Wednesday, 27 July 2016

"Do not judge me by my success. Judge me by how many times I fall down and get back up again"

I have enjoyed my few days off it has given me a chance to get out and do a spot of riding and even get out on my blade and try and get the hang of this thing they call running. Where I am concerned I am not so sure it would be classed as running as Omg! I am all over the place.

Anyhoo this morning I got up went straight downstairs after getting dressed of course, skipped breakfast and popped my Challenged Athletes / Arctic ONE running limb on. A quick bit tinker with the Pace Rehabilitation supplied socket to make sure I had it on correct and I had a little bit bounce around the house. I then grabbed my car keys and headed off over the Millennium Green in Tango. I figured the ground shouldn't be too boggy over the field and I could see how the new check socket my prosthetist Paul Richardson from Pace had designed was preforming and feeling.

Now before I go any further anyone who knows me will know I am pretty critical of myself so I don't want you thinking I have treat this mornings almost a mile of practising as a complete fail. I have mixed feelings about my little outing. So when you read this you will hopefully see some constructive criticism based around how I am learning to use my blade. I sometimes have to stop and remind myself that although I have had my running blade set up for sometime I have not been using it due to illness last year and also had a few issues with both volume and and  an incredibly painful area in my hamstring which prevented me from running any further than a few hundred meters. So this blog contains a mixed bag really, however overall I think the positives far outweigh the negatives and I know Paul my prosthetist will be as chuffed as I am that he / we seem to be on the right track for curing this dam awful pain I was getting in my hamstring. 

Ok so once over the Millennium Green a little bit of a bouncing warm up. I then set about just running a circuit of the football pitch. My cardio sucks at the moment and truth be known as I was running I was just waiting for the horrible hamstring pain to  develop, it never did so I was well pleased. I ran about a length of the football field, however the limb just didn't feel right. It's difficult trying to figure out what is going on especially when you don't have your prosthetist there. Anyhoo as I was running I just did not feel confident, as if my running blade was not secure under me. Inevitably as I began getting more tired and started to feel less confident the blade went from under me. This actually happened 5 times as I kept doing short little runs. Running as far as I could before becoming out of breath. I managed to catch myself each time, however it's painful on the good knee. On the 6th time the running blade went from under me I landed on my ass. This is the first time I have actually fell whilst using the blade, something I knew would happen , yet it happened so fast it caught me by surprise.

As I have said the blade just did not feel quite right, yet I couldn't figure out why. At this point I decided to head back to Tango, take off my socket and see if I could readjust to make sure I had the limb in just the right place. After doing this I rang my dad, The Ern and asked " can you come over and bring some gear". Paul had pretty much given me free reign to have a bit gentle tweak of the set up of the knee and foot. There are a few alignment lines drawn on my various bits so I knew Paul could always put it back to it's original place. When Ern arrived I demonstrated what was happening by running up and down the field a little. I have really powerful muscles in certain areas of my stump I think this is due to using a resisted leg, the Bartlett Tendon for riding. So what tends to happen when I run is these powerful muscles fire up and it causes my hip to rotate, which then causes my blade to flick. After a little chat with Ern we decided to alter the angle of the blade and again I went for a little jog. I could feel the difference and although my blade was still flicking,at least it felt more under me.

I have been really disheartened of late. All of my limbs have decided to 'Just Not Fit' and all at the same time. This has had a massive effect on me physically and mentally, as I like to be active. I don't like it when people say things like 'Take it easy or relax'. I had years and years of taking it easy and relaxing because I couldn't do anything due to a leg that was knackered. So to have a taste of actually being able to do something then get frustrated due to socket fit really frustrates and irritates me. Many of my close friends and people who follow my blog can tell when I am feeling out of sorts as I go all quiet. I don't Facebook or Blog and tend to retreat. Sometimes I just need to reflect on what's going on, however this doesn't mean I have given up.

As the quote I chose for this particular entry says "Do not judge me by my success. Judge me by how many times I fall down and get back up again" Nelson Mandella. Well today I almost fell five times and on the 6th I did. On that occasion I sat there for a while and tried to figure out what was going on. I then got up and instead of quitting and going home, rang my dad who came over to be with me and offer his support. And from there I tried again. Again on reflection I guess a lesson learned is it's nice to have someone to help you get up. Thanks dad.

So negatives from today before I end on a few positives.

I wish I could control the flick of my blade/knee more as it is all over the place. I need to work on my cardio. My good knee is pretty sore and painful. Socket wise still a few minor tweaks to report back to Paul with concerning comfort. Loss of confidence.

Positives and this is a huge one, no hamstring pain or feeling like my muscle is going to explode. I was able to run further without stopping. Regained confidence and realised once limb is in final stage it will be set up just right. This is just a test phase and in order to get it right I have to practice.

Oh and I am not finished there, once back home I whipped off the running limb and did a quick Go Go Gadget change into my Bartlett Tendon.

 Paul has made me a check socket so that I can get out and then move on to a final socket after tests. So I went for a 7 mile or so ride out on my single speed NS Analog. 

 Wow man it's tough on the hills and as I live in a pretty hilly area, well I had to get off and push on 2 occasions. Enjoyed a little tootle to my Aunty Claire and Uncle Dave's then a nice ride back.

What to do now LoL

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