‘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.
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.