Thursday, July 20, 2006
A busy day
Before we talk about today's therapy session I want to fill you in on the driving situation. On Tuesday I had my second training session, which lasted an hour. This time the trainer had me drive to some familiar places without giving me any direction. The point of this was to ensure that I wouldn't get the gas and brake confused as I wouldn't be thinking about it as much. I'm happy to report that there were no issues. In fact, the ten hours of training has been cut down to one more session on August first and then, the week after that, we will go to the BMV and get my license amended! Now, I still have to purchase a vehicle and get hand controls installed. This may take a little time but the point is that I'm one step closer to regaining my independence!
Now, I think I've mentioned that the new socket on the left leg fits pretty well. I may have also mentioned that I'm having some problems with blisters appearing at the end of that limb after extended periods of walking. If I haven't, then now you know. What was so confusing was that when I would put the prosthesis on I could feel the liner (silicone sleeve that goes over my leg inside the socket) sliding off my leg. This is what's been causing the blisters. Also, I can't feel the left prosthesis very well. The way I described it to Renee was that the right prosthesis feels like it's a real leg and the left feels like it's more of a ghost than the phantom pains/sensations that strike from time to time.
So, the Prosthetist drilled a hole in the bottom of the left socket to get a look at what's going on. What we discovered is that my leg isn't going all the way into the socket. This is why the leg didn't feel real and why the liner was sliding off. So, time to get another new socket. At the same time, my right leg has changed size since the first fitting and we now know that this has been causing some issues as well. Yep, you guessed it, time for a new socket on that one too! The upshot here is that this isn't going to slow me down. This is going to help me walk better.
Doctor Carbone saw me this morning as well, and it was the first time that she's seen me walk. She says that my gait is better than most Bilateral Above Knee Amputees (that's what I am). She also helped me figure out a way to stand straighter. Strange as it may sound, I have to use my gluts (butt muscles) to straighten my back. Just hearing that helped right away. I'm not standing perfectly straight yet, but it helped. I've got to continue to work on strengthening my gluts and abs, which is nothing new, to eventually be able to walk erect. Yes, right now I look like an ape man but the day will come when I can proudly walk tall among the rest of humanity!
By the way, my cousin Lila asked a while back about how Cleo (my cat) is adjusting to the new limbs. She doesn't seem too affected by it, although, if I have them on and she tries to knead my lap she encounters hard plastic instead of squishy flesh. Usually she just gives up and curls up next to me. The biggest adjustments Cleo has had to make have been sliding across the wood floor when she chases her toy mice and sharing the house with my roommate's dog Teaka (pronounced Cheeka). She loves the floor and has learned when to start her slide so her momentum won't carry her into a wall. She tolerates the dog but sometimes the the dog gets a solid smack in the head, accompanied by a hiss, if Cleo's not in the mood to deal with her.
The other day Jamie and I were on the deck, Cleo was laying on the steps, and Teaka was out in the yard doing something she wasn't supposed to be doing. Jamie scolded Teaka and, when she came running up onto the deck, Cleo (without getting up) reached out and smacked her on the ear as she passed by. We decided that Cleo knew that Teaka was in trouble and just wanted to put her two cents in. Teaka is very lucky that Cleo is de-clawed, otherwise we'd have to change Teaka's name to scarface.
Have a great week! I'll be visiting my god parents in Elkhart next Wed. through Sat. so I'll try to give you all an update on Tuesday evening. Oh yeah, I almost forgot, the PICC line comes out on Saturday!
Love, Carolyn and Bruce
Looking forward to seeing you honey,
Love and hugs,
Doesn't it feel great to be so close to getting wheels? We'll just have to lean on the BMV and make sure their computers are up to par when you go to get your updated license!!
Good to hear that your sockets are going to fit better.
(Hey, back pain sufferers are very familiar with the role of those glutes and hamstrings in keeping the back "in line" and out of trouble. I'm sure Renee will be happy to help you with some MORE exercises to work on them :)
PS Now you have enought comments to warrant the next posting, right?
Keep the GREAT news coming!!!!!!
We're thrilled to hear that your lessons are going so well! Of course, we're not surprised that you are way ahead of schedule!
We're looking forward to seeing you on the 5th at the family reunion. :-)
Love, Merrilinda and Skeets
Still thinking of you and waiting to see if we can meet some day to talk. Me and Manny miss you very much and we hope that you can keep getting better and better!!!!!
Manny and Ana
Lilla and Harry
Dawn Woolgar Cerasale