From A K2……To A K4***

Featured

Hello ya’ll. It’s been awhile since my last blog post, I’ve been busy as a pissed off bee. To recap, if you remember, back on April 17th 2019 I had my very first AMP K-Test and I received a score of 28 which was one point shy of being a K-3. A score of 29 was needed to be rated a K-3, which meant I’d get a better quality/better technologically advanced prosthetic.

On September 9th I retook this K-Test and scored a 43, which put me in the K-4 rating by one point. I failed to achieve the maximum score for climbing stairs unassisted (not holding the hand rails) because the stairs were too small to accommodate my size 13 foot AND I still did not have the ability to bend my knee, because my socket was cut to high front and back to allow my knee to bend, allowing me to climb stairs in a normal manner.

Now one would think, using common sense and logic, since the stair depth and my inability to bend my knee would account for some consideration in my score being higher than a 43…..but no. I got a 43 instead of a 45 because my foot is too big for the test stairs and my prosthetic was cut incorrectly and ill fitting. 

This entire K Testing process is set up for the new amputee to fail, so insurance companies can not spend money for the expensive, technologically advanced prosthetic, for a new amputee, LIKE ME.

Below you’ll find an image of my AMP test score and pay close attention to the image that shows the “stair test.”

ktest2This image shows that this is MY AMP test.

ktest1This image shows I received a score of a 1 in both categories of ascending and descending the stairs, and I only received a score of 1 because I could not place my entire foot on the stair….nor could I bend my knee….so holding onto the hand rails was necessary to walk up/down the stairs.

ktest3This image shows I received a score of a 43 out of the total 47 points needed to be a K-4.

In just under 5 months I have moved up two K levels, while it’s not unheard of, for a new amputee, it is uncommon. What this new K-Test score result means for me is I will now get a better prosthetic, with a working foot/ankle and that means I’ll be able to do “normal” stuff. Like ride a bike, walk the way I have walked for the past 59 years. Do the things I know I am capable of doing, which I’ve been told from day one of being an amputee, I COULD NOT DO AT THIS TIME.

My advice to any and all new and old amputees is this…..NEVER ALLOW ANYONE, ESPECIALLY A Prosthetist  WHO IS NOT AN AMPUTEE, TO TELL YOU WHAT WILL WORK FOR YOU. Always go the speed of accomplishment that works for you but NEVER settle for being told it’s TOO SOON for you to progress at the speed YOU feel you can accomplish your progress.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

IT’S NOT A DISABILITY. IT’S AN ABILITY. TREAT IT AS AN ABILITY.

!!!!!!!!!!!!000

Advertisements

The RevoFit™ Adjustable Prosthetic Socket.

Featured

If a socket, which is the most vitally important component of a prosthetic limb for a leg amputee, is NOT comfortable, that amputee will not use it, thus that prosthetic become a waste can, a planter or a conversation starter.

revo7

I’ve been highlighting different prosthetic information here on Ignoring Diabetes from day one, prosthetics are artificial limbs for amputees that enable us to function daily as if we were whole and not amputees. Below is my latest find in the world of prosthetic limb development.

I am hopeful that this system and prosthetic will soon be attached to my limb. The thing about this system is how it fits and the effortless way this RevoFit™ Adjustable Prosthetic Sockets….adjusts. Watch the video and see the magic that is evident when it comes to fit, adjustability and above all else, how easy it is to take off and put on when out in public.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Click Medical introduced the RevoFit adjustable socket in 2015 as a unique solution that allows patients to quickly adjust socket fit rather than rely on adding socks to their socket. The RevoFit adjustable socket is designed to fine-tune compression within the socket by using custom, movable panels targeted to specific areas of the limb.

RevoFit Adjustable Socket Benefits

  • Patient Empowerment: Patients can control the fit of their socket throughout the day as their limb changes thus giving them more control over fit and comfort.
  • Adjust Prosthetic Fit On Demand: The RevoFit adjustable socket technology allows the patient to micro-adjust the volume of the socket with just one hand.
  • Reduce Patient Time: By giving patients a socket where they can control fit based on daily volume changes the amount of post-delivery adjustments can be dramatically reduced.
  • Rapid Donning & Doffing: With the RevoFit system installed, donning and doffing becomes easy. Simply pull the dial with one hand to release.

“We are excited to have Ottobock’s skilled and experienced fabrication team trained and ready to support the fabrication of the growing number of RevoFit micro-adjustable sockets,” said Jimmy Capra, CEO, Click Medical.

About Click Medical: Click Medical develops next-generation medical support and enclosure solutions using patented technology components. These solutions provide medical professionals options using modern technology to create prosthetic, orthotic and orthopedic devices that decrease pain, increase comfort and provide unmatched ease of use for their patients.

About RevoFit: RevoFit, developed by Click Medical, is the world’s leading solution for creating adjustable prosthetic sockets. RevoFit uses a system of adjustable panels and cut outs which are controlled by a single dial to allow the user to make micro adjustments to their prosthesis on demand. RevoFit is used by thousands of amputees and is available in 30+ countries worldwide.

If you’re interested in checking out the RevoFit™ Adjustable Prosthetic Sockets, The contact info is here…..Doug Starkey │Click Medical │ 970-829-1359 │ doug@clickmedical.co

ReVoFit2 Website

As ALWAYS when making life decisions that may, might, could effect/affect your LIFE, do your own research, investigation and homework, NEVER take anyone’s word for ANYthing, especially ME.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Disclaimer: I do NOT work for clickmedical I do NOT receive any compensation nor I am affiliated with this company in any way whatsoever. This blog post is STRICTLY for sharing information I find fascinating and think could, might, maybe helpful to amputees.

seeingdouble3

I Want The Same Prosthetic As A World Class Athlete.

Featured

UPDATE: The following is something I was NOT aware of and just learned today, the 29th of August, a few days after originally posting this blog entry…

Hi Steven,

I would like to offer some information that may help you and your situation.

Most prosthetic feet do not have an “ankle” attachment. This is because of several reasons. To begin with, a separate ankle component would increase weight and build height of the foot, which would limit the people who could use it to people with very short residual limbs. (By the look of your prosthesis, this may not be an issue). The weight difference would be very noticeable however, as it would be at the end of the prosthesis.

Another big issue, is that providing ankle motion would take some of the energy storing properties away from the foot, causing the user to use more energy for each step. There is only one foot that has active plantar flexion (toes pushing down), and it is a microprocessor controlled foot that is quite heavy and expensive. Other than the one, there are no feet that walk like your real foot. The feet that are available on the market are chosen based upon the evaluation, and this evaluation is supposed to take into account your “Expected” activity level after you get the correct prosthesis.

Most of the feet that are available today do have some flexibility, but it is usually at the heel (to absorb impact when walking) and at the forefoot (For energy return) under your body weight. The feet do not flex at the ankle location, instead, they flex under your weight and return to neutral when offloaded (Providing a little push because of the loaded spring). If the foot were to flex at the ankle, it would feel like stepping into a hole each step, because there would be no resistance or lift from the toes. (I have experienced this).

I have not seen any feet that work like your natural feet yet, and have been a prosthetic technician for over 8 years.

As far as having a prosthesis like a world class athlete, do you think you would be physically fit enough to control a prosthesis built for running and Jumping? These are built for specific activities such as sprinting, running, or jumping, and do not have a heel. they are not made or used for everyday activities such as walking or working. There are some options that provide a blend of both that work well, but only if you have really good balance and stability.

Another consideration is that Insurance companies do not pay for these high activity K-4 prosthetics. These are paid for by the patient or a sponsor for the event they are entering with the specialized prosthesis. I personally believe this is unfair, but have no control over this.

One of the things I learned quickly, was that most of the people you see on TV or in advertisements are not the average patients. These people were chosen because they are exceptional for one reason or another.

The average prosthetic foot is engineered to provide a lifelike feel during normal gait (Walking). The foot does not flex as much as your natural foot so that you have the feeling of Toe Off, instead of like you have stepped into a hole. The motion is inside the footshell, and that is why you don’t notice it. If you can make the foot flex by hand when you are not wearing it, it is not the correct weight and activity category for your body weight. It should take effort while pushing into the toe with the heel off the ground, and return to neutral before removing all of your weight. this is the energy storing feature of the foot.

I know I have written a lot here, and hope this helps you to understand how these feet are supposed to work. If you have any questions, please reach out to me! I have been an amputee since August of 2002, and have worked in the prosthetic field since 2005. I have tried almost every style of foot that is out there, and can provide feedback on each one if you like.

ktesting

Now on to my original blog post……..

I am once again pissed about my prosthetic. WHY?? Because I continue to see things on instagram, Facebook and other places that cater to us amputees, shouting the progress and accomplishments of other amputees who happen to be doing things I want to do, but I am limited by what I can do right now because I’m NOT a world class runner, soccer player, wind surfer, rock climber (Wall or Real Rock), ballet dancer or actor.

My goals since becoming an amputee are just as important to me as the amputees listed above, if not more so. I don’t get to progress as those amputees listed above because I am not the athlete they are….BUT MY GOALS FOR LIVING ARE JUST AS VITALLY IMPORTANT TO ME.

I’m stuck with this foot, with no ankle joint or flexible foot because I was tested on this antiquated Amputee mobility predictor (AMP) or K test. I was K tested using my hospital issued walker 3 months after my amputation surgery and returning home. NOT USING A PROSTHETIC, BUT INSTEAD, USING A WALKER, ON ONE LEG.

Now using common sense and logic, how do you test me for a prosthetic using a walker and NOT USING A PROSTHETIC? Thats like giving me a drivers test for a automobile using a surf board to administer the automobile driving test.

THIS is my current foot…..

NO ankle joint, just a block of wood. I was not born with this block of wood in place of a working ankle. I didn’t learn to walk 59 years ago on a block of wood.

What about us normal everyday amputees who’d like to do things like walk with an ankle, ride a bike, rock wall climb or walk with no noticeable limp or hitch down the aisle for our upcoming wedding? I can’t even get a foot with a articulating ankle joint to mirror a real foot/ankle combination because I’ve been an amputee for 7 months…..BUT I’M NO WORLD CLASS ATHLETE. Just a Man wanting to walk “Normal.”

I need to be able to walk with the working limbs I were born with, and that includes a working ankle. Do NOT tell me I can’t use or be comfortable with a working foot/ankle joint when you do NOT know what I’m capable of doing.

I will close this blog post by saying this, I have progressed faster than the average bear….my timeline attest to this fact….

Time Line
January 31st, 2019…….Amputation.
February 4th, 2019………Discharged Home.
February 14th, 2019…..First Shrinker.
February 19th, 2019….Surgery Follow Up.
April 17th, 2019……AMP Testing.
April 17th, 2019 ……..1st Prosthetic Casting.
May 2nd, 2019…..1st Prosthetic Fitting.
May 16th, 2019…..Home With Prosthetic.
May 16th, 2019……Using Crutches To Walk.
May 17th, 2019……Using Walker To Walk.
May 19th, 2019…..Using Cane To Walk.
May 21st, 2019……Walking On My Own.
May 30th, 2019….Prosthetic Adjustment.
June 19th, 2019…..Prosthetic Adjustment.
June 20th, 2019…..New Prosthetic Specialists.
June 27th, 2019…..Doctor Writes NEW Prosthesis Order.
July 3rd, 2019…..Casting For New 2nd Socket (Hanger)
July 15th, 2019….1st fitting for new socket (Hanger)
July 19th, 2019….picked up new 2nd socket (Hanger)

The error in the system for getting a new foot is this…INSURANCE WILL ONLY PAY FOR A NEW FOOT EACH YEAR, MAYBE EACH 3 YEARS, DEPENDING ON THE REASON WHY YOU WANT A NEW FOOT. 

To be clear, I am ready for a foot that comes with an ankle, with a foot that moves like a real, human foot/ankle moves. I’m being made to wait anywhere from a year to 3 years for the ability to walk normal again…..BASED ON A TEST GIVEN ME 3 MONTHS AFTER THE REMOVAL OF MY LEG BELOW THE KNEE….USING A WALKING DEVICE THAT WAS NOT A PROSTHETIC….TO TEST MY ABILITY FOR USING A PROSTHETIC. 

Progress. Ability. Agility. Mobility. A Normal Life. These things are NOT the concern of a prosthetists, a prosthetic company or the insurance companies. 

Unless you are a world class athlete, a famous celebrity or can afford the prosthetists out of pocket.

Tell me, does this seem fair, right or the way it should be….to you.

Except for the grace of god, I COULD BE YOU.

seeingdouble3

OUR New Normal…..

Featured

lower-limb-prosthetics-for-amputees

You just got home from amputation surgery……. I am so thrilled you are doing so well and YES….taking your time to heal at your rate of healing is extremely important. NO two humans will ever heal exactly the same, so how you heal and how quickly you start doing “NORMAL” things the NORMAL way is all up to you. Take it as slow or as fast as what makes you comfortable.

Crying is how we deal with stress, and believe me, an amputation is all about stress. NOT everyone cries but if you do, ain’t nothing wrong with crying. Survivors deal with stress in positive ways. Cry as much as you need, and have your husband/wife/spouse/friend/family member….. just hold you when you need/want to cry. Human touch from a loved one is still the best medicine and healing power.

Going out into the world is the second best thing to do, for your sanity as well as to get accustomed to the public. I was a homebody but now I am out in the world daily, if for no other reason than to get fresh air. Before my amputation I had an infected foot, thigh and my limb was swollen to the size of a small tree trunk….I was bed ridden from August until my surgery in January. I didn’t go outside at all, couldn’t walk on that leg. Being able to get out now is a slice of heaven and…… normal.

cropped-seeingdouble2.jpg

Lastly let me leave you with this….. NORMAL for us amputees has changed from before we had our amputated body part. Normal is now what we make normal. Remember, no matter how hard we try or wish or desire, our lives are going to be different. The NEW Normal is what works for us, not what works for “Normal” society. Embrace your new life, get yourself in the mind frame that how you NOW do things, from activities of daily living to shopping for groceries…..is now the new normal.

We all desire to do things the way we did them before our amputations…..that will get back to us in time, but we are different people now. If we never reach our full potential of doing things the way we did them before amputation….SO WHAT?!! The NEW NORMAL is what we should strive to achieve….the NEW NORMAL is what works for each of us NOW.Everything from getting dressed to making love, will all be just a bit different….or it might be A LOT different.

A little different or a LOT different, depends on US,…YOU….ME. No matter which one it is, IT’S OUR NEW NORMAL.

seeingdouble3

Prosthetic Care Facility of Virginia: “Destination Prosthetics.”

Featured

Destination-Prosthetics-Web-Header

If there is such a thing as Amputee Heaven…..Prosthetic Care Facility of Virginia and their amputee program, “Destination Prosthetics”, sounds like AMPUTEE HEAVEN.

Has anyone heard of a program called “Destination Prosthetics” from a company called Prosthetic Care Facility of Virginia? I read about this program and this company a few nights ago and I am thinking of visiting them and enrolling in this prosthetic program. I’d like any 411 you might have on this program and this company. Thank you in advance.

Some information provided by the company on the program…..

What Is Destination Prosthetics?
Destination Prosthetics is a special program designed for amputees like you who want to achieve mobility, but are unable to receive the rehabilitation care needed in your own community or from your own prosthetist.

At Destination Prosthetics in the Prosthetic Care Facility of Virginia, you will receive intensive one-on-one treatment with no interruptions. When you come to us for assistance, we will review your limb-loss history, fit you with the correct socket and
components, analyze your ability to walk in our Gait Training Lab, and educate you in the care and use of the components.

We also offer adjustments as needed.
To be considered for Destination Prosthetics,
you must live more than 100 miles from
Leesburg, Va.

With a call to (703) 723-2803 or email to
mehattingh@nwlink.com, you can find
out if you qualify for this unique program
and assistance with travel expenses.

Who We Are
Prosthetic Care Facility of Virginia has received accreditation from the American Board for Certification in Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics, Inc. (ABC), an independent, not-for-profit organization.

ABC accreditation for both practitioners and facilities is the most highly regarded achievement and represents attaining the most stringent level of standards in the field of orthotics and prosthetics. ABC’s evaluation of the Prosthetic Care Facility of Virginia included a thorough review of the physical facility and the quality of patient care.

ABC interviewed both staff and patients and conducted a review of organizational documents, including records of patient care.

“Prosthetics is not meant to be inhibitive or painful.”

How Do I Qualify for Destination Prosthetics?
Once you contact us, you will do a phone consultation with John Hattingh, CP, LPO, CPO(SA).

He will ask you for all your health and amputation information and after review, he will establish a course of treatment for you. At this point, you will be contacted by Michele Hattingh, Administrator, for all the necessary documentation needed for us to begin treatment.

This includes:
• Complete patient registration form
• Copies of all insurance cards
• Physician’s prescription

Michele will work with your insurance provider to establish what your benefits are and if you require pre-authorization. She will also check for your Out-of-State and Out-of-Network insurance benefits. This may also require a copy of your physician’s notes and/or a letter of medical necessity. We will work with you and/or the physician’s office for these.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Our Specialties

• Trans-femoral socket design
• Silicone suspension systems
• Paralympic athletes’ prosthetic design
• TMR (Targeted Muscle Re innervation) Bikini Socket for Hip Disarticulation

Destination Prosthetics

A Journey to Get You Back to Mobility at the Prosthetic Care Facility of Virginia.

At the Prosthetic Care Facility of Virginia, we offer a special program to those who want to achieve mobility, but are unable to receive the rehabilitation care they need in their own community or from their own prosthetist.

Destination Prosthetics is a means for them to receive intensive one-on-one treatment with no interruptions. When a patient comes to us for assistance, we will review their limb loss history, fit them with the correct socket and components, analyze their ability to walk in our Gait Training Lab, and educate them in the care and use of the components. We also offer adjustments as needed.

To be considered for Destination Prosthetics, a patient must live more than 100 miles from Leesburg. We will help with checking out-of-state and out-of-network insurance.

Travel and Accommodations

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

When all the necessary paperwork is in place and your physician and insurance is on board – Michele will arrange your flights and your accommodation.

Your flight is covered 100% travelling from your closest airport to Dulles (IAD) or Washington (DCA), travelling in economy. If you are unable to travel safely on your own for medical reasons, we will consider paying for one companion.

Any additional family members or companions must travel at their own expense. Your accommodation is covered 100%.
Plus, we will provide you a per diem for meals. Any other incidental charges are your responsibility.
If you are travelling with a companion at the expense of Prosthetic Care Facility, we expect that the companion shares your
room.

No Prosthetic Issue Cannot Be Solved

John Hattingh CP, LPO, CPO(SA) is an educator and leader in prosthetics. His attitude towards his patient is “No prosthetic issue cannot be solved.”

As the clinician of Prosthetic Care Facility, John Hattingh utilizes his engineering background and years of prosthetic experience to take his patients to the highest level of function and mobility possible. He is always looking for the best methods and technology to help his patients.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


John Hattingh is certified in microprocessor knees, bionic feet, and myoelectrics for upper extremity amputees. Specialties include transfemoral socket design, silicone suspension systems, Paralympic athletes’ prosthetic design, Targeted Muscle Reinnervation (TMR), hip disarticulation and rotationplasty.
His high success rate in helping his patients achieve mobility and function is attributed to the fact that he harnesses his experience and knowledge with his patients’ motivation to be pain free.

Industry leader John Hattingh brings more than three decades of patient care to his practice. He previously managed his company Northwest Prosthetic and Orthotic Clinic in Seattle, Washington for 20 years before taking a sabbatical in his native South Africa, and then relocating to Virginia.
A member of the National Rehabilitation Association and American Orthotic & Prosthetic Association, John Hattingh is accredited by the American Board for Certification in Orthotics, Prosthetics and
Pedorthics, Inc.

To learn more about this program and this company, visit their website at

https://www.prostheticcarefacility.com/

seeingdouble3

Why Don’t/Won’t THEY Listen To Me?

Featured

I have been writing, the past few months, about my experience with ignoring my diabetes and how ignoring my diabetes diagnoses caused me to have my right leg amputated below the knee. During the past few weeks that I’ve been writing this account of my hard headed dumbfuckery, which was ignoring the management of this disease, I have often talked about the issues I have with the prosthetic system. 

To recap: I started off with a prosthetic company that would not listen to me when I told them I needed a smaller socket……because the socket I had at that time was too big. The socket is the black carbon fiber bucket looking thing shown below….

03

This socket was huge by the time I had been wearing it for 6 weeks. The fit has to be correct or wearing an ill fitting socket will cause skin issues such as blisters, sores or skin irritation to the limb. I visited my former prosthetists twice to complain the socket was too big/ill fitting and requested a new socket.

He didn’t listen or pay attention.
I immediately found a new prosthetic company and a new prosthetists. Below is the newest socket and it also happens to be a new system, a suction system. The old system was a “pin” system.

This is the new socket…….

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

You can see the size difference between the two sockets and if you can see that difference, you may wonder why the old prosthetic professional couldn’t see that difference….and make me a new socket that fit properly.

There is a lot of misinformation in this medical profession of prosthetic legs. I am not that familiar with the issues concerning other limbs or fingers but I’m guessing there are some issues with those amputations as well. It seems people who are responsible for the prosthetics used to assist us amputees in walking have a hard time listening to us who are doing the walking using their prosthetics.

IF you do not use a prosthetic daily, but are responsible for making and showing us how to use a prosthetic for the first time, might I suggest when a new amputee comes to you with ideas on how to make THEIR prosthetic work better FOR THEM,….YOU LISTEN.

I happen to be the one using the prosthetic, everyday, so when I tell you something is uncomfortable and then tell you exactly HOW to fix that problem for me, so MY prosthetic fits MY limb better…..LISTEN.

YES, I comprehend you’re the professional whose been doing this prosthetic thing far longer than I’ve been an amputee……but here’s where the rubber meets the road…….. I AM USING THE VERY PROSTHETIC YOU ARE NOT USING, HAVE NEVER WORN, DO NOT KNOW FIRST HAND HOW IT FEELS OR WORKS FOR MY LIMB.

Every amputee is different. We heal different. We progress different. We need different things done to get us where we need to be in order to live a somewhat normal life, which includes walking. The endgame, the goal is to walk. As normally as possible, using the BEST prosthetic system that gets us mobile. Mobility is the reason any amputee uses a prosthetic.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This foot you see above, WITHOUT AN ANKLE, is NOT how we were born nor was it how we learned to walk. DO NOT tell me I can not start out with an ankle joint on my prosthetic foot because I wouldn’t know how to control an ankle socket/joint….when I was born with an ankle socket/joint and learned to take my first steps, 59 years ago, using that ankle socket/joint.

That insults my intelligence and my ability to get back to being normal by walking normally.

If I tell you MY prosthetic needs to be adjusted or modified to fit my limb or enhance my walking and mobility needs, PAY ATTENTION, THEN DO WHAT I ASK/SUGGEST.

Thats all for now…..we’ll see how this amputation thing goes……

Just in case I’ve not made myself clear in past post….DO NOT IGNORE YOUR DIABETES……OR YOU WILL END UP EXACTLY LIKE ME.

diabetesstrong

 

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!000IGNORING DIABETES

My “NEW” System (LEG)

Featured

On Friday, the 19th of July, I received my second socket, which is attached to my lower prosthesis….and it fits beautifully. It’s a new system, this new socket works on the suction vacuum principal….the other system I had, to start my life as an amputee, was the “pin” system.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!new socket

A new amputee will have his/her amputated limb reduce in size a great deal in the first year. The surgery swelling and the loss of fluid in the limb will steadily get less and less as time goes by, due to healing, tissue reduction and fluid loss. It’s common for a new amputee to need up to four new sockets in a year. 

I had to change prosthetic companies because my first prosthetic company was not willing to change my socket as needed. I wore a socket that was waaaaaaay too big for my limb, FOR AT LEAST 1 MONTH. Thats unacceptable.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Let me be clear about this entire prosthetic “game.” And believe what I tell you, it’s a game. Insurance companies won’t allow amputees to receive the very best prosthetic available, insurance companies want us amputees to start out with the lowest quality prosthetic and prove over time we deserve the very best prosthetic system. What that means is we take a test, called the AMP test, which is designed to see what “level” prosthetic we deserve based on our AMP test score, the levels are K1, K2, K3, K4. K1 is basic no frills standard type block of wood foot connected to a rod then a socket.

The higher K score you get on the AMP test, the better prosthetic you will get. Athletes who get amputations get K$ prosthetics. Average humans like me, who score at a K2 level get garbage. I scored ONE point below the 27 score needed to be a level K3. I got a prosthetic with a block of wood in place of a working ankle socket/joint.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

As you can see in the slideshow above, there is NO ankle joint or socket between the foot and rod, making it damn near impossible to walk “normal.” For 50 years I’ve walked using a foot, ankle and leg/thigh. Insurance companies and prosthetic companies tell me I am not “ready” to walk with a prosthetic complete with an ankle that works like a real ankle.

This is coming from people who do NOT have a prosthetic nor do these people know what the hell I am capable of doing nor do they know what I CAN do. I am told I jave to learn to walk without an ankle first, then once I accomplish that, I can get a prosthetic, maybe, with a working ankle and start to learn how to walk with that ankle…..

Who does that bull shit logic make sense to?

Below is the time line for my progress……

timeline1

This timeline is proof that I am not following the normal schedule insurance companies have set up for amputees. I am sick and tired of being told what I can and cannot do based on what other amputees can or can not do.

As Yogi bear would tell boo boo…..”I’m not like the other bears.”

Telling me I won’t be able to walk, control or use a foot equipped with a walking working ankle, this soon, is just bull shit.

I am pleased with my new prosthetic company, Hanger….

hanger2

My final thoughts on this prosthetic mess is this……
I should be allowed to get whatever prosthetic system that works best for my life, lifestyle and peace of mind. Losing a limb or fingers is a traumatic experience in itself so making new amputees jump thru hoops to get the best prosthetic system available, which just might make learning to walk again easy, is wrong.

Here’s my common sense solution. If a new or recent or old time amputee wishes to start out with the very best prosthetic made, let them. If after a trail period of 6 weeks, that amputee can not master the top rated prosthetic with PT/OT help and a damn good prosthetists……then drop them to the level they are comfortable with.

This AMP testing is a joke and here’s why….. I was not tested to decide which type of prosthetic I should start with……USING A PROSTHETIC, BUT USING A WALKER. Thats as asinine as giving a new driver a driving test for an automobile using a motorcycle. Think about that for a second.

Here ends my rant.

This guy who you see here, below…..is the absolute BEST prosthetist ever.

Tim Zwanziger, CP

Certified Prosthetist

 

Tim Zwanziger, CP

HANGER CLINIC: PROSTHETICS & ORTHOTICS – FIFTH AVENUE, CEDAR RAPIDS, IOWA

866 5th Avenue, South EastCedar Rapids , IA 52403

Phone: (319) 364-2767
Fax: (319) 364-1031
Hours:Monday – Friday, 8 A.M. – 5 P.M.Clinic Info:24/7 on-call emergency support
Free Parking
Most insurance companies accepted
ABC accredited

 

Slow Down. You’re TOOO Fast.

Featured

Prosthetic companies need an amputee on staff. This has become more evident to me at each visit I have with prosthetic experts who are responsible for the development of my progress toward walking “normal.” I am puzzled how an expert or “specialists” can actually be an expert or specialists…….on what I need as an amputee……when that expert specialists HAS NEVER BEEN AN AMPUTEE.

Something that makes Me go Ummmmmmmm.

Way back on February 4th, when I cane home from the hospital after having my right leg amputated below the knee, my limb was huge from the surgery and from swelling.

4

The swelling decreases over a matter of weeks, as the fluid in the limb goes back to normal and distributes to the other body parts as needed. This is why it takes weeks before a new amputee can be fitted for a new prosthesis. The wound has to heal properly and the sutures must seal the wound before a prosthetic cast can be made of the limb.

Soon after the healing process has reached a point determined by the specialists, you get your limb cast for your new socket…..

0000000progress.jpg

It IS a process and this process I fully understand. Whats troubling to me is the process has been developed by people who have never walked with a prosthetic. It’s exactly like asking a carpenter who works only with wood, to build a cast iron shelf….or a better analogy would be….asking an aerospace engineer who has never flown an airplane or spent one minute flying in an airplane, to design a better version of the Airbus A380-800.

People who have never worn a prosthetic can not know exactly the needs and everyday concerns of those who wear a prosthetic as a way of being mobile every single minute they are up and moving.

This is my brand new prosthetic, it’s almost 2 months old…..

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

There are two very important issues I have with this current prosthetic….. ONE is it’s not equipped with an ankle joint/socket, so walking like “Normal” as one does who has a working ankle, is impossible. TWO is the socket, which is this carbon fiber part of the prosthetic….. thats the black part that resembles a bucket….

02

…….Is toooo big for my limb. I have progressed far too fast by “normal” standards and need a new, smaller socket to walk comfortably and normally. That means my limb has shrunk faster than expected and I have created a problem for the prosthetic company and the insurance company that is paying for this prosthesis. My quick advancement from this first prosthesis to the next level socket that fits a smaller limb …..is too fast and that means the prosthetic company needs to make me a new socket that fits…..and charge the insurance company…..AGAIN.

Below you’ll see MY timeline for MY recovery……which is different than what the prosthetic company OR the insurance company is accustomed to seeing from patients.

timelineimage

HOW DARE ME heal so quickly, get my amputated limb down to a normal size this fast, start walking on my own and needing an ankle joint like normal people, this gosh darn soon? 

What the hell is my problem, why the rush, I’ve only had this first prosthetic since May 16th, 2019….a mere 39 DAYS. HOW CAN I EXPECT THE INSURANCE COMPANY TO GET ALL EXCITED ABOUT MY SUPER SPEEDY RECOVERY, WHEN THE INSURANCE COMPANY HAS TO PAY FOR THIS STUFF?

I am NOT supposed to be out and about this soon…..

20190601_112948

As you can imagine, I am getting a new, better, prosthetic company with a prosthetic specialists who is indeed, special. Instead of using the pin system I currently have, to connect the prosthetic to my limb …….

00000003

I’ll be using a more stable connection method…..vacuum/suction. A sleeve will create a suction vacuum to keep me seated/connected to the prosthetic socket. The video I am showing you below is what I need…….this 59 year old man is who I desire to be in a few months.

I could go on and on and on about all thats wrong with this prosthetic game. There really needs to be a human being who uses a prosthetic on a daily basis so that human being would know first hand what an amputee needs.

I started a GoFundMe account to get the funding needed for this new vacuum suction socket. If you are able and feel the desire to help me get the prosthetic I need, please feel free to make a donation at GoFundMe.

Have a very happy week folks,……see you next time.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

The Prosthetic Game

Featured

I discovered years ago that having an extremely high IQ, and also having common sense and a gift/curse to identify bullshit immediately…….are not the best qualities to possess in this world. 

I started this blog, after a years absence from bloggin, to educate the people who might be experiencing diabetes issues….like me….because they chose to ignore their diabetes diagnosis…….like I did. Now it’s turning into an anti insurance, anti dumbass prosthetic company rant fest.

AND I hate that.

clark1

Clark & Associates happens to be the company I chose to get my prosthetic limb through and I am afraid that decision might have been a mistake. Now don’t get me twisted, the employees are nice enough and are somewhat competent at what they do……but lets face it, it’s damn near impossible to be knowledgeable about a “thing” without experiencing that “thing” first hand.

If you’re not a cancer patient, it’s very difficult for you to know what a cancer patient is going through and whats best for that cancer patient, because each cancer patient is different. And each cancer patient must be treated as a person unlike the last cancer patient you may have dealt with in your job of dealing with cancer patients.

Case in point…….

IMG_20190601_132335_460

This is my current leg and it has no flexible ankle joint….which makes walking the way I’ve been walking for the past 59 years, IMPOSSIBLE. Clark and Associates tells me the process for learning to walk with a prosthetic limb is as follows….. You get the most basic prosthetic limb, which has no ankle joint, and you get used to walking on that first. Once you learn to walk without a flexible ankle (an ankle that rotates, bends and flexes like a NORMAL ANKLE WOULD/SHOULD) then you move on to a prosthetic limb with a somewhat flexible ankle joint.

This somewhat flexible ankle joint is better than what I currently have right this second, but still not the normal ankle joint we all were born having attached to our foot. After I am proficient at walking on a somewhat flexible ankle joint, then I am blessed with a normal flexible ankle joint,…..WHICH I SHOULD HAVE FROM DAY ONE. 

newfuckinleg

My prosthetic, pictured above, has NO movable/flexible ankle joint, which makes walking up/down stairs near impossible for a first time amputee. Telling me I must first learn to walk with no ankle, before I can get an ankle to walk on, which is the normal way we walk as humans, is asinine as well as just plain stupid. Why learn a task, like walking with a prosthetic limb, three times when you can learn this task once, from the start.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

THIS is what every amputee should have from day one, so the process of walking is made as easy and comfortable as humanly possible.

NOT this garbage………

_76258353_163728906

…….which has NO ANKLE JOINT WHATSOEVER….making the task of walking “normal” impossible.

I am a very advanced patient, and here’s what I mean by this statement. I had my right leg amputated on January 31st of 2019. Went home on February 4th, 2019. Received my first shrinker, to help with swelling in the amputated limb on February 14th. Received the final shrinker, before being fitted for my first prosthetic on March 14th. Took my AMP test, which told the insurance company which type of prosthetic they would be paying for on April 4th. On April 4th I was also fitted for my prosthetic limb and seen by an orthopedic specialist who wrote the order for the prosthetic limb.

Came home with the prosthetic limb for the first time on May 16th, using crutches to walk. On May 18th I switched from crutches to a walker. On May 19th I started walking with a cane to assist my mobility. On May 23rd I started walking with no assistance from any mobility device.

20190601_112948

On June 1st, I went out to the grocery store with Grace my fiance, walking on my own, with no mobility device whatsoever. I came home with my prosthetic for the first time on May 16th…and by June 1st I was out and about running errands walking on this new prosthetic with no cane, walker or crutches.

aaaaaaaaaaa

Clark & Associate tells me I am not ready for a real prosthetic with a real ankle joint that flexes and rotates because I have to “get used to” walking on a foot with NO ankle joint FIRST. In other words…..I have to learn to walk abnormally on my prosthetic limb before I can learn to walk normally…..on my prosthetic limb.

clarks7

As you can see from the image above, Clark & Associates offers a plethora of prosthetic limbs but the culprit here happens to be the insurance asswipes, who decide the process of who gets a prosthetic limb, how they get said prosthetic limb and more importantly…..if they qualify for the best possible prosthetic limb or the bare bones NO ANKLE prosthetic limb……which is ME.

So I’ll be jumping through prosthetic hoops and just chillin…..until I am qualified to walk normal…with an ankle that works, like normal…..like I had for the past 59 years…… ALL BECAUSE I CHOSE TO IGNORE MY DIABETES DIAGNOSIS AND BE A HARDHEADED DICKHEAD.

newfuckinleg

angryblackmanspeaksdiabetesbanner1

What’s With ALL The AD’s On MY E-mail?

Featured

Every fuckin time I open my e-mail app……… I GET HUNDREDS OF ADS FROM PLACES I HAVE VISITED……..AND SOME PLACES I HAVE NEVER VISITED.

ads2ads1

Someone please explain to me why email applications can now bombard me, and you, with advertisements? Is this invasion and intrusion into MY private email something the federal government has agreed to, slapping us upside our heads every time we read our emails?

Let me be perfectly clear……. THIS IS NOTHING MORE THAN SPAM. 

spam1

I hate advertisements. PERIOD.  Even all those superbowl ads fans go nuts over…….I HATE EM ALL. I tune in to watch a football game, not some dumbass company attempting to sell me beer, a car, some other bullshit I never knew I needed. So now I am pissed that my email accounts are advertisement goldmines for retailers of every type.

spam_warn

Besides the obvious “big brother” thoughts, I have serious concerns over what types of ads are selected for MY email sidebar. I don’t shop at Kingsize nor do I use Centurylink communications….so why these ads, who decides what ads I am forced to see?

Ok, I’m done.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!bestmanpaintlive1b8pafilcuaa8odp

angryblackmanspeaks

diabetesbanner1

I Got A New Leg

Featured

So on Thursday the 16th of May, thats yesterday for those who are brain dead, I received my brand new carbon and titanium prosthetic leg. The entire process for a new limb is daunting to say the least, and at best, going through the fittings process for the man made limb can be stupid to those who use common sense on a daily basis.

I have the new limb and I am learning to walk all over once again.

newfuckinleg

It took me almost 4 months to reach this point of losing my leg and getting this replacement. I’ve been battling this outcome of losing my right leg since August 15th of 2018 all because I was hardheaded, stubborn and stupid in my decision to “Ignore Diabetes.” Now had I been intelligent, which my IQ test convinced me I was, I would researched diabetes and followed conventional wisdom and sensible choices to slow down the deterioration of my leg.

I did not do that.

oldnew

This is me now, for the rest of my life. I am currently learning to walk again. Teaching my left leg to walk normal because since January 31st of this year, my left lag has not been walking normally but instead hoping, as I learned to use a walker to move from room to room.

I am currently teaching my left thigh to assist my prosthetic in responding to my mind sending signals to my thigh, to make my prosthetic move like my left leg. Thats hard work. The mind and a normal leg communicate in unison to one another, without there being a nano second between the mind signal and the legs reaction.

The prosthetic does not recognize any signals from my brain. So there is a time lapse between what I want my prosthetic to do and when it actually does what I want the prosthetic to do…and when my thigh makes the connection between both actions. In other words, the instantaneous connection between mind and limb, is gone. Forever.

So I’ll be learning to walk as if I was a 8 month old baby, I’ve reverted to being a toddler. All because I ignored diabetes. 

The good news is I met a wonderful human being and SHE has decided she loves me. This magnificent lady has stood by me from start to now as I travel this road of being an amputee.

Allow me to introduce  you all to Grace…..

mybaby1

This woman is why I am alive. She is why I survived the amputation. Grace is actually what keeps me going. I plan to walk down an aisle somewhere in some island one day when I learn to walk again, to tell her I Do.

Anyway…..I now have a new leg. I now no longer ignore diabetes. Too little too late to be honest. So I close this blog post with my usual warning: Do NOT be stupid like I was. Do NOT Ignore Your Diabetes. Research the disease. Investigate the disease. Learn about diabetes. Do whatever is necessary to never end up like me……

Like THIS…..

newfuckinleg

Ignoring Your Diabetes…… DON’T IGNORE DIABETES.

a-doctor-writing-the-word-diabetes

diabetesbanner1

Being Hardheaded With Diabetes

Featured

I’ve never been a fan of the medical profession. I don’t trust many humans and doctors are very high on my list of those who lack my trust. Most doctors these days have a mindset ruled by two things…… bottom line profits for themselves and profits for the big pharmaceutical companies who pay these doctors to push their pills, medication and drugs.

180309151401-prescription-opioid-payments-illustration-full-169

Since my diabetes diagnosis in 2008 I have learned that the average doctor has no interest whatsoever in curing disease. Lets be real and honest, if a doctor cures a disease or ailment then he loses a customer. The medical profession lives on repeat customers.

How-Much-Do-Physicians-Earn-Overall.-1049x879

No money can be made if doctors and medical professionals cure what ailed us to begin our visits to doctors offices. The goal of MOST doctors is not to heal, but to make whatever “condition” we have something we can live with AND keep us returning, for that every 3 month office visit.

doctorvisit

I said all this to kinda explain what my mindset is/was about the thought process that led me to ignore my diabetes. I do not preach to people about anything but…..if you have a diabetes diagnosis and do nothing to manage your diabetes, you are headed to the exact same place I am in right this second…..

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Now the good news in all this for me is I am recovering in spectacular fashion. It has been just 85 days, from the amputation surgery on January 31st, 2019, until May 2nd, 2019, when I visit my prosthetic designer. I will get my first look at and wear for the first time, my new prosthetic limb. 

I still do not trust the motives of all doctors. I have horror stories to tell that would curl your toes in disbelief. All in all I am coming through this experience in great shape.

All this for me could have been avoided had I taken my diabetes diagnosis seriously, NOT been my usual hardheaded self. I DID NOT LISTEN to doctors and paid no mind to the warnings I received. 

The bright side to the past 9 months is I met a wonderful woman, who decided to love me, hard head and all, and stick by my side through every nanosecond of this ordeal.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

In upcoming blog post I will detail my journey and the unnecessary things I had to endure at the hands of incompetent doctors, unprofessional medical staff, and insurance companies that should be behind bars for the way they treat customers. I will relate my experiences to you in hope that my experiences will help you navigate the waters of what happens if, when, you decide to ignore YOUR diabetes, and end up like me.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Ignoring Diabetes Gets Me A New Leg.

Featured

I was supposed to write this blog from the start of my journey when I started “Ignoring My Diabetes”, but as per my usual with things I’m supposed to do, I’ve changed how I am going to do this. Instead of any clear format I am writing blog post as they come to me in no particular order whatsoever.

Makes it all the more interesting.

3

Yesterday I was fitted for my first prosthetic leg by a prosthetic company. Now one would think getting a limb to replace the limb amputated would be a simple process. Fit the stump, order the prosthetic, make sure it fits properly then start physical therapy to train the mind and body to accept and use the new limb. NO.

I had to take an AMP Test. In order not to confuse you with the information contained in today’s installment about Ignoring Diabetes and what happens when you Ignore Diabetes, read along with the following information on what an AMP Test actually is and why it’s needed before a prosthesis can be given.

Screenshot (6)

1

Few things are as frustrating as having an insurance company refuse to cover equipment or services you know your patient needs. This is especially true for prosthetic devices, because they have such a huge impact on mobility and quality of life. One of the best things you can do to help your patients is to clearly document their current and potential functional status. And if they need a lower limb prosthetic, the best way to do that is by communicating their K level.

Medicare established K levels, also called Medicare Functional Classification Levels (MFCL), in 1995 as a means to quantify need and the potential benefit of prosthetic devices for patients after lower limb amputation. The rating system is still used today by Medicare, Medicaid and many other insurance companies to determine eligibility for payment or reimbursement.

As mobility specialists, you (PTs) are often the most qualified member of the rehab team to establish a patient’s K level. For you this means two things: 1) You need to document your patient’s K level and 2) You need to pass that information along to their referring physician and their prosthesis. Below are Medicare’s descriptions of the five (0-4) K Levels:


K Levels

Level 0

Does not have the ability or potential to ambulate or transfer safely with or without assistance and a prosthesis does not enhance their quality of life or mobility.

Level 1

Has the ability or potential to use a prosthesis for transfers or ambulation on level surfaces at fixed cadence. Typical of the limited and unlimited household ambulator.

Level 2

Has the ability or potential for ambulation with the ability to traverse low level environmental barriers such as curbs, stairs or uneven surfaces. Typical of the limited community ambulator.

Level 3

Has the ability or potential for ambulation with variable cadence. Typical of the community ambulator who has the ability to traverse most environmental barriers and may have vocational, therapeutic, or exercise activity that demands prosthetic utilization beyond simple locomotion.

Level 4

Has the ability or potential for prosthetic ambulation that exceeds basic ambulation skills, exhibiting high impact, stress, or energy levels. Typical of the prosthetic demands of the child, active adult, or athlete.


According to the American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists, no one method is considered the gold standard for establishing K-Levels. The rating is left up to the clinician doing the assessment, and unfortunately, many consider it over-simplified and too subjective.

According to a 2016 survey of prosthetists, published in the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 67% of respondents didn’t think the K level could accurately capture a patient’s rehab potential. For this reason, many clinicians turn to more established clinical outcome measures (OMs).

Outcome measures commonly used to establish K levels include the following:

  • Amputee Mobility Predictor (AMP)
  • Patient Assessment Validation Evaluation Test (PAVET)
  • Prosthesis Evaluation Questionnaire (PEQ)
  • Timed Up and Go (TUG)
  • Timed Walk Tests
  • Distance Walk Tests

The Amputee Mobility Predictor (AMP) is the most frequently used outcome measure by far (by a factor of 2, according to the survey just mentioned). The AMP can be administered in as little as fifteen minutes on patients with (AMPPro) or without a prosthesis (AMPnoPro). A simple conversion table (DOCX) allows for a quick K level determination. The AMP’s use for assessing functional status of lower limb amputees was validated by researchers at the University of Miami School of Medicine in 2002, and you can find a copy of the test and its instructions in their paper here.

Whichever method you choose to determine K level, it is important that you take the initiative to communicate your assessment to both your patient’s doctor and their prosthetist. This will help increase the odds this information will be used to justify medical necessity. You can learn more about how to do this in this detailed guide created by the American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists.

You also want to make sure you educate your patients. The Amputee Coalition, a non-profit “dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for amputees and their families,” emphasizes the importance of patients knowing their K level. They offer a patient-friendly handout, Do you know Your K-Level?, as a free download.

Ottobock also offers a free download, Documentation Tips: Justifying Functional Level, to help ensure your patients get the devices they need.

My AMP test score was a 27, which falls, BY ONE POINT, short of K3. I am classified as a K2. The real purpose of this K rating system is to determine how “Good” of a prosthesis I will get. It’s a very ass backwards process because the higher the score one gets on this AMP test, the more technology advanced prosthesis you qualify to receive. In other words, normal people who have an amputation, and who need a better/best prosthesis, get the worse quality prosthetic if they get a low score. High AMP test scores are usually attained by world class athletes or people who train daily such as firemen, soldiers, athletes and so on.

Now one would think, using logic and common sense, that a person not so athletic, someone not in the best shape, one who has issues with balance and Equilibrium because of the lost limb, would be the ones inline for the top notch prosthesis. NO. Those who need the most technology advanced prosthetic limbs are not able to qualify because their K scores are lower than the people who score higher on this AMP test.

2

The entire process from being tested to determine what quality prosthesis I qualify to receive, along with seeing an orthopedic surgeon/doctor so he can sign off on the new limb {that pesky insurance guy needs a “real doctor” to write the order}, to being fitted for the prosthesis, took 3 hours. I have another appointment set to see the prosthesis maker in 2 weeks to get a look/feel/tryout, for what is to be my new appendage. At this appointment I see how well the cast was made, how comfortable the limb fits and if I am able to make the leap from my leg to my bionic limb.

To be totally honest I went through this entire amputation in a breeze. I had no pain after the surgery. I took no pain killers. There was little or no swelling. Upon discharge 4 days after the surgery, I was able to transfer and ambulate on my own and had no issues with doing things like dressing myself or other activities of daily living. I had this surgery on January 31st. Went home on February 4th. Measured/cast for my prosthesis on April 17th. First fitting/wearing for the prosthetic limb is May 2nd. In 92 days I went from having a lower leg/ankle/foot the size of a tree trunk, filled with infection, a condition called Osteomyelitis which is an infection in the bone……to having a new limb and starting to walk as a “normal” human being.

WARNING………. The images below are gross and real. This was the condition on my right foot/ankle/leg from August 14th, when the swelling/infection/osteomyelitis was first diagnosed…. until January 31st, when the infection was removed along with my foot/ankle/leg in what is known as a below the knee amputation.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Now one would think this ordeal would push me to the point of never allowing my diabetes to go un-managed, knowing this would be the end result. I can not honestly say that if I knew for certain, back in 2008 when I was diagnosed with type two diabetes, that I would end up here, where I am now, if I did not manage this disease correctly….that I would change a single thing. Do anything differently. I asked myself this very question a few nights ago.

The answer is …… I’m not 100% sure I’d change a single thing to prevent this amputation.

DO NOT BE LIKE ME. Manage your diabetes. Prevent a hard head or that “not giving a damn” mindset from doing this to you.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!bestmanpaintlive1diabetesbanner1

2008. Life WAS Wonderful.

Featured

2008. I’m enjoying life. In 2008 I’d been a chef for 26 years. I could have chosen a plethora of careers but decided on being a professional chef, or glorified cook depending on the address of your employer, because I absolutely love traveling.

After high school, a stint in the military and during college, I thought it over and went straight to the culinary world. I was taught to cook at age 8 by my grandmother, it started with biscuits every Saturday morning. Cartoons were playing on the kitchen TV whilst I watched Granny make her biscuits from scratch. Soon after that first month of watching her, the TV was never on again while she was teaching me how to prepare food from scratch,

I never really “loved” cooking, as some/most chefs will tell everybody who listens to them go on and on and on about their love of cooking. I didn’t love cooking for total strangers who on most nights didn’t have a clue what actually goes into preparing that magnificent dish they just scarfed down as if the restaurant was on fire.
I
 have a spectacular talent for cooking and I have a vision for making new dishes, but love cooking……..No. I did however have an idea that cooking would get me into traveling, which I did and do love.

So cooking while traveling the world over, was my calling.
In 2008 that all came to a screeching halt.

checkingbloodglucose

I was in an American city in the Midwest, just arrived for a new gig in an upscale chop house that served overpriced steaks, overpriced chops and overpriced dinner checks. I had been working there for 3 weeks when the great flood of 2008 hit this city. That chophouse was flooded closed. Never reopened. I was officially unemployed. I was not too concerned.

One of the things I adored about traveling for my career was the newness of each city I’d work in. I’d arrive, visit the new restaurant and immediately start exploring my new temporary home. Walking is/was the very best way to learn a new location.

Kristin Davis, Sarah Jessica Parker, Cynthia Nixon and Kim Cattrall on Location for "Sex and the City: The Movie" - September 21, 2007

Driving is cool when you know your way around and know exactly where you want to go…….Walking is the absolute best way to learn your way around a new place. The best way to discover all the great things about each new place you live.

image

I LOVE walking my way around town. So imagine my shock and surprise when my leg/thigh was as swollen as a small oak tree trunk, upon waking from a deep relaxing sleep one July afternoon. It was literally the size of a small oak tree’s trunk. I went into an ER a few days later, yes, it took me a “few days” to get time away from the kitchen before going to the ER.

It appears that all this walking I love doing gave me a blister which got infected and could not heal like a normal blister would heal, due to my diabetes. Had I been healthy and not a diabetic, this blister would have burst, healed and end of story. Being diabetic means no wound or sore on the lower extremities ever heals in a normal fashion. Diabetes slows or stops the flow of blood, which makes healing near impossible if you do NOT manage your diabetes.

So, on a warm July afternoon I was diagnosed with type two diabetes. I knew what diabetes was but I did not know about diabetes. Here’s something I did know, for certain, I was not about to stop my life or change how I lived my life over diabetes. How wrong was I going to be about that, in the long run.

a-doctor-writing-the-word-diabetes

My trip to the ER for this swollen leg was an eye opening moment. A revelation if you will. The doctor informed me, after doing blood work, that I was diabetic, had type two diabetes and was going to have to make some lifestyle changes to live a rather long and healthy life,

I had no intention of making any “changes” and as far as I was concerned, my life was completely healthy. Already. My Granny used to say to me, when I was hard headed and didn’t listen to her…. “hard head makes for a soft ass.” I never knew what she meant, AND my ass should be like cotton, due to my hard head…..but it’s not that soft at all.

screenshot-4

Ignoring my diabetes diagnoses got me this……

56276132_116041679363907_8657489298908945941_n

20190407_112229

In case this image escapes you, it’s whats left of my once healthy lower leg. I now have a stump where my leg below the knee, including my size 13 foot, were once located. NOT listening to the doctors way back in 2008, and ignoring my diabetes, brought me to my current position, which is on my ass or in a wheel chair….. until I get fitted later this month for a prosthetic limb. Then I’ll be learning how to walk, all over again, like a newborn.

Hard head makes for a soft ass. 

NOW I know what that means.

Diabetes
DO NOT be a fool like me, manage your diabetes.
Diabetes wordcloud
Diabetes ain’t nothing to ignore.

This is my very first installment in a series of blog posts about my journey from able bodied man to….. amputee. A Below The Knee Amputee. All because I was hard headed, refused to accept that ignoring my diabetes diagnosis was stupid, and thinking I knew better than the doctors.

Do NOT Be Me.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!bestmanpaintlive1

diabetesbanner1

 

 

 

Hard Headed…..Like me.

Featured
Do whats right.

Some of you may know me as The Militant Negro. My blog under this name was in use since 2011. In 2008 I was diagnosed with type two diabetes. As you may have guessed from this new blog name……I choose to ignore my diabetes diagnoses and did jack shit to prevent myself from ending up as I am now.

I am currently in a wheelchair with a BKA…..that’s a below the knee amputation.

The purpose of this blog is to educate, in my own way, how those who have diabetes can avoid my mistakes by NOT ignoring diabetes. I will NOT be preaching, judging or telling those who choose to follow me here on this blog, what to do. I WILL be passing on information, but mainly I will be sharing with those who are interested…… WAYS NOT TO END UP LIKE ME, with the loss of a limb, or worse, BECAUSE YOU ARE HARD HEADED……like me.

On January 31st of 2019, I had my right leg below the knee removed, or amputated is more accurate. This happened for a plethora of reasons but mainly because I was HARD HEADED and ignored doing what I should have done, knew I should have done, from the start.

Now maybe, just maybe, someone out here in the Worstpress community might benefit from my hard headed ass, and do the right thing when it comes to diabetes. The gist of this blog will be Me, sharing my journey from 2008, when I was first told I was diabetic, until now, when I reached this point where my hard headiness has taken me.

Do NOT end up like myself, waiting to be fitted for a prosthetic limb. Which by the way I am scheduled to be fitted for on the 17th of April.

I am doing exceptional at this point, both physically and mentally. But this journey is totally unnecessary. I ignored everything, and when I didn’t ignore everything, I half assed did what I was supposed to do to control/manage this disease.

Took insulin when I was good and damn ready, or didn’t take it at all.
Did NOT follow doctors instructions.
Ate what I desired, regardless of the ramifications of doing that.
I suppose I didn’t give a shit back then. Then I met a Goddess who loved me, even as I was before the amputation…..and that changed my perspective on life and living life.

BUT by then it was too late to save my lower leg.

This blessing you see above is that Goddess. The reason I am now fighting to be healthy.
She is what makes me do the right thing daily. She has me fighting to survive my stupidity in treating my diabetes.

SO, in closing, I am starting this blog today, Sunday the 14th of April, to allow others who might be like me, to see where you could, might, end up if you have a hard head……like I do….did. I’m still hard headed like usual, just not about diabetes.

This is a totally new blog venture. I am starting out with a free, plain blog until I decide where and how I wish to do this blog thing. It’s not my usual flamboyant blog, it might get to that point someday but for now this is what this blog looks like. Plain and “normal.”
I will be writing about all the things I’ve done since 2008, to end up here, so you don’t end up here.

Hope it helps someone, just one someone, to not be hard headed, like me.

Diabetes illness concepts word cloud illustration. Word collage concept.