Unbeknownst to me, my leg had been taking jujitsu classes without me in 2016… Nice pin though.
Another new year has come and gone and my leg has yet to grow back. Although I remain hopeful of some great new technology just over the horizon, I plan on 2017 being much like 2016, still shorter on one side. Interesting enough, even after being an AK amputee for 11 years, I was graced with a few rounds of mild depression that forced me to kick myself in the rear to keep moving forward. And even then, who knows if it wouldn’t have happened anyway with 2 legs? Other than that, I didn’t much think about being one-legged and still don’t consider myself disabled or handicapped. As a good friend once described me during a news interview, “The man still has 2 good legs, the only difference is he can take one off and put it on a shelf at night!”
So as we go in to the new year as amputees, remember to keep plowing forward and continue to set the example for others unfortunately who will become amputees this year. Make your experiences available to them and finally remember how no one will ever understand our plight unless they too are an amputee. Make 2017 great and stay safe!
For now, Ampcop is 10-7
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.
If most of you are like me, it’s been a while since I first started wearing my leg and frankly, some days when I get out of bed in the morning… Ok, everyday when I get out of bed in the morning…I grumble and growl under my breathe about having to go through the ritual of putting my leg on. First I put on a sock and then my shoe on the fo-real side and then I put my pants on my prothesis and then slide my fo-real leg in the pants. After that, I spray the inside of my socket with my specially formulated lotion, slip on my gel caps, spray them, put my stump into the socket, grab a crutch for support with the right hand while my leg slides down and then, after all that, I put my valve in with my left hand and begin to get the air pockets out- which will usually take my entire first hour. sometimes before I can even think of beginning all this, I have to wrap my leg tight to push out any extra fluid that might have accumulated through the night. That is my routine and I hate it. But right before I let my crying and moaning get too far, I remind myself that there are folks in this world, many who I’ve had the chance to meet, who would love to have a prosthesis as advanced as mine and who would love to be able to put one on. And if that’s not enough to shut my crying up, I think about the great health of my children. And THEN, if I want to kick and stomp about it, I remind myself that I am alive. As we go into the weekend, take a minute to look around your world and find all the good things that you have going on. My bet is the good will outweigh the bad by a long shot. Don’t forget to count being alive! Until next time, to all my amped brothers and sisters, look after each other.
Oh, please feel free to comment with your own morning routine. I’m sure other amps would be curious.
Peace out, The one-legged Cop