Wednesday, June 12, 2013

X Marks The Spot

Only one more day until the blog gets funny again.  One more!

Earlier this morning I had an appointment with Elliot to mark the exact location he'd like Dr. Attinger to make the cut on Friday.  I felt like a 2x4 getting ready for its date with a circular saw.  

It was good to see Elliot again.  The guy just flat out exudes confidence.  I'm looking forward to you getting to know him.  Today he provided some anecdotes of amputees that are able to do more than most people with two legs.  He also reassured me that phantom pain usually becomes manageable once you start using a prosthetic regularly.

Elliot brought out what looked like an Ossur Unity foot without a pump to explain how he takes the measurements.

While the prosthetic is about eight inches tall, there are several additional layers of other attachments that sit on top of the prosthetic before hitting the bottom of the socket.  So you need to make the cut fairly high to leave clearance for the whole package.  

One great thing about being 6'3" is my leg is long enough to provide plenty of room for a prosthetic while leaving enough limb for excellent leverage while walking.

The cut is going to be about 8.5 inches below the patella tendon.  For those of you at home, if you want to know where you'd get your below-the-knee amputation, just take a tape measure and go up about 11 inches from the bottom of your foot.  That's where the circular saw will come down.

These prosthetics are just incredible works of art and craftsmanship.  And yet it's so simple.

The split down the middle of the foot allows for better weight distribution over side-to-side movements of the legs.  I'm sure once I get my actual prosthetic I will go into crazy detail about how these things work.

I wanted to leave you with an awesome story.  Last week, while we were still waiting on word from my insurance company about whether they would approve Friday's amputation, my wife and I were at our local grocery store.  While we were there we saw this little girl sprinting through an aisle with a below-knee prosthetic leg.  She was booking it as if she had two perfectly normal legs.

I leaned over to Brooke and said, "that's the reason I'm doing this."  The places you get inspiration from will surprise you.  All I want is to be able to move around as freely as that little girl was -- though I don't expect to run up and down the pasta aisle.

While I was visiting with Elliot I saw a young girl walk by with a below-knee amputation.  It reminded me of this story, so I told Elliot about what had happened at Harris Teeter a few days ago and how it had kept me inspired for Friday's amputation.  He threw on this huge grin and said that the little girl that had just walked by lives near me and that her prosthetic leg was only one of five ever made.  I had seen the exact same prosthetic leg in Harris Teeter.

Sure enough, it turned out to be the exact same girl!  How crazy is that?  I told her Mom that her daughter was a huge inspiration to me and my wife.

Mom's response?  She looked at her daughter and scolded her, "so you were running through the grocery store, were you?"

What a small world.


  1. Good luck, man. We'll be praying for you.

  2. Wishing you the best. Praying for everyone involved that it goes smoothly, and your recovery is perfect. Love you both .

  3. Awesome!!!! Lots of prayers coming your way tomorrow and for the days, weeks, months after while you make your full- AND COMPLETE recovery!

  4. Will be thinking of you! Hope everything goes great :)

  5. Serendipity - what an amazing story and wonderful beginning to your new life. All the best for tomorrow!