BIG TIME Tips for the New Leg Amputee (from a current amputee police officer)
1. No prosthesis will EVER be the same as your original body part. Find what works for you and move on with life.
2. There will ALWAYS be “new and approved”. If what you have works, then don’t change things up thinking you’ll find something even better. We call that Chasing the rainbow. When its time to refit, then try it then. But remember, changing what has worked well for you in the past can delay your life and honestly makes little sense.
3. Your leg will VERY likely change in volume during the first 1 to 3 years. You will have fit issues as your leg adapts. It is NORMAL! Bear this in mind when your frustration sets in.
4. Recovery from losing a leg will be 95% mental and 5% physical. You can’t undue what has happened so until you can accept that fact, you’ll struggle. Rule of thumb… Don’t worry about the things you can’t change. Life is short so don’t piss it away.
5. Core. Core. Core. All successful leg amputees maintain good hip and core strength. Don’t expect to be pain free if you sit on your butt and let those muscles atrophy.
6. Losing a leg did not change who you are as a person. Unless you suffered a cranial amputation, you’re not much different than before…just a little shorter on one side.
7. Pity parties are only fun for a short while. But after the festivities are over, you can’t expect people to hang around forever while you party alone. In other words, even your closest supporters will grow tired of your moaning…even if they never say a word.
8. People will look. Not nearly as much today as when I became an amputee 11 years ago, but neverthless they will. But on that note, we look at people who are different too, so what’s the difference.
9. Make your Prosthesis yours. With all the cool covers and patterns that can be built into a socket, have fun with it and customized to you. After all, it ain’t going away anytime soon so learn to like it.
10. When you do fall on dark moments because a particular day seems harder than another, go back and read tips 1 through 9 and then reset!
You’ll be fine. People will still love you. Move on with life…
Later Amp Peeps. 10-7 for now.