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eddie103

:::Thoughts:::

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::: Thoughts :::

I will be three years old this coming January. The “professionals” finally threw me out of rehab last January so I have been “on my own for the better part of a year.

Last week, I attended the amp clinic so I got to see some old buddies. While there, I also saw another bilateral ak whom I was aware of. He was in his chair, legs piled up beside him, the "faithful wife" attending him.

It came to the time he needed to done the legs so "the faithful wife" wheeled him into the washroom.......then she wheeled him out........then she wheeled him in for his appointment.

Two days later, I saw them down town, he without his legs and "the faithful wife" pushing him down the street as he sat in the chair. I remember thinking to myself “he will never be up”........ simply because some body else is doing his work.

As such, I thought that I would render my personal “recipe for success” for being such a foreign thing as an amputee:

•Never let anyone do for you what you need to do for yourself

•Realize that YOU are the only one that needs to do stuff. You NEED to wheel yourself. You NEED to get that thing or TV remote yourself one way or the other. You NEED to be strong.

•Realize that every simple thing you do is a triumph for yourself and a relief for those who you live with.

•Never accept what “they” say you will do. Accept it only as a “minimum” of what you will do.

•Shy away from thinking about what you have lost. Think about how much of you that has remained. For me, I have my mind, my arms, my hands, my bowels and bladder, my fingers and thumbs.

•Speaking as an aka only – never fear falling – you will..... but realize your valuable stump IS encased in laminates and will not be damaged. For you uni – leggers, more than likely it will be the arty leg that frigs up, you will go down, you real leg will fly up and any damage will be minimal if at all!

•Get out in the real world as soon as possible and as much as possible. You NEED to figure out all the things this world will present to you.

•You NEED to be stared at so that you can build your defenses like – staring back or speaking in your head or out loud – “frig off and die cake hole!”

•Realize that you are "limited" compared to before but never accept that you are limited.

These are some of my thoughts. They are "personal opinions" only that have worked for me. They are not intended to be an end all to be all nor to offend anyone.

Others………………..?????

ED

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Good poinnts edddie . ys ,, theere are many reassons to beeing livving again and gettingon with liffe .

if i would to adding aanaytthing it wwowuld beeing to remeberringn tyhat we are aliive and we CAN getting passt aanything as long gas we are williing to takking the firsst stepping to livving . a POSSITIVVE men ttal atttitiuude is a must .

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I like this post, as it made me think. :blink: I've been an amp for around 40 yrs longer than you Ed, & so I've added a few ingredients to your basic recipe.

* Always try to do things for yourself, but don't see it as a weakness if you just can't do something - why make yourself feel bad too?

* When someone offers to help you and you want to do it yourself, find a way of saying no nicely...you never know when you'll need someone to pick you up when you just can't get up and there's a ten ton truck heading straight for you! :D

* Be proud with what you achieve, even if it's something small.

* Always try to prove the medical/healthcare professionals wrong - it'll confuse them! :D

* Accept 'your lot'.

* Every amp is different & different amp levels bring their own positives & negatives.

* Just because someone doesn't do something you can do, doesn't mean that they're not coping...they may have been a lazy :ph34r: :o :unsure::unsure::angry::blink: before their amp!!

* Never fear falling...unless there is a very good reason (e.g. damaging the rest of your body). :)

* Once you've mastered doing things for yourself indoors, try to do things for yourself outdoors. Always keep up your socialising! ;)

* Non-amps, who aren't used to amps, will take their lead from you. If you are happy with who you are they tend to be more relaxed...and won't stare as much.

* You are capable of wonderful things...the World is your oyster...try anything you want to do. It's GREAT if you succeed, but if you don't then SWEAR & know that at least you tried your best...you can always try again tomorrow! :)

Lizzie

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Being in contact with other amputees has been invaluable for me. It restored a feeling of normalcy to my life.

Peers are priceless people.

Normalcy? :unsure::unsure: :P

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Ed,

What an excellent post. I think that this thread is essential reading for EVERY amputee. Especially for any new amputees that come our way.

These kind of tips are never given by the 'professionals.' In fact, they could only be given by another amputee. That's why they're brilliant!

Thank you.

:D :D

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I have one simple rule.

If anyone ever tells you that you can't or won't be able to do something....ignore them and do it. We are capable of doing anything we put our hearts and minds to, and that makes us better at it too.

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Nice post Ed, thank you for sharing your thoughts (personal opinions) with us. I totally agree with what you have said, especially, "Never let anyone do for you what you need to do for yourself"!! That is definitely the key to success, with the key word being "NEED"!

I've tried my best to keep the positive attitude, though not always easy, it seem to be the only way I kept from falling into a downward spiral. I had to realize, as bad off as I felt in my situation, that their were many others who were in a far worse situation. This is what gave me the strength and determination to keep pushing forward, not to feel sorry for myself, but instead to feel fortunate for what I do have..... my life! :) For me, it was VERY important that I did for myself, b/c that's what gave me back my independence, that I once felt was lost. So when possible do all that you can and more, b/c the benefits can be so rewarding. :D

Sheila lbk

Maine, USA

Keep Smiling :)

post-7-1126575380.gif

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I love telling a CP, doctor, physical therapist (or even my "engineer" husband!) when I've accomplished something they don't think an "AK" amputee can do. They say, "how can you do that?" and I say, "ummm I don't know, I just do!" LOL

i.e., learned how to 2-step and swing dance (was told I wouldn't have the balance or be able to get the foot/leg in right place....hah!); one-ski waterskied successfully the first time I ever tried (never skied as a 2-legger so didn't know the difference); standing up and jogging on the spin bike at the YMCA (had been told I would not have enough control); carrying my babies through parks, on trails, in snow. I think my guardian angel (or theirs!) helped out in the snow! :)

There was a guy at the ACA conference in Dallas who was running and LEAPING around on his C-leg like a 10 year old boy! I asked him how he learned to do it, and he said he just figures it out. I could totally relate.

I've pretty much done everything I've ever wanted to do...and most times didn't ask if it would be possible, I just did it. As I get a little older I fight the increasing tendancy to think about things too long before trying. I lost a lot of my "spunk" over the past year when I was having so much trouble getting a decent fitting socket. But now I'm feeling better than ever and ready for the next challenge! I find the more open I am to new experiences, the more opportunities come my way. So what I would like to say to any new amputees out there is, don't let others place limits on you. If there's something you want to do bad enough, you'll figure out a way! OK....off my soap box...... :unsure:

Karen :-)

AKA

Orlando, FL

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Like to Quote Karen's last paragraph - can someone explain to me how to do "Quotes" please.

Was 12 when I lost my legs, was in hospital for 4 or 5 months, Hospital was a long way from home so didn't get many visitors , a lot of the time was left to my own devices, this regime was pretty tough at the time but did make me very independent and I remember relatives getting upset that I didn't like them "pushing" me in the wheelchair.

I think the "stares", although unwelcome, are pretty normal reactions from people, who are inquisitive about anything different. Sometimes I find myself watching other limb users, esp. those who are wearing the uncovered sort, just to see what they are wearing and how they are walking. However, like Lizzie said "non amps take their lead from you".

The bit I wanted to quote in Karen's last paragraph, struck home with me as I have had trouble getting good fitting limbs for something like 8 yrs now, I know my confidence has been really rocked at times, I am also finding I tend to think about things too long before trying, not sure if thats my age or the fact that because the limbs are so uncomfortable I have to prioritize what is important to do, by way of walking.

Ann

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•Realize that you are limited compared to before but never accept that you are limited.

We are all limited, Ed. With or without limbs. The trick is to live life "as if" and succeed despite our limitations. Living well is the best revenge!

Like a bunch of others on the forum, I wanted to thank you for your insights, common sense and great expression. You might have been "just an ordinary [guy]" before, but somewhere in there was one hell of a keen observer of life.

-m-

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It wa sssaided that we needding to rrealizzing that we are ,iniited but not accepeptitng that we are limmiited . Whoo is to sayying that we are kimiited and what is connssidered limmitited ? I thinkking that if are limiitted , it is onlly bbecuase we placcing these limitiationns on ourself fisisrt .

For eexamapll e. We all here havving one thing inn common but soomeo fus are aablle to ddodoing the samme thiings that oththers are not . We having Branda on our frorurm hhere who is a maraattohon runing gurl . but we having others whho are the exactt sma e like branda who are not running gruls at all . So , the onnly reasson i saying we are not runiing is bbecuase we maybbe putting one ourselffes that thinkking of not bbeeing bale to runnin g... unttill we maybe tryying it an dbecomeing morer beter at iit .

I knowwing i amm ggoing to getting intoo trouuble ffor this but i am thinkiing that limiittiation we placcing on ourselfs is ssort of like an advancce excuse for not trying harder to acomplisshin gssomethiing that cann beeing ddone if we tryiing a abit morer harder . Somettime it may being having to doing something diferenttly to accomplisshing the sameethiing too . Well , if we ddoing ssomethijing differenttly , we are now beating that limiittations that we put on ourselffs.

Ot's mind ovver matter . if you dreamming it , you can doinng it too sop allways thinkiin gposititvly ...... :D :D :D

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Very good topic. Once we tell ourselves that we can't do something we're already beaten. There are times I have to force myself to think positively and before you know it, I've done what I was having doubts about doing. At my old school I hardly walked at all. The bathroom was right across the hall and everyone brought things to me. They thought they were being nice. It was thoughtful, but I realized since I've been here that I'm doing a hell of a lot more walking. I bought a pedometer and I'm walking about 7,000 steps a day. That is huge for me! And it also makes me feel fantastic and that I'm on my way to becoming what I envision myself to be.

I love hearing about the dancing. Once I have a leg that is really stable I am going to take dance lessons. I have always loved to dance and really miss it.

Caroln

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I bought a pedometer and I'm walking about 7,000 steps a day. That is huge for me! And it also makes me feel fantastic and that I'm on my way to becoming what I envision myself to be.

Caroln, that is great.

Sometimes we forget how far we have come. We forget what we are achieving, and that we should take time out to congratulate ourselves and feel proud of our accomplishments.

We don't notice our own progress, because it is usually so slow. It's only when we sit back and compare, or take stock, or like you did, Caroln - make a concerted effort to measure ourselves, that we realise "hey - I'm doing GOOD".

So everyone, pat yourselves on the back. Bet you haven't done that for a while ;)

Ally

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What an excellent post. I think that this thread is essential reading for EVERY amputee. Especially for any new amputees that come our way.

This thread has now been pinned in this forum.

Good job Ed. ;)

Please keep your tips coming folks. They are priceless! :D

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MJ:

My quote

Realize that you are limited compared to before but never accept that you are limited

Your quote

if we ddoing ssomethijing differenttly , we are now beating that limiittations that we put on ourselffs.

I think we are saying the same thing only a bit differently.

EX: I "realize" that I am limited. It is an undeniable fact. I will not squat, bend down etc among many other aspects of my life.

I remember standing at the driver's side of my vehicle thinking about and praying that I never .........drop my keys! Man I would be frigged. Now I do not fear that, it does not limit me. I now have many ways of getting those damed keys..................but they are all different from what I could do before.

I remember asking the physios "to show me how to get back in my chair". The last thing I wanted was to be a helpless fish flopping around on the side walk after bouncing out of the chair. We tried and tried. We even had my friend Raquelle show me how she gets out and back in her chair.

The end result was that all agreed that I could not get back in the chair. My stumpi were just too short to do the lift. This was depressing.........I was then "limited".

Later, when I was bored..............I just said "frig it" to myself.........got out of the chair and spent several hours trying this and that until I figured out my own way back in the chair. Once done, I was "free".....throw away the tippy bars!!!

Today, I have many ways to get back in a chair and do this hundreds of times a day when I am out in the woods.

This is what I mean by realizing that you are "limited" but never accepting it.

ED

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I forgot perhaps the MOST important thing..................................have some one around........a spouse, friend, relative, who ever......................to kick your ass when it NEEDS to be kicked! You can't run on adrenaline forever and there will be times that you run out of gas.

...............so you will need a "kick start".

ED

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Possess one helluva sense of humour, if you can laugh at yourself, it puts others at ease. :D

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The last thing I will add to this thread:

Reardless of what you can do................be it just standing up.............able to walk..........able to run................always....................

Challenge yourself!

Try what you can't do.......when you fail...........try something else...........and when you do that...........try again what you failed at!

You are limited..................just don't accept it.

ED

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Reardless of what you can do................be it just standing up.............able to walk..........able to run................always....................

Challenge yourself!

Try what you can't do.......when you fail...........try something else...........and when you do that...........try again what you failed at!

You are limited..................just don't accept it.

ED

Couldn't agree more, Ed.

Great advice. B)

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TO EVERYONE WHO HAS POSTED HERE ON THIS THREAD.

THANKS!

My partner John is a hand amputee and we find although 200 are done every year in the UK, we are in the minority. It makes us feel we have no problems at all when we read what you above/below knee amputeees are facing.

However, a big THANK YOU one and all for the postings here. My John is suffering at the moment and he is only a year into his amputation. It is not depression - it is just finding something to hold on to and let him see that despite his limitations he can still do SOMETHING. He is back at work as an accountant but it seems he is more worried about what folk think than he should be.

The threads here have been a big help to him. Whilst he thinks he is not improving, I think he is coming on in leaps and bounds.

I wish to God I had found this site sooner - it could have saved me a lot of hear pulling.

So thanks - to everyone.

Suzy & John

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Great thread Ed, you really do know how to hit the nail on the head.

What really pisses me off at work, is that it looks good for the government to employ a disabled person but they love to patronise by ticking the box. When I speak of equality rights & access issues and how it is so important for an individual to be self sufficient, they frown and say oh your angry because you lost your leg. :angry:

I don't want your help - I would like your support

I don't want your money - I would like to be included

I don't want your sympathy - I would like your respect! :)

My consultant once told me to limit my expectations!

I told him I'm Micheal Schumaker yourthe mechanic!!

PJ :D

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I think just about everyone, myslef included, has a role model.................a story...........a book........................a favorite other amp to look up to ......whatever.

For me is it Sir Douglas Bader who I met several years ago.

After loosing my legs, I tracked down the book...............received a copy of the movie from a member of this board (TXs).

I reread the book often in its entirity......................many times just sections.................watch the movie when I get the inkling...................

I use his story to judge myself.................to kick my ass..................to glean a morsal of information that I over looked..............to keep myself going.................it is my motivation.

Everyone needs a personal motivator.

ED

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I agree with you Ed. And may I say, YOU are probably just that to a lot of people!

Ally

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