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Messages - Steve C

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16
General Discussion / Re: Happy Thanksgiving!
« on: December 04, 2013, 08:19:11 AM »
It has been quiet. I miss the banter!

Happy belated Thabnksgiving :)

17
General Discussion / Re: Just when I think I have it hard...
« on: October 11, 2013, 05:56:06 PM »
Haha! Maybe I should have used the word 'difficult', but then as it is it might get more comments! ;D

18
General Discussion / Just when I think I have it hard...
« on: October 11, 2013, 08:00:34 AM »
Just when I think I have it hard...I realize I don't.


19
General Discussion / Re: online liner suppliers
« on: September 29, 2013, 07:07:10 AM »
I can call my limbfitter and make a appointment, but when I am seen may just depend on their workload. It usually takes a few days or a week but I'm sure if it were urgent they may try and squeeze me in. They may be little or no cost for adjustments, depending on what needs to be done.

I wouldn't have health insurance myself. I probably should though. At 51, I'm about at the age when I assume bits will start breaking down! There was a time after the accident when I had a medical card. I wasn't able to work and I qualified for injury benefit or disablement benefit plus a medical card. With the medical card all prosthetic legs or hospital visits were free. Work is quiet so in theory I may still qualify for a medical card but at this point its a pride issue. If I had a medical card I wouldn't be balking at the price the limbfitter is charging but as I am paying out of pocket now I try and get the best price I can.

---

Rant #5

The last I heard from the crowd I have been trying to order a liner from is that all their similar liners are the same price so its either pay the €630 or don't (though they didn't say that per-say). A week ago I said I'd go ahead and order one and asked if I could do it over the phone and they still haven't written back.

They don't seem to be too bothered about my order at all. I've been trying to source a new liner since June with finally getting a confusing price quote in late July (confusing as the price €100 higher than the phone quote and for a different liner). It took weeks to have them explain it. It took another month and three emails to find out if there was a price difference between two liners and now when I said I'll order one they still don't write back.
Maybe they're used to people just paying what they're told to or medical card people who don't care. Maybe I've been deemed to be an awkward customer as I wanted clarification and so they're in no hurry to write back. Although I don't now, I've worked with customers in different jobs in the past and I never thought that 'the customer is always right' but if they're in business to sell prosthetics, liners etc, in my opinion they're customer service is fairly brutal.

I'm calling them Monday.

20
General Discussion / Re: online liner suppliers
« on: September 26, 2013, 06:26:15 AM »
From 20.00 to 132.00. That's quite the markup. I'm sure there are maybe professions that their profit margin is massive but it seems that the medical industry certainly is. Its a scandal.

The alpha liner are good but then I have always had them. Maybe I just don't know any better. Haha. I may go to a thicker one the next time I get a new socket made as I seem to be having more stump pain than before, but that won't be until either the socket gives out entirely (I repaired the last one with fibreglas three times before I got a new socket!) or until the pain gets worse.

I've switched limbfitters once really. My initial one was assigned me by the hospital. The first leg was brilliant. The fella that made those legs ended up going to Afghanistan to deal with injured civilians and my following 2 legs that were made by the new limbfitter were brutal. They kept trying to fix them but the limbfitter appeared to be fresh out of school and he just couldn't get it right. My current limbfitter is good. The first fella I dealt with was good but again he volunteered to go to hospitals in Iraq to help the injured. It seems that I am driving away my limbfitters! When I go in now I am sent another newbie to deal with. Luckily when I had problems with a fit on the last leg they assigned me their senior fitter and she got me up on the hind legs with a good socket.

21
General Discussion / Re: online liner suppliers
« on: September 20, 2013, 06:01:15 AM »
Thanks a million Danny! Typical my luck that I'm on the suspension sleeves, but thanks again!

I finally heard back yesterday after a month of waiting for a amended price quote. No change in price, so it looks like I have to go with it. Back when I had a medical card and they were free to me I wouldn't have batted an eye but with having to pay for them myself now I try and get a good price. I'd be curious to what they cost to make, to the markup from the limbfitter. But then, I don't think I want to know.

22
General Discussion / Re: online liner suppliers
« on: September 16, 2013, 11:44:53 AM »
Thanks Dave. I had a look on that ebay sellers page but he seems to only carry the locking liner, I use a suspension sleeve so my socket requires the non-locking liner... :(

I've had a poke around the Willow Wood site as well but they only sell to certified prosthetists. I never understood why that was. It may be a liability thing in that what if a amputee bought the wrong product and then wanted to return it. Or worse, if a amputee buys a product and it damages their leg as its the wrong thing. That said, if a amputee has been wearing a certain liner for years and simply needs another of the same..whats the problem?
It may also go down that if certified prosthetists hear that their supplier sells to the general public they may not buy from them. I'm sure to some the field is a passion to help others, but its still a business. I'm not sure what the mark up is on liners but if we can buy from the supplier and cut out the middle man, certified prosthetists are out their cut. On a 650 liner, if the mark up is 30%, then its 195.00 just for making a phone call.
I do begrudge my prosthetist a good living. Far from it as they've helped me out. I wish them all the best. Yet, with the costs of prosthetics it would be nice to not have to pay someone to order a part that I am more than able to order myself.

Rant over ;D

23
General Discussion / online liner suppliers
« on: September 12, 2013, 07:10:01 AM »
Anyone know of any online suppliers for liners? I check ebay but no real luck. I use the willow wood alpha liner and my current prosthetist raised the price from 550 to 750 euro. I contacted my old limbfitter and they gave a quote of 550 over the phone but when I was seen and they gave a written quote and they bumped it up to 650 and gave a quote for a different liner. I'm trying to get that quote sorted but they're brutal for answering emails. It usually takes a few weeks...  :(

24
General Discussion / Amputees working as film extras
« on: August 11, 2013, 08:08:08 AM »
I've mentioned this before but thought I might mention it again for any new members. TV and film casting agents sometime use amputees in television and film and it can be a great way to see the film making process and make some money as well. Depending on what part of the world you like you will usually find a website or company that you can join and they will notify you if anyone has a need to cast amputees. It may be for tv, film or even workplace instructional videos. The work itself can be very interesting yet at times it calls for a good bit of waiting around to be honest (so bring a book!) but I do find that if I am being used specifically as a amputee that they take care of me better than the average film extra (ie: make sure I have a place to sit, bring me crutches if needed...). Plus the amputees tend to be paid more as well!
The work itself may only be a day or two, but depending on the production they may need you for weeks. Seeking this sort of work as a full time job it may prove difficult as it can be sporadic.That said, if you are used, production companies will keep your name and use you again if something comes up. It may suit someone who is self employed (and can take the time off) or who has the time free to spend on set.

Pros-
  • Its fun to watch the filming process
  • You may work with well known actors
  • It can pay decent
  • As there may not be a lot of amputees used, it usually means you will get good screen time
  • Sometimes the costumes are brilliant
  • Depending on your situation, you can always get film work as a non-amputee as well

Cons-
  • They would tend to need more males than females
  • The work may not be steady
  • When hired and on set it can involve a lot of waiting around

I got to thinking about this after being called up to be on 'Ripper Street' the victorian crime drama set in London (but filmed in Ireland) and I thought others may be interested in the same sort of work. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2183641/


I've been used three times now and although a long day it was good fun. One of the programmes has aired already, while the other two are still post-production and should air in the spring. Heres a little picture from two days ago. I had a scene as a two legged character, then they had me as the down and out amputee crutching it down the cobblestones in a few scenes as well.


25
General Discussion / Re: road trip
« on: July 12, 2013, 07:07:38 AM »
I'm sorry to hear that the trip didn't end well and for the annoying health problems. You've been through worse than this though Jack, you're a tough cookie and you'll get through this as well. Chin up!

26
General Discussion / Re: Lump
« on: June 27, 2013, 08:30:57 AM »
Thanks Dave. We must think alike as that's what I've been doing. I had it off all day Tuesday, and only wore it a few hours yesterday (when I went to a friends house for dinner). The bump is still there and somewhat red but no pain. What I might try is to not not wear the leg if I can (maybe just for trips to the shop) and hopefully the bump will go away. Unfortunately, patience is not a virtue I have when it comes to the leg.
I must admit after being an amp for nearly thirteen years, with all the little annoyances that come with it, being on the crutches is doing my head in. Everything is just a bit harder, washing the dishes, getting a cup of coffee..etc etc. We've all been there!

27
General Discussion / Lump
« on: June 25, 2013, 05:57:26 AM »
Has anyone experienced a somewhat raised, red, very sore lump (bump) on the inside side of their knee before? Its slightly bigger than 1/4'' across. I've had one for a week or so and it's driving me crazy. When it first started, I thought I may have had the leg too tight so I took off one, then two cotton socks which did seem to help even though it made the leg a bit loose. When it didn't go I left the leg off for most of a day and that helped as well. I wore the leg all day yesterday and I felt back to normal until I was reading late last night. The bump and pain came back when I got up to move. This morning it was as bad as ever and I can't even wear the leg at all. :(
I've had the year a year or so and never a problem. I haven't been doing anything out of the ordinary so I don't know what I may have done to it.

Any advice?

28
General Discussion / Re: road trip
« on: June 25, 2013, 05:40:23 AM »
Sounds like a great trip Jack. Enjoy! (and a early congrats to your new grandchild!!)

29
General Discussion / Prosthetic Leg covers
« on: May 21, 2013, 08:01:56 AM »
Many of us use a cosmetic cover made of foam and a nylon or rubber cover over that that but some go 'bare pole'. Myself, I'm a bare pole man unless I feel the need to be more inconspicuous.

This fella has a company that creates a lower leg cover that is more artistic than anatomically correct. They have them for men and women and create them custom to to make them to fit the persons tastes.  I like them. They run from $4,000 - 6,000 so they aren't cheap. I just have to keep playing the lotto...

From their site:
Quote
Bespoke Fairings™ are specialized coverings that surround an existing prosthetic leg, accurately recreating the body form through a process that uses three-dimensional scanning to capture the unique leg shape. But Fairings not only return the lost contour, they invite an expression of personality and individuality that has never before been possible.

Fairings infuse the individual's lifestyle and taste into the design from the start. But to make this an even more personal part of the prosthetic leg, Fairings can be enhanced with patterns, graphics, and materials—including leather, ballistic nylon fabric, chrome plating, and even tattoos. By creating a unique custom form that presents the individual, Bespoke Innovations hopes to change the way the world thinks of prostheses.

http://www.bespokeinnovations.com/content/gallery






30
General Discussion / Interesting article about early prosthetics
« on: April 24, 2013, 04:57:24 AM »
An interesting article I found. It also tells the story of how Hanger Prosthetics came to be. I'll put a few paragraphs here and a link...

War and Prosthetics: How Veterans Fought for the Perfect Artificial Limb

There’s something undeniably beautiful about prosthetic limbs, designed to echo the physical grace and mechanical engineering of the human body. For most people, these objects elicit some combination of squeamish discomfort and utmost respect. But far fewer of us connect those feelings to the untold generations of battle-scarred amputees whose sacrifices made prosthetics a public priority.


Iron hand designed for the German imperial knight Götz von Berlichingen (1480 – 23 July 1562) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G%C3%B6tz_von_Berlichingen

“You hate to think that war is what drives technology, but it does,” says Kevin Carroll, the Vice President of Prosthetics for Hanger, a major artificial-limb producer founded just after the Civil War. Historically, the impulse to create functional replacement limbs has grown in parallel with the number of living amputees, whose ranks ballooned following periods of military conflict, especially the American Civil War and World War I. Such episodes of violence provided the impetus for doctors and scientists to study how the human body copes with physical damage, and how we might repair it...

more here: http://www.collectorsweekly.com/articles/war-and-prosthetics/

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