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Thoughts on one's 'own' legs

I live in Canada. The health care system here is very good. It is not necessarily the greatest but it is very good. As far as I know, all Canadians who lose a limb are offered the opportunity to regain some level of function with artificial devices. Aside from the actual cost of the devices themselves, the health care system offers the rehabilitation processes as well. As an amputee myself I went through that process albeit, a lot longer than most. I am a bilateral above knee amputee and my case is considered a “worst case” scenario, a man without a leg to stand on.

Throughout my rehab, I often heard from the physiotherapists that “once patients leave here, 90% of them stop using their device and the leg is left standing in the closet”. The reasons may be “it’s too hard”, or “I need someone to put it on for me and there is nobody around” or maybe “I’m more comfortable and better off without the dam thing”.

I have a friend who wears two below knee artificial legs. She inadvertently taught me a lesson way back when. One day at the gym, she came to visit whoever. I watched her from a distance. I watched how she naturally managed the legs, where she automatically put them, how effortlessly she moved them, etc, and realized she was using these legs as if they were her own.............without thought. I realized then that these devices WERE her legs, that she was not just another amputee. She was a successful amputee who had made these things her own. Since that day, I have endeavored to become what she is.

Today, I am ED, a bilateral AKA, who does have a leg to stand on.................they are artificial...............but they are mine.








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