As I packed my suitcase for this trip, I remember pretty distinctly the moment that I packed all of my power cords–checking to make sure that I had phone charger, iPod charger, and laptop cord (all necessities for a technology conference). And it wasn’t until last night that I realized which power cord I forgot–the one that powers me (it charges the battery in my bionic knee). I don’t actually know how long my battery will last, never having pushed it past 48 hours before. But I’m a few hours over that now and still going strong so maybe I’ll be pleasantly surprised and have power until I get home in 2 days (but I doubt it).
About 15 minutes before the battery goes dead my leg will chirp a few times and vibrate (like a phone). After that, the knee will go analog–maybe something a bit similar to losing power steering in your car. The pneumatic will go stiff and it will be difficult to bend the knee at all.
I’ve never had to walk with my leg like that, much less traveled with a stiff knee. It’s sure to be an interesting experience–a good reminder not to take my bionics for granted. And I’m feeling really happy right now that I opted for a ‘more legroom’ seat for the flight in the way home…
UPDATE: My battery died just shortly after take-off on the plane ride home (apparently not disrupting the navigational system of the plane as it buzzed and chirped to let me know that it was dying). I still can’t believe that it lasted while I traveled for four days, but I’m so glad that it did!