21 Year Ampuversary

Reflection and introspection have never been strong points of mine but I regularly read other people contemplating the hand that fate has dealt them on the day of their ‘ampuversary’ so I thought I would similarly indulge myself.

I fairly regularly read people stating that losing a limb was the best thing that ever happened to them. Except in certain circumstances, such as chronic, degenerative conditions, I marvel at what I can only assume is self-delusion in an attempt to reconcile themselves to their current situation. If I could have my current life as it is but with two legs then I would obviously exercise that option. I would have preferred to have avoided my accident on that fateful day and have no doubt that had I done so my life would differ in many ways.  Ultimately, a moment of carelessness which I deeply regret led to me losing my leg and it is something that I have had to learn to live with.

Twenty-one years ago today I was beginning the process of recovery by speculating about the various changes that losing a leg would impose upon me. I don’t think the full realisation that I was now an amputee had begun to manifest itself. I’d never met an amputee before and had no idea of the limitations or possibilities that prosthetic use would impose or allow. During the course of my rehab I fairly rapidly realised that the main factor limiting the mobility of an amputee using prosthetics was the socket but there appeared to be no alternative. Fifteen years later, having largely accepted my fate, I was given the chance of such an alternative and fortunately made the decision to go ahead. As a result of ITAP, I no longer consider myself a ‘normal’ amputee as I’m not constrained to walk within the envelope of soreness and acceptable pain that blights the lives of many, if not most, amputees. The increased level of mobility I now enjoy largely mitigates the point of an ampuversary so I perhaps I ought to only celebrate the anniversary of my ITAP surgery, although I’m struggling to think of a catchy phrase for this day! All the while my implant performs as intended, I will try and make the most of having essentially been given my leg back and hope that more amputees can benefit from ITAP technology in the future.

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