The Struggle Has Ended

Greg Hewlett passed away on January 17th after nearly eight years of battling colon cancer. While we grieve his loss, we are comforted to know that he is with his Lord.

If you would like to leave your thoughts on Greg, please see this thread.

If you would like to make a charitable donation in Greg's honor, please see this thread.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

A Week at Sabolich - Monday

Old_leg.jpgMonday morning I arrive at Scott Sabolich prosthetics. They will attempt to craft a prosthetic leg for me in the period of a week, although normally it takes about two. I will not be getting a cover, so that will reduce the time somewhat. I have chemotherapy treatment for cancer next week, so if we do not finish by Friday, I will have to return to Oklahoma City another week to finish up.

Step one is to get a ballpark socket from which the entire prosthesis is built. A perfect fit is critical. It does not matter what high tech componentry you have unless the socket is well-designed. The socket is the technology-to-human interface. Software designers are growing in their awareness that interface is everything. Prosthetists have known this for decades. It must "fit like a glove."

In my case, we must make a choice. I have gained weight since 2002, when my current socket was fitted. So we cannot simply duplicate it. There are two options in our choice. The first option is to make a cast of my residual limb, with firm plastic forms pressed against the plaster in certain places as it firms around me. This is messy and has much room for error. But it is based on reality - you are casting what the socket will actually fit. The second choice is to make a cast of the previous socket, take some tape measurements of my residual limb, and then allow the prosthetist to artfully add volume where he believes it is most appropriate. Regardless of the option we take, the goal is the same - to get the first test socket as close as possible to the final, so that the number of trial-and-error iterations will be as small as possible.

We decide upon the second choice. So Monday morning, they take my prosthesis and fill it with plaster. The form is then used to make the first test socket. This will take them the afternoon to work on and it must dry overnight. So after a short morning visit at Sabolich, I get to leave for the day.

In my case, I took an all afternoon nap. I am weak and not feeling well from my chemo and need to strengthen for the week to come.

Old Socket


Sarah said...

Greg, we will be thinking about you this week and hope that they are able to get as much done as possible. Christine told me that a friend took you to Oklahoma and are staying with his family. That is great.

Scott said...

Greg: I don't know if you read these comments, but if so, how do you like the old socket set-up?? I don't believe I've seen one like that before, and was wondering what it is; what is the insert made of; do you have to wear a liner with it?
Inquiring minds wanna know...

Roland Lindh said...

Hangin there brother! Oh, I suppose you saw that the new Oxford Dictionary of the English Language has made som big changes. ABC noted vocal chords (as well as vocalcords) is now permissable and so is shoe-in as well as sho-in. Well I guess the above could be "hangheinn their."
Cumm to thunk off itt dat's justvold Texas cowboy spelin - the way youse guys tawk down their.

David Pagan said...

Too bad the '89ers aren't playing. I still think that game we went to when you picked up one of your first legs is one of the better ones I've seen. And, it's still the only park where I've seen kids rolling down the 3rd base side of the field as they fight for foul balls.
Seriously, I hope it all goes well up there.

Glen Ragan said...

"If the glove doesn't fit, might as well quit."
The Ragans will pray for you that the Lord gives you strength this week.