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Messages - pyourke

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Health and Fitness / Re: rash
« on: January 30, 2009, 05:23:30 PM »
Hi PJ... what's the active ingredient? MSM? I know that vets use that for horses with arthritis.

General Discussion / Re: What are the Gas prices in your part of the world?
« on: November 14, 2008, 05:22:36 PM »
83.9 cents a litre in Ontario, Canada.

General Discussion / Re: Introducing myself (my brother is a recent AKA)
« on: October 23, 2008, 03:07:11 PM »
Welcome... I had a similar accident 35 years ago and lost both legs above the knee. I currently use Mauch knees and have for many years. I've read that C legs aren't recommended as your first ones, but maybe someone that uses them can comment.

Here in the greater Toronto area (Ontario, Canada) we are paying $1.03 per litre, and with 3.7854 litres per US Gal that works out to $3.89 per US Gal. and when you convert it with the Cdn $1 at $0.82 US that makes it the equivalent of $4.76 USD / US Gal. That makes $2.79 USD look like a bargain from where I sit!

General Discussion / Re: the future
« on: October 05, 2008, 03:08:56 PM »
But having tons of money and being rich in love also, can't be all bad either! Like you, I only found half of that proposition but I'm still buying lottery tickets so there's hope yet! :)

Health and Fitness / Re: flu shots
« on: October 01, 2008, 05:30:56 PM »
I've gotten one each year and so far haven't gotten sick from the shot or had the flu. My wife generally has a sore arm after the shot but hasn't had flu since we started either. I will continue to get them, even if the shot may not cover all types of flu. To me, being proactive is better than the alternative.

My History / Re: Amputee OL Forum
« on: September 29, 2008, 03:39:31 PM »
Ian moved the forum to a new URL. Here it is:

You'll likely have to reregister... I did.

General Discussion / Re: another question for everyone
« on: September 29, 2008, 03:33:35 PM »
Dick... I'm with you. As a BAK who lost his legs traumaticly, I thank each day that I'm still alive. I've been an amputee for almost 35 years and had ups and downs but I honestly believe that I have it much better than many other amputees that have constant pain. I get zingers occasionally but an Advil usually stops them within a short time. I never considered suicide... I had and have too much to live for, a great wife, 2 girls and now 2 grandchildren. I look at being disabled, as being 'differently' abled! I continually strive each day to be the best that I can and if that means using a wheelchair for long distances and canes around the house and yard, then so be it! I believe that each of us has challenges that we have been given, and success is not just measured by overcoming them, but also by managing them, day by day. Life's too valuable to not live it to the max that you are able.

General Discussion / Re: book
« on: September 23, 2008, 04:26:49 PM »
Hi Steve... just checked out your website and am very impressed with your art and illustrations. It seems almost obvious for an amputee artist to create a children's book on self image... who better. I hope that your book is picked up by a British publisher and printed in English.

General Discussion / Re: General question for Above Knee amputation
« on: August 18, 2008, 04:26:36 PM »
Hi Chamhaole, I'm a BAK (bilateral above knee amputee). I lost both my legs in an auto accident when I was 31. I'm 64, soon to be 65, now. I was hit by a truck when I stopped to help at an accident and lost one leg at the scene and the other after a week or so when they couldn't save it. Within six months of the accident I was back walking with canes. I was able to walk with one cane in the office or at home but needed two outside in case I encountered a curb or stair without a railing. It was tough work for the first few months. I was fitted for my temporary legs about 3 months after the accident and was back to work full time about three month afterwards. While I worked in an office environment, I travelled about 20% to 30% of my time across Canada and the US on both day trips and week long trips. When I hit my 50's I slowed down a little and started using a wheelchair for longer distances when I travelled, whereas previously I would walk all over when I travelled. Today in my mid 60's I walk around the house but use my wheelchair when I go out, other than quick trips into the bank or corner store.

While in my 30's I wasn't afraid to try anything, I was never able to run without knees and C Legs (computerized legs) weren't invented then. When you see amputees running on TV, they are usually below knee amputees. That's not to say that there aren't single above knew amputees that run, but I would think that they are fewer and far between. Running with a C Leg is not out of the question but they are very expensive and unless you have very good insurance the price could be prohibitive.

You asked how the leg knew how to move while an amputee was running or walking. There are various types of knees depending on the ability and strength of the amputee. The basic knee unit has a spring mechanism which simply causes it to swing forward when you kick your leg. The next level is hydraulic, or pneumatic, which is easier to use and generally recognizes the position of your step, i.e. toe or heel to tell the knee to swing forward or lock. Some hydraulic knees also have a swing phase built in them that senses how fast you are walking on your 'good' leg and various the speed of your prosthesis to match. There is also a stumble recovery built into some of the knees to cause them to stiffen if you stub your toes so that the knee doesn't collapse before your weight is over the knee to protect you from falling. The C Leg goes one step further and is programmed to swing automatically without you having to initiate the swing. They can also sense where the foot and knee are to the body to give the most natural gait when you walk and require the least work to use. There are also many types of feet, some which have enegy storing ability and even some with computerized sensors that can help you walk or run faster and easier. Obviously you pay for what level of device you select. Myfawnny suggested that you talk to a prosthetist before you make the decision. They can give you an idea of the costs and differences in types.

Fortunately for me, I didn't have to make the decision to have the amputations... there was no choice. I often thought that I was glad that they weren't able to save my second leg as I was able to be much more active than if I had a leg that I couldn't walk on. However if it was only stiff and didn't hurt, I would have likely tried to keep it. Some amputees are prone to a lot of pain, both real and phantom, as well as skin problems. It's a huge decision, but it sounds like you are going to make an intelligent decision by asking questions. By all means ask a local prosthetist to refer you to an active single above knee amputee that you can meet and ask questions. At the end, it's only you who can make the decision of what is best for you. You may decide that the inconveniences, and that's what they are, of being an amputee, are less than the inconveniences that you have today. But if you think that by having an amputation, that you'll be running in a few months, you may find that it takes much longer, is hard work and may never happen. Then again, you may find that as many single AKs here on the board that it is fairly easy. You only have to read some of the posts of the people here and on other amputee boards, who are able to run, fly planes, parachute, roller blade, climb mountains... they are likely the exceptions though. Most of us aren't that active but still lead happy, productive lives. You are young and no doubt strong and can likely overcome the challenges that you will face as an amputee, but I think that if you asked everyone here, if they had the choice between their own leg or a prosthesis, unless they were in terrible pain and couldn't use it, 99% of us would opt to keep our 'real' leg.

Good luck with whatever decision you make and know that there are a lot of us amps out here who will be available to help you answer your questions and give you tips on how to face the challenges of an amputee if you decide to go the amputation route.

I don't know that I feel an increased weight, but rather more resistance in the swing. I had to have my CPO, remove the cover, speed up the leg and replace the cover.

Another thing that I've been doing for years and it's become automatic to me is cutting down an old cane that stays in my car so that the height when it's on the floor of the car is the same length of my regular canes when they are outside the car. That way when I get in and out of the car I can use two canes which are the same height lift myself up to get in and out of the car. I'd previously just used the car seat back, but when I bought my last car, the seat back was higher and made it awkward to do the same. I also tilt the seat back in the newer car to give me more room to swivel in and out of the car which also made it difficult to use the seat back. The short cane stays in the car beside the drivers seat.

General Discussion / Re: Pin System V Suction Sleeve
« on: August 08, 2008, 05:46:23 PM »
I've only ever used suction sockets for the last 25 years, but tried Ossur's Seal-In-Liner when I was fitted for new legs last year. I just couldn't get used to them. They irritated the tops of my stumps (red raised rings around the tops of my stumps at the tops of the liners) and I got what's called skin sheer according from what I've read. They were the correct size according to my CPO and one of the reasons that happens is that they are too small. I also found that my stumps rotated slightly in the sockets as I walked, although I'm sure I could have gotten used to that. I tried creams but couldn't eliminate the skin sheer. I've since seen a video where it's recommended to stretch the top of the liners if this is happening, but of course that was after I'd switched back to conventional suction. I don't know if it would have helped. I must say I liked the ease of donning my prosthesis with liners as I have long stumps and it's an effort to don them with Ace bandages. I tried a 'Power Tube' but that wasn't much easier. So I can put up with a little pulling each morning to don my two prosthesis and I never (knock on wood) have skin problems using conventional suction. It works for me, which is good! My CPO wants me to try Otto Bock's new suction pump. Maybe I'll try them next time in about 4 years.

General Discussion / Re: Amps in the News 3
« on: August 01, 2008, 03:06:27 PM »
There was a hand transplant, in I think France, that was successful, but the guy couldn't get used to the hand not being his and he went back in and had it removed. I would think that both arms might be difficult, specially as it was reported that it could take as long as two years for the nerves to regrow so that he'd have use of his hands. In the meanwhile, carrying around two usless appendages might be somewhat hard to get used to. It will be quite an adjustment. I can only wish the guy all the best with his recovery. As of today's news report, the operation was successful and the doctors are pleased with the results so far.

I'm not sure that I'd be willing to consider a leg transplant if it took two years to regain feeling and movement. What would you do in the meanwhile? 

General Discussion / Re: Stubbie feet ???
« on: August 01, 2008, 02:45:23 PM »
Here's a fact sheet on the "Foreshortened Prostheses" (Stubbies) on the ACA website. It shows a photo of the stubbies with the 'rocker' foot on the bottom. Hopefully this helps.

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