The Amputee Policeman

Real talk from an 18 year cop

Archive for the month “October, 2014”

The Top 5 Places my Leg Has Almost Fallen Off

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We’ve all been there, whether it’s because of sweat in our liner or we turned a crazy angle or something pushed our skin away from our socket, at some point, if you’re an active amputee like I know most of us are, our leg socket has lost suction.  And after it happens, we’ve all quickly done that funny dance where we tiptoe on our good leg while pushing our stump back into the prosthesis only to have our leg let out a juicy fart that most kids under ten would brag about.  I know I’ve gotten the attention of a stranger or two on more than one occasion due to my sudden air escape.  And like a ten year old kid, I usually point at someone else and hold my nose!  Ah yes, the life of an amputee.  So in this week’s blog, I thought I would share with you the top five places my leg about fell off.  So without further ado, my top five!

1.  While getting back into shape after my amputation, I took a Karate and ground fighting class in the winter time.  Accordingly, I usually wore long pants which hid the fact that I was an amputee.  That is, until one night when I was violently slammed onto the mat which caused my leg to loose suction, turn 180 degrees and slide off about 4 inches.  If you can only imagine the look on the parents faces after seeing such a sight!

2.  While sitting on a bar stool at Hooters and surrounded by beautiful young ladies, I slid forward on my seat to adjust the flat spot on my butt when, without warning my leg broke suction and starting sliding towards the floor.  No problem, nobody would know!  So I thought.  However the dreaded leg fart came right about the time our waitress showed up to take our order.

3.  While mowing the grass with my riding mower, it was a hot summer day and my leg was sweating like crazy.  No big deal, I was used to it.  What I wasn’t used to was my leg completely coming off as I was in forward motion, thus leaving it behind on the lawn AS strangers were driving by slowly looking for building lots.

4.  While at Disney World AND after standing in line for Space Mountain (that was two hours of my life that I’d never get back), after finally reaching the rocket capsule, which was much smaller than I remember ten years ago, I sat down in the back of the tiny and narrow seat only for the crazy angle of my prosthetic leg to cause a breach of suction.  Within seconds from being locked-in and launched, I jump off the ride and back onto the platform where I quickly performed the most embarrassing fart dance I’ve ever done to date; in front of my biggest audience ever!  Needless, to say, I waited on the other end for my family to return.
5.  While walking through Universal Studios, my young son decided to walk across the path of my prosthetic leg thus causing me to trip and fall onto the hard pavement in front of an entire park full of people.  No big really as I’ve tripped in worse places.  But as my luck would be, when I violently slammed onto the ground, my one-way suction valve at the bottom of my leg became dislodge!  I couldn’t even do a fart dance to get my leg to stay on!  Leaving my family, I walked to the front of the park, boarded the ferry back to the hotel, navigated through the elevator and hallways and finally back to my hotel room, all while embarrassingly holding onto my socket with both hands so it would slide off.
So, that’s it folks.  My top 5 most embarrassing places I almost lost my leg.  But hey, like everything in life, we just got to laugh about it.  Those are mine.  What are yours?
Until another time, Ampcop 10-7

The Case of the Frumpy Butt

When I was first a new amputee in 2006, I was asked to talk to a young teenage girl who needed some guidance with learning her new Ottobock C-Legs.  Anxious to help out, I met with her, her mother, her prosthetist and her doctor in order to offer a few pointers on things I had learned during my own rehabilitation struggles.  During the hour-long visit, I showed the 15 year old how I walked and demonstrated how I learned to use the C-Leg microprocessor brake to ride the knee.  I also gave her some tips on trusting her new technology.  I then sat down and spoke to her about motivation and achieving goals.  At the very end of my training session, proud of my impromptu opportunity to help another, I sat down next to the teenage girl and asked if she had any more questions for me.  “About anything”, I reiterated, “I’ll answer anything you want to know.”  And she took on my challenge like a boss.  Without any type of warning, she looked at me and then stood up and asked, “Do these legs make my butt look funny?”  Huh?  What? Ummmmm…   Immediately a heard a loud siren in my head that gave me a splitting headache and drowned out everything that was going on at the moment.  She called my bluff, and she called it good!  Now feeling uncomfortable, I looked at her mom and then back at her and told her there was no way in hell I was  going to touch that question, even with a ten foot pole!!!  Needless to say, she never got her answer, at least from me anyway.

Fast forward to 2014, and after I’ve had the opportunity to meet and talk to male and female leg amputees around the world.  And wouldn’t you know it if, low and behold I’ve had that same question posed to me over the years, from just women at this point.  Only this time, when a grown woman inquires about the shape of her butt, my answer makes me just feel a little less like a creepy old guy.  That is, when I do answer!  Which is actually been VERY, VERY few times.  But the truth of the matter is, whether you or I or anybody wants to admit it, when we stand alone in front of the mirror and size ourselves up, we look at our butts.  Guys also do a secret bicep flex and stick out our chest muscles too.  We might even try a lat flex with a mean face in an attempt to resemble anything of that during our younger days, but that’s another blog on aging.  Anyway, I mean, how can we not?  Society is obsessed with the booty.  We hear it in songs, we see it in magazines and sometimes we secretly check out other people’s derrière’s.  We all do it!  As amputees, we do it too.  Yes, having a leg socket climbing halfway up your butt in order to provide a comfortable and confidence fit does distort the shape of our butts on that side.  And through my own experience, the less you work on your glute muscles, the frumpier a cheek is going to look.  That being said, when I worked out more and focused on that muscle, it did look more shapely and flattering.  Get with a trainer or research that topic on line if it’s driving you crazy.  I also find clothing that hangs out the top of my butt where it hides the wrinkles.  Either way, my point is, if you’re an amputee worried about the way your butt looks while wearing a prosthesis, YOU ARE NOT ALONE!  And you are not unique. 

At that point you have two choices.  Chalk it up to life and live with it or hit the gym and do something about it.  Either way, or whatever you decide, don’t let how you feel about your body, or butt, change the way you feel about yourself.  Certainly don’t let it affect your smile.  After all, at the end of the day, people will look at your face more!  Peace out amp peeps, until the next one! 

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