Mas Socket Diaries - SEPTEMBER
Please refresh your browser
quickly, we update regularly.
01 September 2005
Spring Day! And I am running around with all the allergies that
come with the end of winter and the fresh buds of a new season.
new socket is behaving quite well. It has its moments, as do I,
and generally most discomforts are rectified by re-donning the leg.
I have been able to wear the leg for quite long periods at a time.
There have been no blisters and no bruising. The ear only gives
me trouble when I'm not positioned correctly in the socket, otherwise
it has been relatively unobtrusive.
test socket came with a slight flaw in the form of a hairline crack
running down the outer length. Initially I was able to halt the
suction loss with some carefully placed tape, but the other day,
the crack deepened and I am finding that after a couple of hours,
the leg needs to be put on again as it starts to feel very loose.
know that I am running the risk of landing on my nose as the test
socket material is very brittle and can quite easily shatter, but
I am going to try and hold out until at least next week. Then Marco
will make another test socket and fingers crossed, it may well be
the last one.
was battling with quite a tight ring of pressure around the bottom
of my stump, but it seems to have eased considerably now. Only question
is - is it because of the crack in the socket, or am I really getting
used to it? Another problem that the crack may be responsible for
is that I seem to be turning in the socket ever so slightly after
wearing it for a while. The new test socket should sort these things
out either way.
am also sitting quite comfortably.
is probably going to have a fit when he finds out that I never told
him about the crack getting worse. Quite frankly, I think he has
other things to worry about at the moment, one of them being that
of becoming a first time DADDY today!
- WAY TO GO MARCO!!!!!
a huge thanks to everyone who responded to my frantic plea on how
to fix a cracked test socket on my own just so that it would hold
for a while. At the moment, duct tape is my new super-hero!
in all I am very happy with this test socket at the moment and full
of the joys of Spring.
07 September 2005
weekend didn’t go too well with the duct-taped socket. I really
battled on Sunday. I bottomed out and really knocked the hell out
of my leg. I've done something really nasty to my back as well and
I wonder if it's because I was favouring the prosthesis. Marco suggested
I see a chiropractor. Quite frankly I would rather stick needles
in my eye.
went back to Marco today and left the MAS socket there. He will
make a new test socket, with a few changes (make it a bit longer
and bring in the side around my hip a bit). He looked at the ear
and said “I wonder if I need to make it a bit longer…”.
I don’t know if he was kidding. I nearly collapsed.
I am back on my IC socket after a week of walking with the MAS.
Marco wanted to know what it felt like. I said, “like I am
wearing a tree stump”. Jeez – this IC Socket really
comes high up and feels SO big. The MAS doesn’t feel like
it is swallowing my stump. I think I like it better.
also find that the IC Socket grips the top half of my thigh, where
the MAS locks onto the bottom half very close to the end of my stump.
will probably have the new test socket by the end of the week. We
are hoping that it will be the last.
I saw little Nina du Plooy today. What a beautiful baby!
09 September 2005
back to Marco today, very hopeful that I would be fitting the last
test socket and all would be well.
seems we have got the top fit right, or as far as Marco can see
and I can feel, it’s good. However, after walking up and down
(yeah yeah Sergeant Marco), I felt the socket pushing at the bottom
on the outside of my stump. Almost like I wasn’t standing
straight into the socket. And it started to hurt quite a bit. I
really wanted to take the socket home, so we changed the alignment
a zillion times, and eventually even tried a different knee, but
it didn’t quite work.
asked if I wanted to take it home and try to walk through it. As
much as I wanted to say ‘yes’, I didn’t think
I would be able to do it. I had a lovely red pressure mark on my
leg that was more painful than I wanted to admit.
so……………..much to my dismay and horror………………Marco
chopped my new test MAS socket IN HALF! Eish, my aching nerves.
We recast the bottom of the socket, and Marco is going to make another
socket using the same top measurements, and new bottom ones.
be going back next week to try, try again.
15 September 2005
blue week emotionally. I feel like I could curl up and sleep for
the next few months. A friend of ours was killed in a biking accident
on Sunday morning. He was so young, only 26 years old. It's knocked
me back a few steps and got me thinking about how closely related
life and death actually are. On one hand you have a life snatched
away, and on the other, a new life comes into the world and brings
such joy and happiness. Which means that deep sadness and great
joy are similarly intertwined, hand in hand, evil but necessary
twins. My head won't let me leave this philosophical place and I
begin to understand how Tibetan monks can retreat from everything
and simply PONDER for years.
Tibet is out of the question for me, so I do my pondering on the
long drive through to Marco's offices. I don't feel like this today.
I am too tired.
get to Marco at around 1.15pm and am introduced to yet another shiny
new test socket. I don it, and it feels ok. The tight ring of pressure
that I felt around the bottom of the socket has evened out a bit
and is now more evenly distributed over most of the socket. I am
still bothered by pressure at the bottom, so Marco has to take off
the adaptor, bend it out, bond the adaptor back to the socket, and
wait for it to dry. Takes a while.
we try again. The ear is behaving, I am not hitting the bottom of
the socket, but that damn spot, kind of at the bottom and behind
the end of my stump, is still giving me trouble. Almost like it
is catching a nerve. I tell Marco that it's sending shooting pains
down into my calf that's not there. And I don't like it.
it's off with the adaptor, bend some more out, bond the adaptor
back to the socket, and wait - again. This time Marco puts on a
"Best of Mr Bean" video for me to watch. I think it's
the first time I laugh the whole week. Properly. British comedy
is just the best.
finally Marco is back with the socket. He puts Mr Bean off. Mmmm.
I was enjoying that. And now the socket is feeling better. But getting
the damn thing on is a feat unto itself. What a job. I think I have
a sprained thumb from all the tugging and pulling. I know that Marco
tries not to laugh when I tell him this. He's too kind for that.
But in sympathy of my sprained thumb, Marco does the pulling and
tugging on my behalf today.
we spend a lot of time working with the alignment. I feel like I
am standing more straight into the socket, but it could be better.
I don't think I am one of the most pleasant people to be around
today, and am finding it difficult to articulate what's going on
inside the socket. Also making it harder to 'feel' the MAS, is the
fact that I have just spent quite some time in the old Ischial socket.
after three and half hours, we decide that perhaps I should take
this thing home and try to figure it out that way. Nothing is really
hurting, and I have reached that point where Marco says "how
does it feel?" and I am saying "I just don't know".
I look down and see that the socket is slightly forward, looks almost
as if I am standing with the knee bent. Marco says he can change
it, but I am halfway out the door, and I have had enough for one
home, the ear starts to feel a bit like a rock again. In the evening
I just can't get comfortable. And I am not liking it. I'm fairly
sure that I am 'in' properly, but I go and re-don the leg. Wouldn't
you know! It feels 100 times better. (The socket fit, not my thumb).
The comfort lasts for a while, and then the leg irritates me again.
I think perhaps I am perspiring inside this plastic. The alignment
feels out, the ear nails me - I am misery personified.
yank it off and go to bed.
17 September 2005
Yesterday went well
with the leg for a while. I donned the leg in the morning and spent
a few hours walking and sitting in a bit of discomfort, convinced
that the alignment was wrong, the socket was wrong and maybe Marlo
Ortiz isn't that fantastic.
and re-donned the leg. Man, I've got to get little Post It notes
up all over the place to remind me that IF YOU PUT IT ON WRONG,
IT'S GONNA HURT. Ok, so the leg is not so bad if you put it on right.
Duh! I definitely think that perspiration is a major issue with
me and this new socket, because last night I redonned it three times
when it started to hurt, and each time it felt better. I think I
may be losing suction every now and then as well.
This morning the
fit was great. I still think the alignment is a bit off, but it's
something I can work through until I see Marco again. I've been
sitting at my desk for about 3 hours now, and I don't think the
MAS likes to sit for too long. Either that, or I've lost some suction,
or I'm sweating a bit again, but it has moved.
I'm going to re-don
the leg now, and feel a whole lot better (I stuck a Post It on my
27 September 2005
Ok, so I have been
battling a bit with this new MAS : getting it on comfortably in
the morning and feeling like I'm floating on the leg and the ear.
Nice. But not for long. A few hours later the ear starts to hurt
a bit. Can't get comfortable. Can't sit right. So I've been doing
the off-on thing for the last nine or ten days, trying to figure
out what the hell is wrong. I don't want to go back to Marco and
just say OW! I want to be able to say THIS is where it hurts and
this is WHY it hurts so he knows WHERE to fix it. I have felt a
little unstable as well. I'm hoping it's just the alignment.
I dunno. I landed
up going to Marco today and the more I tried to explain it, the
more confused I made myself (and him too probably). I'm not even
sure anymore where the ear is supposed to go. One place when I stand,
another place when I sit. I don't get it. Neither does Marco. I
feel like all I've managed to do is say OW.
Marco measures the
angle of the ear, and then he measures the angle of my ischial ramus.
There is a 5 to 7 degree difference. Marco figures out that when
the leg is on, the ear is not cupping or incapsulating the ischial
ramus properly. This may be why I feel unstable - the ear's not
doing its job holding onto me. And it could be a bit too far back,
and it could be the angle that's slightly out. It's sure not the
alignment - cause we tweak and tweak and tweak...to no avail.
Marco flares the
ear out a bit - YIKES no man. Now I'm hitting the bottom and the
ear is doing nasty things around my butt - like when we first met.
A little too close for comfort my friend.
I can see Marco
looking at me with one eye. He does that when he's going to make
me do something unpleasant. He says "shall we?" I say
"well are you ready to give up?" He shakes his head. I
say "me neither."
Sigh. Out comes
the bucket of water, out come the bandages, on go the stockings...EWWW...we're
making another mould. Damned ear. The rest of the socket is way
okay. I think. I don't know if I'm Ally or Sally at this point.
Three hours later
and I am on my way home again, wearing the old Ischial Containment
socket. I have definitely done a bit of shrinking while wearing
the MAS, I can feel the bottom of this socket properly.
To quote Marco :
They say that money is the root of all evil. They're wrong. The
ischial ramus is the root of all evil!
Clever man, Marco....can't
argue with that!
to MAS Diary - October