Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Sock it to 'em

The socks I use in side my current prosthetic leg. Lots.
Thick cotton ply jobs (3-4 ply) about 12" (30cm) long.

So what's been happening lately?

Well the trainer project has moved along a bit. The frame is under construction and the flywheel will be machined down to size/weight. I calculated we needed to reduce the radius of the wheel by 45mm to get the weight down to an ideal mass. The SRM power meter is on its way and I should have that in a few days.

I also had a bit of fun with John playing with those uber strong rare earth magnets, rigging up a crude device to enable us to test the theory that they'll provide some form of controllable braking resistance for the ergo. It was a good enough test for us to consider the next step. I fashioned up a rough design as to how we could make it work (keeping in mind the functional but easy and cheap to rig up theme):An online discussion of the project can be found here.

As for my leg - well Schooner is now a 7 to 8 sock kind of guy (meaning I have around 30 ply of sock padding out the leg so it will fit snugly into Schooner's hard outer casing) and as a result he ain't all that comfy anymore. I used to use just one. See the picture above for an idea of how much sock that is. These are fatter than thick footy socks - more like Grandma's knitted bedsocks!

Accordingly, and following a review by my rehab Doctor at the amputee clinic, a script has been written to get funding for a new leg approved (via NSW Dept Health). Once that is cleared (about two weeks), then George at the Appliance and Limb Centre will give me a call to come in for a new sizing. Leg will then take another two weeks to make. So I'm about four weeks away from a new leg. That's about two months faster than normal I'm told.

I won't go for the bog standard (Schooner-like) leg that the subsidy covers but rather use the subsidy to go towards a better model of leg, which will also enable a cycling leg attachment. It'll cost more but it'll be worth it.

My knee flex hasn't improved much despite the best efforts of my physio. Not her fault, I simply haven't done enough regular work on it. For the first time in a long time I have not had the same motivation to do the work needed. It's part mental and part due to my current leg not being all that comfortable. When you start the day with a sore leg, there isn't much motivation to train on it. So I'm hoping the new leg will help me along with that. Everyone says "don't be so hard on yourself". But it's being hard on yourself that gets results, so I'm a bit frustrated with myself at the moment.

My cycle coaching is going along nicely and keeping me mentally active, with another coach asking me to coach them (I have several coaches as clients). Quite ironic in some ways but I suppose coaches really appreciate the value of coaching. My understanding of the ways of training with power has a bit to do with it as well ;)

Apart from my cycle coaching activities (I really enjoy my coaching work), the time has come to gradually venture back to the office and begin the process of re-establishing my "day job". So this week, after various consultations with my Doctor and the HR people at the office, I ventured in for some meetings with the leadership of the business, mainly to say hello and also to discuss what I'll be doing when I start back there next week. It's 11 months since my accident, so there's quite a bit to catch up on. I won't resume my previous duties but instead I'll move into a business improvement role and report directly to the CEO. The challenge of getting back to the work routine will take some adjustment but it'll be good for me. I'll start part-time and will ramp up the hours as I am able.

This getting up early and shaving is a bit rich though!! :)