10 Things I Hate About Being An Amputee
I’ve been an amputee for 5 years now and I’ve gotten the hang of pretty much everything, but there are still some things I still can’t stand.
Here are my top 10 things that I hate as an amputee:
(in no particular order)
Long Sleeve Shirts
I LOVE long sleeve shirts! After becoming an amputee, I noticed that all the best shirts were long sleeves. I HATE having to roll up every single long sleeve I wear. Most of the time, the sleeve just rolls back down and I have a dangling piece of clothing that is extremely annoying. Sure, I could go and get all my shirts altered…….if I were made of money. So now I try and stay away from them (unless it’s cold out) and save myself a day of misery.
Tying My Shoes
It’s been 5 years and I STILL rather wear slip ons or sandals. My workout shoes still have the original knot that my boyfriend did for me when I first put them on. I struggle to slip my feet into those shoes, but it’s fine, I don’t have to tie them (LOL!). I try and attempt tying shoes here and there but I still struggle to get my knots to stay tight. I’ll save myself some anger management classes and stick to slip on shoes instead.
This is just a hospital ER visit waiting to happen. True story…..I almost cut off my nipple trying to cut open an avocado (don’t ask, just know that it almost happened). If I have someone around, I definitely have them do it instead but when I don’t have anyone around……I’m extremely cautious and scared for my life.
I mean…..come on! So the first time I climbed after my amputation was at a mud run with obstacles. I used to do mud runs all the time before my amputation but this was my first since the accident. My group and I were just about done, finish line in sight, and then we reach a wall of climbing. It was one of those walls made of rope, so you could easily get over it because the rope was woven into squares to easily climb it……………..yeah, so easy. No, I was terrified that I would somehow slip and then I’d fall because I wouldn’t have the double grip you needed to save yourself. I was a wreck. To top it off, once you reach the top, you have to climb over and back down. It took about 20 minutes and a lot of encouragement for me to kick my leg over and start going down. It was actually incredible easy, I was just terrified and thinking the worst LOL! But I haven’t attempted climbing anything ever since then, so there’s that.
Awkward Hand Shakes
Oddly enough, most people don’t realize I’m missing my arm when I first meet them because it’s honestly not how I like to carry myself, but that then leads to the awkward hand shake. They throw out their right hand, I throw out my left, they get confused and panic, then they switch hands and still aren’t sure what’s going on so it all ends in a awkward smile and hands behind their back. It’s really fun and really makes me feel normal……..
I’ve been doing one armed burpees for over 5 years now and you’d think I’d be used to it by now…….absolutely not. I cringe every time I see burpees written on the white board. I’m already doing every other movement with one arm and now you throw BURPEES on top of that too??!! Coaches hate me, I just know it. Lol, I’m kidding, but I still really dislike burpees. I think that goes for everyone though, right? Trust me, it sucks 10x worse for us one armed folk.
Curling my hair
Before I lost my arm, curling my hair was my absolute favorite thing to do. I had long hair and I LOVED the way I curled and styled it. You quickly realize that we really need to be grateful for even the smallest of things we do. I tried curling my hair post accident and I dropped the hot curling on myself plenty of times and I couldn’t, for the life of me, figure out how to roll the iron up using one hand. It CRUSHED me. I still remember sitting in my room one day and just staring at that curling iron because I envisioned my hair one way, but I knew it wasn't going to look like that. My mom walked in and offered to help and I was so incredibly sad as she sat there doing it for me. It was a really defeating moment for me but, you’ll be happy to know, I’ve since then figured it out (sorta) and curl my hair as often as a stay at home mom with a two year old can.
getting stared at
This is a big, BIG hate for me. I’ve come to realize that no amount of years under my belt as an amputee will make staring any less bothersome for me. When I say I hate it, I mean I boil on the inside. The pointing, the turning heads, all of it really sets something off in me. I’ll be honest and say I hate when kids do it (I know, I know….they don’t know any better) but to me, it’s the worst. I LOVE when children come up to me and ask me what happened vs them screaming “MOMMY, MOMMY SHE DOESN’T HAVE AN ARM!!” and the parents turn around, see me and walk away as fast as they can. Yes, kids don’t know any better, but adults do. I don’t know how many times I’ve said “It’s just an arm! It’s not a big deal!” to fully grown adults whose necks seem to be stuck in my direction, oddly enough. When I first had my son, Joaquin, people would look at me then proceed to look into my stroller to see if my kid was “normal.” I hate when people stare, period.
I lost my dominant arm after my accident and till this day I still struggle with my handwriting. THANK GOD we are in a digital age where you’re considered a cave man if you still actually write in pen and paper, but the truth is, I love the old school way. I write out my to-do lists, grocery lists, envelopes, ideas, you name it! I almost feel more obligated to do things when I’ve taken the time to sit and write them down by hand. My handwriting has definitely improved over 5 years but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t hate it. The hand placement as a lefty is still the weirdest and most unnatural thing to me. You can look at something I wrote and immediately be able to tell where my hand started getting tired. It goes from pretty decent, to decent, to okay, to incomprehensible.
not realizing how strong i really was till i was 24
I lost my arm at the age of 24 and, till this day, I say it was the best thing that could have happened to me. Going through something really traumatic can go one of two ways. You can take that experience and learn from it OR you can take that experience and choose NOT to learn from it. I chose to learn from it. I learned that anything really is possible if you set your mind to it. I learned that life can end at any moment and we really have to live this life to the fullest. I learned that you are the only thing standing in the way of your own goals. I didn’t know how strong I really was until a nurse gave me a phone and insisted I call my mother while I was in the ER room. I said no at first because I didn’t want to scare her, but then I took a deep breathe and put the phone to my ear anxiously waiting to hear her voice. I held back the fear in my voice, I held back my tears and I firmly said, “Mom, the doctor said he’s going to amputate my arm but it’s going to be okay. I’M going to be okay.” I handed the phone back to the nurse and repeated to myself over and over, “You’re going to be okay, you’re going to be okay, you’re going to be okay.” Here I am five years later and I’m more than okay.