Friday was the day. I got my new arm! August 17, 2012, will go down in history, the history of my life, anyway.
At first glance, I was both pleased and a bit disappointed with the appearance of my arm. The forearm cable had been buried in the lamination and looked beautifully smooth under the cosmetic glove. Only a small section of the cable was visible, the part where the cable came out of the forearm, crossed the wrist, and entered the hand. The disappointing thing was the big bump it created at the wrist. I asked my prosthetist Brian, “Can you notch out a place for the cable in the wrist so it won’t just lie on top of it?” He was able to do so and the bump disappeared.
I opened and closed the hand—silence—no more squeaking. I tried out the hand grip by holding a piece of paper while using the Ergo Elbow to raise the forearm—I didn’t drop it—success!
Brian had ordered a larger cosmetic glove to fit looser on the forearm, allowing me to rotate the hand at the wrist into a position for typing. But as is often the case, when you fix one thing, it messes up something else…
- The larger glove left an area near the thumb that looked sunken in. I asked Brian if he could stuff it somehow. He filled the empty spot with felt and it looked very natural.
- Pleased, I put on the arm and began to operate it. Now the hand wouldn’t shut all the way! The felt was blocking free movement of the inner parts. The BioTech Team went back to work and corrected the problem.
- When I tested the hand again, it shut nicely. However, for some unexplained reason, the grip had loosened. It would have been funny at that point if I hadn’t already been sitting there for four hours. The team of prosthetists patiently disassembled the hand one more time and retightened the grip.
I have been wearing my new arm for two days now. I fully expected a bit of pain and skin irritation, normal to “breaking in” a prosthesis. You know what? I haven’t experienced any. I’m amazed. My specific prayer was that my arm would work great, feel great, and look great. And it does!
But God has surely listened and has heard my prayer. Psalm 66:19 (NIV)
Author’s Note: A special family member called to say he wants to pay for my prosthesis. I told him I don’t need him to do that. He said, “I know you don’t need me to do that, but I want to do that.” I’m speechless. I hope God blesses him BIG.