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EdSumner

Just can't get motivated.

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I finally got my leg about a month ago now. But I just can't get motivated to get up and walk using it. It just seems like so much trouble having to put a sock on my leg, then roll the leg cup with the pin on it onto my leg. I think what really got me, was seeing myself in the mirror they have at the prosthetics office. Just got me down seeing myself with the leg. I do get up every few days and put it on and walk around. But I just can't get motivated to do it daily. Something has to give, because we have a vacation planned in 7 weeks in the Smokies, and I would love to be motivated enough to be able to do my fly fishing again that I love so much.

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Stick with it Ed, it'll be worth it... in a while you won't even think about it, it'll be second nature... think of it as dressing, you wouldn't go out of the house without your trousers on... think of the leg as just a big shoe...

I'm an AK... yeah putting the leg on in the morning is a pain sometimes, but I wear it every day all day without fail, it's just part of life...

Good luck, I know you'll get through it...

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Ed, if you're not feeling "motivated," then don't wait for "motivation" to come. Just DO it. Right now it sounds like you're feeling a bit of depression. That will eat you alive if you let it. OBL is right...donning your leg is now a normal part of your life, and the sooner you get used to it and start USING it, the sooner you'll be back to doing what you love. It really IS just a big shoe.

I know that learning to feel comfortable using and walking in a prosthesis is more of a challenge than most folks think it will be. It will be a process to work up to being able to walk down to a creek and fish...and it's a process you need to start working on now, so you'll be able to accomplish it on your vacation. My own first goal was to be able to go shopping again (yeah, yeah, it's a "woman thing")...but I had to start by walking to my mailbox and back. The first day was a killer! The second day was a little easier...and each additional day brought noticeable improvement. But you must work at it daily, or it just seems like you're caught walking in place.

My own "downer" moment was when I was in rehab, sitting in the gym in a wheelchair, with my stump bandaged and propped up on a pillow. I was waiting for a therapist to work with me, and I was sitting right in front of a mirror. I'd BEEN in front of that mirror many times already, but always when I was upright and DOING something. Seeing myself just sitting there, looking helpless, really brought home that my leg was gone and my life had changed drastically. I started to cry then (very uncharacteristic of me), and one of the therapists noticed and asked if I was OK. "I will be," I said, "It's just a little startling now." They let me cry a little longer, then asked me if I was ready to work. I nodded, got up, and went back to it...and I've never looked back.

That's really your only choice, if you want to actually live...get up and make the effort, even when it feels hard. Eventually, it will feel good. I promise.

Hang in there!

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Ed, I know you don't believe it - but someday soon you won't feel normal without it. I remember exactly how you're feeling right now. Like, what's the point? Just keep doing it. You have a goal, going to the Smokies and fly fishing. Make it happen!

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Dont let those fish just swim by. Get up and prepare yourself for some fly fishing !!! That is your goal, reach for it.

Its there for the taking. Ps. No fish stories either, we need pictures of the fish.

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Hi Ed,

I just wanted to see that I know very much how you feel. It is hard not to feel discouraged at times. I have had my leg for only two months now. It really was a shock to me to find that once I got home from a very positive experience at the rehab hospital for my prosthetic training, I crashed emotionally. I felt down, I felt depressed. It just hit me that this huge 13lb piece of machinery was going to be part of me for the rest of my life. It has taken much more emotional effort than I ever expected to try to make it part of my normal existence. I thought I would just come home, be excited and life would just be wonderful with my new leg! Not so easy!

It has been a struggle to get used to the day-to-day of putting my leg on every morning. I am a hip disartic so I have a fairly large, cumbersome prosthetic to strap around my body. We have had a ton of snow here this winter, and there were many days when I was snowed in the house that I just felt like leaving the leg on the floor and just not bothering with it. I thought, “What was the point?” I was having tons of negative thoughts that I would never learn how to use this leg well enough to walk the way I wanted to, without any assistance and with a fairly natural gait. My “down” moment was a month ago, when I took a bad fall with my leg on and gashed my head and had to get 7 stitches in my scalp. I had taken a bad step on my prosthetic and the knee bent on me. I was ready to give the leg up, fearing that I would just become too afraid of it. I was just going to put it in the closet and forget about it. But two days later, I was back in outpatient therapy. So far, I have kept pushing on.

It has been a day to day struggle, and that is all you can ask of yourself, is just to get through the day you are in, and to put your leg on for that day. Don’t look to far ahead, it just becomes too daunting. You have to take it in small steps. It isn’t easy, and it doesn’t come naturally. But it does get better. I am becoming more comfortable with my leg and it is beginning to feel more a part of me and my everyday life. I am already down to walking with just a cane and have starting walking without any assistance in therapy. Have faith that you will get where you want to be in time. It will definitely be worth the work!

You have a great goal to look forward to!! Get ready for that trip and some fishing. You can do it! Let that motivate you to put that leg on every morning. Think of the fish that are waiting! I am very much looking forward to seeing photos of you on your trip having the time of your life. :biggrin: Stay strong!

-Chrissy

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HiEd,

I must agree with every thing that has been already been written and would like to offer One small bit of advice freely given………….. keep a written log each day (sounds silly I know ), write down what you did , how far you walked , what you felt like , and be totally honest and at the end of the day give yourself a score out of ten or something along those lines & some sort of target for the next day . it doesn’t have to be more than a few lines , however I found it remarkable when on one of my bad days I would read back what I did two weeks earlier and how I struggled ,only to find that I had done loads more today yet was feeling really crap about it.

Then after six months or so I read the log from start to finish and couldn’t believe how far I had come.

For example an early entry

………………………“Feel sick, will never get use to this, couldn’t even walk two hundred meters without stopping and sitting on Dave’s wall for a rest” feeling totally knackered, must be more to life than this. 3 out of 10

Tomorrow will try to walk to end of road before I have to stop”…………………….

So .you know we have all been where you are & what you are feeling at one time or another.

My other bit of advice is very simple: - give up and spend the rest of your life on your arse in a wheelchair.

Myself learning to walk again was one of the most rewarding things that I have ever done and yes it was hard at times .

So the way i look at it is you are at at very important crossroads in your life one way wheelchair or or the other way a normal fun life .

And as far as I know ONLY YOU CAN DO IT, NO ONE CAN DO IT FOR YOU , so put your leg on and start working at it you have seven weeks , DON’T LET YOURSELF DOWN ……………………………….Mick

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Hi Ed

Have sent you a message, but basically, you just have to put your mind to putting it on every day and doing what you can. Bit by bit, it will build up, and in a short time, you will 'want' to be wearing the prosthesis more than not wearing it.

It is much harder when you are home to be disciplined about putting it on, but try and put it on every morning, no matter how you feel at least for a few hours. Then maybe give your leg a rest and put it on again after lunch for a few more hours. Don't try and do too much at once though, little and often is best and keep a check on the skin on your stump, it will feel uncomfortable and cumbersome at first, but checking to see your stump is ok will put your mind at rest that its not doing any damage. Do make sure it is fitting well though, and not causing any rubs ... it shouldn't rub ... and it its not fitting properly that won't help you wanting to wear it, so if its causing any problems with the stump, get the prosthesis checked.

I have gone through this process a few times now, and it wasn't any easier second time round, but I suppose I had the advantage of knowing if I stuck at it, it would work out. When I came home from rehab I'd only had the leg less than a week, but tried to continue the regime of practicing the walking along with exercising. At first I would walk up and down the living area of my home ... repeatedly and gradually build it up, I would also try and do everyday things whilst wearing the leg. After my revision, I found I had very quickly got into a comfort zone of using the wheelchair to do everyday tasks ... which was necessary for a few months ... but now its turned table ... and altho I still use the wheelchair from time to time ... it actually takes me more energy to do the housework etc. in my chair than walking. So you'd be amazed how quickly you will build up the strength and tolerance to do everyday things with your prosthesis. It is a gradual thing though, and for a short while you really need to be focussed on looking after yourself, eating well, exercising, and getting yourself mobile ... it is hard work!

Your vacation is the ideal motivation to get going, you can do it, just keep trying, it will all come together.... but you need to keep at it ... every day.

Ann

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You being from Alabama might appreciate this.

"Never quit. It is the easiest cop-out in the world. Set a goal and don't quit until you attain it. When you do attain it, set another goal, and don't quit until you reach it. Never quit".

Bear Bryant

I used Vince Lombardi quotes, and still do to this day for motivation.

Hang in there.

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