DATE                                08.09.05

DISTANCE                       3.9 MILES

WEATHER                       BRIGHT AND SUNNY




Todays wander was going to be a bit on the smallish side, the reason being was my stump had shrunk so much so quickly it was totally caught me out, I had made an appointment at the limb centre to get it relined and pad it out a bit but I still had a week to wait for my appointment , this meant that I had to wear extra stump socks , I was wearing five thick ones by now and I was still rattling around in the socket , to counter this I had to pull the dreaded Tess belt right up around my waist and pull it really tight to try to stop the leg from dropping down , not a good situation to find myself in .

Thinking back I couldn’t find any reason why I suddenly started to shrink so much so quickly, since my Mum & Dad returned home I hadn’t been out doing any walks but I had spent several of my days off out in the hills practising on different types of surface and as a whole was feeling rather pleased with how things where progressing, then suddenly almost overnight the socket seemed way to big ……one of life’s mystery’s , I mean nothing had changed , I was still eating and drinking the same amount , my exercise routine was still the same in fact my whole life was the same the only thing that had changed was my stump …..Time to use the all knowing Mr Goggle and see what’s floating around in cyber space with regards to this amputee stuff.

As luck would have it I found a very useful on line forum for amputees,-

After registering and introducing myself I asked  about my stump shrinking so fast , I was overwhelmed by the response I got all offering good advice , it appears that it was normal , I had spent quite a few hours reading up about other peoples problems and more importantly how they worked around things and some how this helped it made me realise that I wasn’t alone , I had met a few other amputees at the limb centre but only for the briefest of time so I never really got a chance to ask them how they did anything or how they coped with there problems …… be honest all I ever heard at the limb centre was how bad things are and constant moaning about things ..Not what a new amputee really wants to hear. But on this web site there was a wealth of information written by people who where amputees for other amputees, this was like finding a gold mine for me and over the years I have returned to the site on numerous occasions not only looking for help but offering advice as well…………………so if you are an amputee reading this go register and have a good read.

Getting back to the walk, after a brief chat with my long suffering better half Yvonne we both decided to head back to Ingram Valley and redo the small but pleasant walk to Linhope spout, I had done this little walk some time earlier and to be honest it would be a good test to see if things had improved with my walking and how I coped with different types of terrain, I did struggle a bit last time I was here so despite the limb not fitting very well I should see if all the training I had been doing is paying off.

Naturally I went into my pre walk stump dressing routine of cream and foam on held in place with a tegaderm plaster , but hopefully that shouldn’t be a problem but with the leg fitting so badly I couldn’t take any chances .

Gear was sorted and thrown into the car and off we went, Parking was by the road side by Hartside Farm and you know something just getting out of the car, taking a deep breath and looking at the surrounding hills is a tonic for me, as I look around at the distant Hills and their summits I start to get the crazy idea in my head that I would dearly love to be able to hike all these hills and reach every summit  just for the pure pleasure of getting up there taking a deep breath and saying “ thank you”

Note from today 10.08.14 it took a few years but I am proud (yes proud) to say that I not only hiked up to all the summits around this area I had a magical time doing it, and as daft as it sounds the hills welcomed me every time, the Cheviot hills are good for my soul I always return from these hill feeling recharged ready to face whatever life wants to throw at me.

The pace of todays walk was nice and easy, with lots of rest stops even though I didn’t need them, and despite my “its cheating thing” I used the hiking poles in places which made things so much easer in places but being frightened of depending on them I would put them away when I didn’t think that I would need them. Yvonne would drop back behind me every now and comment on how my gait was or tell me to get my left arm back in or lift my left shoulder up as I was starting to lean over so all in all it turned out to be a good learning day, the places that I struggled with when I was here before …i.e.  Going downhill on lose stone  etc. seemed a bit easer despite  having a loose arty leg on so that showed that all the hard work that I had been doing with my training days was starting to pay off at long last . However as the time wore on I will admit to the fact that trying to walk “straight and upright” with out leaning towards my left side did start to have an effect on my walking speed slowing it right down, I could of course use my hiking poles which would stop this happening straight away and make things so much easer but I was still in that’s “cheating stage” in my slightly confused brain so I didn’t but apart from that it was a good day , at every rest stop I would rub and massage the muscles on my good leg keeping them warm and stop them from tightening up and going into “shake mode” which helped no end and I am pleased to say that I didn’t suffer from that burning acid feeling that I had got on earlier walks …………so all in all a good day as normal a few photos :

Taken on the bridge at Linhope looking down at the Linhope Burn


Out of Linhope now on a track looking towards the distant Hedgehope


Same again but on a different camera setting


Looking down towards Linhope spout, we leave the track at this point


Part way down looking at Great Standrop


A couple of the spout


On our way back (different route looking back

Last look back


Me messing about trying something different on a stony track


Day after thoughts, despite having a very slack socket I was pleased to find that I hadn’t done any damage to the more tender parts of my stump, I did have a back ache but that I think was due to me trying to hard to walk upright without swaying, my better half informed me that I looked very stiff when I was trying to walk straight, pre haps I am trying too hard …I don’t really know but its something to think about. my shoulder ached a bit but again that might be because I was forcing myself to hold my arm in but the good news was my good leg didn’t kick off and go into that painful shake mode so that is all good


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