As an amputee, you have to go through some immense and drastic changes that are difficult to comprehend. You likely have countless questions, and each person you consult probably offers a different response.
Personally, even after 20 years as an amputee, I still haven’t uncovered all the answers. Nevertheless, here are a few insights I wish I knew during my journey:
Support from Other Amputees is Very Lifting
This is precisely why I established this website. During my upbringing, I experienced a sense of isolation as an amputee.
While I had a wonderful support network of friends and family, none of them shared my amputee experience. However, there are numerous opportunities to connect with fellow amputees!
You might discover that there are amputees near you whom you hadn’t realized were there.
Don’t Be Afraid to Show It to the World
In the past, I dedicated a significant amount of effort and emotional energy to conceal my leg. Whenever someone inquired about my leg, I would feel offended, almost thinking, “Can’t you see?”
Fast forward, I now choose not to use a prosthetic cover. I realized that it was restricting me and impeding my progress.
With my prosthetic leg, I’m capable of scaling mountains. I’ve conquered numerous challenges and come to the realization that I have nothing to conceal; in fact, I feel a sense of pride. So, embrace your pride today and every day!
Being Active Doesn’t Mean Being an Athlete
Competitive sports are not my preference. In fact, I don’t find joy in maximizing speed. However, I do find delight in the outdoors and in activities that require endurance. This translates to pursuits like hiking, climbing, biking, kayaking, paddleboarding, and the list continues.
Just keep in mind that just because you’re not an athlete doesn’t mean you can’t be active.
It’s Normal for People to Look at You
I used to become quite agitated about this. I’d get frustrated and shoot them a serious look. I had a tendency to put on a tough expression as a kid and even as a teenager.
As I’ve matured, I’ve come to realize that their curiosity drives their questions. Yes, every now and then, there’s that individual who insists on making a thoughtless comment on your worst day.
However, more often than not, they are genuinely amazed by you! I discovered that the more I opened up about it, the more people embraced and understood it. When it remained a mysterious and intimidating topic for them, it was harder for them to grasp and accept.
Always Bring Supplies with You
During my childhood, I seemed to break my leg on a daily basis – and I’m not exaggerating. I was fearless and full of energy. Nowadays, I still embrace a similar adventurous spirit in my life, but I’ve learned to be a bit more cautious.
I stay somewhat more prepared. I carry specific items with me to ensure my safety. Depending on your prosthetic setup, you’ll have various backup components.
Personally, I always keep an Allen wrench, a shoe horn, and an extra leg sock handy. Depending on the thickness of your ply, you might need to adjust it throughout the day.