Sunday, 25 November 2012

My first go on my new Bartlett Tendon, fitted with the "Cam" system...

Hi there...

Well this morning I got up, yeah rather late I mean come on I'm not used to these early starts and since getting my voluntary job at the hospital well I've been up around 7'ish every morning. So I thought I was entitled to a lie in.

I had planned to remove my old Bartlett Tendon knee and replace it with my new one, however my dad beat me to it as I got caught chatting to a friendly neighbour who was passing. My dad decided to sort the knee/socket indoors as it was a bit cold outside. So I was able to give him a bit of a hand and I did the final adjustments and tightening of the required bolts, aligned the knee and just made sure everything was as it should be. Oh I also swapped out the larger plastic bump stops (think that's what they are called. I'm not good with all the technical terms lol) and replaced these with the smaller ones Brian had supplied as I'm more accustomed to not having a slight flex in my knee. Basically if you have the larger stops in, it helps you bend the knee easier as it is already partly flexed.

It was then a case of changing my shorts and popping my SPD shoes on and going for a quick blast up and down our back street.

If you checkout my earlier photo's you can clearly see the different adjustment holes marked by dots on the side of each "cams"

I left the locking pins that go through the "cams" in position one (1 dot) to start with and had a ride up and down a few times. In terms of resistance I would probably say it's like running the 2 soft tendons with no pressure in the shock on the Original designed wheels. I did feel slightly more resistance the further I flexed the knee and that is the intended purpose of the "cams"

From there I decided to relocate both pins into the position two ( 2 dots) WoW now I could tell immediately the difference. At the top end of the stroke when cycling and the knee is not in full flexion there is minimal resistance, however when you go to flex the knee you can really feel the tendons becoming stiffer and a lot more resistance. From a mountain biker point of view this is brilliant as it means you can hang off the back of your seat and really use the tension in the tendons to help you take jumps, bumps and drops. I'm sure from other sporting perspectives the knee will be just as good.

So after my initial bit play up and down our back street I thought it would be a good idea to have a look out and decided to go over to some woods about 4 or 5 miles away. I cheated slightly as time was getting on so got my dad to drop me off in the car along with my Sandman Fat Bike and all my gear. I intended to get a little bit footag but was worried as the weather looked a bit bleak, it was dark and dull and ever so cold.

We arrived at the woods and like I say it was real cold, the trails where actually frozen in places and you could see the mist hanging and frost on the grass....brrrrrr!!!. Never mind I was on a mission to try out my new knee and have a bit of fun. Plus I had to do something otherwise I wouldn't have anything to write for you nice people, see your my motivation lol.

Anyhoo I got a little bit of ride footage, hope you like it. I will definitely be getting more, could do with better close ups of the knee. I actually found it hard to ride over in the woods as there was just so much thick deep mud. I could do with a new back tyre to be honest as my Surly Larry isn't gripping. Looks like I'll have to save for a Nate.

On the ride back home I was thinking about what I was going to write in my blog about the new Bartlett Tendon and for some reason Goldilocks sprang to mind. Let me explain... well as we all know Goldilocks apart from being a thief actually tried out all of the 3 bears bowls of porridge, until she found a one that was "Just Right" and in that respect the Bartlett Tendon with the new "cams" is exactly the same. You see each individual can adjust and tweak the knee unit to suit themselves and for whatever sport they intend on doing.

I'm very impressed with my first outing, even if I was freezing cold by the time I got in.

Me and the New BT with "Cams"

My Sandman

Saturday, 24 November 2012

New Bartlett Tendon has arrived

Further to my last post saying I was awaiting the arrival of my new Bartlett Tendon (sporting prosthetic knee) well fantastic news it's arrived.

I managed to  take a few shots last night after I got it home from the UPS delivery office, sorry they aren't exactly mint images, just it was dark in our dinning room and for some reason my camera didn't want to focus on the unit on anything less than an 800 iso setting (hence the grainy appearance). Never mind it gives those of you interested in anything prosthetical (if that is even a word lol) or if you appreciate design, craftsmanship, engineering and the amount of hard work the designer Mr Brian Bartlett has put into this awesome prosthetic device.

So lets have a look at a few pics huh?

The Bartlett Tendon with new "cam" system
Notice there are 3 settings which can be chosen on either "Cam" this is so the tendons can work in different stages of tautness and effect just how much stiffness can be applied to the knee unit.

Still in the box, the Bartlett Tendon, with "Cam" system

Checkout the new RockShox Monarch RT3

Notice the 2 locking pins which go through the "Cams" and lock them in position

One of the locking pins removed from the "Cam"

The 2 locking pins in place through the "Cams"

Anyhoo prepare yourself for the next instalment when I will be fitting my new BT to my Pace Rehabilitation  provided socket  and getting some riding footage, along with a few photo's of me in action . Oh and also doing a little bit of a piece on how the knee works and feels to ride with.

Huge thanks goto 



For their on going support...

Thursday, 22 November 2012

New Bartlett Tendon on it's way

Just over a month or so ago I returned my Bartlett Tendon to it's designer Brian Bartlett in the US. The knee required servicing and Brian wanted to checkout just how the knee was holding up in regards to wear and tear.

Brian now sponsors 5 people around the world, 2 of which are right here in the UK, that's Glyn and myself. We had fantastic news after the return of our knees and this was that Brian was going to further help out with our sponsorship and supply us with the new 2013 Bartlett Tendon complete with the newly designed "Cam" which the tendons run over. This design is still in trials at the moment and Brian has asked us to offer feedback to see how things feel compared with the original "wheeled system"

Both Glyn and myself are very excited about receiving our new high tech knees and can't wait to get in the saddle, or should that be out of it, as the Bartlett Tendon actually allows an above knee amputee to do this. And I don't mean just stand on the pedals, No you can actually ride out of the saddle, thanks to the unique design of the knee which incorporates artificial tendons.

I'm going to keep this post short as I fully intend to do a full write up along with ride pictures and hopefully some video of the new design.

It feels like Christmas has come early this year and I can't wait to unwrap my present.

For further information about the Bartlett Tendon please visit the below link.

Bartlett Tendon

Monday, 19 November 2012

Things aren't too bad

Just a quick update for those who read my blog about my current concerns relating to my Lymphoma.

Well today I visited Shotley Bridge hospital for my arranged appointment. I had my blood taken and waited 15 minutes or so before being called in to see the nurse who works on the cancer/haematology side of things. The team who I  see are always so friendly and supportive and today was no different. I was allowed to voice my concerns and it felt very nice to have someone listen then provide feedback in a positive manner.

The nurse then went on to give me an examination,basically the area's where you have lymph glands, so around my neck, under arms, tummy and groin area. I have a rather large node up in my left hand side groin area. The nurse said with the type of lymphoma I have,which is follicular lymph nodes will enlarge and present themselves. There was no abnormalities in my blood so apart from this stoopid lump I seem ok.

After the nurse examined me she asked the doctor to come and check me out so again my lump was examined and the doctor recommended I go for a precautionary CT scan. I'm not worried about the scan as I've had a couple previously, mind you I don't much care for the horrible stuff you have to drink before you have the scan, it tastes horrible. To me it tastes like really and I mean really diluted orange. Not quite water but definitely not pop.

So it's business as usual, continue with my new voluntary job and getting out as much as I can on my bike. Oh and I have arranged a time and date for my interview for the physio assistant's job at University Hospital Durham, so will see how that goes.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Not feeling Too Hot

Planned to go out for a ride with wor Kyle early this morning. I wasn't really sure whether I would be up to venturing far as I didn't feel too good last night, think I'm stressing slightly over my visit to hospital tomorrow. You see I have non Hodgkin's lymphoma, it was diagnosed around the end of October 2008 and up till now I've been lucky in that it hasn't really effected me.

 I go for the usual routine check-ups with the haematology team,who I have to say have been very supportive. I get my blood taken  and generally either my doctor or one of the nurses gives me the quick once over.

Over the last few months I've been suffering from some enlarged nodes down in my groin. The first one was on my right side, generally these nodes don't hurt they just kind of bug me and I like them to settle down and behave themselves. This node on my right got rather sore as unfortunately the top edge of my socket used to rub right in the same area, it wasn't a big deal like I say just sore and uncomfortable. Anyhoo the node on my right settled down and disappeared, however about a month or so ago a new node came up on my left side. This node is huge and it's actually hurting, hence why "I'm not feeling too Hot"... Well at least I think it's a node. I had to go for a scan last Thursday and the results have come back inconclusive, suppose this is what is worrying me. I would much prefer to know exactly what it is.

This past week has been full of ups and downs. Like I mentioned in my earlier blog I started doing voluntary work within the NHS at the Royal Victoria Hospital. I'm helping out on the Acute stroke unit. I've only done 3 mornings so far, the work is so interesting. I was actually very pleasantly surprised at just how hands on I am involved, basically I'm getting invaluable experience which will come in handy when I'm applying for the positions I'm after, which is a physio assistant.  Speaking of which I had good news on Friday evening when I opened my emails, as I have been contacted to let me know I have been successful in gaining 2 interviews for a physio assistant position. This is great news, as though I've been applying for jobs I haven't even gotten to the interview stage in sometime.

It's Sods law,well in my case whenever I plan to do something some dam health issue crops up. And I'm not talking just Man Flu...No it's always something that involves either getting bits of  metal shoved in my body, or bits cut off, or things taken out...

So anyhoo this morning I thought sod it I'm going out for a ride. I woke Kyle up at 5.00am, we had a cuppa and some toast and made some jam as well as chocolate spread sandwiches, using fruit loaf Mmmmm gorgeous. We then headed off for a ride to the coast. Bloody hell it was cold this morning, with a lot of ground frost (Ern -my dad said it was 2 degrees) so again "Not feeling too Hot" lol

Didn't manage to get a great deal of footage on my GoPro, so much so I haven't even bothered editing it and only a few pics today.

We rode down to Roker (Sunderland) following the C2C route7 I think.  Then followed the coastline down to South Shields. Once at Shields it was a case of cutting through the main street and we eventually came out at the Port of Tyne. From there straight up to White Mare Pool roundabout and up towards Springwell. We actually got on to the Bowes Railway route and came past the Bowes Railway Museum, first time I've been past it so may venture back to check it out. I'm no trainspotter, but I do like local history, stuff about our lost mining community etc. Once at the top of Springwell it was a short ride to Lamsley and along to Birtley. It was at this point I just didn't feel to well, we had done around 43 miles I was gutted we couldn't manage the other 6.33 miles home. So I rang Johnstones Taxi's, yeah that's right my dad and he came down to pick us up along with our bike rack.

 From there it was home, shower and to updating my blog. Now going for a well earned lie down.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

A short autum ride

So as you will see I haven't been up to much Blog wise. To be honest I haven't been feeling too good the last few weeks, but hey I don't want to bring you guys down with my worries and concerns.

 I thought I'd better have a blast out on my bike I mean it was last week since I'd been out for a ride. I didn't plan to go far, just thought I would checkout a little bit of woodland which is quite nearby, it's down towards a place called Hamsterley Mill. Even though I didn't really ride to far today I still had a laugh and some fun. It's good to get out, kind of takes my mind off other stuff that's going on.

 Today was pretty productive actually as I found some nice new trails and definitely think I will be paying this area another visit to do some in depth exploring. Even found a small waterfall which I have never noticed before when I've been down this way both on my bike and with wor Hinks (my pet pest lol)

 Oh and I forgot to mention next week as well as having to go to the dental hospital at Newcastle to get knocked out and have a wisdom tooth removed (BAD) I'm also starting a voluntary job. I'm very excited about this as it's a very worthwhile cause. I enjoy nothing more than being able to help out where I can and I have been invited to assist on the stroke unit at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle(GOOD). I'm hoping it will help me gain a bit more confidence as I've been out of work for a long time now due to one thing and another and as an added bonus I may learn some new skills and gain a bit of experience.

 I took a little bit of footage on my GoPro today and also some shots on my small canon, really I didn't get too many shots, so I just fudged a small vid together...

GoPro Heed