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.
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
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