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I am a below knee amputee. More importantly, I am also Mommy to two boys, a very active 10 year old (Robby) and an mischievous toddler (Timmy). I have learned that being a parent with a disability can create some unusual and sometimes humorous situations. This blogger is available for hire! Let's talk and learn how a blog can expand your business.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Missing: My Adventurous Spirit

After a long day of traveling, I have finally arrived in Chicago. To be more specific, I finally arrived at my hotel which happens to be located in Chicago. I doubt that I will explore my new surroundings.

Time and experience has tamed my adventurous spirit. When I was younger, I would think nothing of grabbing a map and setting off to explore. I am not sure if it is my limb loss, my age, or perhaps a combination of both, but I am more cautious.

Actually, cautious is probably not a strong enough descriptor. I hesitate to admit it, but being alone in an unfamiliar city scares me. I hate being scared!

I am more aware of the hazards in the world. I know about predators, and the potential of danger from devotees. I am also cognizant that, since I am at a conference geared towards prosthetics, devotees are bound to be lurking around. In a strange way, I am noticing an direct correlation between the height of the buildings around me and my level of insecurity. As the buildings become taller and more clustered, I become more insecure, self-conscious and scared. Again, I hate that feeling!

Before my amputation, I suspect I would have been more likely to explore. Yes, I would have been nervous, but I would not have let my fears stop me. Now I am living with a different reality.

As much as I hate to admit it, my amputation has affected me in some very real ways. Other than the obvious, I think that I am more aware of my surroundings, especially of possible dangers. I know that I am an easier target for assailants. One strong push and I am on the ground. It takes me longer to stand up, and I can't run as quickly as others. Take off my leg, and I am stranded, at the mercy of whoever is holding my prosthetic. If I were one of the "bad guys," I would probably pick me, or somebody like me, as a target. Despite self-defense training, I am more vulnerable.

I don't know this city, and I wouldn't know if I wandered into an unsavory section of town before the mistake was made. I wish I could go sight seeing. I have been wanting to go to the Weber Grill Restaurant since I saw it featured on the Food Channel. I saw the restaurant from my taxi. Does that count?

I am beating myself up because of my fears. I resent that my limb loss has made me so concerned that I am hesitant to explore Chicago on my own. I want to get up and go experience this city. I also don't want to get lost or hurt and, right now, staying safe feels like more of a priority.

Perhaps, after the conference starts and I begin to meet people, I will become more comfortable venturing beyond the hotel walls. I know that I there is safety in numbers. For now, I am going to enjoy the solitude and the treats offered by room service.


  1. Hey, Peggy, I hope by now you have met a new friend at the conference and made some plans to go to the Weber Grill. If I were there, I'd jump at the chance! Maybe some day Pat and I will meet you at a prosthetics conference. It must be fascinating. Good Luck!

  2. I know EXACTLY how you feel. Tonight I am supposed to meet freinds and old coworkers for dinner at a very nice restaurant in downtown Buffalo, NY...it is in an area of downtown that I am not familiar with. Since my accident I have not ventured anywhere on my own except two times to therapy...hardly adventerous!I am fearful of where to park, how far I'll have to walk to the restaurant, and the pending snow storm that we will be getting...6 months ago none of these fears really existed for me... I hate how my amputeism has changed me, made me feel weaker. But Peggy...I think you should have faith and grab a taxi and go to the restaurant, like you encouraged me to drive last week for the 1st time, you will feel awesome after, and it's more hype than real fear, really. Be smart, listen to your intuition, but don't let your amputeism stop you. I will think of you tonight as I venture out alone to my dinner reservations...YOU can do this, enjoy your surroundings. I can't wait to hear how the rest of your time in Chicago goes. I love chicago. PS, is amputeism a word? I keep using it...oh well I am an accountant, writing is not my thing. :)- Sarah G