My journey into prosthetics began first when I lost my leg in a motorcycle accident in 1992.
My journey into prosthetics began first when I lost my leg in a motorcycle accident in 1992. Amputees talk about losing a limb as though it's an actual loss, and it is. In the recovery process, you're trying to grab as much of your life back as you can.
Two to three months before you get a prosthetic limb is probably the darkest point. When you're just lying in bed everyday and you can't walk, or you're getting around in a wheelchair, you've got all this time to think. I was a victim of circumstances that sent my life into a spiral, and I didn't have control. I didn't feel that it was fair. I was sad that I had to live the rest of my life.
Once you get the prosthesis—for me, that was the first time that I felt like, "okay, this seemed like a lot of hard work and it didn't feel right, but if this was my opportunity to get a little bit of control back in my life"—I think that's why I gave 100%.
The prosthesis made me feel like there was something I could do about these circumstances that I didn't ask for.
What I would encourage people to do is to talk to other amputees and get information. They'll be great resources and of course they're also living that experience.
Every new amputee should try to find a way to get in contact with other people who have lost their limbs, support groups in your area, or any types of clinics where they're doing exercise or physical therapy.
Our patients will go out of their way if they see other people on prosthetic limbs and ask them how they're doing, and the referrals that we get here through our own patients is the best testimonial that we could ever have.