My woke up this morning feeling every year, month, day, hour and minute of my age. My back, specifically my lower back, is painful. Back pain is miserable, especially because it is omnipresent regardless of position. My goal is to find the least objectionable position and to stay there until the ibuprofen kicks in and the twinging subsides. Oh the joys of middle age.
Unlike phantom pain, I know the cause of my back pain. Yesterday my limp was more prominent, becoming more obvious as the day progressed. By the time I went to bed I was hobbling like Tiny Tim, hunched over and shuffling down the hall. Walking with a strong gait deviation undoubtedly caused undo stress on my back, which I am paying for this morning.
I was frustrated because I knew that my gait was off, but I couldn't walk "normally" without discomfort through my limb. I realigned and re-donned my prosthesis numerous times to little avail. My body fluctuates throughout the day, but the socket remains static. Most of the time my leg fits perfectly, but every once in awhile my limb retains water or has shrunk more than normal. On those days, I am reminded about the archaic designs of prosthetic sockets.
Innovators have been tinkering and trying to design a socket that dynamically adjusts to the wearer. I've worn several variations, but none of them have worked for me. So far all of the designs rely upon a series of cords and boa closures to provide adjustments. Every single time the cord has snapped within weeks, leaving me in a precarious and dangerous situation.
Certainly there has to be a better way! Until then, I'll continue trying to squeeze and contort my always changing limb into a static bucket. I'll ice my back and hobble through my day, because that is what I need to do to remain ambulatory and active. Hopefully the ibuprofen and ice work soon because I don't have time for this today.