HOW I FOUND MY RHYTHM WHEN THE MUSIC STOPPED

At a time in everyone’s life, we come to find ourselves in a situation where the music stops, and we must go on.  The unfortunate truth about life is that the unexpected will happen. Some of us learn from it, some of us change because of it and some of us find our life’s calling because of it. The latter was the case for me.  After our dad picked us up from middle school, we spent that afternoon like we had every afternoon that month. We went to the oncology unit at the hospital, where my brother was admitted.

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THE MAN IN A BLUE SARONG

I remember him. I remember the man in the dark blue sarong the same way I remember the lines on back of my own hand. He was hunched over next to a column on a dirty platform at a railway station in Calcutta, India in the middle of the harsh summer sun. His hands were withered, his fingers and toes looked like tiny nubs, and he was completely malnourished and alone. He had opaque blue eyes, as if fog had taken place of his irises and pupils.

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PATIENT “OWNERSHIP”

I studied insects in college; my favorite insects were the bees (I found them diligent and so helpful to humankind).  One of my favorite classes was about medical diseases caused by insects. My professors noticed my interest in the medical side of things and connected me with a professor who did clinical research. Our work focused on a clinical trial for children with intractable epilepsy and exposed me early on to patient care and patients.

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prosthetic care even before amputation, educating patients about the journey they will take.  Early intervention allows us to educate the new amputee on the upcoming process. It also allows us the opportunity to teach the amputee how to use massage, desensitization techniques and fit them with compression garments “shrinkers” to begin shaping the limb, remove edema and increase circulation.”  Hi-Tech offers cost free pre-amputation consultations and visits.  Partnering with patients in their overall well- being is a key component to successful use of their prosthesis.  “We have experienced amputee patients who are more than willing to talk with newer amputees.  Talking with other amputees who have led successful lives is incredibly empowering,” Shayne states.


Hi-Tech Artificial Limbs takes a very hands-on approach to helping patients navigate this process.   “We are unique,” says Shayne, who is also a Certified Prosthetist. “We have three board-certified prosthetic assistants and technicians. We have our own lab in our facility and we do all of our fittings here. We don’t send anything off to be manufactured off site.” This allows Hi-Tech to be involved with the prosthesis from start to finish, as many times adjustments need to be made.  With new amputees especially, a period of adjustment ensues in the months following surgery, as the patient’s limb changes.


Hi-Tech Artificial Limbs is built on the premise that relationships with the amputee are as important as the prosthesis. We celebrate patients’ birthdays here.  We are like a family.  Amputees need to feel like they have a place to go that feels like home with good people who have had relative experiences.  The field of prosthetics is constantly changing and the staff at Hi-Tech believes in partnering with the patient to navigate their journey and investing the time needed to celebrate with them in their success.


For more info on Hi-Tech, please call (859)278-2389 or visit https://www.hi-techartlimbs.com.

When a new amputee is tasked with getting back to their life after losing a part of their body, it involves more than simply creating a prosthetic device to surrogate what was lost. The process is a deeply personal and psychological journey that involves a lot of community, love, and support. Hi-Tech Artificial Limbs, Inc. is a local company that understands the many facets of this journey. Founded in 1990 by Jim McClanahan and Maurice Adkins, the company has grown since that time and has come to be known as an indispensable resource for amputees. While the founders have passed on, Hi-Tech continues with its service to the area, helmed by Jim’s wife, Tori, and Maurice’s son, Shayne.


“The field of Prosthetics has changed a lot since we first opened,” explains Shayne, who is the Clinical Director and President of the company.  “Technology is constantly evolving, which is exciting, but there are also many changes in the process of getting a patient the prosthesis they need.  It used to be that a patient would simply come to the office with a prescription from their physician for a prosthesis, but now that process is very involved. Insurance requires a great deal of paperwork from both the physician and the prosthetist. The medical necessity of the prosthesis has to be justified in the physician’s and prosthetist’s evaluations. Everything needs to be considered. Job, health, limb length, cognitive abilities, what did life look like for you before you lost your limb? All of this goes back to the physician’s documentation and there is a lot of back and forth between us and the doctors to show proper medical justification.”

BY HI-TECH ARTIFICIAL LIMBS

Tori explains, “For the most part, insurance covers prosthetics, but sometimes it can be tricky. New items come to market all the time that insurance won’t initially pay for, but that would really help an amputee get back as close to normal as possible. The C-Leg is a good example of a technology that allowed above-the-knee amputees to go up and down stairs, foot over foot.  The microprocessor in the C-Leg allows the knee to react instantaneously, records the gait data and repeats it. They even make a military grade C-Leg for veterans who want to go back into service.  While there is an insurance code for the knee, and even after Medicare coded and approved it, many insurance companies still fail to. We have learned to thoroughly evaluate exactly what a person needs for ambulation, depending on the individual. Some patients are more ambulatory than others.” Documentation in both the physcian and prosthetist medical records for a patient are considered in approving a prosthesis for a patient.


Sometimes amputees come to Hi-Tech with a script soon after amputation, others will come in by referral months after. Sometimes they leave the hospital with no talk of prosthetics, as a chasm exists at times between amputation and the start of prosthetic care.   “We’ve been trying to close that gap so the amputee can have the best outcomes possible,” says Shayne.  “Many times it can be helpful to start