Yesterday I received my newest test socket and, to my delight, it fit perfectly. I left the office walking on a pain-free Cloud 9. I felt invincible, as if I could walk for miles, and feeling as if the pain of the surgery was a distant memory. I hopped in the car and drove home, excited to show the boys my progress.
Unfortunately the step into the car was the last one that I took feeling completely pain free. I stepped out of the car and immediately knew that my limb had shrunk. In the thirty minutes it took me to drive home, my leg became smaller and the socket no longer fit perfectly. I am frustrated, but I also know that these changes are par for the course when being fit for a leg.
The smaller, more comfortable socket provides compression against my limb which is why I felt no pain walking. Compression naturally pushes out more volume, causing my leg to shrink. It is a cycle which will only be broken when my limb volume stabilizes and I no longer shrink. I was hoping that I was at that point, but obviously I was wrong.
I was able to compensate for the volume changes by adding pads, but I know that the measure is stopgap at best. Although I can walk with the pads and socks, my gait is not nearly as casual and carefree as it was when I first donned the new leg. Today I will head back to Elliot's office so that he can make an even smaller socket.
I had forgotten the seemingly endless adjustments required for the perfect socket, but I know that it is worth the time investment. For a few hours yesterday I felt normal. Hopefully today we will make another leg, and I am optimistic that the size will work for a longer period of time. This is probably the only time in my life I will curse anything shrinking on my body!