After 25 years of conducting the Amputee Walking School programs, the need for it's mission grows more than ever. I have never heard more than at any other other time in the history of the program from participants expressing heartfelt thanks. The inability to afford co-pays for outpatient physical therapy has left many amputees unable to reach their full potential.That is unacceptable.
But in today's health care environment it is reality. I have never been more motivated to expand the AWS program to new territories.
help those not learning to master the use of their device. What good is
it having a incredible yet expensive prosthesis if you are unable to
control it properly.
Who's fault is this? It's not the prosthetic facilities fault.
It's not the physical therapists fault. It's our health care
Amputees have to accept some of the responsibility of wellness to
reach functional levels now that were expected before. This is hard for
us as amputees to accept. It is also a built in excuse to not want to
get back to living. Sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel seems
to have dimmed but it hasn't, it's just changed. The traditional care:
amputation>sub-acute>SNF>homecare/outpatient rehabilitation now
has a final destination>Amputee Walking School.
K2 level amputees are our everyday heroes. Every year the amount
of everyday heroes grows. You may call them Mr. Jones or my patient. I
call them somebody's grandmother or grandfather. And our everyday heroes
don't care how many paralympic gold medals I have won. Or how fast I
ran on my walking prosthesis back in the late 80's. All they really want
to know is am I going to be able to walk again. And how am I going to
do this when I get back to my home.
Family members are caretakers. They are counselors. They are
chauffeurs. And in today's health care environment they are trainers.
How many times in the last 25 years I have seen the holding of a
TheraBand to execute a simple exercise bring a family together at the
Amputee Walking School. Family members are needed more than ever to
assist our everyday heroes in daily tasks. And I cherish their help.
They understand the mantra I've been saying for years "One Step
Forward....Is One Step Gained".
I will, through these articles, try to share what I have seen
through my eyes over the last 25 years. I have learned a lot. You can
never stop learning. I have met some truly incredible people over the
last 25 years.
make their life a little better. They often say "HOPE".
HOPE isn't an exercise. It is the spark that lights that dimmed
tunnel and says "I want my life back". I like turning on that light.
Todd Schaffhauser- AWS Networkhttp://www.amputeewalkingschool.com/