10 Reasons why Being an Amputee is the Best
It’s been crazy with the competition season picking up but I wanted to get something in during April as it is Limb Loss Awareness Month! On a flight to a meet I was looking over some of the Amputee Coalition’s Paddy Rossbach Youth Camp paperwork and was inspired that while life has handed us some adversity: living with a limb difference or limb loss, it also has a few perks…
- You learn to understand differences on a global scale. Amputation is weird because it doesn’t discriminate on race, gender, age, whatever! No amputation level is ever exactly the same as anyone else’s, so you learn to find solidarity in people, even fellow amputees, in other ways.
- Parking. For obvious reasons. But also perks like concert seating, fast passes at amusement parks and even priority airline boarding!
- You find a lot of uses for random household items. I use clear bra straps to make sure my slide sandals stay on, we use lipstick to mark socket fittings, pretty much any item can be used in a way to either enhance or learn about your prosthetic.
- You can re-route your thinking, especially when it comes to walking places. Let’s be real, most amputees have a planned trajectory of HOW they will walk before they decided WHERE they are walking too. So we usually are able to find the easiest, most efficient way there!
- It helps fuel your creativity. Nothing is impossible, sometimes you just have to find different ways to accomplish a task that seems a little daunting. Most amputees have had to find creative ways to put on shoes, boots, pants, etc at least one time in their life. (PS I use a grocery bag to help me put my snowboard boots on my prosthetic foot!)
- You realize the importance of knowing yourself. On an internal but also external way. There was a time I had soup late at night and couldn’t put my leg on the next day…. That’s how I learned foods high in sodium makes you expand. Whoa. Your limb health is totally a microcosm for your entire body’s overall health. It’s kind of neat to have that way to measure and take note of yourself!
- Back up parts. Especially as the years accumulate. These components come with WARRANTIES! Make sure you know what they are and get good use out of it!
- You can change your tan, or get a cool tattoo. Well, at least for one part of your body. Footshells come in a variety of colors so you can plan ahead for a bronzed summer or not. Not to mention the newest prosthetic fairing trend which is SO COOL!
- There are more, creative job opportunities. I have come across a LOT of patient advocates which is a really important role to play in the community. It’s a niche market but we are not only available but very much capable to help! You learn the value of working hard everyday when it comes to mobility, why not appreciate that same sense of hard work when it comes to your job?
- You have a greater appreciation of mobility. More often than not, amputees have acquired their limb loss later in life so they actually had experiences BEFORE their amputations. Gratitude is a powerful tool, and it’s always helpful to have around in any circumstance.
Obviously I am making light of a serious disability, but I like to think that just as the glass is half empty, it’s also half full. We are given the opportunity to experience both sides and learn how to make lemonade out of the lemons of limb loss!
Shout out and so much love and appreciation for my camp family and Ottobock family for showing me a life richer than I could have ever imagined!