New prosthesis blues

There’s a time shortly after getting your prosthetic where one may start to feel a bit low or deflated. After the excitement of getting my new ‘leg’ and taking it home, followed by a time of learning and adjustment – i.e. getting it wrong before getting it right.

Getting to grips with a new limb is long process, I expected this much. It’s like a new pair of uncomfortable shoes that I’m trying to break in, with the extra problem of trying to make the residual limb bear weight where it is not designed to.

I spent six months reading before I got my prosthesis, I felt prepared. After wearing it for a couple of sessions I was in agony with a bruised stump, was this right? Should I keep going? Feeling deflated I gave up, feeling a bit sorry for myself, thinking this is something I would NEVER get used to.

I asked on facebook for advice on one of the amputee groups, where the general consensus was that I should definitely NOT keep going if something really hurts. It seems like I made a simple mistake by not wearing enough socks, allowing my stump to bear weight on the end and bruise itself. After a few extra socks and a half one folded down I felt so much better (after allowing my bruises to heal, of course) I started again, trying to get used to things.

A bad fall from my wheelchair also put me back a while, having bruised my stump, again, this time by tripping myself up rather than using my prosthesis.

I worked with my physio who watched my walking. More socks is better than less, finding five socks is my current optimum, with a possible sixth later in the day.

Six weeks after getting my new leg, I am finally getting to grips with this new walking malarkey, perseverance and a good amount if resting in between wearing has worked for me, everyone is different, but the lesson was ‘work with your prosthetist and don’t be afraid of taking a break if it starts hurting.’.

Update: it looks like I was ‘over socking’ so I got my socket lined and recasted for a new one, because I have shrunk!