Nick’s had his legs for a year now, and what a ride it’s been. He’s had two sets made due to the rapid and drastic changes that an amputee experiences in the year or so post-surgery. A lot has happened in the last year, prostheses wise. We’ve spent hours upon hours at the various Hanger offices around Southern California: Murrieta, Riverside, Redlands, Hemet, depending where his prosthetist is at that particular day. We’ve built a relationship with one amazing prosthetist, only to lose him to a promotion, to then (thankfully) fall in love with another guy.
We’ve made emergency, same-day appointments to solve issues that, as a new amputee, we could never anticipate or prepare for. Just last week we met his prosthetist at a gas station on the side of the road for a quick adjustment and assessment. Nick has invested countless hours into research and reading about prosthetic feet, ankles, and sockets, combing YouTube and manufacturer websites for information and ideas.
And here we are, we’ve made it one year. Four metal legs later, it turns out the journey is just beginning. Tomorrow we will go to the Hemet office where he will be fitted for his third set of legs.
The last few weeks have been tough for the health of Nick’s stumps. His legs are now too big for him, and have been adjusted and modified several times, essentially just slapping a bandaid on an unfixable problem. The skin on the front of his stumps has opened up. He’s been bleeding for a few days now and tonight we’ve decided he HAS to keep off his feet for several days to allow the wounds to heal. He’s getting fitted for the new set tomorrow, but won’t actually receive them for about two weeks.
For the first time in a month, I grabbed the wheelchair out of the car and brought it inside the house so he can give his poor stumps a break. I’m afraid that if they get worse we’ll be facing a much more serious problem. And at this point, we just can’t jeopardize his skydive, which is happening in a little over two weeks.
So tonight is bitter sweet, with the anticipation of lighter, better fitting legs, contrasted with the sad truth that he is taking another mini step backward in the process.