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I am a below knee amputee. More importantly, I am also Mommy to two boys, a very active 10 year old (Robby) and an mischievous toddler (Timmy). I have learned that being a parent with a disability can create some unusual and sometimes humorous situations. This blogger is available for hire! Let's talk and learn how a blog can expand your business.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Time to Correct

I have been loving my new socket. It is wonderful to wake up in the morning, slip on my leg and know that it isn't going to hurt when I take the first few steps. The absence of the little aches and pains in my limb has been liberating.

Walking through Kohl's the other day, I glanced an image of myself walking in a display of mirrors and I was horrified by the reflection. My limp was atrocious! Obviously I had picked up some unfavorable habits during the past few months. I realized that if I didn't correct the issue now, it would only become more ingrained and difficult to change later.

Seeing myself walk, coupled with receiving my new leg, has spurred me on to reestablish a correct gait pattern. In an attempt to mitigate the discomfort I was experiencing, my walking style had become compromised and disjointed. It feels like every aspect of my walking was impacted by my socket pain. My stride length has become uneven, and I have noticed the tendency for me to lift my leg and swing from my hip rather than bending my knee. Although it is easy to rationalize the reasons these habits, I also realize that I need to force myself into a less sloppy walking style.

Every day I have been going for a long walk through the neighborhood. With each step I concentrate on the mechanics of walking. Usually an escape from work, my afternoon walk has been transformed into a self-directed physical therapy session. Needless to say, they have become anything but relaxing!

Still conscious of each step, I can tell that my efforts are yielding results. Yesterday, in order to gauge my progress I videoed myself walking. I still have some tweaking to do, but my limp is nearly gone.

I've learned two valuable lessons during the past month. First, I need to better assess my socket fit and stop accepting the little inconveniences as "part of amputee life." There is no reason I should be settling of anything but a perfectly fitting socket. Secondly, I am going to have to reevaluate my gait on a regular basis. Bad habits are sneaky and become part of my natural style without my realizing it. Being aware of my patterns by objectively watching myself periodically will hopefully help to mitigate future habits from forming.

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