Is it socket success?

Today I was back to see Lynne (my prosthetist) for another early appointment at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, she hadn’t ready my blog so wasn’t ready for today’s bombshell of ‘I still can’t get the leg on’. As predicted the last option was to use a bag, or an Arion Easy-Proth Donning Sleeve to be more exact. Like I mentioned in a previous post I don’t care what method I have to use, I just want to be able to get the prosthesis on. Lynne’s first job was to make a bigger hole in the liner so that I could pull the donning sleeve through. When she came back, with sleeve in hand, it was time for a lesson in how to use it. It has a handle at one end and becomes double lined putting the stump in the opposite end to the handle. You put the stump in the socket pushing the handle through the hole, that’s the easy bit. Without pushing the stump in the socket as far in as possible you have to pull the bag through the hole. If the stump goes in too far the vacuum stops the bag from being pulled through. I am not sure I have explained that very well but the pictures should make it clearer. After a few tries of getting it on and off (which completely knackered me) and some pointers from Lynne I had a walk in the bars. It felt really good and surprisingly so much lighter than before. Apparently because it is fitting so well it is more of an extension of me rather than having to pick the leg up and moving it forward, making it feel lighter. I felt a little corner digging in and after Lynne had checked it out she was off to roll the edge and fit a proper valve in the socket hole. We have worked backwards really but by accident we have created a suction socket, it fits that snug now that I probably don’t even need the belt.

I have physio tomorrow which will be the biggest test but it is feeling the best I think it ever has. The only problem that I could envisage is digging in the groin area but I am hoping even that will not be an issue. This afternoon while Mum and Dad took Nan back to Essex I put the leg on and washed and wiped up. My back and hips started hurting quite quickly but I have envisaged that. I have been sitting in a wheelchair for ages now and I am not used to standing. I need to work on some stretches and hamstring stretches as it was tight behind my knee. While standing the back of the prosthesis feels fine and does not dig in like before but it does when sitting down. I am still happy, it will just take some work and toughening up a bit, give it some time and all will be well again. Being the practical person I am I was thinking about things in general and it suddenly dawned on me that the only major problem I can see is going to the toilet. Not only is the socket a problem in itself but wearing a shrink sock with it makes it even worse. The minute I come out of the stump I will not be able to get back in without using the sleeve. I may even ask for a couple more so that I can make sure where ever I go a sleeve comes too! That said if near water the sleeve could double as a flotation aid, you will see what I mean from the pictures.

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