Stayin’ alive

A kidney dialysis/transplant diary

A first few steps

It was early yesterday, not bright but early, when Jim showed up at the apartment door with my first prosthetic in hand. He plopped on the floor in the kitchen area and began tinkering with the post holding the foot to the knee cup. Adjusting the alignment allows him to make the leg operate more successfully for me, he said, and that allows better balance.

The physical therapist arrived a few minutes later. Jim added a silicon-lined sleeve to the inside of the prosthetic and then slipped one on my stump (I hate that word) and smoothed the air out of it. I’ll need to keep the air smoothed from it, he said, to keep the stump from filling in those areas as it shrinks to fit into the prosthetic.

To keep the fit tight and the prosthetic on my leg, socks will be added to fill the gap between my leg and the plastic cup cradling my knee. He added a shoe to the prosthetic and a shoe to my left foot. The shoe is 2+ sizes smaller than the shoe I had been wearing and is a diabetic shoe (no seams on the inside of the shoe to rub against my toes or foot.  I have to be especially judicious with my left foot since it now will carrying the majority of the load for me.

“I told you you’re going to walk today,” Jim said. And so I did. 10 feet down the path of the rest of my life.

It was scary and thrilling all at the same time. Learning the gait will take time, I know, but there was no pain in my right leg. Some in my left knee because I need to build strength there and keep it working to stave off more arthritis.

I was a bit wobbly, but wobbly’s better than not trying at all.

I feel better about things and a little more hopeful.

Today’s shower helped, too. It’s amazing how little things add up to make life better. It took time and instruction and help from the occupational therapist, but here I sit nice and clean and smelling fresh.

Things are good today and I see the physical therapist at 2. I think for another short walk.


October 16, 2008 - Posted by | diabetes, dialysis, fistula, health, kidney, renal diet, renal recipes, transplant, weight loss


  1. This is great news Kathy! Hope all those little things keep improving for you and before you know it, you’ll be back at the old work place.

    Comment by CathyMae Joy | October 16, 2008 | Reply

  2. I have been silently following your blog, and reading your progresses. Your a survivor, and doing incredibly well.

    Health is so important, not having great health is a challenge.
    Those who have good health cannot appreciate that for those of us who have been fighting it can be like a daily marathon.

    I am 36, yet some days I feel 90. Age has nothing to do with quality of life. Its the mentality to beat the odds, and fight on.

    Kind Regards Kirsten:)

    Comment by Bladder girl | October 16, 2008 | Reply

  3. Kathy,
    You go girl!!

    When Nikolai,my son, has been in the hospital, I have noticed that sometimes it is almost a relief for me. Just to have the simplest things to focus on- showering, a decent meal, walking the halls, and reading. A break from all the bad news, election stuff, economy stuff etc. When we have gone home I have caught myself being a little bit “homesick” for that way of life. Does that sound weird or what?? I know that being cooped-up is not fun. This may sound crazy, but maybe you could try writing your/ your mom’s memories down. What childhood was like, even what your room was like, family recipes, funny family stories, etc. It sounds like you have a lot to tell people.

    It is amazing that you got flooded from your apartment and eneded up in a handicap accessible place and then this happened to your leg. All I can say is either mere happenings or God has really long fingers…

    Kudos walking on the new leg!!

    Comment by Angela | October 17, 2008 | Reply

  4. Thanks, Cathy. I miss work, honestly, and getting back is one of my primary goals. It’s going to be awhile yet, but I’m working toward that.

    Angela — thanks for the comment and encouragement. It goes a long way in helping cope and feeling less alone.

    Comment by iowakitkat | October 19, 2008 | Reply

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