I was at the House of Bounce the other day with Robby when I had a revelation. While I was inside the giant birthday cake, jumping and running after my little guy, I realized that my residual limb was feeling no pain. I was bouncing and sprinting around, and I wasn't feeling any of the normal jostling or impact sensations that have become my norm.
As an amputee, I think I have resigned myself to certain issues. I realize that, while walking in a prosthetic, I may not always be as comfortable as I would be with a natural leg. I have accepted that high impact activities, such as running and jumping, come with a price, mainly discomfort or pain. The majority of the time, the pain felt isn't severe enough for me to halt the activity, but the discomfort builds in intensity with extended impact. Because of this, I generally limit my chasing or jumping games to short spurts.
I was in the bouncer, jumping and running with Robby, when I realized that I felt "normal." This is not to say that I feel abnormal most of the time. It has been a decade since I've been able to participate in an impact activity without some discomfort, so to say that the absence of pain was liberating would be an understatement.
I knew that I enjoyed playing with Robby at the House of Bounce. To be honest, I revert to a toddler and become giddy when we approach the building housing the inflatable utopia. I think that I was lured to the activity because I am able to participate fully without pain, discomfort or the other issues related to being an amputee. Of course, I have to cover my prosthetic with a leg warmer to make sure I don't poke a hole in inflatable, but that is a benign compromise.
My experience when bouncing prompted me to start thinking: could an insert be placed into my socket that would simulate the House of Bounce? Maybe some sort of small air bladder, strategically placed at the bottom of my socket, could absorb the impact in the same way that the inflatable absorbed the impact when I was bouncing. Wouldn't it be wonderful to eliminate the jostling and the impact pain associated with everyday walking in a prosthetic?
I am going to call my prosthetists and discuss my idea. I have a socket that is slightly larger than I need at the present time, so maybe I'll start experimenting. Does anybody have any ideas?