24 December 2009

prosthesis crisis

I'm getting used to wearing a prosthesis: not so much that I know I can count on using it all day, or even every day, but enough so that I plan ahead how to use the time that I'm able to walk.

Unfortunately, some housekeeping tasks require two legs (because they require at least one hand): sweeping, vacuuming, snow shoveling, carrying packages to and from the car, stuff like that. (And, honestly, given the limited time I have on two legs, I'm neglecting my housecleaning. If I have only an hour on two legs, would I want to spend half of that time sweeping the floor? I mean really.)

Today I planned to do a couple of errands: pick up some last-minute things for my Christmas visits, stop at the post office, check my mailbox. But this morning, after I put on my leg, as I was getting ready to go out the door, I stood up and my leg didn't stand up with me. Something was wrong with the socket. It wasn't staying connected to me.

This has to be the worst fears of anyone wearing a prosthesis: malfunction. There I was in the dining room with one able leg, a non-functioning prosthesis and a cane. My crutches were in the bedroom and (just to make it even more humiliating) I'd have to take off my pants in order to take off the prosthesis. I guess I could scoot across the cold tile floor (on my bare bottom) to the (thankfully carpeted) bedroom. (May be more than you want to know: I'm wearing a thong to accommodate the prosthesis. Because of the shape and fit of the socket, panties poke in all the wrong places.)

Luckily (I guess you can call it lucky), I was able to peg-leg my way to the bedroom without taking off the fake leg. Got another pair of pants before I froze my ass off. Called the prosthetist. Tried on my other leg (the one that was recently replaced because of changes in my leg). Looks like maybe it'll work. Except that the battery is dead. So I plugged in the old thing. We'll see how long that takes.

There's never a good time for emergencies. But it's Christmas Eve. Sometimes I feel like it can't get worse.

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