Wednesday, July 7, 2010

No Fall Zone

One thing I feel a desperate need to warn those considering lower limb amputation or possibly in the first stages of recovery: TAKE NO CHANCES ON FALLING.

I was told by Ricky Miller at Floyd Brace, who is an amputee himself, to slow down and think about what your next move is. If you are using a walker or crutches, you simply are not all that stable one foot if your don't have an IPOP on your residual limb.

Your mantra is: patience. patience  p a t i e n c e.  

During my recovery, I spent most of my mobile time sitting in the wheelchair. I never felt as comfortable on crutches with one foot and had a couple of near wipeouts from a wet floor and the threshold at our patio door. The thought of slamming my stump into the floor was tempered more by my wanting to do nothing to delay my recovery and return to running. There was simply nothing to be gained from not being patient and behaving myself.

Although I was in a wheelchair much of the time, I still was persistent in doing my PT exercises to build my upper body strength and especially my atrophied right leg. The guts in the glory are the mundane day after day after day tasks that take you to the finish line.

Remember crutches, walkers, and wheelchairs are assistive devices - tools - to help with your recovery, no more, no less. I still have a vivid memory of dressing myself in my wheelchair and then going out for a run; when I realized what I had done I was astonished. Many will not have this chance; they have been given a far more difficult path to follow.

Back to the specific point: do what you are suppose to do to insure your recovery success. If you need to wear an IPOP then wear it, I see a huge advantage in these protecting the residual if one falls from more extensive damage. In looking back at my own recovery period, I did not have one, and I understand the surgeon not wanting to disturb the healing process. However, after perhaps 2 or 3 weeks the danger for falling overrides this concern, and I think the use of an IPOP would be an extremely good idea for any BTK amputee.

If you insist on falling, wait until you get your running foot. Make it count.

1 comment:

  1. Falling is quite bad! I fell after my accident in 1997 and it broke open my already infected stump and allowed an aerobic microbe to take over the infection. All because I decided to hop to the door to let the dog out. Hope you heal quickly! That abrasion couldn't have been fun!