Yesterday was a special day in our house: I received my new activity/running leg. I have been an amputee for almost seven years, yet I always become giddy with excitement when I receive a new prosthetic. My excitement was contagious. Scott even took off from work for the afternoon so that he could document the event!
My new leg looks completely different from anything that I have used in the past. I started my life as an amputee on a low profile veriflex. I transitioned to the Proprio foot, which I have been using as my everyday leg for three years. I also have a water foot from Freedom Innovations that I use in the pool and in the snow. Now I have a Mod III foot with a back socket mount.
Before my amputation I was ignorant about prosthetics. I didn't realize that each device is geared for specific activities, and that the amputee must have an arsenal of limbs at his disposal in order to be physically adventurous. Perhaps someday a prosthetic will be developed which is truly universal. For now, my trunk will be filled with prosthetic legs.
Although I knew that my new foot would be mounted on the back of my socket, I didn't fully grasp the concept until I saw the leg. It looks strange, and I was immediately concerned about my ability to ambulate in this odd looking device. I have always had the rod (for lack of a better term) directly under my stump. Now the rod is behind the bottom of my socket. In a sense, my leg no longer extends through my residual limb.
To my delight I found walking to be easy. In fact, after taking a few minutes to become adjusted to the new leg, walking felt both natural and comfortable. I was ready to run. Or, to be more specific, I was ready to attempt running.
So, I am not the fastest, nor am I the most graceful, but I remained upright and mobile. After my last running experience, that is an improvement. I came home from the prosthetist energized and ready to start my training.
Scott and Robby curled up to watch cartoons, and I laced up and got ready to run. With my cell phone in hand, I took a deep breath and started to jog. Yes, I was jogging! I felt like I was flying, but I know that my pace was not impressive. But I was doing it, and that is what counts.
I was able to jog and walk for 2.3 miles. I was hurting by the time I stumbled home, but I was still upright and moving. I would write more, but I am too tired! More stories will be forthcoming I am sure, but, for now, I am celebrating the new freedom the leg provides and will keep training so that I can complete 3.2 miles instead of 2.3 by race day.