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  • a happy, ordinary, middle-aged, suburban woman who paints odd pictures, gardens in a straw hat, lives with the love of her life, is owned by one cat and the ghosts of several others, and walks a little funny 'cause she has a fake leg. She started this website because there's more to life than what we lose, and we need to let each other know what's possible, even if it's only a happy, ordinary life.

November 2011

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Ron Sullivan

Can that sticker be divided with an Exacto knife and the brand name lifted off?

(Guess I'm in one of those Helpful Moods.)

I wonder if the makers have just never got beyone the Tommy Hilfiger/Pay-to-wear-my-logo mindset. Pah. Sabotage is in order. Think of the folks who improve billboards.


Oh, believe me, Ron, those stickers came off as soon as I could take them off -- not the numbers, just that brand. There are no brand names anywhere on either of my legs, thank you very much! Blech.

Now, to be fair to Cadence Technology, they actually sprang for a whole three decals. There was the aforementioned branding wrap around the entire tube of the hydraulic component, which is all of a piece with the extension setting gauge. This has been hacked. I can't get the whole thing off without dismantling my shin, and this would void whatever warranty might still apply, so I am loath to try it or let Brilliant Engineer Boyfriend try it, even though he is, well, brilliant. So there's still a stray C or H that can be seen around the blue "HOPE" bracelet I stuck on. (Making these bracelets and selling them through PayPal was one Democrat's response to the last presidential election. I am a liberal, but I don't trust John Edwards and I thought "Hope is on the way!" was one of the lamest campaign slogans ever -- like, how 'bout "Hope is here!" or "Help is on the way!", know what I'm saying? But I like having a little blue silicone bracelet with the word "HOPE" imprinted on it wrapped around my shin, and it does cover up trace elements of offensive and unremunerated branding.)

The second decal is the gauge for flexion adjustment. Through no effort of my own, it is already dogearing and will probably fall off.

The third decal was a silvery disk around the top, flat portion of the assembly. It had the brand name in about 44-pt. black sans-serif type, and my serial number for this unit. It is in the file with the instruction manual.

Seriously, all by itself, this portion of my leg was billed while I was insured at $2,016 and change. I am not kidding when I tell you how pissed off I am that for that price Cadence Technology could not see fit to just stamp this information into the materials.

I wouldn't pay a dollar for a Tommy Hilfiger shirt. (I didn't attend that university. heh heh) But even if I did pay for one, it would be because I had shopped for it and chosen it from a rack of other shirts. Prosthetics purchasers don't have the same kind of range of options that clothing purchasers have.

Also, amputees in the US comprise only about 6% of the population, and fewer than that actually wear prosthetics, so exactly whom are manufacturers trying to reach with this kind of branding? Because I live and work near an Air Force Base and a veteran's hospital, I see rather more amputees on any given day than most people. Yet not once has another amputee ever come up to me and said, "Nice knee chassis! Is that a Cadence?"

It's opportunistic marketing of the worst kind. It serves no function for the amputee, and I can't even believe it's all that profitable for the manufacturer. Prosthetists know what the different brand names are, and all the big, external pieces from all the different brands are distinctively shaped and only function with a limited number of other components, so it's not like the prosthetists are going to get the different parts mixed up in the workshop or be swayed by who has the coolest looking brand ID. Reputable prosthetists choose components and systems on the bases of what a patient's resources will cover and what the patient wants to do with his/her life.


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