New Arm- Part 5 (Officially Finished)

Thanks for walking with me through the tedious process of getting a new prosthetic arm. I’ve enjoyed sharing the experience with you.

Do you remember as a kid standing ankle-deep in a cold pool of water? You wanted to swim more than anything. You knew you were going to jump in soon. But you hesitated because the water was freezing. Finally you said, “One, two, three, go!” and jumped.

That’s how I feel when I get a new prosthesis. I’m glad I have it. I know it has improvements over the former arm. But I hesitate wearing it because I know what is coming. My life won’t feel normal for a while. Instead of subconsciously moving, I will be aware of every move. I may have to change the actions of my shoulders, back, and upper arms some. The harness will touch my skin in new places, causing irritation and sometimes pain. It won’t be pleasant. So I have to say, “One, two, three, go!” and jump.

4/13/17- When I arrived at Fourroux Prosthetics, the final lamination of the upper arm was completed.During this 8-hour appointment:

  • The harness was permanently attached to the prosthesis.
  • The harness straps were adjusted.
  • Areas of the harness that rubbed my skin were covered with moleskin or padding.
  • The hand grip was tightened.
  • The cosmetic PVC glove was put on the hand to cover the mechanical parts. (PVC stands for polyvinyl chloride.)
  • The arm was OFFICIALLY FINISHED and I was able to take it home with me!

After wearing the arm for a few days, I realized two straps were too tight and needed to be replaced. I returned to Fourroux on 5/18/17 for the minor changes. I was on the road leading tours in May and June. Looks like July is my month to JUMP!

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“You created earth and sky by your great power—by merely stretching out your arm! There is nothing you can’t do” (Jeremiah 32:17 MSG).

 

Read “New Arm- Part 1 (Picking Out Body Parts)” HERE.
Read “New Arm- Part 2 (Designing the Arm)” HERE.
Read “New Arm- Part 3 (Building the Arm)” HERE.
Read “New Arm- Part 4 (Pausing to Get It Right)” HERE.

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New Arm- Part 4 (Pausing to Get It Right)

For those who might be interested, I invite you to walk with me through the tedious process of getting a new prosthetic arm. I’m journaling the steps and my experiences along the way. You can interact with me by sharing thoughts and comments, if you wish.

Most people hate the hassle of returning purchased items to a store or company. Well, you should try returning a hand! In New Arm- Part 3 I returned my hand to Fourroux Prosthetics because it made an unbearable noise when I operated it. Over six months later, the issue was resolved!

It was not the fault of the dedicated staff at Fourroux. They sent the hand to Hosmer, the manufacturer, three times. Each time, Hosmer lubricated the interior mechanisms and sent the hand back to Fourroux, still making the grinding sound. In the end Hosmer offered to replace the hand when the next batch was made. That took several months.

3/7/17- I arrived at Fourroux Prosthetics in Huntsville, Alabama, at 9 a.m.

  • Caitlin (Prosthetic Resident) installed the new hand and cabling from Hosmer onto my new arm. I put the arm on and tested the hand. Complete silence! Oh, it sounded nice.
  • With that problem solved, the outer lamination can be applied. This step takes a full day and I do not have to be present. The lamination will be matched to my skin color and will cover up (bury) many of the brackets and cables, giving the upper and lower arm a smooth look.
  • We are getting SO CLOSE to completion! Take a look at these final “Before Lamination” pictures.

Thanks for walking with me through this process. What are your thoughts about the pausing phase?

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Handing out life to those who love me, filling their arms with life—armloads of life!” (Proverbs 8:21 MSG)

 

Read “New Arm- Part 1 (Picking Out Body Parts)” HERE.
Read “New Arm- Part 2 (Designing the Arm)” HERE.
Read “New Arm- Part 3 (Building the Arm)” HERE.