Friday, 20 July 2012

 Pride comes before what ?

You got it  -  a fall  - Well in my case 2 falls !!
It had to happen at some time.

Today was the last day of my week of training and physio, and Jennifer was intent on working me on the slope. Whilst I was warming up by walking up and down the gym, Jennifer watched and suggested that possibly the prosthesis was a little to long. When you put the leg on it takes a few minutes for the stump to settle in the the socket to its final position. So I put a 10mm sole in my good leg shoe to effectively shorten the prosthesis. Off we went to the 'infamous slope', about 40 meters down the corridor. Walking on the flat to the slope felt really easy, the 10mm inner sole made a real difference, the leg moved and performed much better than yesterday.

With the mechanical adjustment that Dave made yesterday, and the 10mm today, it just goes to show that small amounts of tweaking can make a huge difference. So next week when I'm in hospital Dave will shorten the leg ready for me to collect in a week or so.

So we arrived at the 'infamous' slope. After a couple of attempts going down the slope it it started to really improve, this was due to help from Jennifer teaching me to control my stump action and hip movements. I had about 15 mins on the slope and I was pleased with the improvement. We returned to the gym and went out the side door to an area set up with slopes, stairs, and various different surfaces. I attempted one of the slopes without a problem, both up and down. Jennifer then moved me to a short slope with a raised brick topping leading to a pea shingle path. The slope was fine, but whilst turning around on the pea shingle path I had my first fall, this was due to the leg folding under me. It was my fault for not maintaining pressure on the leg to lock it whilst turning. I had been waiting for the first fall all week, as I knew it was going to come at some time. Anyway no harm done,  I got up and dusted myself down. Interestingly it didn't hurt my stump at all, so that pleased me.

We returned to the gym to meet up with Claire, an Occupational Therapist, who was going to take me for an hours session dealing with being at home with a prosthesis. Jennifer introduced me to Claire, who said that we would be going to another building, and therefore I should take all my bits and pieces with me. I turned to pick up my phone and 'crash' down on the floor again, my leg had folded under me, landing me on the knee of my prosthesis. Again it didn't seem to hurt anywhere so I picked myself up and off we went.

It was a good 300/400 meters to the other building, going around the leisure center and swimming pool. The ground changed from paving to tarmac to a long slope downhill leading to a building containing a flat. I managed to negotiate all the surfaces well without a fault. At the flat I had to use the kitchen to cook a meal. This was to test how I would adapt to moving around in a home environment. Claire had put all the ingredients for a pasta meal in various cupboards and I had to retrieve them, cut them up to make a pasta sauce, cook the pasta, and serve it up. Clean up, and wash the utensils. No problem !

Half way through the session Jane phoned to say she arrived, so Claire kindly went to find her so she could join us. We left the flat to return to the gym, and as we went past the swimming pool Claire took this video of me

I'm really pleased with progress, it's only been 5 days, I know I look a bit tense, but this was taken after wearing and using the leg for nearly 3 hours. When I get the leg home I can practice at leisure, and I know I will improve until it becomes second nature. I have been told that to achieve this level in a week is very good, and not many people do.

A really big thank you to Jennifer and Claire for their work in enabling me to achieve the level I have.


  1. Very good walking! Can you stop blowing your own trumpet now???? Shame it was a little dark, I couldn't quite see the size of your belly!!!! Sorry I couldn't resist.
    You are doing well, I can't believe how quickly the stump has healed, ot that wearing the leg does'n't rub or make it sore. Glad your are learning to bounce better.

    Glad you enjoyed you fellow inmates so much, nice to see you are still as tolerant of others as ever!!!!!

  2. Thank you for the kind words !! When have I not blown my own trumpet ?? Tolerance is a virtue to mastered (old chinese proberb)