But changing socket shape is not an easy project (been there, done that). To tell the truth, I just don't like changing prosthetists. And changing all those components is expensive. This was the biggest surprise of all - I could get all those improvements in a totally new prosthesis for less than half of what I paid for a new prosthesis several years ago. It would cost less than my last round of major repairs just six months ago!



So I took the plunge. In less than two weeks I went from socket cast to whole new system, including some walking lessons from Tom's physical therapist partner and wife Mieke. Her specialty is working with amputees. While I have been working with a physical therapist for the last couple of years, Mieke and Tom both gave me several good pointers to make walking easier and smoother.



The result was much more than I bargained for. Not only is the new prosthesis more comfortable (sitting, walking, standing), it also stays in place when I'm hot and sweaty. Great holding power! I'm even walking better, according to my friends and family. The prosthesis is about 2 kilos lighter and takes much less energy to walk. The new shape socket, which is part ischial containment and part something else, lets me control my abdominal muscles more easily, so there is much less back pain. The new foot is more adaptable to different terrain levels and is very easy to adjust for different heel heights, from flat sandals to about two inches.