what if … we shared what hurts and helps?

less is more 11.12.13

What if people said or did something incredibly hurtful to you at exactly the wrong time in your life? What if they did it because you wear a prosthesis? What if one of them was a kid? Or a religious zealot?

What if people said or did something incredibly helpful to you at exactly the right time in your life? What if they did it because you wear a prosthesis? What if one of them keeled over – don’t worry, not dead; just unconscious – just as they said it? Or inserted their good leg for your missing one – don’t worry, not transplantation; just an optical illusion – as you saw yourself as a “handicapped” person for the first time?

In this month’s Amp’d, The Amputee Mommy and I share our (vivid) memories of the worst and best things ever said to us about our prostheses. In honor of Halloween, an evening of scary creatures coming to your door, we start with the bad. And in honor of Thanksgiving, which is right around the corner, we end on a high note, sharing stories of positive transformation that still resonate with us today.

what if … you were a letter and a number?

less is more 10.15.13

And what if this letter and number gave you access to certain types of prosthetic components but not others? What if Medicare and private insurance refused to pay any claim that didn’t include the letter and number on the claim form?

What if you disagreed with the letter and number assigned to you by your prosthetist and doctor?

What if you could take certain steps to help make sure that your prosthetist and doctor assigned you the right letter and number? So that you could get the most clinically-appropriate prosthesis given your individual needs?

In the October edition of Amp’d, The Amputee Mommy and I cover the important and slightly bizarre world of “K Levels,” which describe every lower limb amputee’s current or potential ability to walk. We explain how current trends within both Medicare and private insurers have made K level documentation the center of a war between prosthetists and payers, and how you can avoid getting stuck in the middle. So click here to immerse yourself in a painful but necessary discussion … K?

what if … children stare at you?

less is more 10.01.13

What if I told you that my prosthesis frequently attracts the open-mouthed stares of young kids? What if I told you my first impulse is to hit said young kids over the head with a bat? What if I told you my first impulse is to stare them down? What if I told you my first impulse is to engage in a lengthy explanation of what a prosthesis is and why I wear it? What if I told you that my actual first impulse isn’t to do any of those things?

What if I told you that I and The Amputee Mommy had a fascinating talk about how we respond to children’s stares? What if I told you that as an extra bonus feature, we talked about how we respond to adults doing the same thing?

What if I told you that my working hypothesis is that our response to the two shouldn’t be all that different (most of the time)?

What if I told you that even though it’s October 1, The Amputee Mommy and I would insist that this is our September podcast? What if I told you that if you disagree with our labeling of this as a September podcast, then you’ll get two podcasts in October for the price of one?

Well, here you go – school has started and The Amputee Mommy and I once again get to enjoy the experience of little kids stopping dead in their tracks and whispering to their friends as they realize that adults with robot legs are taking over their elementary schools. It can be a bit disconcerting, especially if you haven’t worn a prosthesis all that long.

In this week’s Amp’d, we discuss different ways to deal with this situation. Many good stories in this podcast, including an ill-conceived, child-driven theological debate. So listen in and enjoy!

What if … you knew the exact questions to ask?

less is more 08.26.13

What if you listened to our previous podcast back in May and asked yourself, “These are great tips on what to look out for when choosing a prosthetist, but what are the specific questions I should ask when interviewing them?” What if you (mistakenly) thought that the purpose of meeting different prosthetists was for them to select you, not the other way around?

What if I told you that when we started recording the podcast, we identified 5 key questions and 2 bonus points to discuss, but ended up with 7 key questions and 2 bonus points?

What if I told you that this month’s Amp’d focuses on the exact questions you should ask a prospective prosthetist to maximize the chance that you end up working with someone who’s the right match for you? Well, if you find that prospect exciting, click here to listen to the latest and greatest from me and Peggy, the Amputee Mommy. If you don’t find that exciting, you should still listen for no other reason than the Monty Pythonesque “Spanish Inquisition” aspect of the cast as Peggy and I keep identifying new issues beyond the 7 originally listed at the beginning of our talk.

Also, for those of you who are RSS lovers – RIP, Google Reader – we’re happy to announce that you can subscribe to the Amp’d RSS feed here!

We hope you like the August edition of Amp’d, and stay tuned for our next podcast in September!

What if … you had a good way to choose a prosthetist?

less is more 06.18.13

What if you could make choosing a prosthetist a more objective process? What if you relied on more than “gut” and “feel?”

What if we told you that you should never decide to go to a prosthetist without having interviewed more than one? What if we told you to look at the amputee who works for a prosthetist as an unofficial recruiter for that facility? What if we told you not to let how a facility looks overwhelm you? What if we told you that proximity and loyalty are overrated?

Well, in this week’s Amp’d, we tell you all of those things. In addition, you get to hear how the Amp’d creative process works, as Peggy and I identify future podcast topics on the fly, in real time. And finally, you get to see the “new and improved” Amp’d, now using a different (read: better) podcast host site. (And have no fear – Peggy is tirelessly working to port our previous podcasts over to this new site so that they’re all in one easy-to-find place for you.)

You want to know the five guiding principles to follow when selecting a prosthetist? Then listen to this week’s Amp’d.

what if I told you … about Boston?

less is more 05.07.13

What if I told you that last week’s post and this week’s podcast cover the same general subject? What if I told you that the overlap notwithstanding, this week’s podcast is a “must-listen?”

What if I told you that The Amputee Mommy raises some thorny issues about access to prosthetic care during our talk? What if I told you that “thorny” is a euphemism for “thought-provoking and important?”

What if I told you that we could have talked for 90 minutes about this topic? What if I told you that because we respect your time, you instead get just over 23 minutes of condensed brilliance? What if I told you that 22:45 seconds of that condensed brilliance occurs because of The Amputee Mommy?

Check out this week’s Amp’d, which tackles the fallout from the Boston Marathon bombings.

what if I told you … about the cover-up?

less is more 04.09.13What if I told you that I’m severely jet lagged? What if I told you that I need to be awake and functional in less than 5 hours after sleeping for only 4 of the last 36? What if I told you that my sleep-deprived state will result in the shortest weekly less is more post ever?

You’d probably be happy. So listen to this week’s Amp’d, where the Amputee Mommy and I discuss the world of prosthetic covers for prosthetics. It’s the closest you’ll ever get to me talking about fashion publicly. Enjoy.