Over achieving Amuputee
dlove at webzone.net.au
Mon Nov 24 14:43:23 PST 2003
I know what you mean about the perception of some people that if you are not out being a super amp then you've given up. People keep saying to me "wow you could be a paralympian now!" and I say that I never liked running and I only like competing against myself, so why would I want to start these now? But people always say poorly thought out things when they are uncomfortable. The one that always gets me is when they say" If you got in a fight you could take your leg of and hit him over the head" Yeah right!! Is this after I've hopped him down and cornered him, or do I corner him first and ask him to wait while I take my leg off. On the funnier side of fights (if there is one) a mate recounted a pub fight he saw were a combatants prosthetic leg came off midway through, so the other bloke ordered a couple of beers while the amputee put the leg back on, they drained a beer each and then got back to the fight. Don't know if it's true but it makes a good yarn.
----- Original Message -----
From: Michael F. Chamness
To: Amputee Information Network
Sent: Monday, 24 November 2003 21:38
Subject: Re: Question for aka's
Jim, I'm a left above-knee amputee (Kaiser Anaheim, July 2000) without any prosthesis, and when I was still using fore-arm crutches in 2000, I took a bad fall and spent a weekend in the hospital, and had my left arm in a sling for about a month. So I was completely out-of-luck on the left side, anyway. My doctor later asked me why I used the crutches, and suggested that the nextime I take a bad fall, I might break a hip - then I'd have real problems. So now I use a wheelchair all the time. If you are going to keep falling, and it sounds like you have had some bad falls, maybe you should look for alternate methods of locomotion at least part of the time. The next bad fall might be the worse one ever.
You're lucky you have the comprehensive Kaiser plan that you seem to have. I was a private-pay Kaiser enrollee, so after my leg was chopped off, they decided a prosthesis would be too expensive and they denied the coverage. At that time they estimated it would cost in excess of $40,000. But if a C-leg is what you're after, good luck - you'll probably get it eventually.
I find it kind of interesting that so many amputees seem to make it their life's goal to resume living at the same level of performance they had when they had all of their limbs, and failing that, the alternative is a sort of devastation. And to read the ads for the various prosthetic manufacturers, any amputee who is not climbing tall mountains, engaging in moto-cross or kyaking through Arctic wildernesses is a total and complete failure at life. From reading these various emails and lurking in the background, it seems to me that a lot of amputees have bought into this nonsense. My regular Kaiser doctor told me following my surgery, to never, never use a wheelchair, otherwise I'd become an invalid (like that's a disease or something). I listened to him, and began falling at least one time every week until the last good solid fall. And another handicapped person I met told me how his own father gave away this guy's wheelchair to the GoodWill because he thought his son was just lazy and becoming an invalid. Well, my personal active lifestyle before amputation consisted of playing golf, and that not very well. I don't have the slightest desire to return to the links, in any form whatsoever. And I thought climbing mountains or jumping from airplanes was a pretty nutty thing to do even before my amputation. I certainly have no desire to do any of that now. Those activities make me think of the fellow who attached the helium baloons to his yard chair and flew up to where the air is rare a number of years ago in California. So, why do amputees, of all the interesting people in the world, seem to be so driven to accomplish such inane and ill-advised activities? Why do so many amputees seem to have an "in your face" attitude about their limb loss? I wonder...if enough people began using wheelchairs, would we then see such things as "wheelchair rage" in places where these folks congregate?
Michael F. Chamness
PO Box 22
Montpelier, ND 58472
chamness at daktel.com
----- Original Message -----
From: Jim Street
To: Amputee Information Network
Sent: Monday, November 24, 2003 1:09 AM
Subject: Question for aka's
I've been trundling around on my new leg for about six weeks and I've fallen seriously five times and crumpled together about three times. Once I was trying to impress my PT on how well I was walking and I fell into a flower pot in my back yard and drew a moderate amount of blood out of the back of my head and another time I was trying to impress the surgeon and just barely avoided cracking my forehead into the examination table. Luckily I haven't been seriously hurt by any of these falls but my confidence has a huge dent right in the middle, the size of a moon crater.
To add to my troubles, I'm really frustrated that I can't walk any faster. I know it sounds like I should slow down and not be worried about being so slow but I can't stand having people wait for me while I swing along behind them like a wounded baboon.
Sorry for the silly imagery but it seems to fit.
I guess my question is, what can I do to walk faster and keep the knee from collapsing? I don't have anything but a dead foot and I have a 3B60 Otto Bok knee. My stump is almost to the knee. I would like to get a C-leg and my surgeon has written an order for one. He smiled encouragingly and said he has already got one (he's from Kaiser) for one of his patients. That doesn't sound too encouraging. (Only ONE patient?) The price was quoted to me as $37,000 for the C-leg. (My Kaiser plan pays 80% if approved.) That's about the price for a Lexis SRV. Does anyone have any experience with a C-leg or with feet or knees that allow faster walking?
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
More information about the Amp-l