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Topics - Steve C

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General Discussion / Amputee told to pay to take prosthetic legs on holiday
« on: November 06, 2008, 10:25:51 AM »

General Discussion / Court weighs amputee's case, limits on drug suits
« on: November 03, 2008, 08:07:46 AM »

General Discussion / Update on the double arm transplant.
« on: October 08, 2008, 11:12:01 AM »
Even though I would rather trade gibes about presidential candidates, here is a bit about the man with the double arm transplants (who everyone knows is a fervent Obama supporter)   ;)

Patient delighted after world's first full arm transplants

By Deborah Cole AFP - 2 hours 13 mins ago
BERLIN (AFP) - The world's only recipient of two full arms in a transplant appeared in public Wednesday to talk about the success of the procedure, calling the feeling of being whole again "indescribable".

Karl Merk, a dairy farmer, gave a press conference with his doctors at the teaching hospital of the Technical University in the southern German city of Munich, where he underwent the transplant managed by a 40-strong medical team.

Six years ago a work accident had led to the amputation of both his arms.

"The feeling is indescribable," Merk, 54, said as he showed off the new limbs, which are being supported by a special "corset" while the healing continues. "Every day I gain more mobility."

Since the amputation, Merk was reliant on round-the-clock care. Two attempts to use prostheses failed.

Discouraged, Merk said he had heard about advances in transplant science on television and sought advice at the university's Rechts der Isar Clinic. Then the search for a donor began.

"It was hard -- I waited by the phone and every time it rang I thought 'the time has come.' And after three months it did," he said in a thick Bavarian dialect.

He said he most looked forward to being able to eventually feed and dress himself "and cruise around a little on my rollerblades".

The medical team said hand and lower arm transplants were still rare and that the Munich operation, by attaching an elbow joint as well as an upper arm, posed a greater challenge for the immune and circulatory systems.

"Never before was such a large amount of foreign tissue transplanted to a person," Merk's doctors said in a statement on the 15-hour surgery.

Doctors have been closely monitoring Merk's progress as he undergoes physical therapy as well as psychological counselling in the aftermath of the gruelling procedure -- a world first -- which was conducted July 25 and 26.

Five teams working in two operating theatres gathered at 10:00 pm the night of the operation, one on each side of the patient and the donor, who had died only hours before. A fifth group removed a leg vein from the donor.

The first step was to expose the muscle, nerves and blood vessels to be connected. Before the bones of the donor could be cut, blood vessels in his arms were filled with a cooled preservation solution.

Both the donor's arms were then removed exactly at the point matching Merk's arm stumps. First the bones were joined, then arteries and veins to ensure blood circulation as quickly as possible.

The surgeons attached the muscles and tendons, then the nerves and finally the skin.

The doctors said there had been "no sign" that Merk's body was rejecting the foreign tissue, as was feared before the procedure, and added that his scars were healing well.

They said their main focus now was to ensure the regeneration of Merk's nerves and to prevent degeneration of his muscles until he has real mobility, which could take up to two years.

For now, Merk can only feel "tingling" in the arms.

The head of the transplant team, Christoph Hoehnke, had told reporters in August after the operation that he was deeply moved when Merk's wife went to his bedside and instinctively reached for his hands.

"They look just like they used to," she said, according to Hoehnke.

Hoehnke said Wednesday he hoped to be able to send Merk back to his dairy farm in four to six weeks.

"I am confident our patient will be able to fulfil one of his biggest wishes one day and drink a glass of milk with his own hands," he said.

Merk said his years of total helplessness had taught him to take the long view in life.

"After six years without arms nothing fazes you," he said.

General Discussion / Amps in the News 5
« on: September 29, 2008, 06:33:37 AM »

General Discussion / the future
« on: September 21, 2008, 05:53:21 PM »
In twenty years time, what do you realistically think the future will hold for us amps in regards to prosthetics????

General Discussion / Amps in the News 4
« on: September 20, 2008, 01:50:06 PM »

General Discussion / book
« on: September 12, 2008, 01:57:32 PM »

General Discussion / Amputee trivia
« on: August 30, 2008, 07:37:13 PM »
I was watching a trivia quiz show from the UK called 'QI' and I heard this.
The last person to be guillotined in France... was a amputee.
His name was Hamida Djandoubi and he was a Tunisian immigrant. He lost his leg in an accident and later murdered a young woman whom he had met in the hospital while recovering.
At his trial his main defense revolved around the supposed effects of the amputation of his leg six years earlier which his lawyer claimed had driven him to a paroxysm of alcohol and violence, turning him into a different man.

It didn't work.

General Discussion / Paralympics
« on: August 21, 2008, 06:47:03 AM »

The Paralympics aren't too far away. Next month. I can't wait I hope its televised!

The mascot for the Paralympics. Any guesses?

A cow.

"Paralympic Mascot
Cows, symbolic of a down-to-earth, diligent, staunch and never-say-die spirit, are adopted to show the unremitting spirit of athletes with a disability in being the best they can be. It dovetails with the upbeat spirit of Paralympians and the concept of "Transcendence, Equality, Integration" of the Beijing Paralympic Games"

Cows are symbolic of a 'never say die' spirit? I always thought that cows were symbolic of 'tasty'.

General Discussion / Team Ossur
« on: August 16, 2008, 08:16:09 PM »
While looking for anything on Oscars legs, I found this. Team Ossur. Taking from their page:

Team Ossur

"Team Ossur is an accomplished group of people that we are proud and honored to share our name with. Team Ossur comprises elite international athletes and sporting role models, along with gifted performers and professionals from around the world.
The talents and charisma of these exceptional individuals are helping to bring the achievements and the potential of all amputees to the forefront of public awareness. Read their biographies and prepare to be inspired."

Am I inspired? Hell yes. (pardon my french) Yes, they are young, fit and well sponsored, but I applaud that. Fair play to them and a well done lads. Same again.
Some of us can do more than others. All we can do is the best that we can do. If we do that, whatever it may be... we are champions. It may mean walking down a hill, up steps or wearing shorts. A marathon is 26 miles. You can walk 26 miles taking little steps. In my opinion the most deserving go through their lives without a mention. But then, they wouldn't want any mention. That is just their way.

I wish I never lost my leg. I will mourn that leg every day till I leave this world, but... I believe that I would be not that man I am today if I had not lost it. No matter how much I miss my leg, I am stronger now with its absence.
(That said, I think I'l keep the last one.)

I didn't want this to be 'aren't we great' post. I'm not proud to be a amputee, but I am proud I overcame it.

Team Ossur

General Discussion / I don't have it too bad
« on: August 09, 2008, 09:04:03 PM »
I sometimes browse through eBay. By 'sometimes' I mean all the time. I'm addicted really. Usually it's film props or US Navy items. A few days ago I found this photo that was for sale that has since been purchased. Even though I have my aches and pains and all that...I still have it pretty good in comparison to amputees from the past.
That said, there are amputees in this modern world but in less wealthy nations that have to make do with so very little.

General Discussion / Pin System V Suction Sleeve
« on: August 07, 2008, 09:37:27 PM »
I have been stewing about getting a new leg made for over a year now. I have commented on this a good few times here. Before I jump in and actually get the thing made I wanted to see what all of you preferred. I tried the pin system once and it hurt alot. It could have been the limbfitter as his last leg or three (the pin system, a running leg and a swimming leg. All painfull to wear.) were not comfortable at all, which is why I wear the leg that was my first 'proper leg' and not a temporary pylon.

 But... what if it were me, not the prosthetic leg, and that is why it hurts?

The poll is over in one week.

General Discussion / Amps in the News 3
« on: July 30, 2008, 06:28:57 AM »

General Discussion / Skin Graph Nerve bundle
« on: July 18, 2008, 07:24:01 AM »
On my back of my 'good leg' calf I had a large donor site for a skin graph they tried to use on my injured leg. Where as on my thigh, the skin graphs taken were very thin, the skin graph on the back calf was thick (1/8-1/4")*. Suffice to say the scar is different from the other skin graph site.
Now, on the top of the calf site there has always seemed to have been a little bump that felt a little weird. I could wiggle it with my finger and it felt just slightly numb. (The lower half of the good leg has always been slightly numb since the amputation.) I like to cross my legs and a few days ago I was uncrossing my legs when I felt a stab in my calf. 
Now it is becoming very annoying as this stabbing pain seems to originate in the bump but can be felt down the calf. The pain feels like a needle going in. It can be set off by just brushing past the bump. The pain can come anytime I move my leg.
I went to my GP for a thumb infection and mentioned the stabbing pain. He seemed to think it may be a suture left in that is causing the problem back from the operation in 2000. I  tend to think its a nerve ending/nerve bundle as the little bump is right on the top of the skin graph site.   

Any thoughts? Any prognosis?

* Why the graph was thick. Fairly graphic:
The graph was thick because they had it still attached on one side to my right leg while stitched onto my left.  They did this in order to get blood flow from both legs. My legs were stitched together and held in a harness of sorts when I woke up after the initial operation. This was back when we weren't thinking of amputation. As out turned out the muscles were destrpyed and I had 'drop foot' and amputation was suggested. The thick skin graph took a turn for the worse and had to be lost.

General Discussion / Waiting on a limbfitter
« on: June 27, 2008, 07:02:18 AM »
After meeting with a limbfitter, what would be the appropriate time frame in which to get a price quote in your opinion?

I am switching companies as I wasn't happy with their end product. I asked for a price quote for three legs (to give a price range) from the new company last year and it took 4 months! I wasn't happy but was busy enough that I actually forgot and ended up not having any leg leg made at all.
I go back to them as they say that they were sorry and it wouldn't reflect on the limbmaking process. I go back but the quotes have to be redone, these are for different feet (I learned about different feet from this site!). He called a few days shy of a month from our meeting and said he found my paperwork and as he was leaving for holidays in the morning he asked if I wanted for him to do the quotes now or wait until he got back from holidays (a few weeks later).
He seems like a really nice fella but I'm starting to think that this company are badly organized and maybe I should keep looking.

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