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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.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Awkward Revelations

It is always awkward when somebody whom I have known casually suddenly discovers that I'm an amputee. I don't actively hide my limb loss, but if I meet somebody during the winter when I'm wearing jeans, it doesn't usually come up during casual conversation.  When those casual encounters become regular, it feels oddly deceitful when I show up one day wearing shorts with my prosthesis in full view.

Yesterday I experienced one of those uncomfortable reveals. I have come to know several other parents in the waiting gallery of Robby's Taekwondo class. I've seen many of these parents a few times a week for months, so I feel more acquainted than if we were strangers. However, I don't know them well enough to delve into any substantive topics of conversation. Typically we restrict our dialog to whatever is happening in class or the weather--nothing personal. The topic of amputees was never broached, and it felt forced to try to weave it into our superficial conversations. 

Because the weather was delightfully warm, I wore shorts while taking Robby to class. Acutely aware that my leg was showing for the first time, I felt odd walking into the studio wondering if the other parents would notice that I use a prosthesis. The looks of surprise let me know that they had not suspected that I was an amputee. I sat down and commented that the weather was beautiful. 

In a way I feel proud that I have been able to mask my limb loss for months. I have worked hard on my gait, and the fact that nobody suspected I was an amputee was affirmation that my efforts have paid off. On other hand, I'm not embarrassed or ashamed of being an amputee, so I didn't want to leave the impression that I was trying to hide something. In reality, my amputee status never came up during our casual exchanges. I will not be surprised if we have a new topic of conversation.

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