Thursday, November 29, 2007

A Shrinking Violet

Moi? Ha, not really.

But I do know that my leg stump is shrinking and that's both expected and desired as I progress. I know it has shrunk in the five weeks Schooner and I have been together, as Schooner has been a fraction big for my leg of late, meaning I've had to put extra thick ply cotton socks over the leg so the fitting is nice 'n' snug.

The fitting has to be real tight so that your leg is well secured but also so that there is minimal movement of your leg inside the fitting as you walk. As my leg got smaller, it allowed some vertical movement inside the fitting, which in turn rubbed a bit of skin off my shin. I couldn't feel that part of my leg (no nerves there at the moment) so I didn't know I'd rubbed anything off until I took Schooner off at the end of the day. Sod. The other sore has healed fine, so now I have to get this one fixed.

Anyway, today I had another visit to the Limb Centre at Redfern where George, the prosthetic specialist, had a look at me walk and inspected the stump and fitting. Then George whisked Schooner's inner liner away for some additions to reshape it and make for a more snug fitting. Once that was done, then a few walks up and down the corridor to inspect my gait resulted in an adjustment to the angle of the pipe section between Schooner's upper mould and his foot. That's resulted in an improved gait. With allen keys twisting industrial grade bolts, it was just like having your cycling cleats adjusted by Steve Hogg! My gait still ain't perfect but with trousers on you may not even know I didn't have a real leg.

Today was also the first day I got about without a crutch. Granted I didn't do huge amounts of walking but certainly more than I've attempted before and I can walk at a reasonable pace, standing tall and looking ahead, as long as the ground is flat. Once there is a camber or slope, then I have to be a little more careful.

Speaking of trousers, I haven't been able to wear any, as I can't get the cuffs over Schooner's outer moulding (suppose that means I have no flares in the wardrobe)! Even if I could, I wouldn't fit into anything as I've, er, grown my waisteline a tad you could say. :(

So Mum turns up from a trip to the shops with a pair of trousers that'll fit the waistline and maybe squeeze over Schooner's "skull". Well only just and with a bit of fighting they do. No matter, a trip to Aunty Hil sees the sewing machine out and a short hidden zip installed at the bottom of the inner leg seam - problem solved! Nice one.

Another nice thing to note was George saying I've made as much progress in five weeks as some people do in 50. With that in mind of course I pump him for when we can fabricate something to get me back on the bike, even just on the trainer. Puhleeaasse? Can I? Huh?

"Let's look at it in the New Year - we'll sort something out - we can do anything". He's right of course and knows that the money to set me up now would probably be wasted in eight weeks as the leg would change so much any expensive fitting made now would be useless.

Patience Alex, patience.

PS - the pic above is from this site:


Treadly and Me said...

Sounds like good progress. Glad to hear you've already got your prosthetist thinking about something for cycling.

Anonymous said...

Alex, I just found your blog at Fatcyclist. So I see that Susan and Fatty are not the only ones overcoming insurmountable odds! Just wanted to say I'm pulling for you and can't wait to read about your cycling exploits. By the way, I noticed your are a Commissaire. I'm a lowly USAC Cat B official myself. Glad to meet you. :)