The contradiction of a “non-materialistic” lifestyle is how materialistic you get.

People who concentrate on being “non-materialistic” are always thinking about material.

Curiously when you’re just poor, you sometimes think about that too. But not like it’s a bad thing. Sometimes it’s in a creative way. And sometimes you just have to say sad goodbyes.

Couple of years ago somebody gave me some very thin stumpsocks, of the sort I never wear. I figured I’d just wear them in bunches or something. Turns out they were providential because not long after that somebody else gave me my first batch of gelsocks and basically revolutionized my life.

You gotta understand: I’ve been wearing the same prosthesis for about 20 years. It wanted replacement before I even moved here. Eight years ago it was retrofitted with a modern foot, which helped an awful lot, but that still left the ill-fitting socket. Walking – especially of the back-and-forth, pick it up here and carry it to there variety which is a very common variety when you’re a cedar rat – was an exercise in pain before those gelsocks came along. GAWD what an improvement.

But the gelsocks, being full of some sort of gelatin, don’t breathe at all. So you need an absorbent layer between the sock and your stump, and guess what works perfectly for that? Yeah, those very thin stumpsocks I originally laughed at.

Alas, those stretchy stumpsocks aren’t very durable, especially the thinner ones. Last laundry I had to retire some with blown-out, um…toes? Points? There’s probably a whole glossary of terms for these things I never bothered to learn.

Several years ago somebody sent me a box of randomly-collected prosthetic parts, including a bunch of mismatched stump socks a few of which I was able to use. The sad corpses in the pic represent one of those, which has actually served long and faithfully, and two of those thin things which served faithfully but not very long. Won’t be long, I’m going to be back to mixing, matching and scrounging. Which I know how to do, but this was nice while it lasted.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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15 Responses to The contradiction of a “non-materialistic” lifestyle is how materialistic you get.

  1. MamaLiberty says:

    Just looked at Amazon and was amazed to see so many different kinds, weights and lengths. Which ones do you need? Unfortunately, seems Amazon doesn’t actually HAVE any of them… “not currently available.” Makes me wonder….

  2. Joel says:

    No, ML, different companies advertise on Amazon but for some reason as far as I know none of them actually sell on Amazon. That – and the prices – are what makes it hard for me to keep supplied. Amazon is a great boon to the desert hermit; the same can’t always be said for medical equipment suppliers.

  3. MamaLiberty says:

    Indeed… the medical supply business is just another crooked enterprise much of the time… all too wrapped up in the medicare and insurance rackets. But I wasn’t aware that Amazon provided mere advertising for things. Weird – but OK. I did look at some individual suppliers, and the prices are indeed staggering. The lowest I found was about $9. + shipping for a single simple cotton stump sock… Yikes.

    Trying to think how one could be knitted without leaving a seam line in the “toe.” Hmmm.

  4. MamaLiberty says:

    Know what? I think I solved the “seam” problem. What are the measurements of your newest sock (so it’s not distorted or stretched too much). I’ll give it a try. 🙂

  5. Joel says:

    🙂 What the hell? I’ll try to get that for you and email the info later.

  6. Judy says:

    Mama Liberty, Joel – If you two come up with a sock pattern and type of yarn that works. Let me know. I’m not the world’s greatest or fastest knitter but I would be willing to give it a shot.

  7. MamaLiberty says:

    Will do, Judy! I actually know an expert knitter and will be working with her to perfect the pattern. Once we know what we’re doing (ahem…), it will be easy to spread the effort among several of us. Send me an email, Judy… so we can keep in touch. Ditto anyone else reading here who would like to participate. mamaliberty at rtconnect dot net – just replace at and dot with appropriate symbols and eliminate the spaces.

    This may not be possible knitting by hand, but it seems worth trying. 🙂

  8. Judy says:

    Mama Liberty, Joel – I found a pattern on Ravelry – I’m not sure Joel would want that much ribbing, that far down, but looking on the projects page most did not knit that much ribbing in their sock.

  9. Joel says:

    Judy, not to intrude myself here but in general ribbing is a bad thing. I’ll be shoving all my weight against this on a very tender spot. Just saying.

  10. MamaLiberty says:

    Judy, that would be a nice, warm cover for the stump at rest, but would be completely unsuitable with the prosthesis, I’m sure. Any sort of “ribbing” would be a serious problem. I’ve sent my ideas to the knitting expert and am anxiously awaiting a reply. In the meantime, I’ve been experimenting with baby yarn and think I have a nice flat surface at the “toe” to start with. Just need the measurements so I can continue.

    Would the warm cover be something you’d use, Joel? Someone might want to make you one of those anyway. 🙂

  11. Joel says:

    🙂 Well, I do pull a wool sock over it for winter sleeping.

    BTW expect an email this morning.

  12. MamaLiberty says:

    Alrighty then… knitters, start your needles. LOL

    Do you prefer wool, acrylic or cotton? 🙂

  13. Mark Matis says:

    From what he previously said, I would think his ultimate preference would be something wicking like Goretex, ML.

  14. MamaLiberty says:

    Except I don’t have any Goretex yarn. 🙂 Probably better to use something more common and establish whether or not it will be wearable first. Then we fine tune it and, eventually, may be ready for the Goretex or whatever. If I can find it. We may discover just why these things are so expensive. 🙂

  15. Mark Matis says:

    Functionally, if he wants it to wick and Goretex ain’t an option, cotton is the best bet of those you called out. That’s why t-shirts in redneck country are made of cotton.

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