Goodies from the Hospital

I was excited about this morning, not about getting up at 06:00 but going for my casting. Nothing I haven’t done before but this was for my first long term socket, which will hopefully make life easier and resolve some, if not all, my issues.

Lynne (my Prosthetist) brought in the liner I will be using and explained how to put it on. I have to ensure that the liner is tight to my skin at the end of the stump with no air pocket. If there is any gap sweat is likely to collect and could cause sores on the stump. It will stretch width ways but not lengthways, which helps to secure it properly and not drag the skin. It has a fabric outer layer and a tacky feel on the inside. This is a gel that keeps the liner securely attached to the skin, it will also stick nicely to itself if there is nothing in it. When I put it on the first time I was surprised at how tight it felt compared to anything else I’ve had fitted to the stump, even the suction socket. It was miles too long though so she took it away to cut it down a bit.

When she came back I had a couple of attempts to get it on correctly, as you have to ensure that the pin will be in the centre of the stump. It didn’t feel quite as tight this time round, really firm but comfortable. It’s just a matter of getting used to another sensation and method of working. We had the old messy casting kit today but Lynne had more problems with the cling film she was trying to protect the liner with than the casting itself. In no time it was all over and she went away to get me the box to take the liner home in, so I can practice putting it on and sitting with it for a few hours. When she came back she explained that there was a leaflet on how to take care and clean it, it even has a little stand you can put it on once you have washed it so it can dry. When I get my socket I will get a spare liner, so I can have one being cleaned and dried while wearing the other. These Liners cost around £400 each, depending on the usage they get can last for roughly 9 months. It’s a costly life being an amputee, physically, emotionally and financially, thank God for the NHS!

When I went to the main part of Outpatients there was a stall selling mobility aids. Some folding walking sticks caught my eye as my Physio mentioned them for when I am doing photography at Cadets. With the sticks I use now, while wearing my leg, I either have to try and balance against me or lay on the floor. My Physio said I could just fold them up and put them in my big leg pockets of my uniform while doing photography, then whip them out when I have finished. I checked that they would be the right length for me (even though they are adjustable I still had to make sure they would be the right size) and learned how to test for correct height, They were fine so I bought two of them. I also happened to notice they were selling keys for the RADAR toilets. The ones I have are huge, both are really long and one has a massive handle on it for people with weak wrists and grip. The ones they had were like a normal size key so I snapped up one of those too.

It’s not often you come away from the Hospital with lots of goodies but today was a good day. I was in and out reasonably quickly, bought some useful items and learned more about the liner and socket I will be getting. When I was in the casting cuff I didn’t feel like I was fully in it, previously I have really been able to feel the back bit and groin area. Although they are really wide and flared on the cuff Lynne said that I was fully in it. As the liner gets folded over the edges of the socket I think it was helping to take some of the pressure off both areas. I have to say that I am more optimistic that this new socket will work for me, allowing me to wear the socket for longer and be able to walk further with less, if not no pain where I have it now. Lets hope it delivers on all counts so I can lead a fuller and more independent life again.

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