What a heat we have been having this last week, right?
For those of you reading this who are not in the UK, we have been having an incredible week of sunshine and warmth. The temperature has been pushing 30 degrees some days and whilst I’m sure that doesn’t seem like anything crazy to people in certain parts of the world, we are’t used to such tropical weather.
Even up in the highlands of Scotland we’ve had to keep a fan running just to be able to comfortably sit down and watch TV.
Now, I am not complaining, not even close. I love the sun, I love the long days and being able to sit out in the bright, warm evening air until close to midnight.
One thing that doesn’t love it, however, is my stump.
The little bit of my remaining leg that is swaddled by a silicon liner and sits in a carbon fibre leg socket, can tend to get a tad warm at the best of times.
So, in heat like this, it becomes a struggle to stay comfortable wearing the prostheses, especially considering that this kind of weather encourages people to be more active and spend time outside.
Sweating is a real problem and in fact can cause the liner to slide around, making the connection between leg and stump not quite as secure as you would want. A loose leg means movement in the socket, movement in the socket means rubbing, cuts, friction burns and an assortment of other delightful outcomes.
Not to mention a sweaty leg wrapped in silicon just feels pretty gross.
The increased temperature in the socket can also lead to heat rash, boils and swelling, all of which again can make wearing a prosthesis difficult if not impossible.
As if to exacerbate this issue, some types of sockets require “stump socks” to be worn to pad them out as the residual limb shrinks over the day. This is especially common for new amputees, who will already be struggling with the fact that their bodies haven’t yet gotten used to the extra heat created around the stump.
It is incredibly frustrating, especially when the weather is the way it has been. Maybe that’s why I enjoy kayaking and generally being in the water so much, it keeps my leg cool.
There are ways to deal with it other than dunking yourself in a river. Personally, in this kind of heat, I only have my prosthesis on when I really need to be using it. Even going to bars, restaurants, the beach or wherever else the sun leads me, if I am sitting down, the leg is coming off.
That doesn’t solve the problem of the liner though. As my amputation is so high up, I need to drop my shorts to put the liner on. This isn’t really an option in most public places, so even with the leg off, the silicon remains.
However, when I get home at the end of the day and can finally remove the whole contraption, my god what an amazing feeling that is.
Thank you for reading folks.
Stay safe out there and be excellent to each other.