Feb 17 2009


Published by schmeck at 2:00 PM under Uncategorized

I picked up the iWALKFree and brought it home.  It was easy to get on but there’s definitely a learning curve.  I don’t recommend holding the baby until you’ve been around the house a few times.  I am no longer Frankenfoot, I am now Peg-leg.  Or Newt still works as well.

For any faults it may have, it does mean I can do things that I wouldn’t be able to with just crutches, like care for the baby on my own, and get my own food and drink, do the laundry, etc.  I’ve made it around the block with the stroller, too.  Here’s some proof:

Zander BathHanging Laundry

And here’s proof that Zander isn’t always angry - first time we’ve noticed his cheekbones:

 While I’m at it, I might as well add some gratuitous dog shots:

Flower Dogs


And last but not least, luckily one of the dogs can be useful: Riley Gets the Paper.

Anyway, back to the serious achilles-related stuff.  Life has kind of settled back into the pre-injury routine, which means everything revolves around Zander but at least I’m able to contribute.  All of the mom’s from our pre-natal class have been getting together with the babies.  When they heard about me being out of commission they all prepared or bought some food for us, which was very thoughtful and a tremendous help.  The peg-leg usually gets uncomfortable after a while, so I don’t want to have to spend a lot of time in the kitchen.  Although a couple nights ago I had it adjusted perfectly - I could barely tell I had it on.

As for the iWALK - stairs still suck.  Going up is better than with crutches, but down is still on done on my ass.  Twice I’ve lost my balance and fell backwards until the cast hit the ground.  Not good.  My toes were definitely helping to hold me up until I got stable again, but I think the cast stopped anything too bad from happening.  Those two instances were both in the first few days as I was getting the hang of it.

Here are a few things I’ve learned about the iWALKFree if anyone else happens to get one:

  •  Put the upper strap as high up into your crotch as you can, to give it more leverage.  It makes it much more stable.  Just be careful of what’s inside the strap before you tighten it!
  • The instruction say to put the middle strap as low as you can, but I find it much more comfortable to have it a little higher up so it’s not on my knee tendons as much.  I also added some extra padding to this strap.
  • The strap that goes over the cast rotates your lower leg when you tighten it, which can make your knee uncomfortable.  Pre-load your leg (rotate it in the opposite direction than the strap pulls) before tightening.
  • You’ll need a separate pad under your knee.  The cast holds your knee off of the built-in padding.
  • I make the straps quite tight when I’m walking for stability - be sure to loosen them when you’re sitting to make sure you’re not cutting off circulation to your leg.
  • The instructions say to cut the top of the aluminum beam off to suit your height, so if you’re buying one used, make sure it’s not too short for you.
  • I tended to put the peg-leg down too far forward when I was just standing, which made me tippy, to the back.  It takes some time to used to holding your leg further back than normal.  And it’s much easier to recover if you tip forward instead of back.

I’ve been feeling a bit of a cramp feeling in my lower calf when I wake up, which I gather from other people’s comments is pretty common.  Other than that there’s no real discomfort or pain.  One of the best ways to put Zander to sleep is to hold him while sitting on an exercise/yoga ball and bouncing.  Our first ball broke on me last week while I was still wearing Stupid.  A little scary - Zander’s head came pretty close to the coffee table - but it’s so effective that my wife went right out to get a replacement.  When I’m on the ball the cast rests on the ground.  I usually put a pillow or something underneath, but I’ve still worn through the padding at the end of my cast.  I don’t consider that weight-bearing - I don’t see how having my cast on the ground could affect my AT.  Does anyone know if that’s OK?

Other than that I’m just in a holding pattern until I see the surgeon on the 23rd.  I’m sending Kate off to her mom’s with Zander tomorrow for a couple weeks.  Trying to get some people to take the dogs for a few walks while she’s gone.  Worst case I’ll try to go a few hundred meters myself, or hang out in the parking lot at the trails until I see someone I know.  Have my mom coming on the 23rd in case I do have the surgery.


6 Responses to “Peg-leg”

  1. bodeon 17 Feb 2009 at 4:41 PM

    Glad to hear the peg-leg is working for you. I looked at it online and considered it but i have so many stairs in my house that I decided to pass. But with an infant I can see why you really needed it-great pics! My kids are a bit older, 12 and 9, and they have been my hands and feet a lot-so far they are still being helpful-not sure how long it will last.. Thanks for all the detail on the iwalk-it was good to hear how it actually works. Good luck on the 23rd!

  2. ganahlsearchon 17 Feb 2009 at 8:29 PM

    Shmeck-Thanks for sharing pics and posting photos. Sounds like your coming along nicely. Heres to a speedy recovery!

  3. Tom Smarton 19 Feb 2009 at 10:18 PM

    All you need is an eye patch and a parrott and you are all set.

  4. matthewon 22 Feb 2009 at 12:37 AM

    few observatons 1) I dont think you really live in Canada those pics you posted it looks too warm out.
    2) our kid is aborable you should be proud!
    3) did you get the surgery yet
    4) did ou ever ind out who that guy was in to hospital that you thought was the surgeon? you’ve got me curious

  5. schmeckon 22 Feb 2009 at 7:58 AM

    1) A couple unseasonably warm days. I’ll include some (damn) snow pics next post.
    2) Hmmm . . . a number of ways to interpret “our” kid. I choose to take that as a typoed “Your”! Thanks!
    3,4) Dr. appt. tomorrow. I hope to find out about both of those items then. I’ll post the results.

  6. matthewon 22 Feb 2009 at 9:37 AM

    HA!! yeah it was about 1230 when i was typing. too late to be up

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