Sunday, June 1, 2014

Yay! I'm Walking!

Guest Article by Meg Wolff, excerpt from this inspiring lady's newsletter, making a personally rewarding announcement, sharing a victory!
Welcome, Hi Everyone,

I usually write about food (and I have another email coming with a great recipe) but I'd like to update you about what I've been doing, because I haven't written any newsletters all winter. More than a few people emailed me to ask if I am OK. I am OK, and I'm experiencing freedom I haven't known in years!

As many of you know I'm an above-knee amputee from having bone cancer 24 years ago. Over the last five years or more, because of failed revision surgeries, and then having a hard time getting a prosthesis to fit well, I've had to use crutches even with my prosthetic leg on to get around because of pain. It takes a lot more time and energy on crutches. I've adapted by limiting what I do.

This winter I took off from all that I've been doing with the counseling people with macrobiotics and writing and I went down to Florida so that I could work with Bill Copeland, of Copeland Prosthetics & Research, in Tampa. Within a week in Tampa, I was back to
It's a miracle! This is only because of Bill Copeland (THE miracle worker prosthetist) who was willing to take the time that it takes, listen to me and be open to my feedback (this is so important) and to consider my unique needs.

Today we hear so so much hype about the advances made in prosthetics, but most two-legged people don't realize that most of the advances are in the prosthetic feet and knees, which are wonderful. But, most above-the-knee amputees know that the the crucial part is in the socket fit, which is top the part that our amputated leg fits into. Not a lot of advances have been made with sockets & fit, and it really takes an expert artisan to take a cast of the limb, make a socket and then work on it until it's actually comfortable to walk on. Also many times amputees need make other slight (or major changes) if the fit changes because sometimes that happens with increased activity.

Many above-knee-amputees never experience this joy of walking comfortably. For many people the leg is made, paid for, and then it never fits properly. Sometime amputees are even told that it is their fault that it doesn't fit. So, I consider myself very lucky and will never take this for granted.

My husband Tom always says that I make things look easy and that not many people realize that it isn't always easy. We'll, now it's easier. I realized today that when I went out in the car to go get groceries, I didn't bring my crutches "just in case," I was able to go into the grocery store and get what I needed without crutches and pain. It gives me so much freedom!

I'm sitting comfortably, too. I used to have to take my prosthetic leg off if I drove anywhere over two hours because it was uncomfortable. I'd put the leg in my back seat (yes, crazy, but necessary!) and then I'd stop at a gas station and put it on just as I got to my final destination. Or, worse yet, I'd have to go on crutches and one leg if I traveled by plane and store my leg (in a bag, yikes!) in the overhead bin, and my husband would have to come with me to carry the leg. A lot of time and energy spent because of an ill fitting prosthesis. Needless to say, it curtailed my travel.

This winter after Florida I went to Switzerland and I sat on the plane comfortably with my two legs, there and back on 7 and 9 hour flights. This is new found freedom. I wish all above-knee amputees could experience this, to be comfortable sitting, standing and walking.

Thank you, Bill Copeland. This is only because of you!

If anyone has a friend, family member or co-worker that is an above-knee-amputee please forward this to them. You may change their life for the better, too!
Thank you & best wishes, Meg
More about Bill and his work in prosthetics for people and for animals can be seen on his facebook page
Click on Meg Wolff  for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online. Photo below is Meg and Bill at his headquarters.


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