Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Today I walked!

After a fantastic bank holiday weekend at home relaxing with my awesome wife and the pooch it's fair to say that driving back to Hospital sucked.  We had had a great few days not doing alot but now it was time to refocus on the rehab for the upcoming week!  Hopefully this would be the week of the limb fitting so it had the potential to be exciting.

Tuesday started with Ward rounds in which I was taken off pretty much all my drugs.  Having experimented with taking less painkillers  this was very much what I was pushing for. I now take one drug twice a day to help limit phantom pain, which  I'm told I should be on for a minimum of 6 months, advice I will heed. 

Tuesdays physio consisted of the usual mix of ppam aid time (dull but important), core/balance work and core/balance work whilst paired up with Jude (another patient). I also found out I wouldn't receive my limb until Wednesday afternoon, maybe Thursday morning - gutted. By the time physio was all done, Morgan and her folks were nearly up here. Once they'd arrived we bunked out of the Hospital and headed out for dinner, a key part of keeping me sane is getting out of the Hospital on a regular basis... If I'm in too long my brain totally discombobulates!! 
Quick gym session once they'd left and I was totally ready for bed!

new leg - happy days!
Today rolled around and I'd been invited to go swimming.  It's a monthly thing where a couple of the physios take one impatient to an amputee swim meet for a splash about.  I was a little hesitant about it until I'd found out I had no chance of getting a leg until the afternoon at best.  Upon discovering that I was well keen to have a swim as it meant a break from PPAM.  Its a weird thing to swim with a bit missing.  Unsurprisingly my leg felt outrageously light in the water.  Due to poor technique I've always relied too heavily On my arms for swimming front crawl (technique made far worse from a period swimming post spinal injury where they literally just weighed me down), and so I barely noticed a difference, but breaststroke basically didn't work!  It'll certainly take some getting used to... Cant stand the stroke anyway to be honest, I only do it because my spinal physio says I should!

And so around came this afternoon and happy days, my leg was ready! Slightly weirdly, my foot isn't ready, so they have attached a basic foot they had knocking around and when my foot arrives in the post they will swap them over (a sentence you never think your going to say...). Anna, my prosthetist called me away from the gym so she could make on the spot adjustments etc but it was completely unneeded, it fitted beautifully and I felt ready to walk, all be it with a bit of a wobble and using the parallel bars for support, straight away!
The link shows the initial moments of being fitted and the walks down the bars.. 

After this I was sent back to the gym where I spent the next 45 minute just walking up and down in the bars whilst trying to persuade various physios to get me crutches or sticks to walk around the gym - none agreed.  But progress was progress never the less and by the end I was feeling a bit less wobbly and a bit more balanced. 

I even experimented with a bit of no hands action when no one was looking!  Its certainly not bad progress for 3 weeks to the day post amputation!

Sooo many laps of the bars!
So all in all, a productive week so far! I think my prosthesis looks the part and it certainly feels the part. Its extraordinary how normal and right it felt within such a short period. I guess because I have known it was coming for a long time, in my head I've been pretty well prepared but I am still amazed at how natural something so unnatural can feel. Now to learn to use it properly, and to learn when not to use it, or when I need to add more socks because the stump has reduced in swelling, or remove socks  because of swelling.  For the first few months I will apparently be making pretty regular adjustments to the fit and how much the socket needs filling it but its a small price to pay for a lack of ankle pain and the potential increase in mobility.  It'll be an interesting learning experience but I certainly feel we are moving forwards!  Irritatingly, I'm not yet allowed to have the prosthesis outside of the physio gym so I had to give it back at quarter past 3, 15 minutes after I was meant to have left so I blagged some extra leg time!  I'm hoping as soon as my foot arrives I'll be at a point where I can have my leg available to me as much as I want - physios must hate me, I'm quite pushy!  :)  I just figure if I push my luck with a smile on my face I'll get away with it - its worked in most situations for the last 25 years!

My aim is to be discharged in a week on Friday at latest. I'll tell that to my Physio tomorrow and try to gauge her response but I think its more than possible. I guess if she disagrees its game on and I'll have to prove her wrong! :)

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