Wednesday, April 23, 2003

A day of small steps, giant leaps....and a new acronym to add to my increasingly bulging dictionary of amputee-speak.

Today's new word -- a "PPAM," defined thus: "A Pneumatic Post Amputation Mobility Aid is an inflatable device (not a prosthesis) that is used in the UK by physiotherapists as part of the rehabilitation programme prior to prosthetic rehabilitation." I hope you're keeping up. There'll be a test later.

Basically a PPAM is a cross between a sock and a bicycle inner tube. It sounds and looks ridiculous, but that's part of the fun of it.

Jo my physio stuffed the thing over old Mr S, gave it a few puffs with a bicycle pump and instructed me to rise from my chariot. For the first time in three weeks I was able to walk on two feet (or one foot and a great big marigold glove to be more precise). It looked absurd but felt fantastic. For the first time since the operation I was able to think "aha, I WILL walk again", although hopefully in time it'll be with something more graceful than a PPAM.

Despite these small triumphs, me and Mr S still aren't seeing completely eye to eye. I'm trying to make friends with him but it's taking time. I still treat him warily. My foot's been replaced by a smooth, round.....hate the word but I'm going to saying it anyway....stump. It's actually quite aesthetically pleasing. The nurses coo over how healthy and well it looks. Still, it's not my foot. I know I'm still grieving for my lost limb. Over the weekend we played the popular amputee parlour game "how much would you pay to get your leg back?" I'd pay almost anything -- but it's not going to happen.

Discuss Northern Iraq -- and Beyond


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