About Me

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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.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Pimp My Leg!

When I received my first prosthesis nine and a half years ago, I was insistent that it be covered with a flesh-like covering. I was horrified by the thought that the casual observer would know that I no longer had my leg. I remember explaining my decision to Elliot (my prosthetist) by saying something along the lines of, "It's bad enough I have to walk on this thing. I don't care what it costs. I don't want anybody to know."

In retrospect, it is certainly easier to see that my desire to create a life-like prosthesis stemmed from shame. I had not fully embraced the reality of being an amputee and continued to be embarrassed. In many ways I was taken back to the angst of the teen years when the thought of being viewed as different was mortifying.  Having my prosthesis matching my biological leg provided me some comfort and allowed me to feel somewhat normal.

During the 18 months that I wore the cover, something unexpected occurred. I slowly began to adjust to my limb loss and without realizing it, my definition of "different" changed. I realized that different doesn't have to be bad or to equate to anything negative. Instead, many times different can mean just that: different. I slowly became okay with being different and no longer needed to try to conform.

One night after Scott went to bed I woke up, went into the kitchen and began to dismantle the artfully crafted cosmetic cover. I remember feeling an odd sense of exhilaration as I cut the foam and nylon and slowly exposed the metallic pylon and carbon fiber socket. That evening I realized that different can also mean unique, and that was something I could embrace!

A few weeks ago during a conversation with Elliot about a new leg he was creating for me, we started to talk about socket art. Until now, my sockets have typically been polished black carbon fiber. We were set to go with the same sleek look until I casually said, "If I ever get the chance I'm going to get it chromed." Elliot tilted his head, smiled and said, "I think it would look bad-ass. If anybody can carry it off, it's you. Let's go for it." 

I certainly have come a long way from that timid and scared amputee of a decade ago! Instead of trying to fit in, I've learned  not only to embrace but now proudly flaunt what makes me unique. I love my new chrome socket. I know my new leg invites second glances, stares, and probably volumes of comments. Instead of cowering or trying to blend, my pimped out leg shouts confidence.

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