Every season presents its own issues for my prosthesis. In the winter I deal with increased phantom pain and intense cold in my limb. In the summer, my limb sweats and swells, leaving me prone to skin sores and cuts. In the fall, my yard becomes a minefield of wet leaves and slippery nuts, which can easily cause me to lose my footing and tumble.
Several years ago I slipped on a nut walking to the car and I ended up in the ER with a cracked ankle. Ever since then, I have become paranoid about falling again. It took me several weeks to recover physically, but the experience has never left me. I am now terrified of slipping and falling again!
We try our best to keep the driveway and walkways clear, but the sheer number of falling nuts makes the task impossible. Our driveway is covered with so many nuts that we are now using a snowshovel to clear the path. Squirrels love our yard in the fall, but I'm not a fan.
Over the next few months I am going to be more cautious when walking. I will be calculating and evaluating each step, ensuring that I will remain both upright and safe. I know all too well how quickly I can lose my balance if my prosthesis catches the top of a hickory nut.
Sometimes it stinks not having the proprioception in my foot to accommodate and maintain balance over these small environmental obstacles, but I try to remind myself that I am very lucky to live in such a beautiful home in the woods. Nut season is exhausting, but the views and tranquility that our home offers is worth the obstacle.