Dear friends and family,
It has been some time since I last wrote, over the past few weeks a few things have happened which I would like to update you on. Two weeks ago, I was casted for my first prosthetic leg. In the process of about forty-five minutes, the prosthesis technician, Bob, created a mold of my leg using simple plaster. Over the course of the next week, Bob worked with the product and on Thursday November 10th, he presented me with my first artificial leg. As stated in previous messages, this leg is a very basic “starter leg,” known around here as a “stubby.” With no knee joint, and holding me only around ten inches above the floor, Bob helped me insert my leg into the prosthetic – For the first time in six months I was able to stand up. There to witness this event was my mother, Joan, my girlfriend, Summer, and my college friend, Harry. They took photos and watched as I pulled myself up out of my wheelchair, and up onto my new leg, bracing myself between two parallel bars in the gym at the CFI.
While the experience was definitely a big step, I sometimes feel as if it was overrated. The hard plastic rim of the prosthetic dug into my groin as the few pressure points where my leg held onto the prosthetic supported all of my body weight. With only one leg and no knee joint, I stood there, took some pictures, and a couple minutes later sat down in my wheel chair.
I must admit, however, the moment was also joyful. A warm feeling of happiness and accomplishment slowly began to sink in, as Bob told me that he would work with me in the months ahead to refine the prosthetic to be more comfortable, and would create a prosthetic for my other leg in the following week. In addition to my prosthetic leg, I turned in my electric wheelchair in exchange for a “power assist” chair that, with minimal push from both arms, allows me to travel faster than a traditional, manual wheelchair. It is still quite difficult as the brace on my right arm is unable to grip the wheel enough to get an even tread. While more difficult than the electric wheelchair, it is a big step in regaining my independence. With the “power assist” wheel chair, I am able to travel easier on my own then with the heavy, electric one. Read more