Getting To Know You

‘Would you mind if another patient borrowed your wheelchair for a day or so? We don’t have enough stump rests.’, one of the hospital therapists asked me yesterday. After discussing I wouldn’t really require the stump rest for the next few days, and even less so thereafter, I readily agreed.

Now, with my newly acquired “Prosthetic Limb #1” (PL#1) – I haven’t given it a personal name just yet – my focus for the upcoming week revolves around familiarizing myself with it. This means daily walking sessions with the limb in the gym (with supportive bars) and each day increasing the duration of wearing it. Yesterday, it was only fifteen minutes of walking. This morning, I extended it to twenty minutes, and tomorrow’s goal is thirty minutes. Over the next week, we’ll progress to two sessions each day.

In between these sessions, there will be moments when I wear the limb without bearing any weight on the stump. Both my brain and body need this adjustment period. PL#1 is slightly heavier than my final limb, and this morning’s weigh-in revealed an increase in my overall weight from 68kg to 73kg. While the limb felt a bit “heavy” this morning, it has become quite comfortable this afternoon.

Due to the natural fluctuations in body weight throughout the day, I may need different “socks” at various times. This morning, a “thick sock” felt excessive, so we opted for two “thin socks,” which I’m continuing to wear this afternoon.

The woman who temporarily borrowed “my wheelchair” was at the gym this morning. We also had a conversation last night since her room is across from the kitchen.

Unlike my emergency situation, she underwent a voluntary lower limb amputation after enduring several years of problems.

“It’s really comforting to connect with someone in a similar situation,” she remarked, as we discussed the charity “Limbs For Life,” which I mentioned here a few weeks ago. It’s a peer support organization that provides a platform for amputees facing similar challenges to connect.

We also discovered that her daughter works with a friend of mine here at St. Vincent’s Hospital. Small world, eh? A retired nurse, she was a delight to chat with.

While I have plans for lunch with friends tomorrow, today has been a day of relaxation. I’ve caught up on the newspapers, enjoyed some sunshine, listened to some music, and worked some more on my “paint by numbers” project.

3 Replies to “Getting To Know You”

  1. I think a shortened version of the name Richard might be a good name for your limb. My imagination runs wild with phrases using that name. How very Ugly Dave Gray.

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