There was a moment in the fitting room when tears welled up in my eyes. I had just tried to put on a pair of long pants over the shoe on my prosthetic leg and they wouldn’t fit. “Am I ever gonna wear long pants again?”, I wondered to myself.
It was like that moment when you’ve been out for a really big night, and in a drunken stupor, you think it’s possible to remove your pants without taking off your shoes first. Except this was in reverse.
I’ve been wearing a prosthetic leg for about a month now, and I’m still getting used to it. I’m especially struggling with the idea of wearing long pants.
I also needed a new pair of shoes.
Currently, I have no proficiency in taking shoes on and off my prosthetic limb. For about a month now, I’ve been wearing the same pair of shoes, the ones fitted by the prosthetist, Carl.
I dropped him an email last night, and he returned my call earlier today. I explained the situation of wanting to attend the annual formal dinner, the Andrew Olle Media Lecture and needed advice about shoes. He explained the key thing was to have a heel that closely matched what I already had. If I couldn’t find that, he could make me some adjustments.
Today, I decided to go shopping for a new pair of shoes and pants. I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on shoes that I would only wear once or twice a year, so I headed to the discount stores at Market City, Haymarket. They had a pretty good deal of a suit plus shoes for $199.
Getting the pants off over the shoe was a little more of a challenge than I thought it would be, but my support worker was able to help me. I’m hoping that I won’t need to ask for help after the dinner.
The Pants Solution
I shared my dilemma about getting pants over my shoe/prosthetic on a Facebook group, “Amputees – Limbs 4 Life Australia”, and received some wonderful replies.
I reckon you can get most pants over the prosthetic foot, especially ones with a normal cut. Needs a little more care , but I still just buy pants I like for the most part. I can’t get skinny leg jeans up over the knee but that’s ok alsoBruce
When I’ve bought a suit, I’ve always asked for an extra lining over the knee or prosthesis area that bends. Always been accommodatedMark
I use a lady in king st Newtown , St. Peter’s end who charges $70 a pair to put a zip down the leg . She has done 4 for me to date on jeans and work pants . Happy to pass her number on if you likeGeorge
The beauty is as your stump sheiks and you get a skinnier socket you can wear your skinny jeans again, don’t throw them out!Clay
In reply, I joked, skinny jeans will eventually come back into fashion.
I buy jeans, chinos and casual trousers that aren’t too tight. Trousers with a suit are best bought or made with a lining down to below the knee, this protects the trouser leg cloth from wear and also allows the material to hang looser. I have never yet owned a pair of trousers/jeans/chino’s that I couldn’t get over my foot. Slim style pants thank goodness are on the way out and straight legs are back in …. just not too wideChristopher
And finally this…
I have issues in cold weather with my prosthetic arm sometimes tearing up sleeves. I now heat-shrunk a PET bottle part over some protruding parts, that helped. I always make sure I buy sufficiently large jackets without particularly thin inner lining. So I can get in and out without problems. But long sleeve shirts, eww. I also started to add reinforcement fabric to shirts and shorten some sleeves. — I guess you could put the prosthesis on after the trousers?Wolf
Put your pants and shoe on the real leg… then put your shoe and sock on your prosthetic, put your liner etc on your stump. Put pant leg onto prosthetic and then stump into socket, pull up pants. Works a treat! I do this for tights and skinny jeans.
If your formal shoes are the wrong ankle height, check if your prosthetic clinic can help measure and make an insert for your shoes to even up and walk well.
That’s it. That’s the solution. So logical.