This week we remember the service of our veterans, who have sacrificed so much so that we can live free. We are grateful to those who gave their all to protect and defend our freedom at the expense of their own safety. The pride that our veterans showed when donning their uniform should be matched in the care we offer them following their service, and to honor them we thought it right to share some stories of their bravery and life after their service. Today we share military veteran and Infinite Socket user Cyndi Lee’s story about her search for appropriate prosthetics that would enable her to return to the active lifestyle she once had when serving her Country.
I was an active-duty Marine in 1989, when I first tore my left meniscus. After the initial reconstructive surgery, I was deployed again until 1993. Years later in civilian life, I had several scopes and three more reconstructive surgeries on my injury before I was diagnosed with Osteolysis and had to make the single hardest decision I’ve ever had to make about the direction of my life.
After my amputation in 2011, I found it hard to adapt to life with such little activity and got into adaptive sports, most notably the ‘Valor Games,’ winning two gold and two silver medals from my wheelchair, which I had pretty much resigned myself to being in. The issue was that for each “conventional” carbon fiber and plastic sockets made, I was never able to truly get comfortable due to problems with the distal end of my limb. I wasn’t able to wear them without intense searing pain and therefore spent many days of the past five years in the chair.
About 18 months ago I saw the Infinite socket in Wired Magazine, and I tell you now it was like love at first sight. I knew it was the answer to all my issues, without even having seeing it in person. From the ratchet to loosen and tighten the socket to the cup that encloses the limb… I was sure it would be a life changer for me. Would I finally be able to get back my active life prior to amputation?
The past sockets I was only able to wear a few hours at a time and ended up with breakage of the skin and soreness for many days. With the Infinite Socket, I found myself putting my liner and leg on straight away from getting out of bed. I actually wanted to start my day!
Now I look forward to getting more “bells and whistles” applied to the knee and hope to eventually learn to walk up stairs, as I already seemed to have mastered going down, but that’s not where my ambition lies. What I would love to see is other veterans testing this socket as well! I feel it would be a great asset in allowing them to regain the lifestyle they were once accustomed to prior to amputation, and help cut down on depression/frustration of learning to deal with the conventional socket and being an amputee.