Tuesday, June 9, 2009

If I were a pony, or an elephant, or a lizard...

If I had watched this video a year ago, like most people I would have thought, "Wow...isn't that something?! It's a miracle how far prosthetics have come!" When I watch it now, I just chuckle and shake my head. First, the C-leg microprocessor technology is over 10 years old. Second, every time the patient says how comfortable he is with the C-leg I cringe! Don't let them hear you say that it's comfortable or worse yet, convenient! Comfort and convenience are exclusions here. Third, I don't know what planet they live on, but the reporter says, "Insurance companies are now covering the cost." 'Eh... no...

I heard about a couple of other cases here that are so outrageous it just makes a person question their sanity. What makes human beings so inspired when they see an animal with a prosthesis, like Molly the Pony or a baby elephant with a prosthesis, yet we deny amputees the dignity of a limb? I've become so jaded after hearing story after story of people who are denied a medically prescribed prosthesis that I envy Molly and Chhouk - they receive better prosthetic care than a lot of people. For example, one story I heard was about a person who lost their leg at the ankle. They received a prosthesis but complications developed and the leg had to be amputated again, this time right below the knee. After recovering from the 2nd amputation, the insurance company denied a new prosthesis because 2 years hadn't passed since receiving the 1st prosthesis! Nevermind the facts - that the 1st prosthesis was designed to fit the part of the leg that was amputated - denied.

Ah, if only we were lizards and could regenerate our limbs.

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