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Elissa C

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Elissa C last won the day on December 13 2015

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About Elissa C

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  1. Elissa C


    Hi, Cathie. I've been an amputee for 8 years and am now in my early 30's, single & dating. The most difficult part is working out how you feel about your body, post-amputation. It took me a long time but I'm finally in the right head space...there is no more shame nor embarrassment. You will be surprised by the level of acceptance out there. But I think you want more specifics, so here goes.... When to tell someone? I prefer being upfront and I usually say something if not before the first date, then on it. My absolute preference is to meet someone through friends, and that way they'll usually know about me beforehand. What to say? Usually there is a moment in the conversation where an opening occurs, and you feel ready....just take a deep breath, and say something like "You should know about my [leg]. I was [in an accident], and ....". What kind of response will you get? I have never had a bad experience telling someone about my leg amputation. Never. There have been 2 people who just never pursued anything further with me, but that's perfectly okay. Most people are genuinely compassionate, understanding, & curious. Once you get beyond this point and the person is still interested, it's easy. Don't worry! You'll be fine. Let me know if you have any specific questions. :)
  2. Elissa C

    I need some help...

    Hi, there. I've experienced a lot of changes in my residual limb since my foot was amputated 8 years ago....however, for your own peace of mind, it might be a good idea to consult a doctor about the swelling you're experiencing. Changes in weight, elevation, humidity, temperature etc. all have impacted the fit of my prosthesis. As well, I noticed a real change when I went from living in a community where I had to drive everywhere, to living in a big city where I biked, walked & rode the subway to get around. It may be as simple as the change in your activity level & weight have caused the changes you've noticed in your prosthetic fit & leg swelling. Also, the shape of the limb can certainly change over time, especially if your prosthesis is no longer fitting the way it had before. And whenever I experienced any swelling, it was usually worse in the mornings, before the snug fit of the prosthetic leg & the weight of my body upon it, forced the swelling out of the limb. I hope this helped. I'm sure there are a lot of amputees with similar experiences, and on this forum you're sure to get some good advice. Take care of yourself.
  3. Elissa C


    I completely agree, Laura! What a waste of money. Although, the woman with Tourette's was pretty funny (is that PC?).
  4. Elissa C


    I've found dating to be actually a little easier now that I'm an amputee. I'm more comfortable with my body....as if the things I was worried about before have become so unimportant. I'm relaxed in my own skin, and I think that helps project a sense of confidence & ease. My only advice (& I learned this the hard way) is be up front about your disability. Honesty is a good starting point, and if the person decides they can't handle it, then you are better off without them.
  5. I'm a big proponent of alternative medicine, and have tried to explore few different modalities. I'm very interested to hear if anyone else has some good experiences with this too? Acupuncture - my Chinese Medical Doctor did away with the "electrical shock" pain that was pulsing down my residual limb after the initial surgery. He said that the energy did not know where to go, so he redirected it. I was too sensitive for him to put needles in my leg, so he used my opposite wrist with good result. Within 24 hours the pain was gone completely. Alexander Technique - it really helps teach self-awareness of tension held in the body, and creates balance. I found I was using my "good" leg too much, and was kind of lop-sided in my posture. Energy healing with crystals - I know....this sounds very flaky, but I have had some good experiences with energy healing. In particular, the healers that come out of the Barbara Brennan School are excellent. They believe that the foot is still present in an energetic sense....like the photos of the plant whose leaf has been removed - you can still see the "blueprint" of the leaf in the photo. My own limb was crushed and I always had the sensation of my foot curled in upon itself, as if I could never straighten it out. The energy healing helped somewhat with relaxing the phantom foot, and regaining sensation of the toes. (updated 1/19/04) I just wanted to add that I have found a fantastic healer in Laguna Beach, California. If you're suffering from phantom limb pain, and are located in Southern California I would highly recommend Gabrielle Rowling. Please send me an e-mail message if you'd like her contact #. Elissa
  6. Elissa C

    Animal Reactions

    I've found that horses are especially sensitive to artificial limbs. It's so strange! Almost everyone I've met since the amputation drops their head and sniffs up & down my prosthesis.
  7. Elissa C

    Symes prosthesis?

    Thanks, Brenda! I do have a couple of questions for you. Did you have the revision surgery solely for the cosmetic prosthesis and increased component choices? I really am doing very well with this leg....quite active, can walk as far as I want, go dancing in the clubs for hours, have minimal pain, etc. My orthopedic surgeon said that this durability is the chief advantage of the Symes level amputation. I would hate to risk losing this freedom by having another surgery. Did you experience any disadvantages by having a higher-level amputation? Thank-you, Elissa
  8. Elissa C

    Symes prosthesis?

    My level of amputation is through the ankle, which has left me with a very durable residual limb (& I'm very thankful for that), but I have been cosmetically-challenged in my choice of prosthetic legs. They all have large ankles, built around the slightly-flared ends of my leg bones. I am now on my 4th prosthesis, all of them being double-walled designed. I recently had a consultation with a new prosthetist who offered to make me a single-walled leg, with a panel built in the back of the calf area to enable me to take it on & off. There is some sort of strap that velcros around the panel. It seems like I'll be trading a thinner ankle for an unsightly strap. So...my question is, does anyone know of a good, cosmetic leg for a Symes amputee? I am a young woman, and would love to be able to wear skirts again & feel attractive. Thank-you!
  9. Elissa C


    So...do you still ski? I'm glad you can laugh about those experiences. :) I once got my leg stuck in a ski boot, and the people at the rental place couldn't get it free. I finally gave up and let them take my leg & their boot away to the shop (in another building) where they pried it free with a screwdriver. Oh, well. I think I'll stick with cross-country skiing. The boots are easier!
  10. Elissa C

    The Swing

    I love funny stories! And I have quite a few unique to my amputee experience. A few years ago, when I had just been fitted with my first leg prosthesis and was out & about enjoying my new freedom.....well, I took our very excitable Welsh Terrier dog for a walk at the park (by the way, NEVER tie a dog leash to your crutch - I learned that the hard way). It was a gloomy overcast day, so there was only me, the dog, and a very vocal mentally-challenged boy with his two caregivers present. They were across the playground on the merry-go-round and he was yelling & laughing, while the caregivers were keeping up a constant stream of conversation. I was getting tired of crutching around the park and spotted the swing-set. I tied the dog to the foundation post and got on the swing. I've always loved the swing, and as I pumped my legs faster & faster, I was going so high that I was almost horizontal at the apex. You know what's coming..... With one last pump of my legs, the prosthesis flew off in a huge arc, sailed through the air, and crashed with an embarrassing thud some fair distance away. Instantly, there was this horrible, horrified silence from the mentally-challenged boy & his caregivers. They just stared. The only noise in the air was the creaking sound of the swing as I let it come to a stop. The swing finally slowed enough that I could hop off, grab up the crutches & retrieve the leg. The dog & I high-tailed it out of there, while there was still complete silence from the other three people present. It was hilarious!