My final osseointegration trip
I will do an update here and a vlog post in a week’s time when I get my leg back, so I can show you walking (it has to go in for its yearly service on Monday).
So, I went to Hanover again on 15th November to have a part swapped and a cast done of my knee/upper thigh for a cosmetic cover. DO NOT GO OUT TO HANOVER ON 15th NOVEMBER!!!! It just so happens to be the biggest agricultural fair date, where business men from all over the world come to sell their latest JCB’s, tractors, produce stock etc. Dr Aschoff failed to mention this when suggesting the date back in October. So everywhere was booked up or the prices were stupid. For example, I stayed in the only room available that wasn’t a hostel: a premier class German version with single rooms, no breakfast, one night, usually costs 58 euros, cost me 250 euros!!!! Then there was the flight out and back – normally £250, now £450!
I met with the technical team at 10am, had the part swapped and a plaster cast done of my leg. I then got the all clear from Dr Aschoff and was told to come back and see him in six months for a review and was out by 11am. Most expensive doctor’s appointment ever! 🙂
Now I just swing forward with my thigh like you normally would when you walk.
So it’s eight weeks since I had the implant, I couldn’t take a step without my crutches during the first week, and it was painful to step through. I kept walking though, knowing that I had to build up the strength in my thigh as I am no longer doing the swing through action to take a step, normally using my hip. But now I just swing forward with my thigh like you normally would when you walk.
Having not done this for five years it’s hard to break the habit. But the best way I have found is once the pain has eased when you put your weight through your foot (around 5th week), walk around the house with just a walking stick. Hold the walking stick in your hand next to your ‘real’ leg, so that when you take a step you are forced to swing your false leg out and put it down without the stick next to it to take the weight. Do this slowly just so you get used to the motion. DO NOT try going down slopes or steps foot over foot yet, (that still hurts and you are at risk of twisting your ankle) this is a big no until at least 12 months.
I go down slopes sideways shuffle and go up and down steps like I used to with my socket leg so ‘bad’ leg first then good going down and reverse going up. Remember the mantra “bad to hell, good to heaven” if you’re wondering what to put first. I can currently lurch around the house without any sticks (you didn’t read that Dr Aschoff!) which is “not recommended until at least six months in.” But I have no pain and take it easy – when outside if it’s short distances (like to the garage) I use one stick, if walking around town then two sticks.
Now I put it on and… nothing, I just walk.
It’s so weird when I put the leg on as I am so used to putting on all the rubber liners and stickers and Velcro, then having to wait 10 mins to see if my leg is sore today to stand on and walk until I’m comfortable. Now I put it on and… nothing, I just walk.
I do have another neuroma that has developed at the end where some scar tissue is and it’s very sore to push on but I can’t feel it when I walk. It’s only a problem if I have a plaster/gauze covering the lump of scar tissue and it rubs when I walk, making it tender (I still have to wear gauze and plasters for oozing). In the New Year I am going to make an appointment with Dr Dewar, my plastic surgeon, at the NHS to cut that out and also tidy up some loose skin around the back of my thigh that I no longer need for ‘socket padding.’
There are also other habits I don’t need to do any more like lifting up the toilet seat to pee. The reason for doing this was the hard plastic socket would scratch/mark the toilet seat and on one occasion, when I sat down too hard, knock it sideways and snap it off the back.
Osseointegration is the best thing I’ve had done and I wish I’d had it done it earlier.
I bought size 10 knickers, rather than 14, because there’s no socket there now to arse chew my knickers up my crack when I walk. I bought t-shirts that are fitted, and gave my size 12 baggy ones to charity as I no longer have to hide the sticking out hip I had with the socket and the ridge part by my bum. I can wear tight pants again! BEHOLD my bottom and waist!
For the first time in over five years I am actually getting my body confidence back and like what I see in the mirror. Yes it is very, very expensive if your insurance is not going to cover it, but osseointegration is the best thing I’ve had done and I wish I’d had it done it earlier.
So you will need £40,000 for everything: flights, hotel stays, x-rays, procedures after care etc.
Dr Aschoff told me there are two others who are just about to start this journey and I said they are more than welcome to ask me for advice. But bear in mind everyone is different, your body is different to mine, your accident/injury could look different to mine. You may need the whole 6-12 months to recover. You may have pain all the way through or get an infection, or you may not. You might have a lot of excess fat on your thigh that means you will leak for longer, maybe permanently.
Just things to bear in mind, but I hope things go well for you and I am here for any questions and support. I will still keep updating this blog and my vlog with my progress, my aim is to get a video of me walking ‘normally’ without a stick, down my drive.
So until next time, take care xxxx