The negatives about living with an amputation are obvious. It is easy to get bogged down with everything that is difficult and hard. People often forget to look for the positives. There are a few benefits that I have discovered over the years. Below is my list of my five favorite surprise "perks" to being an amputee.
1. I get twice as much wear out of a pair of socks. After I lost my foot, I went through my dresser and got rid of all of my socks except for standard white. I have two types of white socks, winter and summer. I really don't have the desire to change the sock on my prosthetic that often. To be honest, I probably only switch it out every few months.
2. I hate to admit it, but I have become the "negotiator" of the family. We had a tree trimmer come by home the other day for an estimate. He quoted my husband a price of $1600 to remove a tree and some overhanging limbs. Scott immediately came inside and told me to change into a skirt. He knew, as we have learned, that I will receive a better price when my prosthetic is visible.
I changed, went outside, and went into "negotiation mode." Okay, I probably shouldn't admit to this, but I did exaggerate my limp slightly. This is horrible, I know. I really should be ashamed. The tree trimmer took one look at me, limping out with a prosthetic, and immediately dropped his price to $1100. I asked him if he could do any better, and amazingly he agreed to do the work for $750.
Unfortunately, the prosthetic has the opposite affect when car shopping. When my leg is visible it is difficult to get the salesmen to negotiate the price. Perhaps they assume that I have received a large settlement and, therefore, they want me to pay as much as possible.
3. I have an excellent excuse to leave parties or to bow out of social engagements. I simply explain that I am tired or that my leg is sore. Nobody questions these excuses and I avoided offending my hosts. My husband has also utilized the "my wife needs to get off of her leg" excuse from time to time.
4. Because I have a disability I was able to receive a pass for free entrance into all National Parks. This pass covers parking and gate fees as well as any entrance fees that may be charged. It also provides discounts on a variety of ameneties. Click here to learn about obtaining and using the pass.
5. In the five years since my amputation, neither my husband nor I have been asked to help anybody move! We are not complaining about this. Along this line, I have not been asked to mow the lawn or shovel the snow from the driveway once. This is definitely a benefit.
I would gladly return my "lucky parking pass" and shovel the snow all winter in return for my foot. Unfortunately, this is not an option. I have learned to embrace the little unexpected perks that come from living as an amputee. After all, I might as well receive some benefit, right?