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Messages - naseigfried

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Recreation and Entertainment / Re: Skiing on 1 leg?
« on: September 05, 2009, 07:41:07 AM »
I'm sure you'll get some good responses, but I don't think I'd use the C-leg for skiing. Most AKs don't use a prosthesis when skiing. There is a knee developed by an amputee that is strictly for skiing. The knee is by Symbiotech, but I don't recall anything else about it.

General Discussion / Re: ROAD TRIP ==ROAD TRIP
« on: September 05, 2009, 07:38:30 AM »
I'm a little late, but if you're coming through Tulsa we could meet for a cup of coffee. OR something stronger if you wish.

General Discussion / Re: Fitting low friction shoes
« on: August 08, 2009, 02:11:07 PM »
There really isn't a lot to choose from in Diabetic shoes. They are all big toe boxes with thick heavy soles. Doesn't sound good for amputees. I would just stick with a good, well-fitting pair of New Balance.

General Discussion / Re: blister on end of stump
« on: August 08, 2009, 02:08:25 PM »
I just wasn't in the socket deep enough. The vacuum pulled me to fill the void by creating a blister. It was a test socket and we didn't test to see if it was total contact. I just automatically added a two ply sock without much thought which held me too high in the saddle. I learned my lesson.

In my opinion / Re: New leg and a question
« on: August 03, 2009, 08:33:33 AM »
You will retrain the muscles in your leg to do the things you want to do. You also need a foot capable of doing this. You need to know what your hardware is. Rough or uneven terrain is one of the hardest things to learn. It can lay you flat on your face in the beginning. Just stepping on a pebble with the toe of my artificial foot would send tremors through my body and stop me in my tracks. I also took inclines sideways like a crab. Some feet are better for uneven terrain than others.

I learned the proper way to run two years post-op. I can now tackle any terrain that I come across straight on. I can go up and down inclines with ease. Most of that is in the muscles in your thighs. They have to get stronger in order to hold you back as you descend.

You're still in the early stages. Be patient. I know it isn't easy as I've been there. Things just have to come slowly.

General Discussion / Re: blister on end of stump
« on: August 02, 2009, 03:59:42 PM »
I had the same thing happen this past week. It was from not being settled in the socket. Too many socks. It just kept sucking on me until it formed the blister. Mine is infected now. I'm on antibiotics. I will go get some of those bandaids.

Insurance Coverage / Re: Microprocessor knees and insurance
« on: July 19, 2009, 02:44:30 PM »
I've heard that United is one of the worst in covering almost anything prosthetic.

Sorry Kerry

General Discussion / Re: Costs
« on: July 19, 2009, 02:43:16 PM »
It is outrageous. Spacer socks can cost $20 each. A friend of ours is a breast cancer survivor. She was telling me last night that her bras, which Medicare allows 4 per year, cost $50 each.

Just ridiculous, but we have to have them. I don't want socialized medicine though. I've met a guy online who lost his leg recently in South Africa. Though he is totally healed, he has to wait up to 6 months for a prosthesis.

General Discussion / Re: To amp - or not to amp? Elective amps
« on: July 19, 2009, 02:38:02 PM »
Hi Ken. It is a difficult decision to make. I know because I did it. I was able to meet an amputee before my amputation. When I saw him walk into the room and step over me and my crutches and I still couldn't tell which leg he was missing, I knew that was what I needed. My heel had been blown off in a shotgun accident. They saved my foot, though I needed more surgery to replace some muscle, skin and to fuse the ankle. I was fearful of infection as well as walking the rest of my life. Without a heel and a fused ankle would mean a very slow, sloppy walk as there would be no striking point as I stepped. I was also doubtful about continuing my lifelong occupation, hairstyling. I chose amputation for a number of reasons. Walking was at the top, but I was also able to get on with my life sooner. My accident was Mar 8, they amputated on April 5. I was back at work on May 4 and walking on May 20.

There are many days in the first year when you think you've made a mistake. The pain and frustration of those early days with a prosthesis seemed unbearable. Relearning how to do the easiest tasks also seemed daunting. I began to see it as a good challenge after awhile. After getting the hang of the prosthesis and how to add socks to allow for shrinkage I was able to push myself. Now, after 5+ years, I don't even think about it. My leg was amputated 6 inches below my knee. I've gone through 5 legs and I'm on my 3rd foot. I put the leg on around 4AM and take it off around 8PM. I do anything I want to do. The leg doesn't keep from doing anything. If you want to see amputees doing anything, let me know. Running, rock climbing, surfing, skiing(water and snow), snowboarding, wakeboarding, etc. There are also competitive amputees into all kinds of sports. Some have records very near those of able-bodied athletes.

In short, you have to make an educated decision. Michelle gives good advice. Make an appointment to see a prosthetist. Ask in advance if they can arrange for you to talk with an amputee. If you are able, I would consider an Ertl amputation. There are only a handful of docs who use this method. It creates one solid bone from the two bones in the lower leg. It allows weight-bearing on your stump. Much less pain as it enables a more active lifestyle. I don't have this type, but wish I did. Even without it, I've never regretted the decision I made.

Good luck,

General Discussion / Re: I may have broke my foot
« on: May 24, 2009, 03:12:33 PM »
Good news Steve. Glad you have some good friends. Take it easy for a few days.

My History / Re: Hi from a newbie
« on: May 20, 2009, 08:01:52 AM »
Phantom pains are very distinct from physical pain. I luckily had very little physical pain, but the phantoms were awful in the beginning. You can feel crunching, burning, itchy toes, etc. Not much you can do about them. Your brain has to adjust to no leg being there. I found that rubbing the sciatic nerve that runs up the thigh can help a little. Gently tapping the end of the stump is supposed to help. I wasn't able to utilize this method as I was in a cast. See if they can put the removable cast back on. Mine did feel better when in a tighter environment. I used shrinker socks for months.

Don't rush things. It will take time for your leg to heal enough to support you. It will also help to have a lot of the swelling down before being fit for your first leg. They don't last long at first anyway do to atrophy.

I was looking forward to working with Wayman on some prosthetic parity issues for the state of Oklahoma. I'm very saddened by this.

I hope his foundation has enough foundation to help some amputees receive prosthetics.

General Discussion / Re: ACA this year
« on: April 02, 2009, 08:49:17 AM »
My reservations are made and all fees are paid. I hardly leave the hotel. I haven't missed a conference since becoming an amputee in 2004. Nashville was my first.

I enjoy getting to visit with the friends I've made from past conferences.

Insurance Coverage / Re: ACA Lobby Day in Washington DC
« on: March 16, 2009, 09:51:21 AM »
I didn't get to see you Dick if you were there. There were so many people going to different directions. We won't know if we made a difference for quite some time. Of the 5 congressmen I was assigned to visit, I only actually met one. The rest were legislative assistants. My first was Sen Tom Coburn who is one of my Senators. His aide told me right up front how opposed they were to legislative mandates. They think that universal healthcare reform is the best way. I agree totally, but that is in the longrun. We need some help in the short term.

Dr Jeff Cain who is from Colorado and himself a bilateral BK liked to say that there were 200 people at lobby day with about 70 legs among us. I thought that was funny.

It was a grueling day. A lot of walking back and forth across the hill. If you haven't been there, the Capitol is on a hill with the Senate office buildings across the street on the north and the House office buildings across the street on the south. The Capitol itself takes up about 2-3 city blocks. Add to that the walking while seeing some sights. Stumpy still hasn't forgiven me for all that walking. One of the highlights of my trip was visiting some of the amputee soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. They have a great program there with lots of state-of-the-art equipment at their disposal.

General Discussion / Re: above knee ertl procedure
« on: March 16, 2009, 09:42:07 AM »
Hi Herb:

There are two gals on HM forum who had an AK Ertl. They both came to OKC to see Dr William Ertl. I believe that they are quite happy with their results. Both of them lost their legs to cancer. I think Cheri is a high AK where Karen has a longer stump. I don't know if they are on this forum or not. Come over and I'll introduce you to Karen and Cheri.


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