DATE                                 30.04.05

DISTANCE                        2.41 MILES

WEATHER                        COOL BUT DRY



Well here I am again more or less back where I started from after my last disastrous outing I though that it might be best to start again with back to the basics so to speak.

The skin around my stumpy leg had finally healed up; I still had a bit of a hole where the socket cut out a chunk of flesh out of my stump which was a bit tender but other than that I was fine, I would like to think that I had put this recovery time to good use in getting and sorting out better kit including some light weight out door type of shoes and resting my shoulder but only time will tell.

As for my mind well I guess only time will tell on that one however my docs had agreed to start cutting my meds down all the way to zero as I had started to see treble visions and to be honest they wasn’t doing anything anyway so todays little wander was going to be a little tester walk at Thrunton woods again. And you know something I was really looking forward to it a new start so to speak.

With my new found enthusiasm I decided to go alone, I guess I had a few things that I wanted to sort out in my mind and didn’t want or need any one around talking or distracting me , don’t get me wrong I wasn’t in a bad mood or anything but I felt like I wanted to clear out my head and go over the last walk and try to make some sort of sense out of it , my better half Yvonne was ok with this and I promised that if things didn’t go as planned I would return home before I did any damage .

The preparations for this walk seem to take ages, I must have used nearly a full strip of the foam dressing around my leg all held in place with carful placed tegaderm plasters , the hole on the inside of my leg had extra foam stuck over it and I decided to wear brand new extra fluffy stump socks so every thing was extra good , then finally a wipe of anti chaff cream was put on a couple of places …………I was ready as I could ever be , I had already made an agreement with myself to stop and sit down and sort out any burning or hot spots as soon as they happened , there was no way on earth that I was going to repeat the experience of my last walk . Likewise this was going to be a very short walk, a very correct walk, plenty of rests plenty and doing my best to get out of any bad habits that I have picked up but mostly this was going to be a walk that I enjoyed , I really hoped that if I really took my time my good leg might not develop the burning / shaking sensations that I have been getting  so it was a slow easy day …………….again and again I KEPT REPEATING TO MYSELF  take it easy there is no rush .

On arriving in the car park it was gear on and a “slow steady” walk up the footpath towards the crags and seats where I had been a few weeks before, I already knew what to expect and almost automatically slipped into different technics for the different surfaces BUT this time I took my time, there was no rush I didn’t have to be anywhere , it must be one of the hardest things that I have had to train myself to do and that was to take it easy , I think that I had been concentrating far to much on trying to build up my speed , as an above knee amputee it is very hard to get a good walking speed up and maintain it , keeping it slow I found was so much easer and I was quite surprised on how good and fresh I felt as I passed the place where I had to stop and rest last time  was up this way . Of course it had taken twice as long to get to that point …but hey it doesn’t matter.

I couldn’t help but notice that most of the snow had all but gone on the distant Cheviot Hills and the air seem that much warmer than the last time I was up here.

I soon reached the bench seat that I discovered the last time I was up here and decided to have a sit down, much to my amazement  my good leg didn’t kick off with the shakes or the burning sensation , don’t get me wrong it felt very tight and like it wanted to go into a “shaky” mode so I decided to spend a bit of time rubbing it and gently working my fingers into the muscles , this seemed to work because after a few minutes it (the muscle ) seemed to soften up and relax a bit ………….all good stuff , next it was time for a stump check , once again the slow easy pace hadn’t done any damage to my skin and all the foam and tegaderm where still in place doing what they where suppose to .

Then  it was time for lunch and coffee, this was a rather enjoyable experience sitting on the bench looking out towards the Cheviot Hills with a very smug feeling  that I was doing something right at long last but best of all no real pain anywhere ……………….Yes life is good .

Whilst I was in this good mood I tried to work out what went so wrong in my head before the last nightmare of a walk and like all the other times I just couldn’t work out why I lost the plot which was rather frustrating, I was hoping getting out into the fresh air away from everything would help but sadly no. Not wonting to spoil my mood I decided to file it away someplace in the back of my head and forget it ………….at this point I am certain that there will be more of these types of days  I think the secret is too lean from the past experience and hopefully not repeat it .

(Note from me ten year later on)  over the years there have been several times when I have lost the plot But the experience from that walk stopped me dead from doing anything that stupid again.

Lunch was eaten, coffee finished a few photos taken whilst I had the rucksack open then it was time to head back, I felt very good and refreshed and was tempted to head off further along the track and get a bit more distance done but something told me to stick to the plan not to rush things and stuff and so I headed back down, concentrating on my walking technic and keeping the pace down to very slow crawl it had been a very good day so why ruin it.

Another rest stop and sit down only this time on the crags, I should say that I didn’t need to stop and rest but chose to, the views where good and it was pleasant just to sit there and chill for a while, its hard to describe the feeling you get when you decide to stop and rest rather than having to sit and rest , in fact I was feeling good about many things mainly being that I wasn’t sore or hurting anywhere ….yes there was a bit of discomfort but nothing to get excited about .

Then it was time to get up and finish the walk back to the car, again taking it very slowly and really concentrating o getting a good technic rather than “just getting there”

A few photos:

A break in the trees, looking towards the distant Cheviot Hills

Same again only a bit further along.

After lunch and a sit down on the edge of the crags, my new walking shoe

Looking straight down (it a bit of a drop)


Looking at where I was sitting a few minutes ago

One of the many forestry tracks

Last look at my new shoes, I know that I will have to hunt down some lightweight boots when I get out into the hill proper but these will do for now


Day after thoughts.

Home, gear sorted out, more coffee drunk, bath and stump check. As expected no damage to my stump but there was a couple of spots that where starting to look a bit redder but nothing to get excited about. My shoulder was still ok just a dull ache when I touched it hard .My good leg had the shakes and the calf muscle was locked solid but loosened up in the bath and didn’t hurt quite  so much for as long as normal so things where good .

As for my mind that was ok in fact I was very happy about today’s small walk and made a note to myself that I would keep my walking speed down on my next walk.


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