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How much do you want to achieve?

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Did you know that I can't fly without the aid of prosthetic wings.

Now as ridiculous as that may sound, think about it for a minute. I can't stay under water either, without the aid of prosthetic gills, or carry a spare supply of air.

Sooooo, you ask what is the point. Compared to the birds, I am disabled, and the fish, the same. They can do each of these, but I cannot.

I am not 6 foot 6 inches tall, and cannot change a ceiling light without a ladder. I am also not 21 anymore and am unable to run the mile in 4 min some,(? I forget), seconds as I did once, nor stay up all night and party.

Does my inability to do any of these make me disabled? I don't think so.

Today, I have one leg shorter than the other. That doesn't hinder me - my %$#@! circulation, or the lack of it does, along with the age factor. If I wasn't missing part of my leg, would these other things make me disabled?

Amputee, Disabled, whatever, they are all labels to explain a situation that exists, in the shortest words possible, but none-the-less, still just labels.

I am a 69 year old caucasion American male who is 5 foot 8 inches tall and AMONG OTHER THINGS, missing part of my leg.

Whopee! Big deal.. But I still build and remodel houses, mow the lawn, work on my car, visit my family, and am a good husband, father, neighbor and friend.

I'm just not real big on labels, but fall into the habit of using them as shortcuts occasionally, like everyone else.

"I yam what I yam"!!

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Did you know that I can't fly without the aid of prosthetic wings.

Now as ridiculous as that may sound, think about it for a minute. I can't stay under water either, without the aid of prosthetic gills, or carry a spare supply of air.

Sooooo, you ask what is the point. Compared to the birds, I am disabled, and the fish, the same. They can do each of these, but I cannot.

I am not 6 foot 6 inches tall, and cannot change a ceiling light without a ladder. I am also not 21 anymore and am unable to run the mile in 4 min some,(? I forget), seconds as I did once, nor stay up all night and party.

Does my inability to do any of these make me disabled? I don't think so.

Today, I have one leg shorter than the other. That doesn't hinder me - my %$#@! circulation, or the lack of it does, along with the age factor. If I wasn't missing part of my leg, would these other things make me disabled?

Amputee, Disabled, whatever, they are all labels to explain a situation that exists, in the shortest words possible, but none-the-less, still just labels.

I am a 69 year old caucasion American male who is 5 foot 8 inches tall and AMONG OTHER THINGS, missing part of my leg.

Whopee! Big deal.. But I still build and remodel houses, mow the lawn, work on my car, visit my family, and am a good husband, father, neighbor and friend.

I'm just not real big on labels, but fall into the habit of using them as shortcuts occasionally, like everyone else.

"I yam what I yam"!!

Hi Jim

I use labels/shortcuts/whatever to describe myself too, but I think many of us who have grown up with amputations, prostheses, disability...etc., just get a bit peeved, from time to time, with the labels and the accompanying 'boxes'. Sometimes using a label feels as though you are being devalued or something special (probably because many of us have spent quite a time in hospital, where years ago you became 'a number'), when actually we are just like everyone else.

To us (well to me anyway), it is a normal way of life...it brings its sadnesses...and plenty of joys...and yes, it's bloody hard sometimes...but it's still a way of life...I wouldn't be who 'I yam' if it was any other way...and, you know?...I quite like myself. B)

Lizzie :)

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Guest bearlover

I agree with the labeling. Especially at the school I work. It's Either "oh he has Ld or HDHA, ADD, BID, Sp, ......" OK whatever! :(

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To us (well to me anyway), it is a normal way of life...it brings its sadnesses...and plenty of joys...and yes, it's bloody hard sometimes...but it's still a way of life...I wouldn't be who 'I yam' if it was any other way...and, you know?...I quite like myself. B)

Lizzie :)

Now that is about one of the most comprehensive quotes that I have read. Thank you Lizzie. That says it all in plain simple language. I completely agree.

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Guest bearlover

Oh Me too! I'm labled as a amputee or amp. If dosen't bother me why should it bother someone else?

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To us (well to me anyway), it is a normal way of life...it brings its sadnesses...and plenty of joys...and yes, it's bloody hard sometimes...but it's still a way of life...I wouldn't be who 'I yam' if it was any other way...and, you know?...I quite like myself. B)

Lizzie :)

Now that is about one of the most comprehensive quotes that I have read. Thank you Lizzie. That says it all in plain simple language. I completely agree.

My pleasure, Jim. :D

I surprised even myself...I think I must have been in philosophical mode yesterday.

Lizzie :)

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Oh Boy,

WORDS..........words.................words! Such misunderstandings, First Jim and Fiona...............now me :blink:

I think I started this "disabled" thing as I used it in my post.

Funnily enough I agree with everthing that has been said.

I was mearly using it to define my state at that point in my life. I did see myself as dis-abled, I did feel dis-abled, I was treated as disabled. I was defined as dis-abled. I think using the word disabled is ok when the person is talking about themselves, as I was in this post.

Don't really want a big debate about this just wanted to clarify my use of the word, don't want to hijack Andy's brilliant topic.

I had a thought about this motivation thing, perhaps 'we' are more motivated because we have to be?

Lynne

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Guy's... ive let the side down. Im not going to dublin now in July. I threw a strop after training on monday night and quit. I d o regret quitting now but I think I'll jst train on my own then go back when i am ready. I was havign a bad week so that played a part.

Any way im now gonna help coach the kids at the place where i go on a wedneday night... all with different disabilites, should be fun and i cant wait!

Andy

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Hi guys,

Again I beg to differ.

Must have something to do with my genes.

Though I consider myself being conservative, not the James Dean type of rebel, at all.

To me a widespread reluctance to admit that we amputees are disabled, to accept

the label 'disabled' seems to indicate a certain degree of denial.

When an amputee or a paralytic wakes up in a smoke-filled hotel room on the 30th

floor, and he starts searching for his prosthesis and his crutches, while the guy in the

next room has already reached the 15th floor, who could then deny that we ARE

disabled, whether we want to accept or not.

I have been invalided out of the army reserve.

I may still be able to do some marching (however slow), but I can no longer fire my rifle,

while I am supporting myself on two crutches.

Are we d i s a b l e d ?

Definitely!

Mike RHD

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.

Are we d i s a b l e d ?

Definitely!

Mike RHD

Is that the royal "we" Mike?.......cos I don't consider myself diasbled at all

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hey cat,

a new cat. how many of them do you have? looks , if the cat is in hunting mode :lol:

i think, it can be a boring discussion about dis-abled, other-abled, challenged or what ever.....everybody lives his live and has to deal with it. the focus all time on the disability will paralyse your life.

ciao thomas

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Guest bearlover

I don't see myself as "disabled" at all. it sounds so negative. Yes we are amputees but are able to achieve a lot! Just a little challanged!

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I don't see myself as "disabled" at all. it sounds so negative. Yes we are amputees but are able to achieve a lot! Just a little challanged!

Hi,

we must first establish what 'disabled' means.

It's quite simple: dis-abled implies that there are certain activities you are no longer able to perform.

So in this strict sense it would not apply to people born with a deficiency, with congenital condicions.

And then there are those enviable over-achievers who manage to perform feats that they had not

been capable of before their amputation - like running a marathon.

I suppose, they should not be labelled 'disabled' either.

And then there is the rest... [including myself]

Kind regards,

Mike

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I don't see myself as "disabled" at all. it sounds so negative. Yes we are amputees but are able to achieve a lot! Just a little challanged!

I agree with all of that. The key phrase here is see myself as disabled, the word being see

However try carrying a cup of coffee across the room without our leg on. Many of us have mastered our prosthesis to the point that we can do almost anything with our prosthesis on. Take it off and immediately ......wer'e disabled, or handicapped or.... or, whatever terminology applies at the moment.

Classification is a matter of semantics. The reality is that without help, we all have one - or two, legs shorter than what they were meant to be. Our ability to complete everyday tasks is an individual thing, and not a group: "Oh, they're an amputee". Immediately conjuring up an image of helplessness.

I have mentioned before that I do not live in an amputee world... mentally. I don't go around each day, thnking: "Oh my God, I'm an amputee". I just put my pants, shoes/socks, leg, and shirt on, (Not necessarily in that order), and get on with the day.

I do however carry a handicapped placard in the car, and park in a handicapped place. Is it my one leg, or my one kidney, or the bits and pieces of other things missing or not working, or the lack of circulation, or just plain laziness that qualifies me for this privilege? Whatever. The law says that by virtue of missing a leg, in Missouri, (and most all other states), I am qualified. However, it is because of my circulation that I truly need a place close to the door. But let me get sores on my leg, and have to go without my prosthesis for a while, and then see who the disabled one is. Whatever, I am grateful to have it.

BUT, once I put my leg on, and within the perameters of my circulation, I just get up and go and don't even think about it. I'm afraid that I have succumed to a bit of arrogance..... as long as I have my leg on. To know humility, all I have to do is to take it off.

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Andy I'm so sorry this thread got re routed.

Keep us updated on what you are doing and what's ahead :)

Don't regret things you can't change just keep going the way you are going :)

Cat

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Hey...come on, guys...

...this isn't are we disabled or aren't we disabled thread...

...this is Andy's thread that was asking 'how much do we want to achieve?'

If we want to discuss the term disability then perhaps one of us should start another thread...?

-----------------------------------------------

Andy, when I was born the doctors told my parents that they didn't think I'd be able to sit up, never mind walk. Since then I've reached all the 'milestones' at the right times and I've achieved a lot more than many of my peers. B)

I personally try to achieve the most I can, with what I've got...I always have and I always will. :D

Lizzie :)

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by this definition of disability, someone whon grew so fat, that he cant klimb hills anymore, is disabled.

i know oneleged skydivers and "water" divers, i can nearly do everything, what i want...also run a marathon as an ak...would need some training and technical changes, but if its my challenge , i could....i know what i am talking about, because i made these long-runs with more than 100 kg on my feet.

i know also people with a hemipelvectomy, which walk after a year with just a cane...and she will get better soon, i bet, with a c-leg.

disability takes mostly take place in the brain, because we canĀ“t imagine that some things are possible or we are looking for excuses.....its such an easy way ;)

so i think, we should not discuss definitions...we should chnage our thinking.

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Hi Lizzie,

Sorry, but this definitely would not be the first thread that got hijacked!

Beat a hasty retreat nevertheless.

Mike RHD

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Will the Real hijacker please stand up.

<<JIM STANDING>>

I truly am sorry about that Andy. One comment led to another train of thought

To get back on track, I honestly can't say that anything changed other than I found it difficult to stand up on one side, without an artificial leg. Once that little problem was solved, it was life goes on. (Yes, I am intentionally being flippant.)

I have always been a self motivator, leg or not. To answer your question directly, no I haven't noticed any change in my sense of personal direction.

Oh, my life has taken a different turn, business wise, where I am now working more with amputees than before, but 30 years ago, I spent approximately 6 years working directly with the physically and mentally handicapped. And I had two good legs then. That was just where my interests took me.

Whatever motivates us to take a certain direction however, is worthwhile noteing.

I wish you much success in your endeavor.

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Hi Andy,

This is a good question, I am still trying to get to my fitness since before the amputation, but saying that i am doing more already because before the op i was deteriorating anyway. I am going to college to do a radiography degree, i tried doing this 2 yrs ago but i had to postpone because of chemo and radiotherapy. So last year i did 2 months and then had my amputation. So this septenber i hope to start AGAIN. It is funny because they are classing this yr as a gap year!! some students go around the world. I just have a leg off :wub: ha, ha

I have definately lost my confidence, of what i had anyway. But saying that i am still getting out of bed everyday and living. I have put myself in fer the race for life 5km (3 miles) run/walk. Of course i will be walking, i think maybe people try and do more to prove to themselves that they are still as good as 'NORMAL' people, well i do anyway.

I just feel that i want to do everything yesterday.

Love Yvonne

xx

:blink:

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I have been thinking recently, when you become an amputee how much do you want to achieve? Do you just want to return to normal, doing ordinary every day things, or do you have a drive to want achieve more?

My first goal was obviously to walk and then to go back to school. I achieved both of them, but i still had a drive in me to want to do more, so i decided to go travelling and to uni.

Still now i dont think thats enough, im off to dublin to compete in Junior World Championships in Long Jump in july.. This is a goal, im hoping to achieve it if all goes to plan.. but y stop there.

The world is an oyster... theres so many things out there to do.

Andy

x

Andy, at first I just wanted to get back up to the equivalent of what I could do before. I was never super athletic, but really worked hard at things I love - gardening, for example. I really did this to perfection. Now I find that I've been able to get my flowers out, keep the flowerbeds very nice, etc. Because it takes so much more effort than when I had two legs, it kinda makes me wonder what ELSE I can do, ya know?

So, I have a new goal (one that I never considered before) and this is walking x miles a day (distance to be determined)...

I think maybe we don't take our bodies for granted like we probably did before. Just maybe we want to push ourselves a bit further.

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Hi Andy,

I think that becoming an amputee lets us face things in a different way, and that often times changes our priorities.....

Maybe, it gives courage to some that never had it before, and wisdom, to others that had the courage, but lacked something else...

Each of us, in our own way, finds ourselves, I think....

I also believe, that it tends to make us more compassionate, more encouraging, more forgiving of others, and tougher all the way around...

For me, I grew up learing to "speak my peace" because Pop always said,"no one would speak it for me the way that I wanted it spoke". However, I always tended to be a bit shy.... I became the notorious '4-wheeler' lady in this county after my accident.. It really put me out front.... but you know what, I survived...I didn't die of embarrassment when this busted up body, with no leg, in a wheel chair,(I wasn't healed enough for crutches at the time) was out in public and people would stare, or whisper, or just bluntly ask.....Now, I tend to take the first step, or the lead, where I wouldn't of before.. I think that for each of us, it helps us look inside ourselves.. Some of us, just want to accomplish something, other's want it to be something specific.

I questioned why I was still alive after my accident, thinking a few months later, it was to help my father go peacefully to the end of his life ( I am/was an certified nurses aid, who dealt with end of life patients) with as much grace, love and dignity as he could. However, I knew, that day, standing in the hallway in the hospital, that wasn't the reason why. I've yet to really "find" what it is, but I just take each day as it comes, knowing that someday, I will know what that reason was. If I want to accomplish something that I wouldn't of even tried before, I usually do.. I think what it has really done for all of us, is give us courage and the heart... to at least try.....So many people go through life, not even trying anything. We have found out by necessity, that we have to try. And we have learned that trying is easier than we thought....

Higgy

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Guest bearlover

I just want to be able to do my shopping without using a electric cart. Push the cart ahead of me! Not sit in one!

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Hi Andy,

I think that becoming an amputee lets us face things in a different way, and that often times changes our priorities.....

Maybe, it gives courage to some that never had it before, and wisdom, to others that had the courage, but lacked something else...

Each of us, in our own way, finds ourselves, I think....

I also believe, that it tends to make us more compassionate, more encouraging, more forgiving of others, and tougher all the way around...

For me, I grew up learing to "speak my peace" because Pop always said,"no one would speak it for me the way that I wanted it spoke". However, I always tended to be a bit shy.... I became the notorious '4-wheeler' lady in this county after my accident.. It really put me out front.... but you know what, I survived...I didn't die of embarrassment when this busted up body, with no leg, in a wheel chair,(I wasn't healed enough for crutches at the time) was out in public and people would stare, or whisper, or just bluntly ask.....Now, I tend to take the first step, or the lead, where I wouldn't of before.. I think that for each of us, it helps us look inside ourselves.. Some of us, just want to accomplish something, other's want it to be something specific.

I questioned why I was still alive after my accident, thinking a few months later, it was to help my father go peacefully to the end of his life ( I am/was an certified nurses aid, who dealt with end of life patients) with as much grace, love and dignity as he could. However, I knew, that day, standing in the hallway in the hospital, that wasn't the reason why. I've yet to really "find" what it is, but I just take each day as it comes, knowing that someday, I will know what that reason was. If I want to accomplish something that I wouldn't of even tried before, I usually do.. I think what it has really done for all of us, is give us courage and the heart... to at least try.....So many people go through life, not even trying anything. We have found out by necessity, that we have to try. And we have learned that trying is easier than we thought....

Higgy

Thank you for such a profound post, Tammie :)

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