Advanced Prosthetics & Orthotics - December 2020

Take a look at our newsletter this month. DECEMBER 2020

Formerly known as Kormylo Orthopedic

Unparalleled Service for Active Amputees My Story With Advanced Prosthetics & Orthotics Growing up in a small town in Montana, I didn’t know anyone else who was missing a leg. I was born without one of my legs, so I grew up wearing a prosthesis. Strangely, I almost think of that as an advantage. I’ve never known what it was like to have both legs, so I never felt like I was missing anything. I grew up doing all kinds of sports and other activities while wearing a prosthesis, and that’s still the case today. The prosthetic field has come a long way since I was younger. The legs I used to wear as a kid had the bare necessities for letting me get around. Once a year, I would get a new prosthesis from Shriners Children’s Hospital to replace the leg I had outgrown. If my old prosthesis stopped fitting before the one year mark, my father, who was a carpenter, would fabricate some spacers to put between the foot and the leg to help it fit better. Based on my many years of experience, I am very familiar with prosthetics and what a good prosthesis feels like. During my adult years, I started getting access to some more advanced prostheses, and I met more and more people who had them. Meeting more amputees gave me a greater perspective on my own experience. I learned how much I took my condition for granted, having never had two feet, unlike many other amputees who lost limbs later in life. Many of them didn’t know what to do after their amputation, or if they could ever lead an active life again. That led me to volunteer with the Wood River Ability Program in Sun Valley, Idaho, near where I live. Through that program, I also got introduced to a ski instructor who takes veterans, some of whom are amputees, on Nordic and cross-country ski trips. It’s been great to use my life’s story to show other amputees that it’s possible to enjoy your favorite activities, even after an amputation.

I actually got introduced to all the good people at Advanced Prosthetics & Orthotics through skiing. I was volunteering

with the Challenged Athletes Foundation at a ski event at Tamarack Ski Lodge last year, and APO was volunteering as well. At the time, I was going through a bad experience with another prosthetic clinic, which had built a leg for me that was not working at all. They wouldn’t do anything to fix it, and I just felt stuck. But then, I met Stephanie and Brittany, both of whom were at the event, and they told me about APO, so I decided to check it out.

The difference between the previous clinic and APO is night and day. First, they worked with the insurance company to make sure the new leg they were going to make for me to replace my old one would be covered. Otherwise, I would have been stuck with the old leg that didn’t fit right for a few more years. Then, what really stood out to me about APO was how they gave me options for creating the new prosthesis. They asked me about my activity level, were interested in my goals and what I wanted out of the leg, and even took my opinions and research into account when designing the prosthesis. It was a level of consideration and detail I hadn’t experienced. They promised that if the leg didn’t work at first, they would fix it and make it right for me. Luckily, they got it right on the first try. As someone who’s spent his entire life wearing prostheses, I have nothing but good things to say about APO. They’re easy to work with, they’re knowledgeable, and their level of craftsmanship and patient care is incredible. Plus, if I ever have a problem, I know they’ll jump right on it and see that it gets solved. With APO’s help, I can continue leading the active life I’ve always known and love. – Chad Riggs

“What really stood out to me about APO was how they gave me options for creating the new prosthesis ... It was a level of consideration and detail I hadn't experienced.”

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That Won’t Kill Your Savings

Ah, the holidays. It’s a time of sweet treats, family, and giving back — and sometimes giving a little too much. When it comes to the perfect holiday gift, many people spend too much money. The average American spends nearly $1,000 on gifts during the December holidays alone!


It’s possible to cut back and make it to January without major debt. Here’s how.

Check your list — twice!

The list is going to be your secret weapon to tackling the holidays with your savings still intact. Start by writing down the name of every person you’d like to get a gift for. Now, with the exception of your immediate family members, narrow the names down to your top five — top 10 if you’re really popular. Now, place the names of the people who didn’t make the cut into a second list. If you still feel the need to do something for them, send homemade cookies or a handwritten note instead of purchasing something. This limits how much you actually have to spend!

It’s not always easy to share feelings of frustration, anger, sadness, or other strong

emotions — but it’s healthy to share them. Sometimes, we need to vent and get it all out. Venting gives us an opportunity to release these emotions, which often leads to mental clarity.

Think beyond store-bought or expensive items.

However, when someone comes to you to vent and share their heavy emotional burden, listening can be just as challenging as sharing. You want to be supportive, but you don’t want to interfere. Strong feelings and tough situations may be involved. What can you do to be the listener they really need? It starts with your body language. Open yourself to their emotional needs. Gregorio Billikopf, an interpersonal relationship expert at the University of California, Berkeley says if you begin the conversation standing, invite the person to have a seat with you. Another thing you can do as a listener is position yourself below their eye line. This puts the person venting in a more active “storyteller” position and you in a better “listener” position. While in this position, maintain eye contact. It’s okay to look down or away occasionally, but try to keep steady eye contact. Billikopf also notes that, as a listener, it’s important to avoid interjecting. Don’t offer input, suggestions, or guidance to the person venting until after the person has had the chance to get it all out. “During this venting process, there is still too much pressure for a person to consider other perspectives,” Billikopf says. While you don’t want to interject, you do want to be an active listener. This means you don’t want to be completely silent. This is where “reflective listening” comes in. Occasionally repeat what the speaker says — but don’t use their exact phrasing. Reword slightly in a sympathetic manner. Don’t spin their words or mistakenly interject an opinion, as it may not be the opinion they’re interested in hearing. Alternatively, listening cues like “mm” or “hm” and nods are always welcome. One last thing to keep in mind: You do not need to offer a solution to the person’s problem or concerns. They may just be venting to get their negative emotions out, not looking for answers or explanations. If they are looking for answers or guidance, wait for them to ask. In the meantime, lend your ear and let them know you’re there for them going forward.

Sure, everyone wants this holiday season’s “it” item, but sometimes the best gifts don’t even come wrapped under the tree. Instead, look to your own talents as a clue to what you should give. If you’re a great crafter, create something unique for the people on your list. If you can offer the gift of time, provide a free night of babysitting for your friends with kids or an experience at the local theater. These gifts have a bonus factor: Recipients love the gift when they open it, and they love it when they get to use it!

Set a budget — and stick to it.

Setting a holiday budget ensures you only spend what you can afford. It also narrows down your search. If you choose to buy your neighbor something, but they aren’t your top priority, set their budget at a lower level, like $25–$50. If you have a sibling who has had a rough year and you’d like to make their holidays a little brighter, bump their budget up. This narrows the focus of what you’re looking for so you don’t stumble into something you can’t afford. Ultimately, it’s the spirit of giving during the holidays that makes them so rewarding. With a little ingenuity, you can be generous and avoid the stress of excess debt come January.


Why Do We Put Pine Trees in Our Living Rooms?

Since Christmas

It’s even believed by many that Martin Luther, the leader of the Protestant Reformation, was the first person to add lighted candles to a tree — a practice that would become commonplace in the following years. Regardless of how Christians in Germany may have celebrated the holidays, it wasn’t until the mid-19th century that Christmas trees became common in America. According to Puritan culture, any celebration of Christmas other than a solemn Christmas church service was sinful. Puritan influence even led to the creation of laws that banned or fined people for putting up Christmas decorations. However, a small minority of Pennsylvania Germans made Christmas trees a fixture of their celebrations. Then, when a massive influx of immigrants from Ireland and Germany came to the U.S. in the middle of the 19th century, their influence over holiday decorations undermined the Puritan’s legacy and ensured that Christmas trees were here to stay. Christmas tree decorations have changed throughout the years, from apples, nuts, and marzipan cookies in the German American tradition to the colored electric lights that dazzle living rooms and home exteriors across the country today. But one thing that probably won’t change is the Christmas tree’s continued relevance to the holiday season.

trees are such ubiquitous fixtures of a house decorated for the holidays, you might not ever question why so many people bring a tree from a lot or a nearby forest into their living room

every December. Well, even though they’re now firmly associated with Christmas, various cultures made pine trees central to winter solstice celebrations long before the birth of Christ.

Because pine trees stayed green throughout the year, unlike most other kinds of trees and plants, many ancient peoples associated them with all sorts of gods and magical properties. The Romans decorated their homes and temples with evergreen boughs during Saturnalia, a celebration on the winter solstice that honored Saturn, the god of agriculture. Ancient Celts in Northern Europe thought that evergreen boughs were a symbol of everlasting life. The Vikings saw the evergreen as a favored plant of their sun god, Balder.

It wasn’t until the 16th century that devout Christians in Germany began bringing evergreens into their homes as a celebration of the Christmas season.


If you’re cutting back on calories, skip the eggnog and buttered rum this year and fill up your mug with this delicious mulled cider! INGREDIENTS FESTIVE APPLE CIDER

• • • • • • • •

1 lemon

1 gallon pure apple cider

1 large orange, thinly sliced crosswise

2 tsp whole cloves 2 tsp allspice berries

1 inch fresh ginger, thinly sliced

2 tbsp honey

3 cinnamon sticks


1. Using a paring knife, shave the lemon peel off in curls. Reserve the curls and save the lemon for use in a different recipe. 2. In a large slow cooker, combine the lemon peel with all other ingredients. Cook on low for 3–4 hours.

3. If desired, use a sieve to strain the spices. Serve and enjoy!

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175 N. Benjamin Lane Boise, ID 83704 208-377-4024

3906 E. Flamingo Ave. Nampa, ID 83687 208-466-4360

Formerly known as Kormylo Orthopedic Follow Us


1 Chad Riggs’ Story With Advanced Prosthetics & Orthotics

2 How to Be a Better Listener for Someone in Need 2 3 Fool-Proof Ways to Pay for the Holidays Without Going Broke

3 The History of the Christmas Tree 3 Festive Apple Cider

4 The Surprising History of the Snowman


The Miracle of 1511

Building a snowman is one of the most picturesque winter activities, which is why snowmen have become a wintertime cultural icon. A snowman appeared on the very first postcards, was the subject of some of the earliest photos, and even starred in silent movies. Frosty may be a happy snowman now, but his ancestors have a much more varied — and sometimes dark — history.

In Brussels in 1511, during six weeks of subzero temperatures called the Winter of Death, the city was miraculously adorned with hundreds of snowmen. The spectacle told stories on every street corner — some political and some demonstrating anger with the church, many too risque to speak of. For the people of Brussels, this Miracle of 1511 was a defining moment of artistic freedom. But when spring came and the snow thawed, the Belgians were left with damaging floods.

The Schenectady Massacre

The Middle Ages

Not all snowmen have an innocent history. In 1690, former Fort Schenectady in upstate New York was home to a remote Dutch settlement, which was under the constant threat of attack. Soldiers guarded the gates at all times because they were frozen open, but during a blizzard, they left a pair of snowmen to protect the gates while they sought shelter. That's when 200 French Canadian soldiers and Native Americans approached. Naturally, they were unfazed by the snowmen and ruthlessly invaded the settlement. Building a snowman seems like a simple and charming activity, but after learning about its surprising history, you might find those piles of snow seem a little more complicated and a lot more meaningful than before.

Snowmen were a phenomenon in the Middle Ages. They were constructed with deep thought and great skill because, during a time of limited means of expression, snow was a free art supply that literally fell from the sky. These artistic feats were popular winter attractions for well-to-do couples who wanted to get their fix of temporary art. Snowmen were often created by famous artists, including 19-year-old Michelangelo who, in 1494, was commissioned by the ruler of Florence to sculpt a snowman in his mansion’s courtyard.


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