Wednesday, April 12, 2006

 

How it works

Sorry this is late. Today has been a busy day. In fact, it's been a busy week! As I mentioned last week the left leg doesn't feel very good. After working with it over the weekend the pain was steadily increasing. On Saturday I noticed a lot of bruising. On Sunday some of the skin that is grafted onto my left leg had begun to break down.

So, on Monday I went to the Prosthetist's office and they made some adjustments to the socket and the height of the left leg. It's still a little uncomfortable but most of the pain is gone. With the distraction of the pain gone, and Renee's pushing (sometimes literally), I've finally been able to figure out how this new leg works! And, as a direct result, walking is starting to get easier!

So, here's how it works. My right leg, when I'm standing, is locked in a straight position. The left leg has a hydraulic knee which bends with a lot of resistance (which is very helpful when I want to sit down). However, for walking purposes, the hydraulic resistance gets in the way when I'm trying to step forward. It basically causes my toe to drag and I look like I'm walking in molasses. So, there is a particular hip movement that will release the hydraulic pressure and allow my leg to swing forward in a more natural movement. Up until today I was not able to get this motion! Whenever it did happen it was completely unintentional and I couldn't duplicate it.

Today was my first day back in PT (Physical Therapy) since Friday. Also, my first day really working with the leg since the adjustments were made on Monday. (So I took Tuesday off. Renee wasn't happy about it but I think I deserved it!) Renee of course chooses this day to make me perform in front of an audience. Sarah and Liz (the PT and the OT from the ARC) stopped by to watch. (Remember them, without them I wouldn't have made it home for Christmas.) I had stopped by to see Sarah and Liz last Friday but Liz wasn't there. So Liz demanded that I walk for her.

After a couple laps along the parallel bars Renee and I took our weekly walk down the hallway to the OT gym. Normally what happens at this point is we take a break, I drink some water, and a young lady named April gives me a cool damp rag to mop my brow. Then we get up and walk back to the PT gym. This time Renee sent April off on an errand while we took our break. When April returned she had a pair of crutches.

Let me put this in perspective. I've been using a walker with one leg for about three weeks. Last Friday was the first time that I walked with both legs and a walker. And here's Renee with a pair of crutches! Her pushing hasn't failed me yet so I gave it a shot. It certainly wasn't as stable as the walker but once I got moving I was finally able to control the knee movement!

Getting up and sitting down with the crutches are much more difficult than with the walker. In fact, I wasn't able to stand up with the crutches. But, with practice hopefully we will get to that point. Only time will tell.

That's it for now. Before I go, I should also tell you that these last two posts have been from my home. I spent most of last week here and am spending most of this week here as well. Have a great week!

Comments:
Good morning Jerm;
The fact that you are writing this blog from home has got to help! Keep up the good work, your rewards are numerous!! Easter egg hunt? Have a great weekend and God Bless you my friend, miss you terribly!!
Love,
Marsha Shoemaker
 
Good morming, Jeremy! There is no need to apologize for the late posting. The two extra ones last week certainly qualify you for some slack...even an extra day. We are sorry to hear of the wear on your "new" skin :( The lessons on the mechanics of movement are amazingly interesting. It appears that Renee is a real taskmaster but also a compassionate master of her tasks. Prayers continue. HAVE A HAPPY EASTER!

Lilla and Harry
 
By the way, I didn't notice it before but you are totally buff! It must be all that hoisting your own body weight around with your arms or something. Niiiiiice! ;) I'm glad you are home, can't wait to come visit next month.
 
Jeremy;
Try this website www.beliefnet.com talk about some great stories, just check it out when you have time. By the way, you are looking quite buff these days! Sweet...

XOXO
Marsha
 
Hi Jeremy. Keep up the hard work. If there's anything that the lessons of Colonel Steve Austin - and later his girlfriend, Jamie Summers - taught us during the 70's, it's that soon you will be able to run at speeds in excess of 60 mph. Faster, stronger, better; that will be you! I am just guessing here since I'm not a doctor, but I have watched a looooooooot of TV. Happy Easter and take care muh friend!
Jerry
 
Jeremy,

You look great in the pictures! I'm glad to hear things are going well. Keep up the hard work. When did you say you will start back to work? That will be exciting - most of us don't look forward to working. ;-) I hope you and your family have a great Easter weekend. I'm still praying for you - everyone could needs prayer. Talk to you later.

Katrina (West) Quillen
 
Jeremy,
It's so great to hear you're on your feet again. You continue to amaze and astound. Thanks for being such a hero to all of us.
~Violet
 
HAPPY EASTER, JEREMY!

YOUR VIRGINIA BEACH COUSINS
 
Pamela Laker says hello and we (your old Marriott friends) are excited about your progreaa and I can't wait to have you over to the house. What day works for you? Will you be ready for tennis soon?
 
Jeremy, I am so impressed with the courage and strength you have shown in the face of this life changing event. You have impressed me so much that words cannot express how I feel. Keep fighting the good fight. Go Boilers!
 
Jeremy -
My typing skills aren't as great as my therapy skills, so please forgive the typos :). I was so thrilled to see you walk your last couple of therapy sessions --it's so inspiring that I can't really describe it. I'm looking forward to working with you tomorrow (did Renee tell you?). We've got something "special" in store... See ya tomorrow afetrnoon.
Sarah
 
Hey! Long time no see!kml.c z x My niece is typing with me. glad to see you're doing so well! :) Gotta run, the rugrat is a malcontent. :) Keep it up!
 
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