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African holiday Oct 2005 Part 1

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My Accident in 1995

Are new amputees unrealistic?

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MAS Test Socket Photo's AUGUST 2005

Building a disabled friendly house

What to do when a new amputee comes home

Glossary of Terms

Can planned amputee take control of their pain?

Lightning Hazard???

Skydiving with an Amputee

Paragliding with an Amputee

Your Responsibility to your Disability

The Phantom of Pain - Alistair Plint

Lesley's RBK Story

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What to do when a new amputee comes home for the first time...

Foreword : This information was kindly offered by the 'family' who belong to the Heather Mills McCartney forum. They are all veteran amputees at some level. They are scattered throughout the globe and have been invaluable to me, and many others. Best bunch of PWD's I have come across in a long time. Thank you guys, for taking the time out to share your experiences. Isn't hindsight a wonderful thing?

Please read the Disclaimer on the Home Page. And if you are the care-giver (or as Ed puts it - the designated body slave), try to get most of this done BEFORE your loved one comes home.

Please refresh your browser quickly, we update regularly.

* Portable ramps can be used if stairs are a problem.

* Anti skid mats for the floor of the shower.

* Enough room in the bedroom to get around.

* No mats at all anywhere in sight.

* Remove stupid bits of furniture which are totally unneccessary which constantly get in the way.

* Fantastic food nothing like what they give you in hospital/rehab


* No rugs or mats or highly polished floors.

* Make sure there's enough room for a wheelchair turning circle.

* Make sure people put the shoes, boots, clothes, bags away & that they don't leave them lying in the middle of the floor - teenagers & husbands are usually major culprits!

* Bars/rails around the toilet & raised seat if needed.

* Grab rail (just a small one) near the bath. OT's recommend bath boards & bath seats - they work for some, but I've never found them much good.

* Shower head that you can move to a lower position.

* Light-weight bed clothes.

* I can't use full length PJ's as my legs get all lost & tied up in them - I'm AK & BK - shorts would be better.

* You need to be able to at least make yourself a warm drink, so make sure that a kettle...etc., is within easy reach.

* The controls to any TV DVD player...etc., are left within easy reach.

* Keys (to anything) are left within easy reach.

* Make sure there's enough credit in the mobile/cell phone & keep it with you - even if you don't fall, it'll make you feel more at ease.

* Train any household pets to run away from you, when you shout the word 'MOVE'

* and, as Mel said...
Fantastic food nothing like what they give you in hospital/rehab


Must haves:

• A way to get in and out of the house. Whether this is a team of others to carry / aide you, or an in place ramp or a mechanical lift.

• Ensure the main door, the door to sleeping and bathroom facilities are wide enough to accommodate the wheelchair (if being used).

• Bathroom facilities such as a commode (‘cause you haven’t figured out how to be that normal yet and you’ve been pooping for months on such a device)

• A system such as a bath chair or a shower configuration for body cleansing.

• A big comfy place set up so that you can plop yourself into while you start to figure out the rest of your life.

• A soon to be body servant (wife, friend or husband) until you figure out how to do things yourself.

• Perhaps installation of the odd grab bar – stop and really think about where you want it before installing them. If you don’t, sure as crap, you’ll be ripping it out in a week or two to put it in another place ‘cause then you realize that’s where you need it for now.

Inspirational Ed

Train the humans you live with. I still find water on the floor after one of them has had a shower. And they move things and then tell me they will put them back in a minute, which turns into a half hour.


I am an LBK and relatively able so I feel that any alterations are a waste of time.

However, common sense and telling teenagers over and over again to not walk away with the remote or the phone, has left me slightly non-plussed.

I get so frustrated that when I hobble to the loo the remote is moved, a channel is put on I hate or is too loud. I sit down and notice, why don't I ever notice before I am sat, that it has disappeared again. At the end of a long day I am tired and ratty. So its not a case of 'darling can you find the remote/phone' but more like 'get the bleep bleep bleep now before i hit you with my sticks'.

Carpet Lady

And Finally………a last word by Inspirational Ed...


These are items that I came to believe in through actual experiences. I believe they hold much truth. Again, these are from a leg amp point of view.


You’ve been released form the hospital and are now “allowed’ to go home. The euphoria of this moment is short lived. The reality of life is about to set in………slowly at first……gaining momentum until it almost crushes you.

This is “natural”. Being surrounded with all that was familiar in your new altered state is boggling.

To start the battle of dealing with this, I found the few following actions (self imposed or otherwise) to be a benefit to me:

•Immediately start to refrain from others doing stuff for you. They are not in your altered state – you are – and you are the minority.

•Chuck the urine bottle. You’ve been hauling this puppy around long enough. It’s time to pee like a real man.

•Use your commode thing only in a washroom dedicated to your sole use and start NOW on figuring out how to live with out it. I remember I was so bad while in the hospital that I was buggered if my “favourite” wasn’t around where I left it!!! Get on with poopin’ and peein’ the human way!!!!

•Get out in public as soon and as much as possible. You may as well start getting use to the stares etc. They go away after awhile as you evolve but for now they are wicked. Get use to it otherwise you will end up as a bigger “cripple” than you think you are.

•Go to the mall and check out the HC stalls. Sure as crap they will not be “what you are familiar with” and you need to study them for future use otherwise you will become a prisoner of your own bathroom. Of course – don’t do this IF you “have to go”.

•Accept others help but never, never expect it. Sympathy in others only lasts a while – not forever.

•Whenever you are faced with a situation………study it…….have a plan……..try it……………if it works – fine…………if it doesn’t………study it again. NEVER say I cant do it……………….and if you do say it…..just do it anyway.

These are points I believe in………..that I have lived through…………….that I still use today.







Life in the Gardens & Forest of Hell Awesome book on Chronic Pain by Dr Mitchell

Chronic Pain Chronic pain management by Dr Mitchell

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

Jam Ally Entertainment - where Ally works

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