Being A New Amputee

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I’m a recently new amputee and I encountered some roadblocks in my journey from able bodied to being an amputee. Some roadblocks were of my own creation. Some were not. This is my advice for new amputees on how to navigate the first year of “Being An Amputee.”

https://soundcloud.com/the-mi…/dealing-with-being-an-amputee

 

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We Can’t Win Against Covid19 UNLESS Andrew Cuomo IS PRESIDENT.

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We Can’t Win Against Covid19….UNLESS…Andrew Cuomo IS PRESIDENT.
Donald Trump’s inability to be President. The origin of the Coronavirus. Andrew Cuomo should be POTUS. It’s all right here,

https://soundcloud.com/th…/we-cant-win-against-covid19unless

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What NOT To Do When You Are In A Relationship And Become An Amputee.

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It’s been awhile. Not everything has been good since my last post. Not everything has been bad either.

I’m a very private human but it just might be time for me to share and in some way help heal myself as well as maybe help a new amputee not make the same mistakes I’ve made the past 12 months.

I’ll start from the very beginning….in case you’ve not followed my journey from being just a diabetic to becoming a diabetic with an amputation. And a horrible attitude. I’ve always been militant, but never had a horrible attitude. Read on to see this transformation.

I was diagnosed with diabetes in 2008, and it was strongly suggested I stop being a chef, stay off my feet as much as possible, because standing on my feet for 12 to 16 hours a day was not good for a type 2 diabetic. 

So I retired. I was bored and ready for a change anyway. 26 years, a loooong time to do something you love, for people you do not love. Anyway, back to the diabetes…..

I of course ignored the diabetes, which is exactly why this blog, which used to be called “The Militant Negro” and was all political, is now renamed “Ignoring Diabetes.” But I digress, which I do a lot.

2008,…. diagnosed with diabetes, ignored diabetes until 2012. By then I’d had two toe amputations and to be honest, they really meant nothing to me. I got along just great with 8 toes. I mean who actually needs 10?? Sometimes I took insulin as directed by my doctor, most times I did not.

June 2018 I met Shantelle. By August of that year we were living together in my one bedroom apartment. I lost my wife and 9 year old son in a car crash in 2001, and I had been practicing social distancing from 2001 until 2018, when I met Shantelle. I was in a self imposed isolation from the female species because I imagined being involved in a relationship with a woman other than my “dead” wife, was un-loyal.

That didn’t prevent me from having meaningless protected sex when I needed meaningless protected sex….just having a serious meaningful connection was off limits, in my mind. 

Meeting Shantelle changed all that warped thinking. I was ready for whatever the future held for me at the time we started talking, as she walked her dog, Dexter. I liked her, admired her look and found her special. This all took place between June to August of 2018.

Then came my third and final toe amputation, with Shantelle by my side. On the way to surgery, which by now for me was a walk in the park, I proposed to her asking her to be my wife. She answered YES with the most beautiful smile ever smiled at me.

I recovered. Then things went downhill from there, health wise. Fast.

I started to have severe pain in my right leg/foot. After many trips to a podiatrists and other doctors I was put into a walking boot, then a walking cast, then was diagnosed with osteomyelitis, which is: Inflammation of bone caused by infection, generally in the legs, arm, or spine.Infections can reach bones by traveling through the bloodstream or spreading from nearby tissue.Common symptoms include pain, fever, and chills.Treatment is usually surgery to remove portions of bone that have died. This is followed by strong antibiotics, often by an IV, for at least six weeks.

This is what osteomyelitis did to me….

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It took from August 14th until January 31st for me to get this infected right leg removed, amputated, cut from my body. Shantelle was there the entire time, changing my nasty, smelly, disgusting bandages daily. Being something I had missed the past 17 years, a loving caring partner. I attempted to get her to leave and move back home, she was not having any of that.

Why so long you ask, from August 14th until January 31st is 170 days. Thats a Looooooog ass time. Simple Answer: Doctor and insurance hoops I was required to jump through, infected leg and all. BUT I finally had the surgery and came home on February 4th, 2020.

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The surgery and healing process was a piece of cake. Shantelle was an angel sent from above. Never leaving my side and putting up with ME, all while smiling and making me feel loved. She nursed me, changed bandages, helped me to the bedside commode, and did other things I will refrain from bothering you with visualizing. 

I healed faster than normal.

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Then trouble arrived in the form of my expectation for my progress being just too damn much. I wanted too many things way too soon. I was up walking with the aid of a walker days after healing and getting the staples removed. Three days after receiving my very first prosthetic leg, I chucked the walker and cane in a corner and was walking unassisted, on my own. Shantelle cried with joy.

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I was NOT satisfied. 

I saw people on social media doing the things I wanted to do, and I had gained weight from being bedridden, on my ass for 170 days, after losing weight. I was miserable. Not liking ME. Hard to get along with. All because I was not progressing as quickly as I wanted to progress. Doctors and my prosthetic professional told me I was moving much quicker, faster than normal.

I wanted more. I WANTED TO DO THE THINGS I SAW ON SOCIAL MEDIA….Never being sick or in any type of disabled situation in 59 years meant I had a ton of unrealistic expectations for myself. Before being diagnosed with diabetes in 2008, my only illness was a toothache and a sciatic nerve issue that lasted exactly 4 days, then vanished as quickly as it appeared. I was NOT prepared to be this slow in doing the things I “used” to be able to accomplish.

I had unrealistic expectations and things were made worse by the fact I had little to no faith in my prosthetic company….Hanger Prosthetics and Orthotics.

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I saw people, like me, on social media outlets, doing the things I “thought” I should be doing. I wanted to swim, ride a bike, climb a rock wall, be able to walk like “normal.” Doctors and Hanger all told me I’d be able to do everything just like I used to do. Thats was a lie. 

My very first prosthetic had a foot with no ankle, it was a block of wood.

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This block of wood, which was/is where an ankle should be, meant I could not walk “Normal” and that was unacceptable to me. The K testing I took to determine what type of prosthetic I’d receive put me in this garbage, I tested at a K2. Four months later I retested from a K2 into the top category of a K4, and got this beauty….

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But even that was not enough for me.I STILL was not moving at a pace I imagined I should be moving. I was never satisfied. I wanted more. Faster. Quicker. I became super frustrated. Many things frustrated me, not having a socket that allowed me to bend my knee and put my foot flat on the ground, which prevented me from standing with my legs, or walking up/down stairs one foot on a step, then the other foot on the next step. Instead I had to do both feet on the same step in order to climb or descend stairs.

I wanted to be normal, I needed to be normal. Finally on March 31st of 2020, I got a socket that allowed me to put m y foot flat on the ground.

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And it only took me TEN MONTHS. Problem is by now, I had lost Shantelle.

In the ten months since I got my first prosthetic leg, I was in limbo. Stuck. Not progressing in the manner I wanted to improve. NOT being able to do the things I wanted to accomplish. Unaware that my expectations were unobtainable. 

I became sullen. Moody. Grouchy. Argumentative. Mean at times. Verbally abusive. Sometimes depressed but not knowing I was depressed. Other times I was my usual nice loving self. A roller coaster ride is fine for an amusement park attraction, nothing is attractive about a roller coaster describing a relationship.

I lost the woman I was deeply and hopelessly in love with because I changed. I became someone she could not be “IN” love with any longer. I didn’t recognize who I had become….. and when I did recognize me, I hated Me. Bad thing to hate oneself.

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First rule of healing from any mental/physical disability or ailment is self love. I am here, now, in this blog post, to tell anyone who goes through life altering moments….. be careful you do not make my mistake. Communicate with your partner. Talk to him/her. Express what you are feeling, how you are feeling, when you are feeling it. Calm yourself. Find inner peace however you must.

For fellow amputees: Don’t ever expect too much from yourself too quickly, as I did. Locate a fellow amputee who has been where you are right that moment and talk to them. ASK for help. Don’t be too proud, too stubborn, too macho, like I was, to seek counseling….from a fellow or Lady amputee. Find someone who can understand what you are experiencing.

My suggestion would be, another amputee.

Whatever you do, do not make the mistake I made. Never do what I did. Don’t ever be like Me.

Do NOT lose the one good thing in your life and end up alone. 

And scared.

If I can assist any amputee who happens upon this blog post, help or assist you get through the tough times…..you know how to reach me….

Instagram: militant_amputee
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MilitantAmputee
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Militantdiabeticamputee/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/amputeesolutions/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MrNegroMilitant

E-mail: anonnotorious@mail.com

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The Reality Of Being.

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I don’t even have a clue how to start this blog post. What I do know is that I am not alone in what I am dealing with on a daily basis being a new amputee. This blog post started out as a rant against my journey from having two legs to having one leg. As I sit here with my ex fiance, I am struck by what we are doing……not what she is doing but what I am doing with her. I met Shantelle 19 months ago and we got engaged quick, I asked her to marry me as I was being wheeled into surgery for the last of my 3 toe amputations.

I was different back then, more relaxed and at ease. Anyway, what we’re both doing right this minute is watching a live feed of The Jay Eberly Ministries on you tube. Shantelle wanted to attend in person but she is feeling under the weather after spending the day in bed trying to get healthy enough to attend. When first meeting Shantelle I was unaware she was religious, but since then I have realized she is deep in her faith but she does not beat you to death about her beliefs.

I admire that because average everyday Christians, the many I have known in my past, want everyone they pass on the street to know all about their faith. Thats a huge turn off to me.  Let me show you Shantelle……

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The one person on this earth who I love unconditionally and with all my being. Trouble is, I didn’t treat her that way, like she is the one person on this earth I love unconditionally with all my being. Thats why she is my ex fiance, even though we are best friends and she is my favorite person in the entire world.

Let me explain….

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This is me above, a 60 year old diabetic who was diagnosed with diabetes in 2008. I ignored the diabetes diagnoses for 4 years, finally doing what I was told to do in 2012. Hardheaded to say the least. In January of 2019 I had a RBKA which is a right below the knee amputation. I met Shantelle in June of 2018.  Would you believe this special woman nursed me back to health after my amputation, only knowing me for a grand total of 7, thats SEVEN, months?? She did that.

But that is not the entire story….. I had an infection in my foot that progressively got worse, worse to the point that I spent the next 5 months in bed on my back trying things to heal the infection followed by a 2 month waiting period to have the amputation.

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What you see above was me from August 2018 until January 2019. What you see below is me on February 4th, 2019, the day I went home. With Shantelle by my side.

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Long story very short…..I lost my wife and son in 2000 to an auto accident. I lost my grandfather to age in 2004. My grandmother died from neglect in a nursing home in 1989 while I was serving overseas in the us military. I decided I hated god/jesus because they hated me. I was raised up in the baptist church, my grandfather was founder and pastor/minister to one of the biggest and most successful Negro churches in Chicago throughout my youth. I turned my back on religion.

I separated myself from humanity after losing my wife and son, cut myself off from people. Worked, lived and survived but not in any normal way. I avoided all relationships with females that could have resulted in a relationship. I was a hermit. Just not wealthy like Howard Hughes. Now what happened to me as a result of this seclusion from humanity which ran for 10 years until meeting Shantelle in June of 2018 was I became antisocial. I lost all my skills as a human, to communicate with Shantelle….as a human should.

I realized Shantelle was sent to me by God/Jesus. I was alone an this infection in my foot hit me as soon as Shantelle and I started seeing one another. I was all alone. I would later realize Shantelle was sent to me for a reason, by the very God/Jesus that I turned my back on 20 years ago. I even went as far as to tell Shantelle this several times during our relationship.

She nursed me.

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Little did I know that the surgery would be a piece of cake. The recovery after the amputation was easy peasy. What messed me up was the poor, unprofessional and incompetent service I received from prosthetic “professionals” who failed to help me become mobile and progress to walking and doing daily activities of life. I was angry, frustrated and mean spirited.

Shantelle was the closest human to me, she was with me every minute of everyday. During this time of frustration and low self esteem and no self worth, I took everything out on the one woman who smiled and I melted, but her smile was gone. I didn’t know I was depressed. I had no idea I was full of anger at the world for my past human losses. I didn’t have a clue I was in a bad mood because for 20 odd years I was alone, never being involved in a relationship that was more that sex.

Shantelle told me about 2 months ago she didn’t want to be engaged to me anymore. She explained to me why. I didn’t hear her for a long time. Then this past week I heard her and heard someone else as well. I won’t say it was God/Jesus because I’m not there yet…but it was something/someone who has guided me and followed my life all my life.

Tonight we are watching this video…..

New Year’s Eve Special Service // December 29, 2019

There is no reason or explanation why I decided to watch/listen to this with Shantelle, who has remained my favorite person in the world and my best friend.

I do not understand faith at this time in my life. I am never going to give up on Shantelle, one day, she will be my wife, I owe her my life, my very existence. I will start to pray to God/Jesus that he allow me to win her love back as never before.

Stay tuned because she was sent into my life for a reason and it was NOT just to save my life, but to improve my heart and soul.

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A New Leg AND Foot***

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*** By Accident.

Thats correct. I got a new leg/socket and foot, by accident. When last I posted here on my blog I may have mentioned how I passed a K test which put me into a new level for receiving the best equipment available. Sadly, because my doctor and my prosthetists failed to submit the request for upgraded equipment, properly, the insurance company denied me what was rightfully mine to have based on my new classification. 

An appeal was filed. This past Thursday, the 21st of November…..I was finally approved by the insurance company….or so my prosthetic company, Hanger Prosthetics and Orthotics, informed me by telephone. I immediately made an appointment, for the next day, Friday the 22nd, to finally get my new leg…..See, the old leg had not fit properly since August 30th, and I was cast for a new prosthetic leg on October 2nd….so for 52 days I was forced to wait for Hanger Prosthetics and Orthotics to get my new leg on my amputated limb.

Think of wearing an uncomfortable ill fitting pair of shoes….everyday…all day long…for 52 days.

So I get to my appointment on the 22nd and find out that the insurance company had made a mistake in telling Hanger Prosthetics and Orthotics that MY claim was approved. Apparently the insurance company, United Healthcare, had my name attached to someone else’s claim and that someone else was approved, NOT I. So the phone call informing me MY claim was FINALLY approved, was WRONG. 

Hanger Prosthetics and Orthotics decided rather than tell me they were incorrect in telling me the claim was approved, decided to eat the cost of the claim and give me my new prosthetic. Wise choice. I was already shopping for an AK.

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Above is the brand new prosthetic leg, complete with a smiling Barack Hussein Obama lamination on the socket.

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And above here, is the new foot with a flexible ankle…..YES….the same flexible ankle I was repeatedly told was not available because it didn’t exist.

SURPRISE SURPRISE (in my best Gomer Pyle voice) this flexible foot and ankle socket DOES INDEED EXIST.

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So now I have a new leg, and guess what……because it was made 52 days ago, it is too big now….. and DOES NOT FIT. Ain’t life grand. Incompetence runs amok.

STAY TUNED.

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United Healthcare Insurance

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I’ve been absent for months fighting United Healthcare Insurance for the right to have a life, a life as normal as I can expect being a right below the knee amputee. This fight is for me, but it is also being used by me to inform and educate future amputees as well as amputees who are experiencing the same unethical and unacceptable behavior from insurance companies.

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United Healthcare denied a prescription from my orthopedic doctor for a brand new K4 prosthetic system because the old prosthetic no longer fit properly as well, and this is the important reason why my orthopedic doctor wrote a new prescription….. I am no longer rated as a K2 amputee. On September 9th, 2019 I retook the AMP test which is designed to determine what level an amputee can function and what type of prosthetic that amputee “deserves” to have.

Back on April 17th, 2019 I took my very first K test, which is the AMP test. I passed that K test at a K2 level which meant I would get a basic barely functioning prosthetic because I didn’t score high enough to “deserve” a better and more technologically advanced prosthetic limb. Fast forward to September 9th, 2019 and all the hard work I did from April 17th to September 9th…..when I retook that AMP test and scored a K4 total score, up two levels, which meant I was now “deserving” of a new, technologically advanced, top notch prosthetic, which would include an Active Foot-Ankle Prosthesis.

See, the K2 foot was a fake rubber foot on a block of wood…….

 

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Now lets take a gander at the K4 foot I am supposed to have since September 9th, when I became a K4 Tested amputee…..

 

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Now allow me to explain the journey I’ve been on since September 9th, 2019.  No wait…..lets take a look at the entire journey since January 31st, 2019 when I had my right below the knee amputation….THE TIMELINE….

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…K2 result.
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)
September 5th, 2019…..1st PT evaluation with Top Shape Gym.
September 9th, 2019….K Test ReTest….PCI PT.
September 9th, 2019…KTest results: Now A K4.
September 10th, 2019…1st ever PT session with Top Shape Gym.
September 18th, 2019….orthopedic doctor visit: new prosthetic order.
October 2nd, 9th, 16th……Hanger new prosthetic casting /fitting.
October 29th, 2019…… Denied new K4 Active Foot-Ankle Prosthesis by United Healthcare.

Now by any standard this recovery from amputation to walking unassisted by any and all mobile assist devices is remarkable…..which appears to be my problem. And here’s why……I healed very quickly. I never had any surgery complications. My amputation shrunk quickly. I was ready to have stitches removed quickly. I was on my first prosthetic very quickly. I was walking on my own with no walker, crutches or cane very quickly. You’d think this are all very good things to have happen.

NO.
Seems when a patient recovers tooooo fast, that patient throws a monkey wrench into the insurance works. See, insurance companies such as United Healthcare, have protocols and timelines THEY have determined must be used for ALL amputees. Being a quick healer, being a patient that has an agenda for getting his/her life back and is successful at accomplishing that agenda…..is NOT acceptable. I healed too fast. I walked too fast. I needed new sockets and prosthetic systems too fast.

Insurance companies like United Healthcare will only pay for a prosthetic foot once each year……UNLESS THE PATIENT ADVANCES TO A NEW K LEVEL (like I did) OR THE CURRENT FOOT BREAKS OR IS NO LONGER USABLE BY THE PATIENT. So United Healthcare has no right to deny me my new K4 Active Foot-Ankle Prosthesis…..

Unless…..the orthopedic doctor and the prosthetist both are bad at their jobs.

What exactly is a prosthetist you may ask…… A prosthetist also known as an orthotist is a trained health care professional that designs and measures medical supportive devices called prosthesis. A prosthesis is an artificial device that is used to replace a body part that may be missing, malfunctioning, or partially or completely damaged.

I use a prosthetic company named Hanger….

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and my prosthetist at Hanger is Tim…..

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Tim is very bad at his job…..and I am going to change my prosthetist very soon, but because Tim is incompetent at what he gets paid to do, I suffer. What my common sense tells me is this….Tim should have known submitting a new K test results to an insurance company would be an uphill battle, Tim should have suggested to me, “Let us here at Hanger submit a claim for a new socket, since this current socket is WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY too big and it being this ill-fitting may cause your amputated limb to blister.” (which is exactly what is happening to me right now)

Because Tim never offered that suggestion, as my prosthetist, I’ve been wearing this ill fitting prosthesis since October 2nd, when I visited him for a new prosthetic system. I now am fighting to heal blisters on my amputated limb caused by the ill-fitting socket. Tim is also very bad at giving information and explaining his reasons to a first time amputee, like me, why he is doing what he does the way he does it.

Now to be fair not all Hanger employees are incompetent like Tim, the good Hanger employees are just not in the Cedar Rapids office….except for the receptionists, Ms. Amy. Ms. Amy greets all patients with a million kilowatt smile and is professional and kind. I also must commend Ms. Sarah, an insurance specialists in the Ames Hanger office who was visiting and filling in at the Iowa City Hanger office when I reached out to that Iowa City office for some advice and guidance.

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Ms. Sarah was so informative in our exchange. Sarah told me about United Healthcare and how that insurance company is notorious for denying amputee claims for the express purpose of saving money. Ms. Sarah also guided me to several insurance companies that approved amputee claims like they should. Thank you Ms. Sarah.

Next lets move on to my orthopedic doctor, Dr James Huber….

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Dr Huber is the orthopedic doctor who wrote my prosthetic orders to United Healthcare, and he did a very generic, bland, unspecific order writing job…..so much so was his laziness in writing these orders that needed to be very specific as to WHY I needed a complete prosthetic upgrade (Going from a K2 to a K4) that I can understand why United Healthcare just said no.

Dr Huber was so NOT specific as to why he requested United Healthcare pay for a new prosthetic system for me, that they explained to him that he should do it over and add an addendum to his original prescription.

Lastly, lets discuss United Healthcare…….

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After being denied my K4 prosthetic system I got on the phone and called a prosthetic company in Florida, out of frustration, and talked to a lady whom gave me more information in that 20 minute conversation about insurance than anyone who is here in my city, ever offered about this entire insurance claim process.

Seems United Healthcare is notorious for denying claims for amputees if the claim is not perfectly filed and gives detailed reasons and descriptions as to what and why a claim is being submitted. The Lady in Florida who works as an insurance specialists for that Florida prosthetic company, told me she fights with United Healthcare ALL THE TIME over prosthetic claims.

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I have arranged to meet with an insurance representative and change my carrier from United Healthcare to Aetna insurance. 

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Here’s what I was told about United Healthcare….this insurance company is not very concerned with approving an insurance claim if United Healthcare deems that claim to not be 1000% absolutely necessary…..by THEIR definition of “necessary.” Your doctor writing an order, especially if said order is not detailed or expressly specific, that doctors order will be denied. The important thing to understand about United Healthcare is: United Healthcare is far more concerned about their bottom line than helping customers who might need their claims approved in a timely fashion.

Finally…..United Healthcare is making my prosthetic company resubmit the claim for my K4 prosthesis as well as making my prosthetic company submit a separate claim for just the socket while the foot denial is being appealed… which means I am still wearing an ill-fitting prosthetic on my amputated limb….for over a month now, since September 9th…and it is now October 31st.

So…..this has been my battle since September 9th, if you may have wondered where I’ve been…..I’ve been in purgatory…..waiting to continue my journey from walking stupid with a prosthetic that does not fit, to wearing a prosthetic/socket that FITS….and allows me to go to the gym, and walk in/on uneven ground and finally, lets me rock climb or ride my bike. 

Here’s a tip and some advice, NEVER IGNORE YOUR DIABETES. You’ll end up like me.

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From A K2……To A K4***

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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.

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

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The RevoFit™ Adjustable Prosthetic Socket.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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…..

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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.

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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.

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