Shaw's Prosthetics Plus News

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

American Academy of Orthotics and Prosthetics Fellow Spotlight

Please check out the following link that highlights our owner/practitioner Terry Shaw in this month's American Academy of Orthotist and Prosthetist Fellow Spotlight.  Congrats Terry!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Ten Commandments of Breast Cancer

1. Thou shalt give thyself time to think. When you’re diagnosed, you may feel like you have to do something right now. You don’t. Take a deep breath. Give the spinning in your head time to slow down before you make any decisions.
2. Thou shalt not judge thy neighbor’s treatment or reconstruction choices or attitude toward their diagnosis. I honestly have not seen people in the breast cancer community judge each other’s treatment or reconstruction choices, either online or offline. The real armchair quarterbacks are the people who have never been through it.  They need to be mindful of who’s actually on the playing field. Attitude gets a little trickier. No one has the right to tell you how you should feel. Some people would have you think you should be able to overcome your fluffy pink cancer by being all shiny and happy, or that you should be grateful for some life lesson. That’s a BIG fail. But you may be the naturally optimistic type. You may actually be grateful. And we all need to remember that’s okay too. We’re all wired differently. I always say that telling you how you should feel about your diagnosis is kind of like saying you should be six feet tall or have brown eyes.
3. Thou shalt honor thy own feelings, whether shiny and happy or tired or angry or scared. And don’t be surprised to feel all these things within the space of 15 minutes, several times a day.
4. Thou shalt love thyself as thy neighbor. Women are so darn hard on ourselves. Give yourself the same break you would to a loved one going through a big diagnosis.
5. Thou shalt not beat thyself up. You don’t have breast cancer because you ate the wrong things or didn’t breast-feed your kids or exercise enough or the right way. You have breast cancer, because.
6. Thou shalt allow others to help you. This is a tough one for many of us. But your family and friends want to be able to do something for you; let them.
7. Thou shalt not bear false witness against science. You may or may not decide on a certain course of treatment. (See Commandment 2.) You may or may not have a good experience. We can learn so much from each other’s honest recounting of our experiences, but that doesn’t make us medical experts. Celebrities and politicians have a special responsibility here.
8. Thou shalt ask thy doctors questions. Do not be afraid to ask, “What is the risk if I do A or B?” or “What does that word mean?” or “Could you repeat that?” Good doctors welcome your questions and concerns. Not-so-good ones need to be reminded there’s a person attached to the breast.
9. Thou shalt seize the day. There’s no doubt cancer is the elephant in the room. But sometimes you just have to pat its big ugly flank and say, “Excuse me, elephant, but I’m going to the beach, or the movies, or the back yard with my kids. I’ll catch you when I get back. Right now, I’m off to have some fun.”
10. Thou shalt remember you are more than your cancer. Cancer is all about cells run amok in your body. It will do its best to claim your identity as well. You may be a woman with cancer, but you are also a wife, mom, sister, daughter, employed person and friend. Let the extent to which cancer becomes part of your identity be your choice, not its choice.

-Jackie Fox

Friday, August 31, 2012

What is the most common reason for amputations?

Many people have asked us why a majority of amputee patients end up with amputations. We have seen that the main cause of this unfortunate situation is due to diabetes

We have witnessed this disease slowly work its way up a lower extremity. The middle aged person may first see the loss of one or two toes. As the disease progresses they could then receive an amputation across the mid-foot. Later in life the mid-foot amputation may have to be revised to an amputation at the ankle.

Healing is the biggest problem and many times other health issues that were created by the diabetes complicate things further. Once the amputation is done at the ankle some patients may be fine and won’t have to receive any further surgical amputations. Others could have the amputation done higher, either at the mid-shin, through the knee or above the knee. Many studies also suggest that once a person is amputated, the opposite side will be at risk within only a few years after the first amputation.

But do not despair, since 1996 the amputations due to reasons associated to diabetes have dropped. One main reason for this drop is the ability for those aging patients covered by Medicare can now qualify for diabetic footwear and protective inserts. The Therapeutic Shoe Bill is helping to reduce the risks of ulcers, blisters and many other perils of the foot for diabetic patients.