My Prosthetist And The Total Solution To Prosthetics
Today I would like to introduce you to Chris from South Africa. You will hear more from him over the coming monhts. Chris and I joined hands to be able to offer more information and inspiration to a wide variety of people with limb differences. From now on Chris will be a regular contributor to The Active Amputee. I will tell you a bit more a bout him and his story in a few days' time. But for now, let's start with the first guest post by Chris. An article about how finding the right prosthetist made all the difference for him to be able to live a pain-free, active, and fulfilling life as an amputee.
I Have Enjoyed Some Wonderfully Valuable Relationships In My Lifetime.
Naturally, the one I value the most is the one I have with my family – my wife Helena to whom I’ve been married for 25 years now, my daughter Anin who is 22 years old, and my two sons, Daniel and Christian, 17 and 23 years old respectively. I love them all as my family collectively, and for their wonderful presence in my life as infinitely interesting and lovable individuals. They have all loved and supported me through some extremely tough times, whist also sharing some incredible meaningful and fun times together.
Immediately after that I have my close friends. We live different lives now, we don’t see each other all that often anymore, but that special connection will always remain. I have no doubt that they will have my back, should I suddenly need them, and I theirs should they call on me for support.
These relationships are the natural bonds we form, based on what we have in common, the values we share, our common interests, and the event filled history we share.
Today I want to highlight a relationship in my life which is not based on familial ties or history, but one based on the necessity to ensure ongoing quality of life as an amputee. I am of course referring to my prosthetist – the person who ensures my mobility, and who gives me access to a relatively pain free life. These are the two criteria I put foremost in my need for a good prosthetist: Can you assist me to achieve maximum mobility, and can you assist me to do so painlessly?
The Importance Of Having A Prosthetist That Fully Supports Your Ambitions
When I lost my leg in 2004 I was given the contact number of a prosthetist. I asked no questions, put my blind faith and trust in this person and took all his suggestions as the only possible options. I was vulnerable, a little scared, but also hopeful for a new life!
For years I followed his lead without question. I used the liners, feet, and knees he suggested. I wore the sockets he made, and learnt that my feedback was less important than his knowledge. This was an expensive and painful learning curve.
When he retired, I changed prosthetist and opted for maximum value at the lowest cost. Things got worse and what followed were numerous infections, many medical procedures, months on crutches, weeks in the hospital and a much-impaired ability to walk and perform simple daily tasks. Once again, I followed the persons suggestions blindly and always assumed that he had the best intentions for me - his trusting amputee and patient.
This too was a mistake, and a continuation of a much-restricted life as an amputee. It took me 14 years to wake up to what was going on – and it happened by sheer accident and pure luck.
In 2018 I was contacted by someone who had seen one of my You Tube video’s. Le Roux noticed that I was struggling and was kind enough to make time for me to meet for coffee, where we had one of the most important conversations of my life. He introduced me to a new prosthetist, as well as to the world of Ossur, with their “Total Solution” approach to life as an amputee, and with their intimate understanding for our relationship with prosthetics.
I Finally Felt Free Again
In one month, my life changed dramatically. I was without pain, comfortable, my body felt good again ... I felt free. The past two years have been the best since I lost my leg. I travel when I want to, hike where I want to, and I have not seen infection or a doctor again since the all-important day I met Le Roux. I will forever be grateful to him for his kindness and generosity.
There are two important points I want to make today. The first is that my prosthetist has become the third most important relationship in my life, right after family and friends. He listens to me, guides me, has feelings, shows humility, and makes my well being his number one priority. The second point is that the prosthetic gear I now use 100% meets my specific needs. The gear is built around my quality of life, not the size of my bank account.
Had someone told me this in 2004 I could have had a very different experience as an amputee, from day one. My wish for you, my fellow amputee, is that you will find your own connected, caring prosthetist, as well as your own total solution, with your leg of choice.
I wish you all the best in you journey as an amputee – may you too live the amped life!