Friday, 8 June 2012

Really Good Day - Really Bad Day !!

Firstly a quick apology for jumping around in time from last year to this year, but things are happening which I need to get down on the blog as they happen.

Yesterday, Thursday 7th June I had a 2.00 appointment with the Phsyio department at RNOH Stanmore. This was the first physio session since leaving hospital after the amputation. It was a typical summer day, absolutely hissing down and very unpleasant.

Jane drove me to Stanmore, and as parking is very difficult we had arranged that I would be dropped off at the Out Patients Reception in the wheelchair, and Jane would go off and find somewhere to park up until I called after the session.

I pushed myself in the wheelchair the short distance to the Physio Dept, and on time at 2.00, Jennifer my assigned Physio came and took me to the gym. The first 15 mins or so were taken up checking over the leg, taking dimensions and changing the compression stocking that I wear to help reduce the swelling. Jennifer also checked the leg articulation to see if the exercises that I had been doing had improved things, she was very pleased to report excellent improvements all round.

We then moved over to the parallel bars that are used for support when learning to use prosthesis. Jennifer produces a socket that they use as an initial introduction to having a false limb. It's an adjustable version, complete with straps, buckles and interestingly an open bottom !  Me being me, I immediately ask about the open base thinking that this must be where your stump takes he weight.  Wrong !! apparently your body weight is mainly taken on a lip on the back of the socket by a bone in your bum, and also on the sides of the stump which sit in a taper.

This is fitted to me, it feels a little cumbersome, but I remember it's only a multi-purpose unit used for initial introduction. Jennifer then fits the leg extension and foot. Once fitted up I'm requested to use the parallel rails to turn around and face the mirror on the wall.
I can't believe the feeling I get from seeing myself on two feet again !!

Jennifer brings over a trolley containing a machine with foot pads attached that measure how much pressure is being exerted by each leg. The screen has a pair of feet and a series of lights for visual indication. I'm given instructions how to transfer my weight from my good leg to the prosthesis side. Interestingly my stump in the socket feels fairly comfortable, but a little odd, but I'm not surprised by that.

We go through a few exercises transferring weight around and generally getting used to having prosthesis attached. I can stand completely unsupported and totally in balance.
It feels absolutely Brilliant !! (this, however, is to be my later downfall)

Part way through the session Jane, having found a parking spot, came and watched me. Session finished next weeks appointment was booked, and I also got my date for the initial appointment with the limb fitting department, Friday 6th July.

We leave, I stay in the Out Patients Area to wait for Jane to go and bring the car up to the door, I see the car drive up, and back in to position. It's raining buckets !!  I push myself out in the wheelchair near to the back of the car. Jane jumps out, opens the boot ready to put the wheelchair in. I get the crutches ready and start to stand to transfer to them. Then all hell breaks loose, for some reason I try to stand on my missing leg, over I go, crashing to the ground landing on my stump. The pain is excruciating, I'm laying in a puddle, the rain is drenching me and I'm screaming in agony. I yell to Jane to get help, a nurse comes out and drags me up in to the wheelchair. I'm pushed in to clinic area, nearly passing out with the pain.

The wound is checked and seems OK, no bleeding so I must have fallen on the side of the stump, Slowly the pain subsides bit by bit, but its still pretty bad. After about 30 mins we make another attempt to go to the car, and this time it's successful. The pain is bad and I sleep most of the way home. I think my body needs to rest and recuperate. Later that evening I realise that having been on two legs in the gym my brain had become confused along with the phantom limb sensation that I have, it believed that there was a leg there !! Sadly it wasn't.

Today Friday 8th, I had an appointment at my GP surgery to have the stitches removed. The nurse decided to only remove every other stitch and leave the remainder until next week. Bearing in mind the fall, the doctor come in and checked my leg over, some bruising and swelling, but apart from that OK. My stump feels really sore and stiff, and it's going to take a few days to get back to where I was before the fall. I'm having to rest with the stump elevated, and putting cold packs on to reduce the swelling.

Told you !!

Really Good Day - Really Bad Day !!

Tomorrow - Back in time, visiting time at the hospital

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