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Tim Duff: Every Day is More

Many of the patients we see at Optimus Prosthetics have been victims of accidents or have had a medical condition that contributed to their amputation. Tim Duff's story involves a little bit of both.

 

About three years ago, Tim was diagnosed with diabetes, but he said he never took it that seriously. Fast forward to last fall when Jim injured his foot in an accident while he was out doing one of the things in life he enjoys most, hiking. An infection set in, and Tim eventually had to have a below-the-knee amputation performed on his left leg. However, the amputation may have actually helped Tim's overall health.

 

Tim said he's in the best shape he's been in for a very long time. Since the amputation, he has taken his health a lot more seriously, working out and juicing daily.  At 49 years old, Tim said he plans on sticking around for another 40-plus years. He's continued setting goals to stay motivated, such as a "Mega-Hike" he is planning for this fall. The goal may seem super-human, but for someone like Tim, whose prosthetic socket has the Superman logo on it ("The 'S' logo means 'hope,'" he said) it only takes the right attitude.

 

Tim coined a motto, "every day is more," that he has applied to life after his amputation. It originally took four months for him to get his prosthesis because of insurance, and when he finally got his prosthesis, Tim said he expected to be off and running. Instead, it was a process that required patience and hard work every day to be able to do more. Tim said this attitude was critical for keeping not only his spirits up, but also for his family's well-being.

 

"My family - I have an obligation to my wife and kids to be a leader.  I can't let things get me down," Tim said.

 

Tim admits he was scared to start a new chapter in his life after his amputation; but his family, friends and the staff at Optimus Prosthetics has been very supportive and uplifting. He wasn't sure what to expect, but the Optimus staff put all his fears to rest, Tim said.

 

Optimus Prosthetics is extremely grateful to have patients like Tim - those who put in the work and continue setting goals for their lives. We wish him the best of times on his hiking adventure this fall!


Limb Loss Awareness Month: Putting a Face with the Cause

There is something in this country that affects members of every race, gender and age group. It does not distinguish between black or white, male or female, young or old. Over 2 million Americans live with this "condition," and that number is expected to double by 2050. So, what is this thing that knows no boundaries or limits? Limb loss.

 

April is Limb Loss Awareness Month, and it would be easy for us to spout numbers and statistics. But the goal of Limb Loss Awareness Month is to get limb loss in the public eye, and the best way to do this is by putting faces to the story. We hope this personalizes the mission behind Limb Loss Awareness Month and the struggles and triumphs our patients and hundreds of thousands of Americans go through every day.

 

The Struggles

If you are a regular reader of our newsletters, you know we always highlight our patients and their success stories. Unfortunately, these stories often get off to a tragic start, like patient (now employee) Aimee Bishop (now Aimee Eckert), who was hit by another driver who was texting, breaking nearly every bone in her body, causing her to miscarry and be put into a coma. We've also seen our patient success stories begin bleakly for Vicki Koehler, who had a farm accident that ripped off her leg; or Trevor Bates, whose leg was crushed as he sat on his motorcycle at a stoplight and was slammed into by another driver; or our fierce little hockey player, Ben Stewart, who lost his right arm below the elbow to amniotic band syndrome.

 

There are bouts with infection; patients Randy Hayes and Andy Potts can tell you about that. There are stumbles, falls, phantom pain, and pain that isn't quite so phantom. But through the hours of pain and work and exhaustion comes something beautiful.

 

Success

It's amazing watching the transformation that happens with our patients. For some, it's an innate reaction; for others it's an acquired attitude. We could tell you all about it, but we'll let our inspirational patients tell you in their own words with this collection of awesome quotes:

  • Aimee Bishop- "The people I've met - the people in my Amputee Support Group, the people at Optimus, the patients - all of these wonderful people would not be in my life if it weren't for the amputation."
  • Trevor Bates-"Keep your head up, your life is not over.  You may have lost a limb, but you are still here.  And you have to continue to focus on your future, and NOT on what happened to you."
  • Ben Stewart- Whenever other kids ask Ben what happened to his arm he says, "This is what happens when you don't eat your veggies!"
  • Andy Potts- On facing a new challenge: "Don't worry about, 'Can I do it?' or 'Should I do it?' Just go. Try it! Stay active and do something every day."
  • Randy Hayes- "The Lord has much in store for me. He also has a reason for me to still be here; it has encouraged me to seek hard for what that task will be."
  • Tom Pooler-  talking about visiting veterans in nursing homes, something he does through his organization Feed our Heroes: "You don't realize the impact that a simple visit can have. I can't describe what it's like to have a widow look you in the eyes and thank you." 

These truly awesome individuals and the rest of our patients at Optimus Prosthetics are living examples of what it means to make the best of a bad situation. They have "shown their mettle" -- the theme for Limb Loss Awareness Month -- day in and day out. They bring their own stories of limb loss to the public every day. And even though people may stare or point or ask questions, they are looking at and talking to a person who has been asked to move mountains; a person who has moved those mountains, and still has a positive outlook on life.

 

For more information about Limb Loss Awareness Month, check out the Amputee Coalition website here:  https://www.amputee-coalition.org/events-programs/limb-loss-awareness-month/index.html

 

Jim's Corner
Prosthetic Weight Bearing

 

Optimus Prosthetics Jim Scharf
Jim Scharf, PTA

The goal of "Jim's Corner" is to provide helpful information and be a resource for those helping patients fitted with prosthetics learn to use them correctly in order to enjoy a better quality of life as an amputee.

 

Before I jump into the next topic of Jim's corner I want to point out that the "A" was left off of "PTA" after my name in the last issue. I am a PTA (now also a prosthetic assistant & gait specialist for Optimus Prosthetics) and I am not trying to pass myself off as a PT. But as I write this it does get me thinking of the PT-PTA team. I have been a very lucky PTA through the years to have worked under a lot of awesome PTs in my time (coming up on 26 years).

 

For this issue I want to continue on the theme of the importance of establishing proper prosthetic weight bearing. As I mentioned previously, we need to remember the gravitational force and ground reaction force principles of loading and unloading the lower extremity when applying it to the gait cycle.

 

The box taps discussed in the previous issue are probably the best place to start. This month we are going to add simple motion with prosthetic stance to continue establishing the skills required for proper prosthetic weight bearing with some exercises I like to call bolster rolls.


Forward Bolster Rolls

The patient is to stand evenly on both legs with a stable object for assistance and safety. Place a bolster in front. The patient stands and balances on the prosthesis and attempts to gently roll the bolster forwards and backwards in a controlled manner with the sound limb. Have the patient concentrate on keeping the hips even, pelvis level and not leaning way over the prosthetic limb. Maintaining a backward force within the socket will help to maintain stability. 

 

 

 

Sideways Bolster Rolls

This exercise is set up the same as the above exercise, but with the bolster placed sideways in front. The patient stands and balances on the prosthesis and attempts to gently roll the bolster side to side in a controlled manner with the sound limb. Have the patient concentrate on keeping the hips even, pelvis level and not leaning way over the prosthetic limb. Maintaining a backward force within the socket will help to maintain stability. 

 

 

 

 

Jim Scharf, PTA, Prosthetic Assistant/Gait Specialist

Jim has been a Licensed Physical Therapist Assistant since 1988.  Jim has worked with lower extremity amputee patients throughout his career.  He serves as a Gait Specialist and Liaison when prosthetic patients are meeting with their therapists. Feel free to contact Jim if he can assist you in any way at: jscharf@optimusprosthetics.com.

In This Issue
upcoming

D = Dayton Area

C = Columbus Area

 

Completing Course #1 - "Amputation & Prosthetic Overview"

 

D - 4/10/2014 - Soin Medical Center - Course #1 - 12:00

 

Completing Course #2 - "Lower-Limb Prosthetics:  Transtibial"

 

D - 4/11/2014 - Friendship Village - Course #2 - 12:00

  

C - 4/16/2014 - Tuscany Gardens - Course #2 - 12:00

  

D - 4/23/2014 - Springfield Regional Hospital - Course #2 - 12:00

  

D - 5/1/2014 - Wilson Memorial Hospital - Course #2 - 12:00

  

D - 5/5/2014 - Oaks of West Kettering - Course #2 - 12:00

  

C - 5/6/2014 - The Laurels of Worthington - Course #2 - 12:00

 

Completing Course #3 - "Lower-Limb Prosthetics:  Transfemoral"

 

C - 4/8/2014 - Wesley Glenn - Course #3 - 12:00

 

C - 4/9/2014 - McNaughten Pointe - Course #3 - 12:00

 

Course #4 - "Lower Extremity Amputee/Prosthetic Evaluation & Outcomes Measures" 

 

D - 4/2/2014 - Miami Valley Hospital - Course #4 - 12:30

  

D - 4/7/2014 - Astoria Skilled Nursing & Rehab - Course #4 - 12:00

  

C - 4/15/2014 - Franklin Woods - Course #4 - 12:00

  

C - 4/29/2014 - Centerburg Pointe - Course #4 - 12:00

  

C - 5/6/2014 - The Laurels of Norworth - Course #4 - 12:00

 

Course #5 - "Lower-Limb Prosthetic Gait Training"

 

C - 4/22/2014 - Highbanks Care Center - Course #5 - 12:00

 

Course #6 - "Lower-Limb Prosthetic Gait Deviations"

 

D - 4/30/2014 - Carriage Inn - Course #6 - 12:00

 

Course #7 - "Upper-Limb Prosthetics"  

 

D - 4/24/2014 - Kindred of Lebanon - Course #7 - 12:00 

 

Course #8 - Prosthetic Advances

 

D - 4/10/2014 - Sanctuary at Wilmington Place - Course #8 - 12:00

  

D - 4/17/2014 - Wayne Hospital - Course #8 - 12:00

 

Course #9 - "Partial Foot, Ankle/Knee/Hip Disarticulation, & Transpelvic Prosthetics"

 

D - 4/25/2014 - Crestview - Course #9 - 12:00

 

Course #10 - "Microprocessor Controlled Knees"

 

D - 4/9/2014 - Crossroads Nursing & Rehab - Course #10 - 12:00

 

D - 4/18/2014 - Hospitality Homes - Course #10 - 12:00

Optimus Prosthetics, Dayton
8517 North Dixie Drive, Suite 100/300
Dayton, Ohio 45414
(937) 454-1900

 

Optimus Prosthetics, Columbus
3132 Olentangy River Road
Columbus, Ohio 43202 

(614) 263-LIMB (5462)


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