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Mas Socket Diaries - FEBRUARY & MARCH 2006

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Sunday 05 February 2006

Well firstly, I have to tell you about this blister. I went to the chemist and got this plaster/2nd skin thing. You stick it straight onto the blister, and it can stay there for up to 7 days. It allows the skin to breathe, but keeps the dirt out. Don't ask me how. Yesterday I took the plaster off, and today all that is left is a slightly reddened area of skin, a bit tender to the touch. Healed completely. Unbelievable. And I have worn this leg every day, so there must be some special kind of magic in it.

I have been doing fairly well on the leg actually. I am feeling quite safe walking in it. I am still a bit tender around the ear spot, but Marco said something to me that made me look at things from a different perspective, and it just makes so much sense to me.

He said - "Remember when you were a little girl, and you rode a new bicycle, and the seat really hurt you just 'there'? Well, this leg is hurting you on exactly the same spot, and you are going to get used to it, just like you did when you rode your new bike".

Ding ding! Ok, this makes sense. Everyday since then I have worn the leg, and paid special attention to what he said. And today, yes, I am only a little tender, but I am definitely getting used to this.

I think that this test socket is the best so far. It doesn't feel so foreign.

Tuesday 28 February 2006

I have been wearing this socket for a good while now and I really think that we have finally made it. I gave up smoking in January and needless to say, I put on SO much weight. Actually felt like a bit of a cheat, you know? Like Marco and I have spent so much time trying to get this right, then I go and put on 4 or 5 kilo's. (Over 10 pounds I think - ouch!) Sigh. Bad.

BUT - I am back down to 51kg's now, only 1kg heavier than when we started with the MAS in August. I have asked Marco to let me carry on wearing the test socket for a while just to be sure that I am the same size as I usually am.

No more blisters, and the leg isn't giving me any rotation problems, which a lot of other MAS wearers complain of. I seem to do very well in small spaces, but I am getting a bit frustrated that I can't walk fast enough in big places. But that could be the knee itself. Not the socket. I am feeling quite stable, sitting comfortably, and haven't wrecked any trousers at the back where you sit due to the low cut of the socket. Bonus :)

This is good people. This is very good.

Tuesday 28 March 2006

That's it - that's me. I have worn this test socket for just about as long as I can. The ear is starting to crack and I've busted a bit off the back from sitting down too heavily on something hard. I've really abused it quite frankly, and it has held out very well, all things considered.

I'm ready - we are going to do this thing. We are going to make the definitive socket.

I'm almost too scared to say that I'm ready. That this socket is now comfortable. That I would collapse in a heap if I had to go back to wearing the tree-trunk IC socket. This is the one I want. This is the fit that I like. I enjoy the freedom this MAS is giving me. The ear and the shelf are my friends. Have been for a while now. Marco has been incredibly patient with me, waiting to see if this fit is right. Waiting to see if I will chicken out and ask for 'old faithful'. He has allowed me to wear this test socket for ages. Nearly 2 months. Phew!

I don't know how other people get proper fits without being allowed to take their test sockets home for a while. Ok, not like I've done now, I admit it was a tad overdone, but I do believe that test sockets should be 'run in' for at least 2 weeks. Or something like that....

I am ready to commit to the final socket.

Roll on tomorrow!

Tuesday 11 April 2006

We did it!

Eish - finally. And I love it. And it's so comfy. And the brat ear and shitty shelf are perfect. I have a huge range of motion. I sit comfortably and I am walking so much better. Marco took me shopping to buy some material to laminate the socket.

Go big or go home - why the hell not?

Here she is - here is my baby!

definitive mas socket

So a HUGE thank you to Marco for putting up with me and my whinging and whining. Thank you to all the people who wrote to me with words of encouragement. And thank you for following my diary and giving me your thoughts on my process and advice.

If you are thinking of getting a MAS socket, please be sure that your prosthetist has been on the proper training course. This is NOT a socket that a prosthetist can make if he hasn't been trained by Marlo. No way.

Take the plunge. It's worth it. The benefits are tremendous. And if you can't find anyone in your country, come to mine. Marco will have you done in a week and in the meantime, you can visit our lovely bush and have a great African holiday at the same time!

And so, this is THE END.



Chronic Pain Chronic pain management by Dr Mitchell

To be or not to be by Kimberley Barreda

Disability sport in South Africa DISSA

THE ANGRY GIMP Awesome must read site!

Marco Du Plooy My Pretoria based prosthetist

Sleeve Art by Fred's Legs

Employment Guidelines from SA Dept of Labour for PWD's & employers

Amputee Resource - Al Pike CP

MAS Socket - information

Fly SA - Paragliding

Co LeDahu - Personal Website

Jam Ally Entertainment - where Ally works

Eric Morse - Para-sport photographer & friend (Canada)