- NO MORE PAIN! Esp good for car rides.

That getting in and out of the car is EASY- well for me anyway now that I have a car with grab bars built in--- but getting TO the car might be a bit of a challenge. Why do the MD's and PT people never think of these things?

That my ins co having insane payment scheduals that prevented me from having ANY in patient PT, They would pay 75% of in house over night therapy--- leaving me to pay the rest of the astronomical bill!-- but they WOULD NOT pay $100 for a home session! False economy if you ask me. However! The one in home session I "sprang for" showed me that I ALREADY knew more than the PT guy did for MY particular situation. Who knew!

I enjoyed reading all the great posts here before I became a member. Have found myself using suggestions and appeciating things now that I could only imagine before! Thanks!

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Yeah,

The doctors told me all the same crap. You're gonna die, you'll never walk the same, you'll have to adjust your lifestyle blah blah blah... Obviously we know better, they don't have to walk the walk, we do. I never rode a quad with two legs, I learned AFTER my amputation (and I started on 3 wheelers). Whatever they tell you, you can think the opposite and be fairly accurate. So what if we have to approach things a bit differently, that makes us unique. Personally, my life as an amputee seems to be better than when I had two legs. I saw a bumper sticker once that had a saying on it that I try to live my life by:

"You laugh at me because I am different. I laugh at you because you are all the same".

Jerry

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Welcome to the forum Halleycomet, hope you have a long happy stay....

It sounds as if you have learned a huge amount in a very short time.. Ice tips are one thing I hadn't tried yet, but the way this winter has gone, seems like I need to think about..

Jerry (kahunamahalo) Yep, know the necessity of a "quad".... I use one all over the farm.. Most people freaked after finding out that I was on one the day after getting home from the hosptial..Hey, it was my legs around the farm! It gives you an insane amount of freedom.

Welcome, both of you.................

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Hi Ed,

This is great and it is what I live by and it works. The only difference is when people stare I try, if possible, to use it as an educative moment--I am a teacher through and through--especially for children. I will stop and say, "how do you like my new fancy leg?" With children they often ask more about it and it freaks out adults.

Peace, Beth Marie

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Hope this is not too old a thread-

What I've Learned in Three weeks Post-Amp

Had my L leg amputated BK on 28 January 2008, due to bone breakdown from injury complicated by diabetes.

I was told that I would never be able to "just" have a Below the Knee--- well not from THAT doctor obviously!

That the "Knee Walker Scooter" I hated before is now MY BEST FRIEND

That sitting down to shower- ALL BY MYSELF!

- is far far better than bathing while on the john using a bowl cause I couldn't balance on one leg

That being born with a birth defect thqt affects muscles means I CANNOT HOP and that using a wheel chair is not an admission of defeat like the Phys Therapy peeps seem to think it is.

That my CP (who has worked with me for months trying to save the leg with devices) is truly one of the most dedicated guys in the world- even meeting me completely with out warning when I called from the parking lot of the surgeons to say--- I AM SHRINKER APPROVED! And was SO HAPPY for me to be at that point!

That being able to stand up to pull up my drawers is almost a good a feeling as--- well YOU know!

On the practical front- If you live in snow country get an ICE TIP for your cane,or two for crutches, or even four for a non wheeled walker! About $5.00 each they flip down and have prongs to grip the ground- also good for slippery grass--and except on the hardest frozen glossy ice- this will give you TRACTION-priceless! Do NOT however attempt to use these on any hard surface indoors like tile, vinyl or wood- the thing will immediatly shoot out from under you and deposit you on your butt in front of the people you most want to impress. Flip back to regular cane tip BEFORE you enter building! You can get these at drug stores- most local drug stores can order these and many other things for you if you ASK- and in catalogs.

Cargo ramps are really TOO STEEP for everyday in and out and the rescue squad is getting sick of me. Must get insurance co. to concede that a ramp- a PROPER ramp- is not a "convenience item" and that YES they can pay for it even if it WILL benefit "Others". What others is still unknown!

That my leg wants to have a foot to support it- it has that "Sinking Feeling"- and a rolled up baby blanket behind my knee will bring it up to the same height as it used to be and thus- NO MORE PAIN! Esp good for car rides.

That getting in and out of the car is EASY- well for me anyway now that I have a car with grab bars built in--- but getting TO the car might be a bit of a challenge. Why do the MD's and PT people never think of these things?

That my ins co having insane payment scheduals that prevented me from having ANY in patient PT, They would pay 75% of in house over night therapy--- leaving me to pay the rest of the astronomical bill!-- but they WOULD NOT pay $100 for a home session! False economy if you ask me. However! The one in home session I "sprang for" showed me that I ALREADY knew more than the PT guy did for MY particular situation. Who knew!

I enjoyed reading all the great posts here before I became a member. Have found myself using suggestions and appeciating things now that I could only imagine before! Thanks!

From one Newbie to Another - Howdy!

I have been a LBK since February 28 2007. My amputation was cause by radiation treatments on the cancer (which was removed) in the foot. The doctor that did my amputation did not do the usual flap. She butted the edges togeter in the center and there were no external stiches at all, the outer layer of skin was glued together. When I was in the rehab Hospital I was told by the doctor there I was healing faster than most people with the flap. I received my temp leg in late April 2007 and it took several months for my residual limb to stop shrinking. I have my final leg now. I use Thompsons Shower Protector when I shower, it works great. As for walking on ice and snow I use the streach- on snow and ice kleets on my shoes. I also have a steep driveway and here in Oklahoma in the winter it no fun either walking.

My PT was suprised when he wanted me to get in my truck and I just hopped in.

My wife gets mad at me because I walk faster than she. Most people do not realize I am an amputee.

My only problem has been heat rash and I got that under control now, diaper cream!

Have a great day.

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Hope this is not too old a thread-

What I've Learned in Three weeks Post-Amp

Had my L leg amputated BK on 28 January 2008, due to bone breakdown from injury complicated by diabetes.

I was told that I would never be able to "just" have a Below the Knee--- well not from THAT doctor obviously!

That the "Knee Walker Scooter" I hated before is now MY BEST FRIEND

That sitting down to shower- ALL BY MYSELF!

- is far far better than bathing while on the john using a bowl cause I couldn't balance on one leg

That being born with a birth defect thqt affects muscles means I CANNOT HOP and that using a wheel chair is not an admission of defeat like the Phys Therapy peeps seem to think it is.

That my CP (who has worked with me for months trying to save the leg with devices) is truly one of the most dedicated guys in the world- even meeting me completely with out warning when I called from the parking lot of the surgeons to say--- I AM SHRINKER APPROVED! And was SO HAPPY for me to be at that point!

That being able to stand up to pull up my drawers is almost a good a feeling as--- well YOU know!

On the practical front- If you live in snow country get an ICE TIP for your cane,or two for crutches, or even four for a non wheeled walker! About $5.00 each they flip down and have prongs to grip the ground- also good for slippery grass--and except on the hardest frozen glossy ice- this will give you TRACTION-priceless! Do NOT however attempt to use these on any hard surface indoors like tile, vinyl or wood- the thing will immediatly shoot out from under you and deposit you on your butt in front of the people you most want to impress. Flip back to regular cane tip BEFORE you enter building! You can get these at drug stores- most local drug stores can order these and many other things for you if you ASK- and in catalogs.

Cargo ramps are really TOO STEEP for everyday in and out and the rescue squad is getting sick of me. Must get insurance co. to concede that a ramp- a PROPER ramp- is not a "convenience item" and that YES they can pay for it even if it WILL benefit "Others". What others is still unknown!

That my leg wants to have a foot to support it- it has that "Sinking Feeling"- and a rolled up baby blanket behind my knee will bring it up to the same height as it used to be and thus- NO MORE PAIN! Esp good for car rides.

That getting in and out of the car is EASY- well for me anyway now that I have a car with grab bars built in--- but getting TO the car might be a bit of a challenge. Why do the MD's and PT people never think of these things?

That my ins co having insane payment scheduals that prevented me from having ANY in patient PT, They would pay 75% of in house over night therapy--- leaving me to pay the rest of the astronomical bill!-- but they WOULD NOT pay $100 for a home session! False economy if you ask me. However! The one in home session I "sprang for" showed me that I ALREADY knew more than the PT guy did for MY particular situation. Who knew!

I enjoyed reading all the great posts here before I became a member. Have found myself using suggestions and appeciating things now that I could only imagine before! Thanks!

From one Newbie to Another - Howdy!

I have been a LBK since February 28 2007. My amputation was cause by radiation treatments on the cancer (which was removed) in the foot. The doctor that did my amputation did not do the usual flap. She butted the edges togeter in the center and there were no external stiches at all, the outer layer of skin was glued together. When I was in the rehab Hospital I was told by the doctor there I was healing faster than most people with the flap. I received my temp leg in late April 2007 and it took several months for my residual limb to stop shrinking. I have my final leg now. I use Thompsons Shower Protector when I shower, it works great. As for walking on ice and snow I use the streach- on snow and ice kleets on my shoes. I also have a steep driveway and here in Oklahoma in the winter it no fun either walking.

My PT was suprised when he wanted me to get in my truck and I just hopped in.

My wife gets mad at me because I walk faster than she. Most people do not realize I am an amputee.

My only problem has been heat rash and I got that under control now, diaper cream!

Have a great day.

STILL LEARNING 10 WEEKS POST OP

Several new things I have learned! I still can't hop! But managed after several- times -daily calls emails and veiled threats to my insurance co to get them to AGREE to BUY me a ROLLERAID. Enough of this rental run around. The ins co wanted to "allow"me to have the Rolleraid rental for SIX WEEKS ONLY--- and get this!!!!--- For ONLY the six weeks AFTER I received my final leg! Are still refusing to pay for the rental for the period BEFORE I got the leg- even tho they had ALREADY paid for many months of rental BEFORE suddenly with out warning refusing to pay. Hmmmm.

It IS possible to STAND UP and shower WITHOUT having to jam yourself in a corner, or use your head against the wall for balance, or even without having the lovely cover for your arti leg. Get hold of a shower stool--- ya know the one you used to hate!-- and take the back piece off of it if it still has one. Place in shower. Let warm water run on seat to warm it up.(Good if you are sitting too!) Climb in carefuly and prop knee of short leg on seat. Lather rinse enjoy. Repeat as often as the hot water holds out. If knee is bony pad seat with washable foam piece or washcloth. The luxury!

It is entirely possible to ride an extra large motorcycle even if you have to stand on a small step stool on your new non-pivoting leg to do so if you can't reach the floorboards. Rubbermaid makes a small lightweight but extremely strong stool that then can get tucked in a saddle bag or bungied to the rear cargo rack.

It is also extremely possible that you WILL survive having to get mostly undressed IN THE DRIVEWAY in front of the neighbors, G-d, your son-in-law and everybody because YOUR NEW LEG FELL OFF WHILE GETTING OUT OF THE CAR. And your jeans will not rollup enough to secure before tackling the steps.

Steps are your friend and ramps are mostly evil if you are not using wheels of some sort to get from point A to B. The rest of the world might not understand this so we have to educate them.

The PT guy who INSISTS I cannot FEEL MY FORMER FOOT and KNOW what it is doing and where it is is a whack job and I am the sane one here. I know this is not usual for me but get over it! I CAN feel most everything--- and I don't think this is a "Phantom" --- I can tell what position my foot and leg are in, can tell and FEEL what surface I am on, especialy on the motorcycle I can FEEL the exact sensation in the socket transfered into my wee small brain that I WOULD have had while riding "before"- can feel when my toes would have gone forward in my shoe, can feel the pressure changes when we go around a corner, can feel ALL of the bumps in the road against the bottom of my foot. Yes my FOOT. And YES I KNOW there is no more foot there no more. All that education to ARGUE with me!!!!

And a funny- my daughter is looking after a five year old boy who had to come with us for a leg fitting appointment. He has only known me for a few days and we had a chat about what to expect at the appointment. However being five he was restless so I decided to amuse him by asking him to please try very hard to pull off my leg! Imagine the look on my Leg Man's face when he came in to find us playing "Tug-Of-War" with my leg!!!!!! Halleycomet

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Eddie- I am just starting my journey and found your tips and tricks to be very helpful. I think I will print them and ingrain them in my brain. I am left- above the knee- is that a LAK? I am still trying to learn the codes...

I am in the stage of wearing a shrinker and beginning the fitting process for a prosthetic. I'm hoping to get a computerized knee if insurance will pay.

My wife kept asking me... what can I get for you, and so forth, and of course there are some things I cannot hope to be able to reach or do, but its fun to see how much I can do without help, even though it may take me 4 times as long. Yesterday I vacuumed the living room floor from my wheelchair. Guess that may sound silly to the experianced folk, but to me I got that self satisfaction you described of knowing I could do it.

I know there is a lot in front of me to hurdle. I have some pretty optimistic goals- I want to be hiking again by this time next year.

Anyway kudos for helping us newbies.

Dale

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Eddie- I am just starting my journey and found your tips and tricks to be very helpful. I think I will print them and ingrain them in my brain. I am left- above the knee- is that a LAK? I am still trying to learn the codes...

I am in the stage of wearing a shrinker and beginning the fitting process for a prosthetic. I'm hoping to get a computerized knee if insurance will pay.

My wife kept asking me... what can I get for you, and so forth, and of course there are some things I cannot hope to be able to reach or do, but its fun to see how much I can do without help, even though it may take me 4 times as long. Yesterday I vacuumed the living room floor from my wheelchair. Guess that may sound silly to the experianced folk, but to me I got that self satisfaction you described of knowing I could do it.

I know there is a lot in front of me to hurdle. I have some pretty optimistic goals- I want to be hiking again by this time next year.

Anyway kudos for helping us newbies.

Dale

Dale, welcome to the forum. There is a lot of great info on this site. Take the time and you'll smooth a few of the bumps in the road. I got the C-leg myself and love it. I work in the golf biz and it allows me to do everything that I could do before, just different.

Great post Ed.

Here's my little tidbit.

My ONLY limitation is between my ears.

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Hello all:

I started this thread several years ago when I was fresh cut. As years have passed, it is interesting to see from others that what I initially said is true today for them as well..........so I must have been right.

Today, I am working with a younger BAK. The professionals of today wrote him off because of his situation. Today, he is up in wee legs TXs to me.

It is very apparent to all who read this thread that......................do not accept what the pros tell you as a finality.........................accept it ONLY as a minimum as to what you will be.

So many of this board have surpassed the professional's opinion.

Prove them wrong!!!!................and get on with your life life at your OWN speed and ability!!

ED

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