In order for Stephan to be able to make my new leg he needs a script signed off by an orthopaedic doctor.
Dad and I head down to meet with Stephan and Dr Chan to discuss what components will be best for me and get the ordering process started.
First Dr Chan checks out my stump after I tell him about the pain. Since the weekend it has settled down and he doesn’t seem too concerned.
Both he and Stephan comment on the length of my stump, noting it is quite long compared to other people’s.
My heart sinks. But I just have to trust that Dr Al Muderis knew what he was doing when he left it at this length.
Stephan talks me through the different options for the knees he is weighing up. He is considering a hydraulic model and another type beginning with N.
He asks me how active I plan to be and how often I will visit the gym.
When I tell in I plan to be quite active he nods.
“Probably best not to go with the “insert model number” (it all went a little over my head to be honest) as in the gym it might blow up.”
My eyes widen.
“Blow up?” I ask nervously.
“If it gets too hot it will start leaking fluid and you don’t want that.”
This doesn’t sound good.
The other model is little heavier but more robust and we decide that it will be probably be best.
Then we discuss feet.
He mentions I will need one that pivots as unlike my old socket with the osseointegration surgery it will all twist through my bone and that could become quite painful.
I remind about the foot that can be adjusted to suit accommodate different heel heights which he had mentioned at our previous appointment.
“I have been thinking about that and if you are going to be active then that model won’t work. It will have to be a tradeoff.”
Disappointment smacks me in the face.
I will have to choose between fashion and fitness.
But then he says the single most greatest thing.
“But we can make you a second leg using your old knee joint and you can wear that one for good and for when you want to wear heels. Down the track it might also be worth looking into having just a leg for the gym as well as your everyday leg.”
My heart soared. For years I had read about amputee models who had multiple legs and I had dreamt of this luxury. Now it was about to become a reality.
Just like another accessory I would be able to match my leg to the occasion.
He also mentioned making a shower leg so I could stand up to shower.
A whole swag of legs, I was on top of the moon!
We also talk about the cosmetic cover I would like for the leg so it looks as natural as possible. I don’t quite understand what it will be made off but Stephan says it will be a step up from the stocking I have and the next best thing to a silicon cover.
The only thing I am a little nervous about is there will be a small gap between the cover and the part that sticks out of my leg and I worry that it will look weird if I wear short dresses and tights. But this is a small price to pay.
We discuss my hip and the decision to take it slower with my rehab and not walk until the New Year. This suits Stephan perfectly as he won’t be here in December to make my leg anyway as he is heading over to Germany for Christmas.
They seem to think that I will only need to be in hospital for a week after the surgery and then I can do the weight baring exercises at home and return to rehab in the New Year.
I am quite pleased with this, as the prospect of three weeks in hospital at once did seem quite daunting. Plus it means I will no doubt be out of hospital before Christmas.
They explain that for the weight baring I will be given something that looks like a large tip of a crutch, which will suction onto my stump and I will then push down on a set of scales.
Dad wants to know a definite time frame for the rehab process so I can gage a return to work date but they can’t give us a definite answer. This feels incredibly.
It seems we are at the mercy of the doctors.
But with the prospect of not one but three new legs, all and all it has been a positive visit.