For more information on choosing a prosthetic provider
Additionally, the Amputee Coalition publishes a very comprehensive guide to life after limb loss called First Step – A Guide for Adapting to Limb Loss. Order a copy here.
This website provides information and assistance for disabled individuals under the ADA.
Facing amputation will be one of the most daunting and transformative tasks of your life. But it is important to know that not all of the changes brought on my limb loss are negative. Limb loss also brings new opportunities for personal growth. Many amputees cycle through the stages of grief and move on to thrive and lead richer lives post-amputation. We are more understanding of others and have greater compassion. We also develop our creativity and adaptability to a higher degree. Amputation helps to put things in perspective so that you “don’t sweat the small stuff” as much as you previously may have. Amputation is not the end of your life; it is the beginning of a new chapter of your life that can bring challenges, but also a great deal of understanding, compassion and joy.
It can be helpful at the beginning stages of amputation to look at the big picture. Keep in mind that human beings are very adaptable. The human race long ago rose to the top of the food chain, and since then we have continued to expand our technology, as well as prolong our average life expectancies and survival rates in the face of injury and disease. Just as the human race as a whole is creative and adaptable, so are we as individuals. Each of us has a survival mechanism that helps us to push forward in the face of danger and trauma. While it is true that this instinct may be stronger in some than others, and that various factors come into play, we EACH have the capacity to overcome limb loss and reshape our lives.
One key phrase that can be helpful to amputees is: pace yourself. You may want to rush through the stages of grief or start working with a prosthetist right away. You will likely want to regain your independence sooner rather than later. But the fact is, both physical and emotional healing take time and cannot be rushed. It is important to ease into this transition. So in the early stages, you may just want to surround yourself with friends and family and sit with the knowledge that you are still you. You are safe now. You will recover. Treat yourself gently. Rest, and eat healthfully.