Your doing better than you think

Gail who is another lady in my group is lovely but the whole amputation thing has been much harder for her than it has been for me. She is one of a minority group as she is a through knee amputee, a very rare breed, and when we spoke in the past I gave her my details. I had said to her if she ever needed a chat then she could call me any time day or night. She told me that she nearly called me yesterday as she was having a bad day. I think with amputees it seems that if we get a bad day then it really is a bad day and you feel absolutely pants, be it physically, mentally, emotionally or all three. She was telling me that she had no counselling after the surgery and her family don’t seem to understand what she is going through, this may well be a topic for a separate post in the future.

I seem to have been doing better at getting used to and walking with the prosthetic leg than Gail. Having said that I really don’t think you can compare your progress to that of other amputees as we are all individual. There are also so many different factors to take into account like age, weight, what type of amputee you are, confidence, any other medical problems, mindset, type of prosthesis, the list is endless. From what I have seen of Gail walking though she can do it, it is her self confidence that seems to hold her back. We chatted a few times during the session and during one of the early chats she had mentioned that she used a treadmill at home but I didn’t pick up on it. Later on when we chatted again she mentioned the treadmill and I asked her if she used it with her prosthesis (thinking that she had too as I don’t think you could manage on one leg) and she told me she did. I was lost for words for a moment or two, there was me seeming to be doing much better and yet I don’t have the confidence yet to even attempt a treadmill. Gail said that she thinks she is OK on it because she can hold on to the bars. At the end of the day if anything goes wrong on the treadmill the fact that she is holding on to the bars will make no difference, if she is falling down she will fall down. I said that it was absolutely amazing, in physio she walks so tentatively but here she is at home walking on a floor that is continuously moving, you have no quick control of it and if you scuff your foot you can’t just stop, recompose yourself and step off again. I am both in awe of her and confused, she is doing marvellously well on a machine that I have no wish to use until I am much more confident and had a lot more practice using the leg. I am confused that she doesn’t have the confidence on a flat, still floor in the gym.

Everything I have written here I did say to Gail and I hope our chat helped in some small way. I also reminded her that I am always at the end of a phone should she want to chat, shout, laugh, cry, ask question etc. etc. I think it is always good to know that there is someone there even if you never call them, it is like a life line. I don’t like to see people feeling down especially not people who are as nice as Gail.

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