The Questions People Ask

As an amputee, we get asked all kinds of crazy questions.  To those of you in for a good laugh, who are actually curious, or who may be new to the amputee family, please continue reading.

  • What happened to your leg?
    • My appropriate response:  I was born with a very rare condition, pseudarthrosis of the tibia, which led to amputation at age four.
    • My preferred response:  any ridiculously tragic story that I can think of on the spot to make the random stranger wish they never would have asked.
  • What does it feel like?
    • What does it feel like to have two legs?  
  • Does it hurt?
    • Really?!?  No it doesn’t hurt it!  If it hurt I probably wouldn’t be on this treadmill at the gym!
  • Do you shower with it on?
    • Considering I’d like my leg within my prosthesis to get clean, no, I don’t shower with it on.  I pray that wherever I happen to be showering has a seat, or at the very least, a nonslick floor.
  • Can you run?
    • Yes.  I can run, ride a bike, rollerblade, hike, rock climb, ski, swim, row, etc.  
  • Okay, so what can’t you do?
    • Balancing on one leg is a bit of a struggle and I personally cannot wear stilletos, but other amputees sure can (ever seen Dancing with the Stars?).
  • Do you take it off to have sex?
    • How dare you, I’m a virgin!  Okay, no seriously...I don’t have to take it off.  I typically don’t, but if it’s off, it’s off!
  • How does it effect your dating life?
    • It helps me weed out the assholes much easier.
  • Can you get your prosthesis wet?
    • Yes, I can, however it does cause me to get my locks and buttons replaced more often than I should.  But let’s be honest, getting into the ocean without a leg isn’t easy...  Swimming without it though, pure heaven.
  • Do you sleep with it on?
    • No.  It is one of the few perks amputees have that “normal” people don’t, there is no feeling as good as taking your leg off after a long day.  However, it does mean that when we wake up in the morning, before I do anything else, I have to put my leg on, freezing liner and all.  Those middle of the night bathroom breaks...hop to it!
  • Do you get phantom pain?
    • I don't, likely because I didn’t lose my leg to a tragic accident.  However, I do get nerve pain after my last revision.  Basically, my nerves that were severed sometimes look for their other end, it’s a quick shocking pain, nothing unbearable.  
  • Do you get pedicures?
    • You’re damn right I do, and for half price!

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