Thursday, 23 May 2013

Progressing fast!

It seems that I vented my frustration regarding the speed of progress and lack of challenges in physio a little too soon in my last blog.  Alternatively, perhaps one of the physio's stumbled across it and thought they would prove me wrong!  

Kneeling on a Swiss ball
Flipping hard work!
One way or another, in the last week I have been worked and worked hard!  On Tuesday I arrived for physio and I was told very clearly that we were upping the anti and had every intention of making me work harder - I guess that'll teach me for wanting to be challenged to a greater degree.  A lot of time has been spent in the Ppam aid which is great because its important but I've also found myself balancing on Swiss balls, either on all fours, lifting alternative arms/legs/arms and legs, or on my knees playing catch etc.  Sounds easy but try it - flipping hard work!  What doesn't even sound easy is doing single leg squats on a bosu ball, if you want to make your thighs burn I really do recommend it.  I also seem to have become a little bit of a challenge for one of the senior physios who likes to throw a bit of competition regarding who can do the better job with the balancing acts.  It's quite satisfying to be able to get up onto a Swiss ball, in a kneeling position, all with no support or balancing aids. 

Also been challenged into various activities with a guy called Jude, a patient with a through knee amputation who I'm getting to know quite well.  Challenges together included the likes of playing catch balancing on Swiss balls or kneeling on wobble cushions, or sitting back to back on wobble cushions and passing med balls to each other etc, all of which is happening in addition to all the other stuff!  

The inside of the negative
We've been productive in more ways than just increased physio though as today the wound has been checked and the doctor came to the conclusion that it continued to look spectacularly good and so the stitches were ready to come out.  The wound is now stitch free and nothing opened up so happy days I guess.  In even more exciting news, the doctors started talking about what my new leg should be and today I was casted so a prosthesis can be made.  The casting was a simple enough process, its literally lots of drawing on my leg, followed by a plaster cast which picks up all the drawings on the inside.  From this negative mold they will make a positive mold, which they will then make a socket out of that should fit me perfectly.  
and the outside... 

The plan is for me to have a moderate activity foot as my initial limb, which will have considerably more ankle articulation than a standard first prosthesis which, once mastered should allow me to walk over considerably less even ground be pretty active and mobile.  Once I'm settled into life they will give me my second limb which will have a high activity foot on it all ready for me to start climbing mountains, getting around properly uneven terrain and so on.  I'll also be having my limbs attached to my using a less traditional first limb system.  A standard first limb seems to be to use an effective belt to strap it above the knee.  Its great for simplicity but not good for high activity as its will cause a rubbing above the knee, so instead we are looking at over securing options such as a suction liner or something similar to keep the limb on which will allow a much better level of activity.  Happy days!!  Amazingly, having been casted today, I should be getting to try my first limb for the first time by Wednesday of next week.  I'm extremely excited as I'm sure you can imagine.

I've also just taken my last Oxycontin (hopefully), which is good news as its an extremely strong opium based drug which is really addictive so I have been eager to not be on it.  Hopefully the transaction to not needing it will go smoothly and I wont suffer as a result of it finishing.  Despite this I have upped the drugs to aid phantom pain, not because I am in any unbelievable amounts of pain but because it would be good to have none, especially in these early days when it is a more common problem.  Its good to be clear, if I always had this level or pain, it would be a shame, but it would still be better than the ankle pain I used to have, and because of the nature of phantom pain, firstly its likely it will settle with time, its still very fresh after all, and secondly, in my experience so far, using the leg (in the Ppam aid/on balls etc) seems to make pain less, not more and so it would not limit my activity like my previous ankle pain.  

In other news, Morgan continues to come up each day with different companions (family and friends), to visit which is amazing.  I've barely spent any time in the hospital where I've not been in phyiso, in the gym or in bed.  Pretty much any period of time I have been breaking out of the hospital to fine somewhere else to eat or something, anything to do that isn't being in hospital.  This place is, I'm more sure each day, the best place to be at this stage of amputee life, but its still so so good to get out, be with people who aren't patients and do non hospital things!  Its also great to see the love and support she is getting at home with people keeping her company at home, staying the night (massive thanks to Oliver in particular here, he basically moved in), people from church delivering food so she doesnt have to cook, friends and family helping with dog walking and so on.  A massive thank you to everyone who has been such a massive help, and a massive thanks as well for the prayer support we've been getting, both me for a fast rehab and for morgan dealing with everything as well! It means a lot to us both! 

As for now, its time to attempt to sleep on a 6 bed bay (a challenge in itself), before a busy morning of physio prior to a long weekend at home!! Don't you just love a good bank holiday!  

A good looking wound with
half the stitches out!

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