A monumental achievement

Wednesday 12th June was supposed to be my first Physio session. In some respects I was looking forward to it and in other ways dreading it, that’s just how Physio is and it depends on what we do. For some reason, and I have no idea why, I felt really bad in the morning, I felt sick and generally rough. Since I have been coming of the medication I’m nowhere near as tired as before and get up much earlier now.

I slept quite a bit though and it may have just been a bit of a blip day. I didn’t get up till the afternoon and thought I would have a shower to see if it made me feel better. I have to say it didn’t and by this time Mum and Dad had gone out for the afternoon. I’d been having trouble with my iPod in the car and as it was going to the Garage the next day I thought I would test it out. I put my leg on and went out to the car, even the issue I was having with iPod seemed to have cleared. I had sat in the car to do this test because I also wanted to see how the socket felt sitting in the car. Since Lynne (my Prosthetist) had altered the back of the socket the other day sitting had become easier. It didn’t feel too bad and I didn’t move the chair from where it was at all. When it came to getting out of the car I did manage to get my prosthetic foot caught up behind the brake pedal but after some jiggling managed to get it out.

I don’t really know what came over me but I just thought F**k it I’m going to drive the car with my leg on and I’m going to take Cody (my Labrador) too. I had to take the car for a drive every day to help keep the battery charged before it went in to be seen by the garage. I tried to get Cody in his harness but thankfully if I ask for his paw he will lift it for me. On the third attempt we got his paw in the loop and I manage to do it up OK. I got him on the back seat and hooked up to the seat belt and went to get in. I have to lift the leg up straight and make sure that the heel doesn’t touch the door seal or it will bend the knee and cause me problems. I get the leg in as far as I can then lift the leg and hop forward to slide on the seat and get fully in. I managed to get some pressure off the socket and decided to do a route that would be a half hour round trip, but there was a roundabout and turnings I could use to get back quicker if I was feeling sore. I went to my marker and completed the trip.

I had noticed that the fuel gauge was just on red and knowing the distance the car had to go to the garage the next day I thought I should fuel it. I decided not to take Cody so after getting out of the car, this time minus getting my foot stuck in the brake pedal, I got him out and indoors, turned around and went back out.

This was the really scary bit for me walking outside again (with sticks) and even an easy task like filling up the car becomes a challenge. I also knew the school had just tipped out, so there could be lots of people around the garage, and I was praying I didn’t end up inspecting the forecourt floor by tripping up or something as equally embarrassing! The garage is only up the road, I hopped out the car quite cleanly and went to the pump, all good so far. I filled the car up but ended up getting diesel all over my hands, I managed to get some paper towels without my sticks and cleaned it off. I walked across the flat forecourt only to find it is not as flat as I thought. It’s only subtle changes and placed drains but if you’re not looking could easily have had me falling. I was conscious of people watching me walking but all was going well so I wasn’t too bothered. I paid for the fuel and walked back out, I was just walking across towards the car when I noticed a car was going to turn in. I quickly stopped, took some paces back to wait for the car to come in first, I couldn’t have walked fast enough to get across before the car came in. The driver acknowledge this and I set off again. I cant tell you the relief I felt when I got back to and in the car, mission accomplished.

Driving was easier than it was before with the other sockets, not only slightly less pain while sitting but because the socket is smaller. With a less bulky socket it means that I don’t catch my knuckles on the socket when using the steering wheel giving me better control and happier knuckles. I didn’t expect to drive that far or to turn around and go out again to fill up with fuel. I was surprised at the distance I managed to drive and what I managed to achieve. I’m still sitting on plastic, which is uncomfortable and painful after time and to be honest I did feel it the next day, I had overdone it slightly. Still this is all part of the learning curve and I will have to go a bit slower to make more consistent progress, rather than doing a lot one day and very little the next. It felt like a monumental achievement though and considering I haven’t walked for about nine months and only had my leg a couple of weeks I suppose it was. It gives me a bit more confidence in the leg and what I may be able to do with it in the future. It’s the best socket so far, patience and perseverance must now prevail.


2 Responses to “A monumental achievement”

  1. Really pleased for you. That instinct and urge to get on with it and go for it will help you achieve much more in the future. Keep surprising yourself :-)

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