According to the news, and I tend to agree, we are in the middle of a heat wave. It has been beyond hot; it has been down right oppressive. I have been an amputee now for six summers. Every heat wave I find myself muttering the same complaint. Being an amputee during the hottest days of summer is miserable.
Despite the air conditioner, our house smells from the heat and humidity. We have high vaulted ceilings in the living room. Apparently, we forgot to turn on the ceiling fan to circulate the air. Condensation has formed from the rafters and has stained the paint. I suppose now we're going to have to convince my cousin Ellen and her husband to drive down to help us paint, again.
We can't close our doors because the wood has swelled from the humidity. Unfortunately, wood isn't the only thing swelling from the heat. My stump has increased in volume, making my socket tight and uncomfortable. Right now, I feel as if my residual limb is a sausage stuffed into a very small casing.
I've been experiencing the uncomfortable and slightly painful tingling and numbing sensations that accompany a tight socket. Relieving the pressure of the valve helps temporarily, but the issue resumes as soon as the suction is resumed. It has been a constant battle between walking with a tight prosthetic for a long as possible verses removing the leg to allow for circulation to resume. Needless to say, I haven't accomplished much today!
I'm going to use the shrinker sock tonight. The compression, accompanied by a cool bath, should help with the swelling by morning. Unfortunately, if the heat and humidity continues, the remedy will be only temporary. I've accepted this as just "one of those amputee things."
As if my swelling stump and tight socket, compounded with the heat weren't enough to make me uncomfortable, I've developed a heat rash from my liner. Tiny, itchy red bumps are covering the inside of my residual limb, starting at my knee and continuing for about 3 inches. None of these issues are enough to make me stop wearing my prosthetic. Combined, they are enough to make me miserable.
Until this sweltering heat breaks, I have little option but to stay indoors as much as possible. We have both the air conditioner and the dehumidifier running to make the house as comfortable as possible. Robby is antsy because he wants to run and play outside. Once outside, the heat quickly makes even my rugged toddler retreat.
Robby has a lot of energy, and he is bored. Combine these factors with my difficulty walking right now, and I am predicting impending destruction. Hopefully the heat will retreat below 90, and the humidity will drop. My stump will then deflate, and the heat bumps will dissipate. Until then, I am thankful for Playhouse Disney and Dora the Explorer!