Some amputees are born missing a limb, others lose their limb because of life threatening disease, and a smaller number have had accidents leading to amputation. In fact there are millions of amputees out there and the reason you may not have noticed them before is because most do not draw your attention. They look and are just like other people, and they can do everything they want to do.
The difference is that most have had to rearrange their lives at some point and change some of the old ways to find new meaning and create an adjusted image of themselves. They may also do things differently from those who have all their limbs, but most of them can do everything that they want to do.
You might initially feel you are alone, never having known another amputee. You might also be frightened at the turn your life has taken. After a while though you will realize that you have joined a strong community, and although it is not a community you wished to join, it offers great support and involves diverse people from all walks of life.
In Chinese the characters that form the word 'crisis' mean both danger and opportunity.
A crisis can be transformative for a person. It may have negative effects but can unleash forces within you that you never knew you had.
You will need to rearrange your thoughts and certainly some practical things, but you are still the person you were before. Yet now you know so much more. You have lived through an experience that is so overwhelming that most of us cannot imagine what it is like.
By reading this text you have already taken a big step towards your recovery, and there are thousands of people in the world who share your feelings and experiences and are willing to help you.
Always ask questions if you are unsure or don't understand something. In addition to the medical specialists you come into contact with, Ossur’s own experts are here to help.
Spend some time informing and preparing yourself for common emotional reactions such as grieving and depression, but don't forget to read about other amputees and their success stories as these will give you some idea of what you could accomplish in time.
National Mental Health Association: What is depression
The journey through adulthood: Bee, helen (1996)
Therapy for amputees: Engstrom, B, Van de Ven, C (1999)