Wednesday, 23 January 2019

Life after Losing a Leg

The thought of amputation is one that the mind does not want to dwell on. However, it does happen and it is done when a limb is damaged beyond repair or when not removing it could lead to other medical complications. Of all amputations,those of the leg are most common. Losing one or both legs is a hugely traumatic experience, both physically as well as mentally and spiritually. That is why physiotherapy and counseling are essential components of any amputation procedure.

Image Courtesy : Pexels
Be Prepared For Change

Change is not limited to the way your body is now different. It is in the way you interact with the world and the world interacts with you. You should be prepared for:
  • Getting used to the prosthetic. It will never be the same as a real leg, but it is, literally, the next best thing.
  • People treating you differently. People you don’t know and even those you do, will not be sure how to treat and respond to you. It is not that they feel sorry for you or have pity. It is usually because the situation is unfamiliar to them as it is to you and they are not sure of what to say or do. Give it time, once everyone is used to the changed situation, relationships will develop naturally.
  •  New opportunities. Keep an open mind and opportunities that did not exist earlier will appear. From helping those in similar situations to participating in special sporting events and working on developing devices, systems and policies/processes for those who have lost a limb, the opportunities to make a positive impact will present themselves.
  •  Frustration. There will be challenges that did not exist before. Overcoming them will often take time and patience. Getting frustrated because things are not as they were will do you no good. Being told that “these things take time” or that “it will all work out” can often just add to the frustration. The fact is that both statements, however trite, are true. Do not be in a rush for your first success – it will come in its own time. After that, the rest will fall into place sooner than you hope.

Get Back To Normal Soon

Getting back to normal when you have lost a limb may sound absurd. However, it is surprising how soon the human body and spirit can adapt to the change. Making a positive effort to return to the pre-amputation life is critical. A large part of this is leaving the home and going back to the outside world to once again and do the things you did in the past. Yes, there may be special precautions you have to take and some limitations on what you can do, but by and large, you will be able to return to your life as it used to be. One important factor in that is travel. This will be difficult at first because getting back in the driver’s seat will take time and practice. Relying on friends and family to take you around will rob you of your independence. This is where Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT) comes in.This is like a taxi service for those with mobility limitations. The service will provide specially equipped vehicles for taking you where you want to go. With doorstep service, event standby and specially trained drivers, NEMT is the way to regain your mobility and get your life back on track.

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