A big step forward

Today was an early start as I had an appointment with Lynne (my prosthetist) first thing this morning. It has been about 2 months since I saw here last, which is a small miracle in itself. In that time I have gone from not being able to get the prosthesis on at all, taking 4 or 5 attempts to get it on, feeling good, all the way down to where I was now which was falling to far in again. In my unfortunate situation the difference between not getting it on at all and falling in too far is minimal which means that any small change to my stump can make a massive difference. Even though I really didn’t want to go back and see Lynne (nothing personal just wanted to get on with it), it had been pretty good for the last month so I didn’t want to let it get too bad and start getting sore and not being able to wear it again.

After explaining the problem and putting the leg on Lynne asked me if I had tried the leg on like a proper suction socket, without the stump sock, which I hadn’t. I took the sock off and put the leg back on, it went on well but I fell into the socket even more. The only problem with this method was trying to get the leg off. The suction worked so well that even when I took the valve off there was no release around the stump. I will only say that it was a massive struggle, I won’t go into detail on how I struggled to get the thing off but needless to say the image it could conjure up would leave you having nightmares. After a small deliberation Lynne whisked the leg away and started to work her magic on it. She came back with padding for the bum bone, to help cushion it and more importantly to hold me up and stop me from going too far into the socket. She had also taken some of the back edge down to try and straighten the leg when sitting. The cushion helped a bit but moved the problem to a different location and it actually made the leg position when sitting worse. Away it went (after the struggle to get it off) and sometime later she came back for another try. With some of the leather removed from the groin area and a little more jiggery-pokery it was try it on time again. It felt better, much better in fact but there was still the small issue of a restriction bending forward and the leg angle when sitting. After another massive wrestling match to get it off I was starting to get sore. The only way I can describe it is that as I am trying to pull the leg down, the suction is so tight it just drags the skin down too. You just know that if you did this on a regular basis then you will get something like a carpet burn on the inside of the stump. Lynne took the leg away again to try and roll the front edge over a bit to see if that would help. When she came back I put the leg on but not properly so it was pinching, I decided to take it off and try again, well that was the plan. The big problem was I couldn’t get it off and it was the first time that we were both on the verge of panicking about it, we were nearly at the point of requiring powder or some other aid to help get it off when we just managed it between us. I put the stump sock on again and then put the leg on which felt OK, I still had the sitting issue which may make driving difficult but walking was fine. I now have the option of wearing the leg with the sock and belt, the sock and no belt, without the sock but with the belt and without the sock and the belt. All very versatile and a bit like Boots Mix and Match I will test out all the variables to see what works best. Obviously if there is any chance of needing the toilet in a hurry wearing the sock will be the best option as I would never get the leg off in time without it! I have realised that it is all compromises and you certainly can’t have your cake and eat it with prosthesis so I will have to see how it goes over the next few days. We did talk ‘future’ though and the next time I get to the stage where I am falling too far into the socket we may recast for a proper suction socket, exciting stuff.

 

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