I know the sound of one foot dancing.

Yeah, I just made that up. Don’t ask what it means, it’s like a koan or a haiku or something cool like that. You’re supposed to decide what it means. Meanwhile I’m taking all the complicated steps involved in doing a simple thing.

Something over 45 years ago my brother drove me to a small storefront containing a shop that smelled heavily of fiberglass resin. There a couple of gruff guys made a plaster cast of my stump and took some measurements. A couple of weeks later I limped out clumsily on my very first prosthetic leg, and my brother was $500 poorer. I won’t say it was an entirely pleasant experience, but it was refreshingly simple compared to what the bureaucratized process has devolved into.

First of all, five hundred bucks won’t buy you a drawer full of new stump socks anymore. I don’t know what a new prosthetic leg costs – and I predict that if I succeed in scoring a new one that works, I still won’t know. I do know the process has become more complex.

Yes – today I made an appointment to acquire the doctor’s prescription that will allow me to keep another appointment with the person or people I sincerely hope will build me a new limb. I had unrealistic visions of just popping into the local po-folks clinic, tapping on my obviously artificial left leg and asking a doctor with a wink and a nod whether he could see fit to write me a scrip for another, newer one. Instead, I’m losing most of Thursday to an “annual wellness exam” which is apparently more or less dictated by Medicare. Jesus – I’m perfectly healthy. I just limp a little more than I’d like.

Nevertheless, let it be known that progress – of a sort – has been made.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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13 Responses to I know the sound of one foot dancing.

  1. unclezip says:

    The Baroness just got fitted for her first below the knee leg. It was $14k to start, and the fitted socks are $800 each. And all requiring a prescription. We’re going to Mexico next time.

  2. Robert says:

    “the fitted socks are $800 each” Yow! And I thought compression stockings were expensive at $75 per foot.

  3. Judy says:

    If you don’t need custom-made compression socks or a compression above 40mmhg go to brightlife direct.com for reasonably priced compression socks and hosiery. A couple times a year they have a sale, buy 3 pair and the 4th pair is free. That’s how we kept Hubby in affordable compression socks for less that $20.00 a pair.

  4. terrapod says:

    Joel – did the glue you had on hand work or do you need a shipment of fast epoxy?

  5. Paul says:

    That “annual wellness exam” thing is from Medicare. I had to do mine earlier this year.

    It’s a very basic BP, lung/heart listen, turn and cough (I kid you not) thing but, it also has a bunch of “questions” that are there to evaluate your mental state and health – they have you do the clock diagram, remember some key words they ask you later etc. and there are a bunch of life style and living ability type of questions you can quickly figure out what the “right” answer should be. Just another fun invasive government effort to help you run your life.

    Good luck on the whole process and if you need us to hit the tip jar for the leg that has the AR attached to it (bad movie example) please let us know!

  6. Joel says:

    Joel – did the glue you had on hand work or do you need a shipment of fast epoxy?

    It seems to have worked fine, at least so far. But just to be on the safe side I got more epoxy this morning. So I’m good, but thanks.

  7. I’m real proud of you for starting the process! Hope it goes well and isn’t too annoying.

  8. matismf says:

    Remember to take Laddie with you to piddle on his leg if the doctor gives you any problems!


  9. Ben says:

    So far Joel, you seem to be doing the dance steps correctly.🙂

  10. Kentucky says:

    Just out of curiosity, is professional “tune-up” service available for your existing leg, or if so would that even be worth the trouble?

  11. matismf says:

    To have it as a backup, eh, Kentucky?

  12. Joel says:

    Kentucky, it has never been worth the trouble in the past but that doesn’t mean I plan to dispose of this one. Actually refurbing it will probably not be feasible. The big problem is the soft insert. The foot is a bolt-on item but I never found a prosthetist willing to discuss constructing a new insert that would fit both the socket and my stump. I don’t know if they’ve gone out of style or what.

  13. Kentucky says:

    Well, hey . . . not just everybody has a need for a spare leg. 😉

    I’d easily believe that prosthetists might be a little leery of the potential for liability on a “retread” job for your insert, or that it might not be economically reasonable. Kinda looks like an application for some kinda plastic goop that would be poured into the socket and then sticking your stump into it while it sets up . . . or something. Was just curious.

To the stake with the heretic!