Everything she thinks about her prosthesis
Specifically, I think back to when I got my first socket, beige in colour, and how foreign it felt, and how it was just second nature to paint it, to the astonishment of my fellow amputees in rehab. Only after I’d painted it did I truly start including my prosthesis in my identity. Honestly, this helped instill in me the fact that I didn’t need my body to be the way it was before my amputation. I was ready to move on and experiment with a new identity without the baggage of mourning the loss of something that was out of my control. What was cool about this process was that I had to do it all myself; I advocated for what I wanted despite some weird looks. I was still a teenager but I figured out a lot of things on my own.
It isn’t always easy to accept that my prosthetic device is a part of me. Oftentimes, it really feels like it’s working against me, especially when I’m not able to feel comfortable or safe. The initial stages of being fitted with a new limb are, for most people, when a lot of resentment builds up toward the new limb as we go through the endless trial and error of fittings and rehab. At its core, having a prosthesis is the difference between using a wheelchair and walking. While I’ve accepted my prosthesis, I also know that acceptance is based partially on the condition of being able to continue to get better with my device in the hope that I will one day get a device that will be much more intuitive to my needs and save my sound limb from undue wear and tear.
Of course, the better the technology the easier it is to view a prosthesis as a part of you. Better technology provides amputees with better quality of life, not only on a physical and functional level, but psychologically as well. I cannot say it enough: no one should feel like they are being held back by their prosthetic limb or limbs, because they are as much a part of us as any other facet of our body. Coming to that realization was so beneficial for me.