Tag: relationships

Shop Talk with Randy West

Shop Talk with Randy West

How about that fit, though?

Randy, my prosthetist, with the cast of my residual limb

 

This is the first step, for some prosthetists, when it comes to making their patient’s next socket. There are many steps, and it can be frustrating with how long it can take, only to realize you may need to make a bunch of corrections to the final socket over the course of the following weeks of receiving it.  It is a process, like everything in life, and can test your resolve and patience.  But  stay the course, my friend!  If you have an amazing prosthetist, like I do, then let them work their magic and make the adjustments.  It’ll be a better fit in the long run and you’ll be a better, well-adjusted person conquering the world once again.

Adjustments need to be made, over and over again! Thanks, Randy!

 

But what if you don’t feel like you’re being heard or, better yet, being blamed for the fit not working for you?  That’s when you may need to seek outside help and opinions….and NOT from strangers on social media but from practicing professionals.  It may take some time and effort on your part but it’s ok to shop around and talk with other prosthetists. Having a new set of eyes on the issues you may be having with your fitting is your prerogative and your right.  This is YOUR life after all.

Teamwork makes the dream work!
And even professionals will ask for a new set of eyes to help them make it right for you…or at least they should-It’s called humility.

 

Communication and listening are two qualities you should look for in a prosthetist. they should be willing to take the time that is needed, not allotted, to talk with you and understand your pains, concerns and issues with your fit.  If they can’t do that, listen to your gut and find someplace else to go.

Listen in to today’s podcast where I talk with my prosthetist about the types of sockets, how to handle office visits and reassuring you that it’s ok to move on if the relationship isn’t working out. We also jump into what you can do to help yourself and getting out of your own way when working with your professional.

He makes some really good points that you really should hear especially if you’re struggling right now with your fit and/or your prosthetist.

 

You can also find the interview on my YouTube channel: Angie Heuser-BAWarrior360

 

Time to get real.

I believe there are 3 components to your success with fitting and then succeeding as an amputee:

Physical, Emotional, Mental

First, get past the amputation-or with whatever you are struggling. This is the mental component and it might be taking you in the wrong direction. If you are still struggling with being an amputee then you need to figure out how to right this or you won’t be able to move on. Stop looking into the past, at what you had, or how you were wronged. To be successful at anything, not just being an amputee, you need to embrace where you are NOW.  Find someone to talk to, create a journal, add to your vision board, do something to get you to look forward and not in the past.

Make time for you and embrace the journey YOU are on.

 

 

Second, it’s ok to be sad, angry, disappointed at where you are. Express that emotion and then move on. It’s not ok to dwell in that negativity, it will only lead to other issues such as health issues. Your body isn’t designed to stay in a stressed, angry phase for long periods of time and it will eventually start to react to the negativity. You don’t need more issues on top of what you are already dealing with, so deal with your emotions- now!  Use the above ideas to help you get started.

Finally, the physical aspect. As amputees we need to get a great fitting socket or life can get harder than it already is. You need to be in the right office, with the right prosthetist, who listens to you and takes your scenario to heart. But you are responsible for communicating well,  and giving him/her your best. if the above two aspects are a struggle for you then this physical aspect is going to be tough. Your mind has to be in the right place because the physical side of amputation is demanding. We must be strong, courageous, willing to push through some hard stuff, just to get exactly what we need to live a full and healthy life.

It is an uphill battle some days, but the view from the top is amazing! Get after it!

 

You can do this!

Don’t give up. Ask questions, get help, talk it out with people who love you and listen.

You will get through this, and when you do, you’ll be all the more stronger and badass for it!!

 

As always,

Be Healthy,

Be Happy,

Be YOU!!!

 

Much love,

Angie

Head, Shoulders,…..Knees? and….Toes?

Head, Shoulders,…..Knees? and….Toes?

Physical Therapy After Amputation is Vitally Important to Your Success as an Amputee

My Tribe

 

Everyone needs a tribe. A group of people who are there for you, care about you, make you laugh when you want to cry and support all of your crazy ideas.  These are my people and I am so fortunate to have each and everyone of them in my life.  Some of them have been in my life since I was a teenager (my husband), others for the last few years, and others have been my medical team that have helped me through my journey into amputation. They have become friends, confidents, and the people I care about in my life. They’ve seen me at my worst, and they have watched me rise and been there watching and helping me achieve my goals. These people are priceless!

How many people can say that about their physical therapists? Some people curse those who put us through pain so we can heal, not me, they have only wanted to see me succeed…whatever it took. They never said it would be easy, but they never left my side. They worked with me, helping me get to where I wanted to go and, only then, began to let go, so I could soar.

I am excited for you to hear my interview with Dan and Kelly, the two PTs that got me up and walking in a prosthetic and running in my blade. They continued to work with me even when I got that crazed look in my eye and said, “Could we try….?” You name it, they did it. They stopped being surprised when I’d walk in saying I have something I’d like to do and just started asking what the new goal was. They continued to build my confidence and never backed down to my challenges I’d present to them.  They were my support system, and if they thought I could do it, then I could do it.

 

Relationships. It’s truly all about relationships. You see, I’m a relationship kinda girl. I love being around people, talking with people, and getting to know someone new.  My medical team is no different. The way they listen to me, hear my goals, dreams, and fears brings us closer, and we begin to work together and create a bond like no other. They have all seen me through some seriously hard times, but also the best of times. They have watched me shed tears of frustration and doubt, and laughter after accomplishing something big.

In this interview I talk with Dan and Kelly, from Touchstone Rehabilitation, about the importance of physical therapy, pre and post, amputation and how to find the right therapist for you. Not all therapist are the same, just like I said about prosthetists. Your therapist should have a ton of experience with amputees and listen to you and what’s important to you, never making you feel like what you want to accomplish is impossible- You want the therapist who wants to help you reach your goals, no matter the size.

Take a listen and take notes. Know that you have control over who you see and that you should feel confident and comfortable in their presence. Go with your gut and don’t settle. You deserve to find your tribe, too!

My “Surf Crew”- Mark, Mariah and Jovanni

 

Stopping by to say hi to the people who got you on track-it’s all about relationships!

 

This week I want you to get out and get active everyday! It doesn’t matter how long, just that you set a goal, and do it!

If you struggle walking in your prosthetic for more than a block then set a goal of walking a block. Once you do that then add another block, and continue to get out and move EVERYDAY! Don’t quit! Give yourself one week, to push yourself just a little bit more each day. At the end of the week you’ll be surprised how far you’ve come.  It takes time to build a positive habit, give yourself time to do just that.  Even after the week is up, continue, just use this week as your starting point. The sky’s the limit and you can do anything you put your mind to.

Reach out to me. Tell me how it’s going. Share your accomplishments, tell me your setback. We can do this together!!

I’m here for you!

 

Until next time:

Be Healthy,

Be Happy,

Be YOU!!

 

One foot in front of the other- that’s your starting point.
One Size Doesn’t Fit All

One Size Doesn’t Fit All

Not All Sockets (or Prosthetists) Are Made the Same

Randy West, myself, and David Banks

 

I consider myself so fortunate to have been directed to The Limb Center by my doctor, Dr. Judd Cummings, as I was planning for my amputation. And I think I am a good judge of character, so when I went in to meet Randy West and David Banks for the first time, pre-amputation, I knew I was getting the best care out there!

Fitting my running blade and trying it out for the first time

 

When I told Randy I wanted to surf and I brought him some surf leg plans he graciously went to work and built it for me,
just because he knew it was my dream!

 

Cheesy, but priceless, photo op with Randy, the Blue guy and my new surf leg!😎

 

They listened to me. They actually HEARD what I was telling them about my dreams, goals and aspirations….as well as my fears and doubts about going through with this surgery.

Not often, but in my situation, I was able to take my test socket out for a “test drive”

 

…and test drive it I did!! A 5K hike! It ended up being a great fit.

 

I had visited another prosthetist’s office before I knew of The Limb Center, and I had a pretty good experience there, too. I also met an amazing young lady who was an above knee amputee and a fighter, while I was there. However, three major factors first swayed me to Randy and David, before I really knew them. 1) They took my insurance- this is VERY important and the other office did not! 2) My doctor was very familiar with them and worked with them directly and, quite frankly, I trusted my surgeon and his opinion in this matter, and 3) David was an above knee amputee with 20+ years of experience being one. He could see things and understand an amputee better just by living it.

Amazing attention to detail, and always teaching me how to be independent,
by showing me how my prosthetic works and fits.

 

Then once I got to meet them and talk through my decision to amputate, I knew that we had a connection far greater than me being an office visit here and there. I had their cell phone numbers, could call or text whenever there was a problem, and time and again, they showed me that I mattered to them.

This is the type of relationship you should have and that you deserve with your prosthetist.

Randy and David join me in this podcast as we discuss the right “fit” in your relationship with your prosthetist, insurance and getting the right coverage, steps to getting your first socket, and when to turn around and walk out of that office and find the right relationship you need to be a healthy, happy amputee.  It can happen, but you need to push that for yourself and know when to do it.

Knowledge is power, and I want to arm you with as much knowledge as I can so you can feel confident and ready to advocate for yourself in the medical field, in your doctor appointments and when finding and working with your prosthetist. When we have knowledge, confidence, and opportunity we can access limitless possibilities in our lives.

 

 

People don’t realize that who you see for your prosthetics is so very important-it can make or break your desire and ability to really live your life after amputation, and it’s a relationship, like family.  You’ll be working with them for years to come so you’ll want to make sure you trust and enjoy working with them.

As always, if you have comments or questions, for me or our guests, please feel free to reach out to me. I’d be happy to help.

Time to do the research and leg work- no pun intended. Talk to people, find social media groups that work with amputees, reach out to the Amputee Coalition and your doctor to see who they recommend as a prosthetist for you.

Once you have found a couple, make an appointment to go talk with them. Read their body language and how they talk with you. Do they want to hear your history, problems, dreams and aspirations? If not, move on to the next appointment. You deserve better, and it’s out there!

Make sure you address insurance issues and coverage with the prosthetist’s office. This is expensive equipment and will need to be upgraded over time- remember, it isn’t growing back so we need to make sure we have some help in coverage of costs.

If you have a prosthetist that you are unhappy with, and they don’t seem to listen or invest any more than your short office visit then you really need to find the courage and tell them it’s not working. If you are seeing someone who,  when you tell them you’re hurting or something doesn’t feel right, and they tell you that it doesn’t get any better and you need to deal with it…that’s a red flag! Time to research other places and prosthetists and find someone who can help.

This is YOUR life and YOUR body. You need to push for the best care so you can live it to the fullest. Don’t be afraid to stand up for your rights. I’m telling you, there are really good practitioners out there, you just need to look and ask the right questions to find them.

I wish you all well, and please don’t hesitate to reach out to me for help.

 

Until next time:

Be Healthy,

Be Happy,

Be YOU

“We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the game.”

-Randy Pausch