Being an amputee is confusing. That is an undeniable fact. Even for the professionals, prosthetic limbs create moments of tribulation and adversity. Educating ourselves on prosthetics and limb differences can greatly aid in the confusion. Take it from me.
I’m Emily and I am a right below knee (RBK) amputee. I also use an AFO (ankle foot orthotic) on my left leg. I’ve been a patient here at Abilities in Motion for about 2 years. Now I work here! What is my job? Helping you. My goal is to explore how Abilities in Motion can be an educational resource for you as an amputee or someone with limb difference. This page on our site is dedicated to patient stories, helpful tips, and general unsolicited advice from me, someone who has been living the amputee life for 3 years now. If you would like me to share your story, please reach out to me here, or in our office. I would love to hear from you.
I’m going to start by giving you a bit of my story. (TW hospitals, medical trauma)
On May 16, 2019, I went to the hospital for a scheduled outpatient bilateral cubital tunnel release surgery. I was completely abled with a minimal significant medical history. After developing compartment syndrome in the OR, I left the hospital in July 2019 with a right below knee amputation and significant muscle loss in my left leg. During my stint in the hospital, I had over 15 surgeries and 4 wound vacs. I also spent a week on dialysis, received almost daily blood transfusions, and experienced opioid withdrawal at the tail end of my stay.
In layman’s terms, I had elbow surgery and lost my leg. Wild, right? I have spent the better part of 3 years trying to understand what happened and why. The truth is beyond my comprehension. Frankly, to move forward with my life, I’ve decided it doesn’t matter how it happened. It happened. And now, I have to continue to learn how to thrive as an amputee with a laundry list of other health complications. It is what it is. For me, understanding what happened is not going to aid in my healing, but understanding how to Move Forward is.
That may not be your experience. For you, it may be incredibly important to understand what happened. As amputees, we all deal with this differently. Each method is valid. I share my story with you to tell you, I get it. I understand the struggle and I understand how confusing it can be to learn about your prosthesis or the process of getting a prosthesis.
We’re here to help you understand and best educate yourself on the amputee lifestyle. Stay tuned for more stories. I’m excited to hear from you.
Until next time!
P.S. Just a little more about me. I am a visual artist, I play the flute, and I love all things musical theater. I have 2 cats who love sleeping in my wheelchair, and I have 1 nephew who I absolutely adore. He calls my prosthesis my “robot leg”. You can see him below trying to put his entire leg in my first socket. You can also see my little orange guy, Freddie, and my tortoiseshell, Elphaba.