Your life WILL change – like, it will change dramatically and you will be a new person. You will hate it at first, because you will go through struggles and tough times. But it will be worth it. When you look back at your life, you’ll appreciate those struggles because they made you who you are today.
Kids will stare. Much to their parents’ embarrassment, children are welcomingly tactless. They often stare open-mouthed before pointing out the obvious. Most of the time, I smile and reassure them that I am aware that I have robot legs and offer to give them a detailed look at my prosthetics. Despite it being extremely annoying, it is also a good way to educate others about amputees, because we amputees are awesome!
You can’t park where you want. A blue badge is not a privilege to undermine every parking law invented. Indeed, I am aware of parking regulations. It annoys me when people misuse disabled parking bays to the point of advocating for severe prosecution. On the flip side, I know I sometimes frustrate others. I’ve received more than my fair share of angry glances from people as I walk to my car with my prosthetic legs hidden by pants. As a rule, I try to walk without a limp to prove that amputation doesn’t define me, which gives them even more reason to misunderstand my use of the blue badge.
New opportunities everywhere. Losing a limb means you are likely to get involved with organizations founded to help those in similar situations. Grab those helping hands, as every opportunity quickly leads to another. You never know where these opportunities can lead you or who you might meet along the way.
This brings me on to the last and by far the most important thought:
There’s life beyond injury. Losing a leg or an arm leads to a life that can be worse in many ways, because now you’ll have difficulty in doing many simple tasks. However, I prefer to concentrate on all the ways it is better and all the amazing things I’ve done and still can do despite my missing limbs. Forget about better or worse. Life is just ‘different’ and that’s really important to me. There is life beyond injury. You just have to grab it in any way you can. Don’t get me wrong, though. If I had the chance to redo my life again, I would love to be born “normal” and live the life that most people get to experience. But we don’t get to redo our lives, so I will stick to navigating my amputee journey and continue enjoying its peaks and valleys.