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Messages - Mitchee

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General Discussion / Re: Currahee
« on: August 25, 2009, 03:50:13 PM »
Hi Everyone,

I'm sorry that I didn't post what the video was about.  My simple explanation... I forgot.  Oops.  Sorry for the inconvenience.   

The video is about a US soldier who is recovering from severe injuries that were sustained while he was in Afganistan.  As a result of a roadside bomb he lost both of his legs.  He also suffered head trauma and was in a coma. 


General Discussion / Currahee
« on: August 24, 2009, 09:31:54 PM »
 A friend of mine sent me this video.  I uploaded it to Photobucket so that I could share it.  Hopefully the link works...

<embed width="448" height="361" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" src="">

Insurance Coverage / Re: Microprocessor knees and insurance
« on: July 29, 2009, 12:46:38 PM »


(Dont ask me what BS stands for ^^)


BS... Bachelor of Science degree
MS... Master of Science degree
Ph.D...  Doctor of Philosophy.   
In case anyone is interested... ABD... all but dissertation. 

OR... as one of my former professors once phrased it...

BS... Bull Sh** degree
MS... More Sh** degree
Ph.D...  Piled high deep. 

LOL   :-)

MS and ABD on a Ph.D.   :-)

I guess I've never shared this but perhaps I should.

I get my liners, C-legs, ankles, etc. all through my insurance & nothing comes out of my pocket.  I am my own employer and I chose the plan that would serve me the best rather than the needs of my employees. haha.

At any rate, I had a friend overseas who needed to get her liner from Ossur and she was wondering if I could secure the liner for her cheaper than going through her prosthetist.

Well, I learned quickly that the supplier only sells to prosthetist company.  So I set up my own prosthetic company and ordered supplies through that company.  In the U.S. at least, you don't have to be a licensed prosthetist to set up your own brace shop, prosthetic fitting center, etc.  It's perfectly legal to set up a prosthetic company or brace shop using your home address.

I ended up getting ossur liners, otto bock liners, ankle from college park (the most expensive ankle they sell is under $1,000.  (I bet none of you guys knew that. ^^)  and countless other supplies for other ppl as well.

You see the college park ankle your prosthetist gets cost $1,000 & he turns around and bills you or your insurance $10,000.  That's how prosthetists drive the latest models from Lexus, BMW, or Mercedes.

So if you don't have insurance and need to pay for things out of your pocket, it pays to become your own prosthetic company.  I hope this info helps.

p.s. You have to get EIN number & all the good stuff.  Don't go see an attorney; go see a CPA & CPA can help set up your company cheaply.  Or if you dealt with IRS before or internet savy enough to use google, it's a very simple process & u can set it up yourself.  Just ask google how to set up your company.  Good Luck!!

OMG!!  I'm speechless about the astronomical mark up of prosthetics!!  It irks me that my prosthetist won't sell me a Bioquest Perfect Stride X3 at his cost or even a slight mark up, especially when I have to pay for a new foot out of my pocket.  My insurance won't pay for a new foot for another couple of years.  You would think that my prosthetist would cut me a break since he made a nice profit off of my last prosthesis and I would be paying cash for the new foot.   >:(

General Discussion / Re: To amp - or not to amp? Elective amps
« on: July 18, 2009, 12:06:38 AM »
There was an extensive article in the Oct 08 Runners World about Tom White's elective amputation. I'm not sure I agreed with his take on everything but it was a good read.,7120,s6-243-297--12959-1-1X2X3X4X5X6X7X8X9X10X11X12X13X14-15,00.html

In addition to reading the Runner's World article, another source of information might be Dateline NBC's website.  They also did a story about Tom White.  FYI...Tom White is also an Ertl amputee.

General Discussion / Re: To amp - or not to amp? Elective amps
« on: July 16, 2009, 03:41:03 PM »

I'n my experience, arthrodesis of the ankle can be really debilitating and painful; I've seen a lot of people who have put off amputation for years after the ankle fusion and nearly all of them say that they are better off with the amputaion.

Most of my elective patients feel they have made the right choice and don't regret the amputation. Functionally, a below knee prosthesis would probably replicate normal foot function better than a fully fused ankle.


I agree with what I've quoted from Chrysochloridae.
Over the years, I had my ankle fused several times.  The last time involved a dozen giant screws.  Due to chronic pain and the inability to walk without the use of an Air-cast removable walker/cast, I elected to amputate my lower leg.  I struggled for 21 years and endured numerous unsuccessful reconstructive ankle surgeries before I decided to amputate my lower leg.  For me, amputation was the right decision.  I do more as an amputee than I did with a fused ankle.  I am an avid cyclist and I also rollerblade.  I do not run because I do not have a cheetah foot.

I am asked if I wish that I had amputated my leg sooner.  My answer is yes and no.  Yes... because I am painfree and I do everything that I want to.  No... because I needed to know that I did everything that I could to save my leg.  I don't have any regrets or what ifs.  I have peace of mind because I know that I did everything that I could before I elected to amputate my lower leg.

If you are going to do some research about elective amputation, I would recommend researching the Ertl procedure.  I am an Ertl amputee.  The Ertl procedure is usually very beneficial for below the knee amputees.  Please feel free to send me a PM, if you want to learn more about the Ertl procedure. 

As you know, amputation is a life changing and permanent decision.  Please carefully consider all of your options before choosing amputation.  I hope you find a solution that works for you.


General Discussion / Re: Dogs
« on: June 26, 2009, 10:09:22 PM »
Snowbear, she is adorable!!!  Give her a hug for me.

Hi Guzzitx.  How is your black lab puppy?  Nero is so handsome!!!  Give him a hug for me.

I am such a softie for animals.    ;D


General Discussion / Re: Endeavor Games and my new puppy :-)
« on: June 25, 2009, 02:34:10 PM »
Hi Ann.  I really don't have any trouble riding.  When I first started riding as an amputee I was a little leery of riding in traffic and clipping in and out of my pedal with my prosthesis.  I started riding on side streets where there wasn't a lot of traffic so that I could get used to riding with a prosthesis.  After a few rides I felt confident and I was comfortable riding with my prosthesis so I started riding on busy streets and in traffic.  I usually ride between 10 and 50 miles at a leisurely pace but I have to ride on a busy highway to get to some nice country roads.  I'm more worried about getting hit by a driver who doesn't see me than I am about my own abilities.  I also ride with clipless pedals.  My cycling shoes clip directly to the pedal without the using a toe clip.  Clipless pedals aren't for everyone and they can be intimidating if you have never used them.  I rode with clipless pedals prior to becoming an amputee so the transition was pretty easy with my prosthesis.  If you decide to go biking, I would recommend using a flat, standard pedal until you are comfortable and then I would add a toe clip to provide some stability and leverage for your prosthetic foot.  I also have a separate prosthesis for cycling.  My cycling prosthesis (socket) is cut low on the backside so that I can pedal without the back of the socket digging into my thigh.  It is also 2 inches longer than my everyday prosthesis, this allows me to complete the pedal stroke without having to shift my weight with every pedal stroke to compensate because my prosthetic foot doesn't flex at all.  The cycling leg was built from some of my leftover parts so it is heavy and doesn't have any carbon fiber parts or a high tech foot.  Someday, I hope to purchase a different cycling prosthesis that has a carbon fiber socket and a foot that plantar flexes easily.  In the meantime, I am just happy to ride.   :) 

General Discussion / Re: Endeavor Games and my new puppy :-)
« on: June 24, 2009, 02:53:15 PM »

Hey lady, at least you went to the games and were doesn't matter where you finished...I don't know why I asked you that question.  Senior moment   :(   I think.   Anyway girlfriend you finished  AND took the gold.  That's great.  Maizy is a true knockout.   :)

It's okay that you asked.  I don't mind.  I had a great time and met a lot of wonderful people.  Coming home with a gold medal was a 'bonus' even though I really didn't earn it.  Being able to participate and staying active is what is important to me.  I ride because I enjoy it.  I hope to see more people participate in the cycling event next year.       :)

General Discussion / Re: Endeavor Games and my new puppy :-)
« on: June 24, 2009, 08:37:45 AM »
Hi Snowbear, Ann and Steve.  Thanks for the nice words about Maizy.  She is a joy to have.  I look forward to spending many years with her. 

Ann, I don't take my cat on vacation with me.  He stays with my mom.  If I wanted to, I could take him just about anywhere because he travels well but I wouldn't be comfortable with leaving him in a crate/cat carrier at the hotel when I am not there.  He doesn't like to be placed in a crate.  (Most hotels require cats to be kept in a crate/cat carrier if you are not there because of the risk of the cat getting through an open door when the cleaning staff is there.)

Ann and Steve, I really enjoyed the cycling event.  This was the first year that cycling was offered at the Endeavor Games.  As for where I fiinished, I won the gold medal for my division but I was the only person entered in my division so all I had to do was finish.  LOL  My time was horrible but at least I finished.  I had a hard time adapting to the heat and humidity.  I usually ride at a leisurely pace so my goal was to participate and meet some other amputee cyclists.  Winning a medal wasn't a goal.  I also had the opportunity to participate in a cycling clinic and I learned a lot of new skills.  Since I enjoyed participating, I plan on training for next years event instead of riding at a leisurely pace.   ;)


General Discussion / Endeavor Games and my new puppy :-)
« on: June 23, 2009, 12:56:01 PM »
I was in Edmond, Oklahoma, June 10th - 14th for the Endeavor Games which were held at the University of Central Oklahoma.  The Endeavor Games are a paralympic style event for athletes with physical disabilities.  I competed in the cycling event and I had a great time.  I met a lot of wonderful people and I hope to attend the Endeavor Games again next year.  For anyone who might be interested in learning more about the Endeavor Games, please visit their website or feel free to contact me with any questions.

I also brought a new family member home with me.  While in Oklahoma I adopted a Golden Pyrenees puppy from a rescue group.  She part Golden Retriever and part Great Pyrenees.  She did great on the 17 hour car ride back to Wisconsin.  She is 10 weeks old and her name is Maizy.  She is a wonderful puppy and she has a great temperament.  She is already best friends with my blind cat (who is featured as my avatar).  They play together and sleep together. 

General Discussion / Re: Words to live by and About getting hurt.
« on: June 04, 2009, 10:11:25 PM »
I miss my way so badly I would work for free. "Eastbound and Down" How I loved coming home but I couldn't wait to be on the road again. I know I'm pretty screwed up but I make no assertions to be otherwise.

Hi Joe.  I can relate to what you are saying.  My aunt and her husband have been married for 25+ years.  He is almost always away from home.  He builds golf courses for a world famous golf course designer and he is head of construction for him.  As a result, he is gone for months at a time, however, it seems to work out fine for their marriage.  If he is home for more than a couple of weeks , they fight like cats and dogs. LOL.   :)

I can also relate to needing some space.  My boyfriend and I have been dating for 6+ years (since before I became an amp) and we are very happy with our relationship but we are very different.  LOL.  He is a woodsy, outdoorsman type and I am a city dweller but we make it work.  He goes "up north" to his property without me and that is fine with me.  People say that we should be together on the weekends but it does us some good to be apart.  I respect his desire to fish and hunt and he respects my desire to have a nice dinner and a hot shower.  LOL.  The important thing is that it works for us. 

I'm sure that this is unnecessary advice Joe, but remember that your wife has been there and that she will continue to be there, so be sure to let her know how important she is to you.


our house in california was 2245 sq ft and the taxes were 5100.oo and went up 2 percent every year and a person didnt have a choice in the matter

Property values and taxes sure do vary depending upon where you live.  Our house is nice but it certainly isn't anything fancy.  Our house is under 2000 sq ft and our property taxes are close to $5,000 and the property taxes keep going up.  Our (former) lake home in a near by community has property taxes of over $10,000.  We sold the house when the property taxes hit $10 grand.  That's a lot of taxes for a summer home that we used for a few months of the year.  Wisconsin property taxes are expensive because Wisconsin funds its schools from the property taxes.  When I factor in the winter heating costs, I ask myself "why do I live here?"  lol   I would love to move to a warmer climate.  PLJ, I'll have to check out Texas.   ;)   

General Discussion / Re: NOW WHAT!!!
« on: May 21, 2009, 10:01:02 PM »
Right after my amputation, I sent an application (via snail mail with my surgeon's signature) to the ACA to have a peer visit.  I never heard from the ACA and I was extremely disappointed.  I am grateful that everything worked out but the ACA was of no use to me.  I found more support on this site and a couple of other forums.  Thanks Michael for this site, it has been a tremendous help!!!!

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