“Walking Tall,” an article by Roger Simon on Creators.com

Roger Simon–writer, commentator and the chief political columnist of Politico–shared his personal POA experience and observations in a thoughtfully written article, “Walking Tall,” on Creators.com.   Thank you for your kind words, Roger! Click here to read article

Roger, a bilateral BK/Symes amputee, has been a POA patient since 2010, a year after losing his legs to a severe blood infection.

The Power of having a Positive Self-Perception, 4/25/2012

Oftentimes, when you have a disability others will put limitations on you, telling you, even in a nice way, what you can’t do. My response to that has always been, “You can’t tell me that. “ And then I’m determined to prove them wrong.”I’ll show you!” It’s actually been very motivational for me, and at times, just the nudge I need! The following story illustrates this point, and the power of having a positive perception of yourself.

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“Who’s handicapped?,” asked Ellie, with a puzzled look on her face. Her dad, who had just pulled into a disabled parking space, paused for a minute.  “Indeed,” he thought, as his heart swelled with love for his young daughter. “Who is handicapped? Certainly not Ellie!”

Ellie is a smart, energetic, 8-year-old girl with a self-assured quiet confidence. She likes to run, ride her bike, swim, and recently perfected her one-handed cartwheel technique. She’s not much different from most girls her age except for one thing – Ellie wears a prosthetic leg.

Children born with a limb deficiency in China are usually placed in an orphanage, and such was the case for Ellie. Fortunately, she was adopted by a loving and caring couple from the U.S., and doesn’t remember her early life in China.

Ellie’s parents don’t treat her differently than they do her siblings. They all have varied interests and are allowed to participate in the activities of their choice. As I mentioned above, Ellie enjoys running and riding her bike. She also loves to do cartwheels – and is very good at them!

Although she certainly knows that she is different than other children, she doesn’t see her limb difference as a handicap.  It’s that perception and attitude that lets Ellie be who she is, which is a normal 8-year-old girl.  “I’m just me,” is what she would probably say to someone who asks why she is missing a leg. “This is who I am.”

by Karen Hughes, 4/25/2012

We’re Moving!

POA is pleased to announce that we will soon be moving from our current location to a new 22,000 sq. ft. facility! The new office is just next door, so no need to reset your GPS! Some remodeling of the new space is under way and we will be moved in by March 1st!
We have simply outgrown our current office, so in order to provide the best possible service to our patients, we have decided to move. The new facility will be significantly larger and will allow us to bring our entire operation under one roof, including all fabrication areas and our fully equipped gym. Other facets of our plan include a state-of-the-art patient fitting and training center, providing an increased number of patient treatment rooms, and many other amenities!
We are very excited to offer this new facility to our patients – and our future patients! Stay tuned for more details….

New Product! Otto Bock Triton Harmony® (Vacuum) Prosthetic Foot

We have successfully fit several BK patients at POA with this new technology, including Jean Law, a bi-lateral amputee. The main features of the foot are the lightweight integrated vacuum pump and shock absorbing/rotation functionality. Says, Jean, “It feels very light, comfortable and natural; not stiff at the ankle like other prosthetic feet….and I don’t have to use a manual pump!”

These are very exciting times in the prosthetic industry; cutting edge technology has led to the development of several new and revolutionary products! If you would like to see if the Triton Harmony® foot is right for you, or if you are interested in trying some of the other new products and techniques we are now using in our practice, give us a call and make an appointment so we can fill you in!

“A Day Among Giants,” CAF San Diego Triathlon Challenge (SDTC) 10/23/2011

Every once in a while you are blessed with a special day when you experience something so moving, inspiring and powerful that it takes your breath away. Such was the case when I attended the San Diego Triathlon Challenge (SDTC) fundraiser event in La Jolla, California this past weekend. So, you might be wondering, who are these giants I speak of?

Since Bill Walton was in attendance at many of the events, and certainly the tallest among us, you might think I am speaking about him, but I’m not. There were lots of donors with giant wallets and volunteers with giant hearts, but I’m not talking about them either. The giants I am referring to are the 200+ challenged athletes participating in the event – every single one of them. People with giant hope, determination, and incredible strength of body and character.

As someone who has lived most of my life as an amputee, I am very aware of the huge effort these athletes must put forth and obstacles they must overcome. They train long and hard, through pain, physical setbacks and challenges, to accomplish something most able bodied people can’t even imagine themselves doing – competing in a triathlon!

Although I am fortunate enough to have good health and work at a state-of-the-art prosthetic facility, I have never had the ambition to even attempt to accomplish such a feat. To be honest, lately I have to push myself to lift a few weights or take a spin on my bike. The times I have been tempted to step up my fitness routine I come up with excuses like “I don’t have enough time,” or “I’m getting too old.”

So there I was, perched above the La Jolla cove waiting for the ocean swim part of the SDTC to begin, totally unprepared for the emotional ride I was about to take. From the moment the first group of swimmers came forward my eyes were riveted to the scene unfolding in front of me. I watched in awe and amazement as one after another, amputees and other disabled people of all ages and levels of ability – some blind, most missing limbs (many two or more) climbed, hopped and rolled or were carried into the bone-chilling Pacific Ocean for a 1-mile swim! Then I watched again as they emerged from that water the same way they went in, dried off, reattached body parts, and went on to complete the rest of the competition! Every event I witnessed blew me away. Our own Mei Mei White (just 7 years old and an above knee amputee) rode her hand cycle for 10 miles on a difficult course set up for adults! Two-year-old Cody proudly put his “bendy knee” to the test as he ran with his mom in the Kids Run while his family, clad in bright yellow “Team Cody” shirts, cheered him on. Chris Self, who became a below knee amputee as a result injuries suffered while defending our country, completed the Tri just days after riding a bike 620 miles down the California coast!  Although I don’t see myself performing at the level of these warriors, I know I can and should do more, and they have motivated me to make the effort.

So today I am sending a giant shout out and thank you to Scout, Mei Mei, Chris, Cody and Andy (superstar participants from our own POA/SCP family) and all the other amazing athletes I was honored to be among last weekend. The pride and passion you possess and instill in others is very powerful and humbling. You can be sure there will be no more excuses for this woman!

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Feedback on Genium Prosthetic Bionic Knee System, 9/2011

Ronnie Dickson put together a video featuring some of our patients trying out the new Otto Bock Genium knee and placed it on his blog, takealegoff.blogspot.com. He also included written feedback from our POA blog. Click here to view video/article.

Summer Airport Travel Tips to Save You Some Time… and Money!

Any prosthetic related equipment packed in your luggage is considered a medical device, and you will not have to pay a baggage check fee at the airport. Just let the agent know you have prosthetic equipment in your luggage when checking in.

Also, if your are packing any equipment in your carry-on luggage, it’s wise to put it in a separate bag labeled “prosthetic supplies” and take it out before running it through the x-ray machine. That way, if the TSA personnel determine any of the equipment looks “suspicious” and requires further investigation, they won’t need to search your entire carry-on bag.

May 23, 2011: I just returned from a trip to Detroit where I had the best TSA screening experience I can remember! My daughters and I walked through the new full-body scan machines, and the only additional screening I had to submit to was the gun powder swab test!!!! I was finished before the girls had collected our carry-on luggage — another first! 😉

Happy travels! 😉

“Embarking on a Lifelong Journey,” article by POA prosthetic resident Ronnie Dickson, published by “O&P Edge” magazine, January 2011

Ronnie Dickson, an above knee amputee, is doing his prosthetic residency at POA. He recently wrote an article about his prosthetic journey for O&P’s “The Edge” which was published this month. Click on the following link to view the O&P Edge article

Heat + Humidity = “Summer Sweat Syndrome!” — Here’s Some Relief for Amputees

Even the best fitting prosthetic limb can become uncomfortable when you are in a hot and humid environment for an extended length of time.

I recently discovered that some prescription strength antiperspirant products had become available over-the-counter, so I gave them a try. Certain Dri antiperspirant (roll-on version), and Secret Clincal Strength antipersirant/deodorant are the two I tested.
I prefer the Certain Dri; you apply it to your limb before going to bed and remains effective for 2-3 days afterward (even after showering), but both products work well. I now use it when I am planning to be outdoors all day in the summer (at the beach or local theme parks), and especially when engaging in strenous activities.

Give these products a try if you find yourself suffering from “summer sweat syndrome!” 🙂