Category Archives: Amputee

Prosthesis Snow Tips

One of the most common questions I receive from new amputees, especially in the winter and cold months, involves footwear. Never being a shoe connoisseur myself, having to tackle footwear post-amputation quickly became an exercise in frustration. With my apologies to my fashionista friends, I admit to sticking with the same pair of shoes regardless of the rest of my outfit. I prefer to go for comfort and, with the exception of a social protocol, I would probably never change out of my sneakers.

Of course, some situations require a change in footwear. With a massive snowfall and a little boy eager to go outside to play in the winter wonderland, I was confronted with one of those situations yesterday. While I technically only need to wear a boot on my biological foot, the difference in heel height makes trudging through the snow difficult. My lower back and hips thank me when I take the time to put the same shoe on both my prosthesis and my foot.

Slipping a boot onto my prosthesis is not always an easy task. Because the ankle is fixed, guiding the foot shell into the bed of the ankle can be difficult. Thankfully I’ve learned a few tricks of the trade to donning boots onto my prosthesis.

First of all, I always try to buy the boots ½ size larger than my needs. Because I know I will be in the snow, I anticipate wearing thick socks to make up the size difference on my biological foot. The extra room makes sliding the prosthesis into the boot a little easier.

I don’t worry about wearing a sock on my prosthesis (after all my toes certainly are not going to become cold) so I have forged even more wiggle room to fit the boot. Perhaps my favorite tip, I have discovered that slipping a plastic bag over the entire foot shell helps to minimize friction, making donning the boot a breeze. Since I learned the plastic bag trick, I no longer dread putting on boots!  If need be, I pull out my extra-long shoe horn to make the final push into the boot.

While my foot never becomes cold in the snow, my residual limb can become downright icy. The compromised circulation, the result of the amputation, makes me more vulnerable to temperature extremes. On more than one occasion I have come inside after snow fun to discover my residual limb is purple from the cold.  Image

My second winter as an amputee I discovered the joys of air activated hand warmers. Typically sold in the check-out lines of the big box stores and sporting goods stores, I now buy them by the case online. Before sledding, snowball fights or fort building commences, I always activate and throw two hand warmers into the bottom of my socket. These little satchels help to keep my limb warm, regardless of the temperatures or the depth of the snow.

With a little preparation and some of my “go-to” winter tips, I have become completely UNlimited in the snow.  How do you deal with the winter weather?

Valentine’s Week Plans

Next Friday is Valentine’s Day or, as my husband refers to it, the worst day of the year. While I tend to love all holidays, he leans towards the curmudgeon side. It isn’t that he lacks a sense of romance, but he does resent being told when he has to dote. 

Regardless of his feelings towards Valentine’s Day, I plan on celebrating all week. Thankfully my little boy has inherited my love of revelry and is fully on board with all things holiday related. I am sure that my son loves holidays because he knows that he will be showered with surprises and treats. Some say that I go overboard, but I know that I don’t spend a lot of money to make fun holiday memories and traditions. Instead, I rely upon a series of no or low cost surprises staggered throughout the week to make the holiday special.

One of the best investments I made was in the Balloon Time Helium Tank.  Balloons are expensive and not always easy to obtain and hide. This little tank makes it possible for me to blow up just a few balloons at my convenience. The look on my son’s face when he staggers out of his bedroom in the morning and discovers a few colorful balloons is priceless!

He also loves shaped and themed breakfast treats. The Norpro Heart Shaped Pancake Mold is perfect for fashioning a festive and happy breakfast to start the week off right. I make enough to store in the fridge so that I don’t have to cook breakfast for the rest of the week. He’s happy because he is eating a special treat and I’m delighted with the minimal prep work.

I don’t just spend the week pampering my son, I also treat myself a little better during holiday weeks. One of my favorite, and cheapest, luxuries involves painting my nails. Of course, painting the plastic nails on my prosthetic foot shell does involve some advance planning.

The foot shell tends to become stained and discolored. I’ve tried just about everything over the years to clean it and found that the MrImage. Clean Magic Eraser yields the best results with the least amount of work.  I am always amazed with the improvement in appearance after just a few minutes of cleaning! (Save yourself some aggravation by avoiding the store brand. For some reason they just don’t work the same magic.)

I don’t have to use any specific nail polish, but I do need to rely upon an acetone based remover when I want to change colors. The non-acetone nail polish removers just smear the polish across the plastic foot shell. I guess in some situations the heavier chemicals are the best option!

I love to take long baths, but I found that using oils or bubbles is not conducive with my residual limb. If my limb is coated in a thin sheath of oil, it slips right out of the liner. Trying to walk without a strong seal in the prosthetic is definitely not safe!

Instead of oils and bubbles, I rely on bath salts. I found that the minerals make me feel relaxed and do not damage my skin. I’m not intoImage heavy scents, so I prefer the Burt’s Bees Therapeutic Bath Salts. I am always a happier and more relaxed person after a long soaking bath.

Of course, I won’t ignore pampering my husband next week. I know that he detests Valentine’s Day, but I won’t let that stop me from including him in our fun. He loves gummy bears, so when I found this 5 pound version I knew I had to get it for him. Again, it doesn’t cost a lot of money but will certainly bring a smile to his face.

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However you celebrate, I hope that you have a wonderful Valentine’s Week!

Super Bowl Prep

Rumor has it that a big football game is being played on Sunday. Admittedly, I am not a football fan but instead become the hostage companion of my sport fanatic husband during every big game/match/event.  While I doubt I’ll ever relish watching the game, I have learned to embrace the festivities. For me, the Super Bowl is all about gluttony.

In our house, no big game would be complete without chili, nachos and assorted snacks. For my husband and son, the food magically appears at the end of each quarter. So engrossed in the television, I am fairly confident that both fail to realize that I am the one in the kitchen prepping and cooking all afternoon.

I have always loved to cook but it has become more difficult during the past few months. Between my prosthetic issues and my pregnancy, it is uncomfortable for me to stand for long periods of time. Thankfully I have cabinets full of appliances to help make the task both easy and fun.

In order to minimize the prep time required for our football feast, I will be relying heavily upon one of my favorite appliances- the food processor.  I have tried a few other mini choppers over the years and have always been dissatisfied. For a growing family, the 1 ½ cup choppers simply weren’t big enough.  I found I was spending more time chopping and emptying small batches from the machine than I would have spent had I just pulled out the knives myself.

Storing and pulling out the cumbersome and heavy 12 cup food processors became more trouble than what it was worth, especially when I was looking for quick prep work.  I was more apt to let the food processor in the cabinet because the assembly and cleaning required was simply too time consuming.

This Sunday I will be relying heavily upon my Cuisinart Mini-Prep 4 Cup Food Processor. For our family, the four cup capacity is ideal. The motor is strong, providing even and consistent pulsing blades capable of chopping through everything from onions to hard cheese.  Although the bowl is larger, the machine is lightweight and compact. (Keeping appliances within each reach is a huge factor in whether or not I will use it.)

Thanks to my strong little chopper, I am saved both the time and the ensuing discomfort which comes from food preparation.  I love to cook, but I also appreciate anything that simplifies my life! With the chopping simplified, I’ll be done in the kitchen and able to enjoy my favorite part of the Super Bowl- the halftime show.  Image

Enjoying Soda- UNlimiter Style

Generally speaking, I live a relatively UNlimited life.  I suppose that living with my disability for more than a decade has allowed me ample time to adapt without much thought.  Many of my accommodations for my limb loss occur so naturally that I must make a concerted effort to recognize the adaptations.  Living a life with limb loss has become my norm.

Although I’m comfortable with living as an amputee, I have come to recognize that I have made adjustments to just about every aspect of my life. From the obvious, such as installing permanent grab bars to my bathroom, to the discrete, I am constantly tweaking and searching for easier ways. Each change, in its own way, has helped to simplify my life.

My family, especially my husband, consumes an obscene amount of soda. We used to have 2 liter bottles lined across the back of my kitchen counters, and mountains of cans stacked in the corner. Although I hated the aesthetic aspects that soda storage caused, I despised lugging everything from the car more!

Carrying heavy and cumbersome objects is something that I will never ever fully embrace. I don’t feel safe when I can’t use the handrail when  going up or down the stairs. Balancing heavy loads makes me feel precarious, especially when I can’t see my prosthesis to confirm proper step placement.  Schlepping heavy boxes of soda cans, or bags overflowing with 2 liter bottles, was a chore which I avoided whenever possible.

I’ve come to the conclusion that the Soda Stream must have been invented to make the lives easier of those with disabilities. Gone are the days of carrying heavy and awkward cans and bottles from the car to the kitchen. I no longer have 1/3 bottles of flat soda lined up on my countertop, and the soda can fort is gone from the corner of my dining room.

I admit that I was skeptical of the Soda Stream the first dozen times I saw the store display. Would the soda taste good? Did the machine work as advertised? Was the convenience worth the initial investment? Would this machine actually end us saving us money?  After finally breaking down and giving it a try, I have to say that the answer to all of these questions is a resounding yes!

My husband and I have different tastes when it comes to soda, and we are now able to easily accommodate both of our preferences. Instead of pushing around the large bottles, we now have a variety of syrups which store discretely in our cabinet. At the push of a button we can make any soda desired and we don’t have to worry about the excess going flat. We only make what we can drink, assuring that we always have the proper carbonation.

Although my husband loves the variety of flavors, I appreciate the fact that we no longer have to wrestle with moving heavy cans and bottles. This machine has completely eliminated a situation which used to render me uncomfortable and unsafe. In another small way, the Soda Stream has helped me to continue my UNlimiter status!

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Cat Duty–UNlimited

I have always loved animals. Growing up we had both cats and dogs and, although I loved both, I have come to accept that I am more of a cat person. I have nothing against dogs, but I appreciate the self-reliance and simplicity of being a cat parent.

Dogs, at least those that I have grown up with, tend to jump and knock me off balance. They grab dishrags, remote controls and cell phones and take of scurrying through the house, creating an ill-advised version of canine tag.  Regardless of the weather or the state of my limb, a dog would have to be walked. For all of these reasons, I prefer feline companionship. Of course, these experiences are also an indication of our total inability to competently teach our canine companions.

Cats, at least the two in our house, are low maintenance friends. They curl on my lap to get warm, play and entertain my little boy, and use a litter box independently. I appreciate all of those attributes. Both cats are full-fledged family members who know their roles and responsibilities.  They don’t trip me up when I walk, catch a rogue mouse occasionally and accept doting and love.  All things considered, being a cat in our household is a pretty good gig.

The only part of cat ownership I don’t relish is the litter box. Of course, it certainly beats the alternative of pooper scooping outside in all weather.  However, digging around in feline excrement is not my idea of entertainment.  I’ve quickly discovered that a primary benefit of this pregnancy is the “no litter box” rule dictated by my OB/GYN.

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I have been coveting the Litter Maid automated cat box for years and was ecstatic when he came home with it one day. After filling it with litter and plugging it in, we anxiously waited for the cats to visit so that we could watch the machine in action.  The prospect of not having to squat and precariously balance over a dirt filled, smelly and unhygienic box was almost too exciting to bear!

I have to admit that I am surprised with how well this little machine works. In one movement it sweeps the dirty litter into a self-contained receptacle. The dirty litter container has a lid which helps to control odor and mess.  Knowing that our house will again be wreaking with unsavory baby smells, any odor control barriers are greatly appreciated!

Although I can’t change the dirty litter container when it becomes full, I have no doubt that the task will be both easy and quick. I am excited that I’ll no longer be squatting over the litter box, trying to balance while digging through a pan of cat excrement.  The fact that I won’t have to be intimate with the cat box makes the prospect of my reassuming this responsibility acceptable.  The Littermaid Automatic Litterbox is just another product which has helped me to become an UNlimiter!

Journaling in the New Year

For weeks we have been inundated with commercials tempting us to eat the extra cookies, forgo the diet and indulge. It felt like it was almost scrooge-like to deny yourself.  After all, it was the holidays!

As soon as the countdown begins for the New Year, the messaging changes. Television commercials switch from “go ahead and eat the cookie” to “you’re fat because you ate too many cookies. You need a diet.” If we aren’t being told that we are fat, we are out-of-shape, disorganized or downright dirty.  Watching television this time of years feels like an exercise in masochism.  Personally, I prefer the pre-holiday commercials. At least when I turned off the television I was happily munching on a cookie instead of feeling like an overweight, out of shape, messy failure!

Every year I have fallen into the New Year/New You marketing trap. This year is different. I am working too much, too busy with my family and I am pregnant. I don’t have time to beat myself up. This year, I have resolved to grant myself holistic acceptance. Maybe it is because I am turning 40 this year, but if I want to make a change in my life it will not be because celebrities on television tell me I’m overweight and need to buy their diet plans.

Acceptance is turning into the greatest gift. Instead of starting the New Year feeling badly, I find myself feeling optimistic and happy. This doesn’t mean that I haven’t opened the door to improvement, but it does mean that I will make changes on my timeline, not based upon the changing of a calendar. Between managing my work, family and pregnancy, I am simply too overwhelmed to embark on any radical personal projects.

With acceptance comes personal reflection. With my mind freed from self-punishing dialogs, I have rediscovered a sense of enthusiasm which has missing for some time.  It is amazing the optimism that comes from switching the internal dialog from “you’re not good enough” to “what makes you happy.”  Lately I have been so overwhelmed with ideas and dreams that I needed a place to write them all down.

I suppose I could easily write my ideas into a Word document, but I spend so much of my professional life on the computer that I wanted something special. I have decided to go start an old-fashioned, pen and paper journal. I have discovered that there is something special about handwriting on paper. It takes more time, but it also allows me more of an opportunity to reflect and escape. In an effort to affirm that my thoughts, dreams and goals have value, I picked a journal which reflected my newly granted acceptance.  Writing, just for myself, has helped to UNlimit my potential.

Change is always difficult and is only successful when implemented on a personal timeline. Hanging a new a calendar, and being bombarded with negative messages is not the motivation most people need. This year, I encourage everybody to embrace acceptance instead of falling into the pattern of forced change. I truly believe that self-improvement will be a natural extension of acceptance, and that the changes will be lasting. For me, writing in a journal is my first step towards self-discovery.

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Happy New Year. May 2014 be the year of acceptance (and the journal!)

Being Prepared

A few weeks ago I received an email from the teenage son of a friend of mine. He was visiting Washington DC for a leadership conference and was experiencing residual limb issues.  This was his first time traveling without his parents, an experience compounded by the fact that he is a quad amputee. (He lost his limbs to an infection he contracted when he was 9.)

He has been living without his limbs longer than he had them, but time does not make somebody an expert. Thankfully for him, skin breakdown is rare. When it did occur in the past, his parents were prepared to help him deal with it. Unsure of what to do with his developing blisters, he reached out to me.

Upon reading his email I immediately drove to the pharmacy to compile an emergency first aid kit. Inside a large Ziploc bag I put Band-Aid blister protectors, large Band-Aids (careful to choose the type that does not pull) and a large tube of antibiotic cream.  I also put some gauze pads, mole skinspray antiseptic for pain relief and an ace wrap to provide compression at night.

The blister Band-Aids are idea for covering small skin lesions on the residual limb. Although the prosthesis should not be worn when a blister or sore develops, sometimes going limbless is just not feasible. He was in a new area, without his wheelchair, and eager to keep up with his peers. I knew that the blister protectors would thwart further damage from occurring while allowing him to keep his mobility.

After delivering the supplies to his hotel, I wrote to his Mom to explain the situation. He was unprepared for this emergency, but thankfully he knew enough to reach out for help. Next time he travels he will have an emergency kit with him, and he will be prepared for most issues that arise.

I wanted to share his experience because there are 500 new amputees every day in this country. When a limb is lost, everything feels foreign and new. It can feel overwhelming trying to absorb all of the information about prosthetic, skin care and residual limb health. Keeping an emergency skin kit on hand should be an integral part of every amputee’s arsenal, but it is often overlooked.

In my opinion every prosthetic using amputee should keep these supplies on hand. I keep identical first aid kits in my luggage, in the car, at my Mom’s house and in my medicine cabinet. Sores and blisters never develop at a convenient time, but staying prepared to treat them when they arise can stave off further damage.

Ready for Snow!

A chill is in the air and the leaves are turning beautiful hues of orange and gold. There is no doubt about it, I won’t be wearing my shorts and tank tops for several long months.  During the past few years my region has been relatively lucky in terms of ice and snow. Much to the chagrin of my little boy, we only had one substantial snow last year. Apparently this is a big bummer when you have a new sled to try out.

Meteorologists are already predicting that we will be receiving more snow and ice this year. Although I won’t count on it, I will admit that we are overdue for a hard winter. I know my little guy will be delighted if school is called off for snow. I can’t control possible snow accumulations, but I can be prepared!

Being a lower extremity amputee poses unique obstacles every season. In the summer many amputees complain of excessive sweating within their liners. In the spring and fall, slipping on wet leaves or nut shells poses a risk of falling. In the winter, the threat of snow and ice strikes fear into many lower extremity amputees. There is little more unnerving than trying to ambulate on a thin sheet of ice while wearing a prosthesis.

Slipping a prosthetic into winter boots is not always feasible. My prosthetic ankle is fixed, so trying to don a boot is both cumbersome and time consuming. I just don’t have a spare 30 minutes to try to put on a single boot.

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Some amputees adapt by wearing a treaded boot on the sound foot while keeping their everyday shoe on the prosthetic. In addition to contributing to instability because of the differing heel heights, the lack of winter tread on the prosthetic side can lead to slipping and falling.  Although this approach works in a pinch, it is not a long term solution.A safer option is donning a pair of Yaktrax Walker Traction Cleats. The hand-wound coils on these cleats provide a full 360 degrees of traction on snow and ice. With each step the metal coils “bite” into the ice to provide stability and thwart slipping. The cleats are easy to slip over bottom of shoes and are quickly removed. The prosthetic does not need to be removed in order to don and remove these ice grippers.

Before the forecasts have  you are stocking up on milk, bread and toilet paper, you might want to consider picking up a pair of Yaktrax Walker cleats.  These ingenious little treads allow me to walk on the ice and snow safely. Because I know that my foot is not going to slip on the slick patches, I no longer stuck inside while everybody else is sledding.

Apple Prep- Simplified

I adore apple season. From applesauce simmering on my stove top to pies in the oven, I am constantly in the midst of an apple cooking project. Needless to say, my house smells heavenly!

This time of year I tend to spend a lot of time in the kitchen, whipping up treats which always taste better when there is a chill in the air. While I enjoy cooking and baking, sometimes the prep work is laborious and exhausting.  Wishing I could find a kitchen tool that would clean up the mess, I have been forced to settle for items that simplify the prep work.

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Admittedly, I am a kitchen appliance and gadget collector. My cabinets and drawers are overflowing with specialized items, each touting promises to make my cooking experience quicker, faster and more delicious. I am an eternal optimist, some would say foolish, so I typically believe each testimonial and buy the product.

On a rare occasion, one of the kitchen gadgets actually lives up to its promise. My apple peeler/ slicer is one of those products. This ingenious little tool makes the dreaded task of peeling, seeding and cutting apples both easy and quick. I can’t believe I’ve spent so much time trying to peel bushels of apples with an uncomfortable and often awkward vegetable peeler.

Peeling apples with a standard peeler was difficult because I have some hand strength issues. Apparently spending 5 years on crutches has caused some mild nerve damage. Most of the time it isn’t too intrusive, but repetitive hand movements can exacerbate the problem. Using a standard peeler I was often forced to stop every few minutes to relax my hands. The pain certainly interfered with the pleasure I used to reap from baking.

I love how quickly I can peel and cut several pounds of apples using this tool. I am able to get my pies into the oven with minimal prep work. Because I am cranking a handle and not grasping an uncomfortable peeler, my hands do not tire and I do not feel the aching pain in the palm of my hand.  As an added bonus, the reduced prep time equates to less time standing. Anytime I can reduce the amount of time I need to stand and load my prosthesis I will do it!

Not only is this peeler/slicer ideal for apple preparation, I found that it works great for potatoes. Whether I am making mashed, scalloped or hash browned potatoes, this peeler is up for the task. Allowing me to save my hand strength and unload my prosthesis, this little kitchen tool certainly helps me to be an UNlimiter in the kitchen!

Bag Mate

Despite living with a prosthetic leg, I love going for walks. I find little more relaxing than turning my phone to Pandora and going for a long stroll through the neighborhood. The time alone affords me a much needed opportunity to regroup and to clear my head. Walking has become my sanctuary.

Although I enjoy going for little jaunts, I utterly detest walking while carrying any sort of load. Anytime my center of balance is compromised, by carrying an awkward package or heavy objects, I become hyper cognizant of each step. When I feel unsafe, I tend to avoid the activity.

Being a busy Mom, avoidance is not a solution. Although I would prefer to never carry a package or bag, it is simply not a reality. Gallons of ice cream would melt if I didn’t carrying it in from the car after grocery shopping. Circumstances have left me with no choice but to carry the cumbersome, and often times poorly packed plastic grocery bags up our outside steps and into my home. 

Tackling the grocery bag predicament, I began to investigate better options. I suppose I could make multiple trips up and down the steps to and from the car, but that seemed laborious. My time is limited, so I always seek the fastest and safest way to accomplish a task. 

My husband, tired of coming home from work and having to carry in every non-perishable item that I bought at the grocery store, began to do some research. Several months ago he found these bag carrying hooks. Simply brilliant in design, I immediately knew that these hooks were the solution we had been seeking.

It took a little practice loading, but I can now carry five bags on each hook, for a total of ten bags of groceries, on one trip. I have learned to load the bag hooks evenly, so I am not weighted heavier on one side. Even weight distribution, coupled with my carrying the load on a single point, has been the solution I’ve been seeking. As an added bonus, because I’m holding the comfort grip handle instead of the thin plastic handles, my hands and wrists are spared the painful pressure points often inflicted by the handles cutting into my arms. 

These bag carrying hooks, although seemingly inconsequential, have made a great difference in my life. Being able to comfortably carry the groceries into my home, without compromising safety, has been wonderful! (My husband certainly appreciates not being loaded up like a pack mule as soon as he comes home from work.)  I love how such a simple idea has created a profound impact on my life. These bag hooks have certainly helped me to become an UNlimiter!

Game Console Fitness

Because I am intrinsically lacking the “I love to work-out and sweat” gene, I am constantly searching for new options to keep me motivated. Time constraints, my lack of motivation as well as my limb loss combine to make working-out a chore.  I find that I am more apt, and hence more successful, when I am able to merge my working out with my daily activities.

Being the Mom to a little boy, my house is filled with game consoles and games. My husband and son can spend hours playing games and, although I am not a gamer, I have learned to appreciate their value. Not only do the games afford me a few moments of solitude, I discovered that I now have access to a wide library of work-out routines. A number of games incorporate enough movement to work up a sweat and to burn calories. After all, fitness doesn’t have to happen in a gym.

Active is an interactive program designed to move the player through a variety of work-outs. This basic fitness program has options to work sections of the body, or to run you through a whole body workout. Because of the ability to personalize, the player can eliminate the exercises which are difficult or painful. I find that I have to adjust many of the exercises to accommodate for my prosthesis, but it typically doesn’t seem to interfere with the work-out.

Dance Dance Revolution has received a lot of press in the past months. Despite it’s popularity, many lower extremity amputees find it frustrating with the constant impact on the residual limb becoming painful. This is a game that utilizes primarily foot movement in quick succession. Dancing ability, which I am admittedly lacking, is a requisite for this game. Although it looks fun, I had a difficult time with the pace, the impact and the pistoning within my socket as I tried to mimic the moves.

Just Dance, another physical game, only utilizes the hand controller. Foot options are demonstrated on the screen but are not required to score points. Lower extremity amputees are not at a disadvantage! Be careful, this game will have you working up a sweat in a song or two.

On days when I can’t walk outside, I have started turning to my XBox and Wii for an effective and fun fitness experience.

Go Walk.

Unlike many of my friends who have Zappos bookmarked and love spending hours walking through DWS, I have never been a “shoe person.” Of course I buy shoes, but simply because it is more comfortable to keep my feet covered versus trying to make a fashion statement. I don’t coordinate my shoes to match an outfit (unless I am going to a wedding or funeral) because it is inconvenient to change shoes on my prosthesis. If I cared about fashion, I suppose it wouldn’t be an issue, but since I don’t care, it is nothing short of a hassle to pry the shoe off of a plastic foot shell and then try to wiggle another one in its place.

Even before my amputation I was not a shoe aficionado. Since I’ve become an amputee, my blase feelings towards footwear have only increased. I find shoe shopping an exercise in frustration. People inevitably stare when I whip off my leg so that I can have a better angle to wiggle on a new shoe. Although I typically smile through the process, I hate trying shoes on in public!  I tend to buy the same brand, style and size of shoe once I find a pair that is comfortable.

I have found Skechers to be the most comfortable and prosthetic friendly shoe for me. I like the stretch along the tongue, which allows easier access for my quasi-human shaped foot shell. I am particularly fond of Shape-Ups, not because of the toning benefits but because the shape of the sole allows me to roll over the toe of my prosthesis with ease. My gait is more natural with this little boost of assistance.

A few weeks ago I tried a new style of Skechers, the “Go Walk” shoe. My first impression was the weight of the shoe. This shoe is light, weighing in at only 4.5 ounces. By comparison, my Skechers DeLite shoe weighs 10 ounces. When wearing a prosthesis that weighs upwards of 7 pounds, any reduction in weight is greatly appreciated!  (Yes, I admit to digging through the abyss of my kitchen cupboard in order to find my scale so I could provide an accurate weight. I not only found the scale, but discovered a can of Spaghetti-Os that expired in 2009. I really need to clean out my cupboards!)

Impressed but not convinced by weight, I decided to try on the shoe . Wow, the stretchy material on the top of the shoe certainly made it easier to slip it onto my prosthesis. A few steps and I was sold! The bubble-like sole assists with the roll-over that I love from the Shape-Up shoe, without compromising heel height or comfort. Not only do I love how these shoes feel, but I like the way that they look.  Because of the simple lines, I can wear them with a skirt or with jeans.

I know that this sounds like a commercial for Skechers, but I assure you I am not compensated by the company. I am simply excited that I found something that is working so well for me. Every once in awhile I discover a new product that makes my life as an amputee easier. I know that others struggle with shoes and I think that the Go Walk shoe might be a solution. I have found that Skechers shoes have helped me become an Unlimiter in life!

Here is a brief video of me walking in the Shape-Up shoe:

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