Whats up! It has been a crazy past week. Last Thursday I flew to California to host my adaptive climbing clinic in Joshua Tree National Park. We spent a wild four days in the desert and battled the wind, cold, and very random fifteen minute bout with snow. I will have a larger recap up later but for the time being here is the link to a post done by my friend Jon Glassberg, of Louder Than 11 with some photos.
I am currently employed by Prosthetic and Orthotic Associates, doing my residency under Stan Patterson CP. I spent the rest of this week in Irvine, Ca working out our sister office, Southern California Prosthetics.
It has been a huge week where we have been working close to twelve hour days to get all the work done. We had a Bilateral Ak, BK, and an AK BK among five other patients. Once again another week filled with success stories.
One of our patients George, the bilateral AK, came to the United States two years ago from Japan to visit his daughter at college. While he was in the United States he was unluckily in a motor vehicle accident, leaving him an amputee. He did not have insurance, and he and his kids emptied all the money out of their savings account to purchase him $80,000 prosthetic legs that he could never walk it. The facility he visited never took the time to get the device right, or do any gait training for that matter. The legs were never comfortable and the patient did not get a good outcome despite the outrageous price, all out of his pocket. Unfortunately in this field there are a lot of bad prosthetists and we get paid to deliver a device, regardless of outcome.
We made sure George was well taken care of, and he was able to ambulate with no assistive devices comfortably. It is a shame that he had to wait a year of his life for this to happen.
Another one of our patients, Roxy, is a unilateral AK. She has been an amputee for three years but has never walked. All of her previous prosthetists said she was a "hard fit" and despite being made TWENTY THREE sockets nobody could get the outcome.
I still have a lot to learn, and I am by no means gods gift to prosthetics. I am still a resident, and I am only eight months into my career and with minimal assistance I was able to take the "hard to fit" patient and get her up and walking just as good as some of the best amputee walkers I know. Making good prosthetics takes time, effort, and patience but it is not rocket science by any means. It is just a matter of getting all the details correct. I am just really blessed to have great mentors and be learning at one of the best prosthetic facilities in the country.
My travels are taking me back to Orlando tommorow where I am looking forward to taking it easy for a few days.
I really love traveling as an amputee. I can check bags for free because all I do is tell them that I have prosthetics in the bags and it counts as "medical devices".
Bouldering Crash Pads are notoriously hard to travel with and here is my little secret to checking mine on the plane for free. (Crutches inside)
Being an amputee does come with its perks.
Anyways I am out! Take it easy!
The one who gets to the top is the one who never stops trying!