Create Your Own Luck
March is often known as a lucky month. It is the third month of the year, and St. Patrick’s Day falls on the 17th. Yet anyone who solely relies on luck surely hasn’t achieved much in their life.
Waiting and hoping something good happens after a setback is understandably natural, especially after something as life altering as an amputation or debilitating injury. But luck rarely smiles on those who don’t work for it. As Thomas Jefferson said, “I am a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.”
Be a person of action and pursue what it is you want most. By working hard and going after your passion, you may just find yourself running into a bit of “luck” yourself!
We’ve compiled some great information and a great story for you this month:
Mark your calendar for this month’s Amputee Support Group meeting!
- 3/4 UNI Athletic Training In-Service
- 3/11 Younker Rehab Des Moines In-Service
- 3/15 TLC Amputee Support Group Meeting, Covenant Hospital Cafeteria at 2PM
- 3/24 Unity Point Home Health PT Cedar Rapids In-Service
- 3/30 Manor Care Cedar Rapids In-Service
Patient Spotlight: Charles Decker
Returning to the Outdoors
On November 5th, 2011, Charles Decker was involved in a near head-on car accident. The collision was extreme and required use of the “jaws of life” to lift the car engine off of his crushed right ankle. The injury to Charles’ ankle required extensive reconstructive surgery including use of medical pins.
Though the injuries that Charles sustained in the car accident were quite severe, it seemed like he would make a complete recovery. However, on December 26th2011, Charles was admitted to the hospital due to a serious infection. After nearly a month of battling the infection, it was determined by his doctors that an amputation of his right leg, below the knee was the only remaining option.
Following the amputation, Charles adjusted well to ambulating with a prosthesis. With the help of his Prosthetist, John Costello, Charles has been able to return to the activities he loves like boating and fishing on the Mississippi River. When not found on the water, Charles thoroughly enjoys doing activities with his grandchildren.
Amputee Tips & Tricks
In our third installment of Tips and Tricks, our Prosthetists discuss the importance of consistent fit and alignment. They also highlight steps that you can take to avoid potential skin issues that can be the result of improper fit or alignment.
It is extremely important to maintain your prosthetic fit. Poor fit may lead to numerous symptoms such as rashes, blisters and other skin irritations, all of which can be precursors to infection. If you are a below the knee amputee, be sure to monitor your sock ply throughout the day and adjust it whenever necessary. If you begin to experience hot spots or pain in a particular area, make the necessary adjustments (adding or removing socks). In the event that those adjustments do not correct the issue, contact your prosthetist for an appointment.
The best way to prevent your fit from worsening is to maintain your body weight. Stability of body weight is the number one key to avoiding fit issues. The following are guidelines for weight fluctuations and how they may affect your socket fit:
- 3 – 5 lbs. noticeable difference that may require minor socket adjustments
- 5 – 10 lbs. requires major socket adjustments
- 10 – 15 lbs. may require complete reevaluation of socket
- 15 – 20 lbs. may need entire new prosthesis
While fluctuations in weight can have a significant impact on socket fit, improper prosthetic alignment can also lead to problems such as pressure, swelling and breakdown. We recommend scheduling appointments with your prosthetist every three to six months to review your alignment.
Ask the Clinician: Jill Roberts, Certified Mastectomy Fitter
Q: Why do I need a new prescription every year for mastectomy bras and/or breast prostheses?
A: All items provided by our company have to be ordered by a doctor and we have to follow the doctor’s orders of items on the prescription. For your health insurance to pay for mastectomy items it has to be deemed medically necessary. Your doctor is the only one who can decide what is medically necessary, and for our company to file a claim with your insurance company we have to have a new prescription every year.Q: Why do I need a new prescription every year for mastectomy bras and/or breast prostheses?
Q: Does my health insurance cover the cost of the breast prosthesis and mastectomy bras?
A: Yes, most health insurance policies do cover the cost of these items, but each insurance plan allows different numbers of items that can be obtained, as well as how often items may be replaced. Our office staff would be glad to verify your insurance coverage at the time of your appointment and inform you of what is allowed by your policy. We will also check the status of your deductible and out-of-pocket amounts so that you can make decisions based upon all available information.