Wednesday, April 1, 2015


You know that frustrating feeling when you're peddling away on your exercise bike and your leg falls off? You know how when the lip of your socket gets snagged on the edge of the bike seat, which breaks breaks the suction, which causes your leg to fall off? Know what I'm saying?

Unless you wear a prosthetic leg, you probably DO NOT know what I'm saying. You probably don't even know that this is a thing. But that's been my experience with exercise bikes: a few go-arounds and my leg falls off. And let me tell you, it's hard to get in a decent workout while a ten-pound fake leg falls out of your sweat pants and jams the gears.

My first recumbant bike 

My kids got me a bike the first Christmas after I got home from the hospital. It was a cute little thing, but I had a hell of a time trying to figure out a way to keep my leg from flying off when I used it. I tried taping extra padding to that side of the seat. I ordered this girdle thing from an online amputee store that fits over your leg, wraps around your waist, and is supposed to keep it in place. I had hit-and-miss success. After consulting my prosthetist and physical therapists, I had to face the truth:  due to the uneven shape of R.L. and the design of my prosthetic,  it was a problem I would likely always have when using eliptical-motion exercise machines.

That's when an intense and unholy craving entered my psyche. I kept thinking . . . if only I could own one of those giant-assed machines I got to use in physical therapy. The industrial-sized beast was butter-smooth in its motion, easy to get off and on, and easy to maintain contact between my prosthetic foot and the pedal.  But most importantly, because the motion was a linear back-and-forth instead of a round-and-round, my leg never fell off.

Oh, how I pined for one of those machines!

I am happy to report that after all this time, I just got myself one. She was delivered last weekend.  I call her THE BEAST and she sits in the corner of my bedroom where I can watch TV and ride. I swear, the first time I got on board I felt like I was climbing into a Cadillac Escalade while Trae's rap classic "Ridin' Dirty" pounded through the house: "They see me rollin';  they hatin';  patrolin' and trying to catch me ridin' dirty."

The Beast 

So twice a day I hop on my luxury SUV of exercise bikes and give her a go. I can barely describe the sense of freedom I feel with both my legs moving in concert, equal pressure on both sides, no worries about my leg falling off.  I am slowly building up my resistance and time. I keep a little notebook nearby where I can write down the details of each ride. I know that THE BEAST and I have only just met, but I'm looking forward to a long and healthy relationship.

I'm rollin'. Ridin' happy.


Monique said...

Maybe you should bling her up a little...even a big beast likes a little bling! So glad to hear the lilt is back. Must be the new digs. Glad about the new books too! Do you need a proofreader? The snowbanks are driving me batty, and my OCD would work well!! :))

Amy B said...

I have always loved your books but just found your blog and read of your troubles! So sorry to hear! As a COTA in a hospital I have worked with many people with amputation and prosthetic limbs and understand what a rough road it is...without all the other struggles you have had! I find that the people who do the best are the ones who won't give up and it sounds like you have a great big dose of that! You go girl! Looking forward to more books as well as following your blog!