Okay… you’re a new amputee. Your life has changed
On top of that change, you now have even more responsibility to yourself.
Let me go further…
Now, you really have to pay attention to yourself and what is going on around you. You don’t only have to learn to use your prosthesis, but now you have also have to learn to live without it.
Each and every day you will need to know the rules about taking care of yourself and preparing yourself when your prosthesis is off or Doffed.
Taking it off (Doffing) and putting it back on (Donning) can be an extreme problem in a couple of different ways.
Your prosthetic is there to help you live an every day normal life. Even though extremely helpful it does come with a few drawbacks that you must be aware of.
Throughout your day, the more you wear your prosthetic you put yourself at risk of becoming sore or worse causing major blisters.
Blisters can become infected if not treated immediately and properly.
I’ve been an amputee for over a Year now as of this writing (Lost my leg Below the Knee, December 2017) As, I wear my prosthetic leg each day, I know and feel more confident. I’m walking tall and feeling good, but each day something else happens.
There comes a time each day when I have to take it off. The second I take it off, I am immediately thrown into the tailspin of feeling vulnerable and back to square one.
You will too.
What I mean is once my leg is off, and I’m sure you will experience this too, I go into protecting and recovery mode. Protect and recovery mode is what I felt when I first lost my leg. I was dependent on my wife and others to do things for me because I could not. Recovery mode is reverting back to the ways I adopted to getting around before my prosthetic leg didn’t exist.
It has become apparent to me each day that once my leg is off, I am vulnerable and need help.
It occured to me that being vulnerable, I need to learn how to do a few things to live and protect myself.
As a new amputee, when you’re not using your prosthesis, you will, in most circumstances revert to being vulnerable in a sense when you first lost your limb.
When your prosthesis is not in use you must develop a plan on things that you cannot see or predict.
Going to the Bathroom-When your prosthesis is not in use, especially if you are a lower limb loss patient, planning how you will don your prosthetic to use the bathroom is important.
I mean, let’s get candid…
What if you really have to go such as a sickness emergency? And you really need to get there in a hurry? You have to practice and plan. Practice putting your prosthetic on quickly in case of an emergency. Always have your prosthetic near you. Never leave it far away and can’t reach it.
In the evenings when I have to go to the bathroom, I make sure it is within reach and it is ready for me to get back on in a flash if I need to. This way, if you are ever sick, having a plan will always benefit you. You will thank yourself when it happens.
Trust me…you will.
In case of an emergency (Fire, Flood etc.)
I suggest having a plan for wherever and whenever you do not have your prosthetic on. In case of an emergency, such as house fire how are you going to get your prosthetic on in a hurry.
Once again, practice with yourself and then ask your family to help you with your plan. Practice drills in case of a fire in putting your prosthetic on and getting out safely. Have a route of escape in your bedroom and other rooms in your home.
In case of an Intruder
Since we are talking about emergencies, having an intruder enter your home is something that can be devastating and scary. Your life may depend on you and your plan you develop in this type of scenario. Plan out and write out what you will do in case this situation comes up in your life. Being able to don your prosthetic to protect you and your family is crucial. Talk and plan with your family, even your children on getting you up and also the escape route if someone enters your home.
If you decide to stay and protect yourself, have a plan on accessing any weapons to defend yourself.
This falls right in the line of feeling vulnerable, and in this scenario can be frightening in many aspects. You do not want to get caught not being able to don your prosthetic in a timely manner. It is very important that you implement a strategy for these types of things that could happen in your life.
Living with a prosthetic is a challenge and can be negative or positive. It is completely in how you look at it and prepare for the challenges you will face. Make a plan of donning your prosthesis, and plan to protect and take care of yourself through every scenario you can think of.
You and your family deserve every plan that could possibly save their lives… and yours.
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