Tuesday, April 20, 2010


I've just started reading a blog called 'Gisoku Budo' (Gisoku means artificial leg in japanese; budo means martial arts) which is written by an above knee amputee, so really relevant for me. He obviously uses a silicone sheath like mine, too. AND his amputated leg is his left leg. So lots of similarities.

I found it so relieving and validating to read one of his posts about having to stay home from something because of sores on his stump. It's a hard thing to talk about sores or in-grown hairs on your stump, mostly because it's so hard for others to relate to it. I have sometimes said to people that 'I'm having trouble with my leg' when i need to cancel going out to something, rather than the more specific and honest excuse 'I have a painful infected in-grown hair on the weight bearing part of my stump because I have sweated lots inside a tightly fitting silicone covering'. I mean, firstly yuk, and secondly? Lame excuse. It sounds so weak to me, so to read this post and say yes! my pain from one bloody hair on my leg is awful enough to cancel something and someone else gets that! is lovely, though to be fair if I was honest and told my friends the more specific reason, they would probably be more understanding than I give them credit for.

Anyway here's the quote from his post in full: "woke up on Wednesday morning with an absolute cracker of an infected sore on my stump. This isn’t necessarily anything unusual by itself, it’s just annoying. I think a lot of these instances are caused by infected hair follicles or in-grown hairs, both of which are apparently pretty common amongst amputees. The reason behind them as I understand it is due to the nature of the situation – the stump’s generally wrapped in a non-porous material (in my case, a sheath of silicon that acts as a membrane between my stump and the socket), you get sweaty over the course of the day (exasperated at this point in time by the Australian summer heat), and being a guy and having hairy man legs (is this too much information at this point??), something’sgot to give. If I get them in random spots on the leg it’s not too dramatically bad, but when I get them along the areas that support my weight around the socket (typically around the top of the socket and at the very base), it can be extremely painful. Imagine a crazy blind pimple on the ball and heel of your foot, that’s what it feels like."

Can I get a "hell yes?"

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