Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Phantom of the Ditch?

OK - latest developments...

The Ditch

I reported the other day about my first few tentative steps without crutches. Well since then I've also ditched one crutch and spent the last few days just using the one crutch to get about. A walk around my local street and another day walking around one of those old warehouse conversion shopping centres - you know the ones full of homewares stores. Big and lots of dead flat floors with hardly anyone about - great training territory actually!

Apart from walking about, while there I picked up an external hard drive for the PC, as I'm getting a bit tired of backing up to disks, so have set up an automated option. I was also looking for kitchen stools to go with my new benchtop. Yadda yadda, I found some I like but didn't buy today. Another day perhaps.

So today, I decide to give the no crutch walk thing another go and wouldn't you know it, I was walking semi-normally. Way to go Schooner! Good enough to get around the house sans crutch but a far cry from a long walk. Still, I've only had Schooner (my new leg) for three weeks today, so I reckon that's not bad going. I even carried a cup of tea with me, from the kitchen and down a few stairs to my "home office". I couldn't keep it up all day but not a bad start.

The only downer is I've rubbed a small patch of skin off my shin - I can't feel it as the nerves on that part of my skin are non-existent, so I only found out when I took the leg off. It's not that bad but I have to take care of it and make sure I don't get an infection.

Also today dropped in to say gidday to my buddy Steve Hogg at Pedal Pushers (my LBS). Steve runs Cyclefit Centre and if you want to know anything about making a bike fit a rider, Steve's your man! Steve (and wife Margaret) also made some visits to me in hospital - one day he looked at me in the eye and then walked out of my room to keep going down the corridor to find me - I'd lost so much weight at the time he simply didn't recognise me! When I make it back on the bike, Steve's going to take on the challenge of fitting me again.

The Phantom

People ask me and wonder what it "feels" like. Well since I've been using the leg again these last few weeks, I've noticed more senstations coming from my non-existent foot. Sometimes referred to as "phantom" sensations and not an uncommon phenomenon for amputees. Mostly I get a light pins and needles like sensation from the ball of foot and toes area. Sometimes sensations of light pressure on other parts of my "foot". No pain fortunately. It's weird though, I have to admit. But strangely reassuring, like sitting here at the PC, it's like I have a real foot still down there with a really tight sock on it.

You also notice some of the little things, like lying in bed and your foot has an itch - you can't just use your other foot to give it a quick rub/scratch.

All up - I have a new level of freedom which is continuing to improve.

Keep biking!


Treadly and Me said...

Good one Alex. You must be really pleased with your progress.

I reckon the rehab bods must really like motivated types like you: keen to work hard and take a few risks--that's the way to make progress happen, I guess. The only problem is that you can push it a bit too far and do things like scraping off bits of skin! Here's hoping that stays under control.

Anonymous said...

Great progress. I always joke with my wife that those warehouse stores "suck the life out of me" and that's why I'm "so quiet and tired so quickly" when we go shopping there.

Keep up the work and keep us posted.