I have been an amputee for over six years. During this time I have learned to trust my prosthetic which is not an easy feat. Basically, I have had to learn to rely upon a pole and some metal to keep me mobile.
Given time and experience, I have achieved complete prosthetic trust. I rarely think about my leg when I'm walking around the house or within the community. I have finally reached the liberating stage when I can put on my leg and just walk without purposefully thinking about the process. There are a few situations, however, when my trust begins to waiver.
I love autumn. We live in the woods, and the changing leaves are beautiful. I feel invigorated by the crisp air and cool breeze. For some reason, the season always makes me feel alive and rejuvenated.
Despite all of its benefits, autumn does pose one potential problem for the leg amputee. I have developed, through time and experience, a fear of slipping on leaves especially when the leaves are wet.
When wet leaves are in my path, I purposely walk slower and with more diligence. I am careful with each step as I slowly walk to my destination. It takes me longer to walk through parking lots and throughout our neighborhood.
My fear of slipping on leaves is not unfounded. I have tumbled on wet leaves on several occasions. Each time I have taken a spill, I experienced pain and embarrassment. I don't know any amputee who hasn't fallen; it is something which we all dread, but is inevitable.
I wish I had a solution to the wet leaf problem. We try to keep our driveway clear of the falling foliage, but this is an uphill battle because of our location. I utilize the handicapped parking more during this season to minimize the risk of slipping on the wet leaves. I walk with caution as I analyze the route that I need to maneuver.
I love the autumn, but I hate the leaves. I hate that I have increased anxiety when walking. I hate that my fear of slipping increases. Time will pass, and the seasons will change. Soon I won't be worried about the leaves anymore. Unfortunately, this is because all of the leaves will be covered with ice.