Sunday, August 9, 2009

Hours, minutes, seconds

I had great hopes for my new socket, which I was suppose to get on Friday. Unfortunately it did not fit very well, I had significant discomfort on the tibial crest at the distal end. For you in Rio Linda, that would be the shin bone where it was cut.

Until next Friday, I'm back in my original socket, which has been modified for a better fit but is getting long in the tooth. I have been wearing it nearly all day and walking in it almost every evening, and this Saturday I walked one mile on the treadmill. No muss, no fuss, and NO blisters. This morning Jennifer, Baxter and I walked around White Point Gardens for about a mile. It was a very pleasant morning indeed. Seeing the Little Dancer always makes me smile. The joy of childhood captured where I spend a few hours of mine is a sweet, sweet memory.


I had been thinking about swimming soon, no excuse really, just have to do it. I have to admit I'm a little bothered about going for the first time, getting the stares whether real or imagined. There are also the problems of working out how to get in and out of the water while having nightmares of some juvenile running off with my foot. Maybe there are worse things to worry about.

I do want to start biking soon. I've been researching how amps bike and think I will start with regular bike shoes. Some use an uncovered prosthesis with a cleat attached directly to it. Eventually I may use this setup, but for now bike shoes with a standard cleat system will allow me to ride and decide what I want to use in the future. I still haven't decided on a pedal system, other than I will likely want to be able to clip in from either side (top of bottom) of the pedal. Right now I will likely go with a light action Speedplay pedal.

One thing I have to consider is that prosthetic feet are usually setup with the toes pointing slightly outward whereas when biking the feet are typically parallel to the frame, or toe neutral. I ran toe neutral and think I walk more toe neutral, so I need to talk this over with Larry. I will either need a separate biking foot or be able to adjust my foot when I ride the bike...something of an inconvenience.

Oh...on the phantom pain front, I am only taking 150 mg of Lyrica at night to help minimize the discomfort so I can sleep. During the day it is better although by late afternoon I may have some sharp reminders that it is not gone. Phantom pain remains a significant problem for amputees, and the quality of lives would be much improved if it could be cured.


At times I feel to-the-bone fatigue. I think I understand some of the reasons for it. Amputation is a difficult ordeal. There is a loss of a part of your body; a real, physical part of who you are. The realization life is forever changed, that a prosthesis, no matter how good, still affects your life everyday. You don't hop into the shower in the morning or pop into the bathroom at night. You can't drive or even sit the same way. You see everything differently.


I can't wait to run again, that loneness where I am lost inside. Where nothing matters but breathing, effort, and time. Where my competitor is only me and the time we never get back. Precious hours, minutes, seconds.

Run and embrace it all.


  1. Post is very true although I only see the struggles adjusting to this new way of life. I'm sure as time goes on it will become easier and when you get a more permanent, lighter and more comfortable socket also. It's great being able to go on walks again and soon we'll be able to go for runs together again. I hope I haven't forgotten how to whine while I run. :) Eye on the goal.

  2. I get a few surprising moments where the prosthesis feels real good. I think later when I get a carbon fiber socket it will be much easier than now.

    Remember the 2 minute rule: Whining is allowed only the first 120 seconds of a run, thereafter penalties are assessed!

  3. Hi Richard,
    Thanks for the link to my blog post about Willard Hirsch's "Little Dancer" at the Childrens Fountain in White Point Gardens. Willard would be pleased to know his little dancer is still bringing happiness to those who see her as a symbol of the "joy of childhood".

    Hope you're running again soon.

    All the best,
    Kay Schneider
    "Paint Charleston Daily"

  4. Hello Kay,

    Initially I regretted not taking a photo of the Little Dancer on Sunday. While writing my post, I found your blog and it seemed to be the perfect link.

    Thanks for the good thoughts, running is just around the corner.