Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Suspension Sleeve issues

I am an active amputee. Being close to 250 pounds and 6 foot 6 inches, when I do something, its usually not by halves. I get after things. One issue that I had was that every time I would kneel down to do anything, I would either bruise or cut my suspension sleeve. Carbon fiber is rather unforgiving and is pretty tough on stuff. Even all sanded down and polished up when you put that much weight on it it will cut through the gel of a liner like scissors,. Most of you know the woes of having your suspension sleeve loose its airtight seal. No matter how you adjust and move it around, you still get a little pistoning in your socket. Ouch.

My prosthestis, John, decided that he would try a different type of suspension sleeve for me. It is an Ottobock sleeve and the gel on it is reinforced. The cloth on the outside is made of a sturdier material and overall it is much more resistant to being cut. The only drawback? Contact dermatitis. Yuck!

I take extraordinary care of my residual limb. I keep it clean, I check it every day for rub spots and pressure marks and every thing a good amputee is supposed to do, but all of a sudden I had a huge red welt all the way around my leg. It itched and burned and broke the skin out. I was absolutely miserable. I figured I  would just have to go back to my old sleeve and be a little less 'active' or find some work around to keep the sleeve's integrity intact..

I changed one little thing about my routine before I gave up entirely. I had been using a special lotion on my leg, one that advertises that it is special for diabetics. Yes it is a national brand and I don't want to call them out. It has aluminum oxide as one of the active ingredients. I decided to try a more natural product. I decided to use a good Shea butter lotion. Bath and Body Works sells a product called True Blue™. It is a thick shea butter lotion that has a pleasant smell, Using this every night for about a week, the irritation subsided and I was able to wear the new liner.

I know a lot of people have issues with skin irritation, and as always I refer you to your own physician for direct medical advice. I tend to try new things and am willing to suffer the consequences if I make the wrong choice. Understand that if you do try this lotion, it is one of those things that takes a little while to kick in, and all bodies are different. I have a feeling that the other lotion's ingredients were the root cause of my problem and not the liner. Finding this product has allowed me to enjoy just a little more freedom,

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