Monday, September 20, 2010

Positive Steps (pun intended)

January 15, 2009
Yesterday, I went to see the Fake Foot folks, to begin the process of getting a new right foot (mine was amputated in June).  This has been a long heal, and this one-legged thing is getting to be a drag, so I am really looking forward to this process.  I was put in a shrinker, which is a tight elastic sock over the stump, which I will wear for two weeks, and return for another visit.  This is difficult to explain to someone who does not know about it, but when a limb is amputated (in my case, about 5" below the knee) the stump, while healing, swells as the body collects fluid around the injury to protect it, and to cushion the now-atrophying muscle. This fluid has to essentially be squeezed out, and the unused muscle reshaped in order to fit a prosthesis. If this is not done preemptively, the stump will shrink after the prosthetic is fitted, which causes big-time fit problems.  It is aggravating and painful (imagine someone squeezing your leg below the knee nearly 24/7) but after the revised surgery and the healing issues, this is the first positive step in the process, and I am very pleased and encouraged.
 In addition, these folks are going to replace the prosthetic I have now on the left, which is tattered and has never been a satisfactory fit, so I will have a matched pair, and should be able to walk better. Very nice. I will still be limited to hand controls to drive the car, but I should be back on the scooters soon.  I have been told that I will not be good on ladders, and going up/down slanted and operating on loose/uneven surfaces may involve some issues, but I should be "surprisingly mobile".  I am sighing contentedly.

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