Tuesday, May 15, 2012

A piece of string walks into a bar...

Relaxing in the hammock Sunday before my damn lanyard snapped
Heard this one, right? Bartender says, We don't serve pieces of string. So the string goes outside & ties himself & fluffs his ends...

...speaking of which, my mobility depends on a piece of string. I call it the "O-ring" of my leg. It's a length of nylon (kevlar?) that threads through the bottom of the socket in some mystical way and has a screw which attached to the end of my stump's gel liner. That way I can put on the leg & pull the string to cinch it on tight. The lock mechanism holds it tight unless I push the button, which you can see in this photo on the lower-right side of my mechanical knee. It works great until it breaks. Remember King Kong? "Don't worry, ladies and gentlemen--those chains are made of unbreakable kevlar!" Or something.

It gives me very little warning: suddenly I notice how frayed it's become, sometimes just as I'm putting on my leg in the morning...snap. I noticed it Sunday, this time, and so I left it on & lay in the hammock although I'd been psyching myself to jump in the pond. But Monday morning, sure enough. Snap. And it broke too short to even be on for the day.

Called in to where I work part-time: taking my leg to the shop. Called my prosthetist. Drove to Elmira, almost an hour away. Managed the trick of crutching my way from truck to office with my leg hanging over my shoulder. (Now there's a photo I should post here.) The second set of doors almost did me in.

Apparently the lock mechanism had broken as well as the string. It took a long time in a hidden room for the prosthetist to magic the new string through the maze. I complained a little, as I do when this happens (every eight months or so) that the string is bound to fray on the sharp edge of the carbon-fiber socket. Why can't they put a little enamel eyelet there? Like on a fishing rod? Wouldn't that make sense?

At work one of my bosses said, "You should schedule them to replace it every six months."
That makes sense, too. Alas.

...so the bartender says, Hey--aren't you that piece of string I kicked out? And the string says, Nope. Frayed knot.

Till next time. Keep your leg on tight.