Monday, October 4, 2010

Righty (or at least Righty's Robot Replacement) rides again!

So wednesday I saw Doc Jones who, after checking the CT scan to make sure that the bone bridge in my residual leg was healing up well, gave the green light to get fit for my first prosthetic leg. Thursday i went and saw Joe at Peak Prosthetics who cast a mold of my leg so friday i could go back and get fit. Friday between classes T-dub and I went back and Joe set me up with my very first robot leg.

It felt great to be able to walk again, though it will definitely take a little bit of time to get used to. The sensation is a little weird since the weight bearing for the leg now is on what's left of my calf, or more accurately the sides of my calf, as it sits in the socket. That, combined with the flex in the carbon fiber prosthetic foot, kind of make it feel like i'm walking on a trampoline (just not quite as bouncy). Well, walking on a trampoline with one foot, while walking on solid ground with the other, but it's great to be transitioning back to walking and functioning on that level again.

The other simple pleasures that i enjoyed being able to do again are standing and balancing on both legs, and being able to cross my legs. Sounds crazy, but i haven't crossed my left leg over my right for months and to do so was surprisingly satisfying.

First Steps!!

My stump (which T-dub has nicknamed "wade" because she hates calling it a stump) is still a bit tender and sensitive and not accustomed to the pressure of the prosthesis, so it will take a little time to work into being able to walk with a regular gait. For the time being i'm still using one crutch to take off some of the pressure, but it feels great to be walking, and cycling with both legs is even better.

First Ride!!

As soon as we got home friday afternoon we grabbed the bikes and went out for a spin. We're going to have to make a few adjustments to the prosthesis, mainly cutting the back of the socket down behind the knee so it doesn't rub, but overall, pedaling with both legs was great. Again, it's going to take some getting used to, it feels kind of big and clunky and i have a heck of a time unclipping with my right foot (had to take my leg off on one occasion to unclip), but i rode friday, saturday, and sunday, and with each day it felt a little better. Once i get my permanent prosthesis that will hopefully be a little lighter and smaller (around the calf) i think that will help as well. Sunday i got in a little over two hours and 40+ miles with T-dub, my anonymous friend, DDB, and SLC's greatest muralist, and i only tipped over once. Fortunately it was in the grass as we were taking a short cut to get back to a road from the Legacy Parkway and my chain came off. With no tension or momentum i just kind of fell over since i couldn't unclip the right side. Got to work on that!

T-dub, Dr. A., and DDB out for a spin.

This weekend also marked the first race of the Utah Cyclocross series. I rode down to the Draper Equestrian Center Saturday morning with T-dub, then spent most of the rest of the day announcing the races with Bruce B. Although it was weird and a saddened me a bit to ride up to the race knowing that i wasn't racing, especially when i got there and saw everyone warming up, it was still great to be involved and announce the races with Bruce and be on the action a little.

Mark "marlboro" P-Nacky has a new secret training supplement that he's kept on the DL, but i caught this pic of him trying to get a hand up mid-race. Judging by the results, i'm not going to recommend this particular supplement.

The artist came into this race with the lofty goal of not finishing last in his division (men's 35+A). He managed to achieve that castle in the sky ambition by coming in a whole six places from last and only three places down from the notorious MIB (aka the Law Firm of Glenn and Glenn). But lest some think i'm making fun of the artist for setting his goals so high his smallest daughter could step over them without much trouble, i can assure you i'm not because i did, in fact, come in last place in the men's 35+A division last year on a number of occassions when i still had two legs.

My goal for this CX season is simply to race. I don't really have any goals as far as results, hell, i don't even know which category i'm going to race yet. And given the trouble i've had just trying to unclip from my pedal and my total lack of significant training (my right leg looks like a skinny chicken leg right now), this is going to take a bit of work and creative adjustment, but i am determined to race before the season ends. This is true from my brother, the fashionista, as well, who was feeling rather bad this week after he and the artist went out for some CX training and the artist told him he wasn't ready yet, and maybe should keep practicing for a few weeks before he raced.

Skinny, little, chicken leg!

My other more immediate goal is to complete the Run for Bun 5k this upcoming saturday. I imagine i'll have to do it with crutches, but 5k seems pretty manageable. And if you haven't registered for the Run for Bun Dinner & Silent Auction this coming friday night (Oct. 8), or the Family 5k Run/Walk this coming Saturday (Oct. 9), you still have time to do so, but get on it now. Click the link below to register and bring the whole family.


Veronica said...

Awesome post Matt!

It has been an honor to be able to follow you on this journey. Sometimes we aren't aware of when we touch a person's life. I want you to know that this journey you are on has caused me to reflect and grow. I know I'm not alone when I say that. It's not easy to explain what you've done, it's easier to thank you. Thank you for being your amazing self and for allowing us in on this journey.

We'll be there this Saturday! Lu will run, I'll be there to cheer you both on.

Much love, Vero.

matt b. said...

Vero, thanks for the kind words. It likewise has been a pleasure to know you and Lu and work with you both in different capacities (even if i did get my days mixed up and totally missed the panel Lu asked me to participate in).

Saturday you should come and walk with T, Leti, and I. i'm not running for sure, and not setting any speed walking records either. :)