With my downstairs neat and tidy, I decided to turn my attention towards another pressing issue. My running leg is still uncomfortable making it difficult for me to maintain my jogging regime. I worked so hard to get into shape for the 5k, and I find it frustrating that I have not been able to continue running.
I think that a bone spur is probably developing. However, I disagree that I need to see my surgeon immediately. The painful spot only becomes noticeable and swollen when I am wearing my activity leg. In my Proprio, I don't feel the tenderness or burning that plagues my stump when I am trying to run. I am not a doctor, nor am I a prosthetist, but I have concluded that the area is aggravated by the new prosthetic.
Yesterday afternoon I packed up Robby and headed to see Elliot, my prosthetist. We tried various alignments and component adjustments with each change providing valuable headway. Finally, after over three hours of trial and error, we were pleased with the result. I was sent home with my freshly tweaked prosthetic, excited to go for a jog to try it out.
After taking a brief detour on the way home to buy Robby an ice cream cone (he was, after all, a very good little boy during the long wait) I was ready to put my leg through its paces. With my two boys to cheer me on, I set out on my first jog in nearly two weeks.
I didn't run a great distance, nor did I run fast. I did, however, run pain free for the first time since becoming an amputee. Knowing that it is possible for me to run without pain has given me a much needed boost.
Fixing dinner I was still reveling in my pain free jog. Then, I began to hear a puffing sound. I immediately knew that I was hearing air pushing through the valve. My leg was no longer maintaining suction. Without success, I tried all of the tricks which have worked in the past. The valve was broken.
Today I need to make yet another trip to Elliot's office to get a new valve. It is more of an inconvenience than anything else. I know that it will be a relatively easy fix and that this is a routine repair. Still, I am annoyed that I have to go; what else can go wrong with this leg!
Prosthetics, I have come to learn, require maintenance. Before my amputation I thought that a leg would be built, I would wear it, and that I wouldn't have to be concerned about it. I didn't realize that the valves would wear down, that liners would tear and that components break down over time. I never conceived that a few millimeters in alignment could make the difference between a comfortable prosthetic and one which cannot be tolerated.
I never imagined the collection of prosthetics I would accumulate in order to live a relatively normal life. Wouldn't it be wonderful if a prosthetic could be designed that did not break down, didn't require constant maintenance and could be used for all activities? Imagine the extra closet space I would have if I didn't have to make room for a running leg, a swim leg, a walking leg and a spare.
Today Robby and I were planning on meeting Scott for lunch because students are out for the summer and he is finishing up some paperwork. Instead of meeting, we are going back to Elliot's office to get the valve replaced. Perhaps we'll take Daddy out for dinner instead!