Five Resources for Adjusting to Life with an Artificial Limb

Thursday, 28 February 2019 20:12

If you are navigating the process of returning to life after an amputation, you are facing numerous challenges. Whether you are going back to work or school, your daily routine will be significantly affected by your new reality. However, you are not alone. Increased awareness regarding accessibility has led to a beneficial increase in the number and quality of resources available for those using prosthetic devices.

We want to help you identify your resources and how to get started recovering and enjoying life with your prosthetic device. Here are five places and people who will help you through the process:

Resource 1: Your Doctor

Your doctor(s) will be able to point you in the right direction for recovery beyond surgery and initial rehabilitation. Do not hesitate to ask your primary care physician and other medical professionals all the questions you have, including those that do not necessarily relate to directly to amputation and prosthetics:

  • Should I continue doing my job at the same capacity as before?
  • Should I return to my outdoor or indoor hobbies: fishing, pottery, art, writing, woodworking, etc.?
  • Should I change the way in which I hike or mountain bike?
  • Should I continue pursuing my athletic endeavors?
  • What are alternative hobbies and activities?

Your doctor will be able to answer your questions or recommend a specialist that can guide you further.

Resource 2: Your Counselor

Whether you are providing care for someone who recently experienced an amputation, or you are recovering yourself, seeking professional specialized counseling may be the key to adjusting to your new reality.

“Amputation can negatively influence body image, self-esteem, and quality of life. Returning to work can be difficult as well. However, the key to better outcomes is ensuring that patients receive appropriate and comprehensive interdisciplinary care for physical and psychosocial needs, with prosthetic care as a fundamental need, the authors point out.”

Source: Miki Fairley

Resource 3: Your Family

Those who have known you the longest will likely be your best support network throughout your recovery process. Do not hesitate to ask for help. Doctors and counselors will likely be able to recommend various means by which your parents, siblings, and close relatives can assist you, as well as ways in which you can lean on them.

Resource 4: Your Community

You have been there for your community, as you recover from amputation and adjust to life with a prosthetic device, your community will be an asset to you. Whether you need help physically, emotionally, or spiritually, these are the people who will help strengthen you through the process:

  • Your close friends
  • Your family
  • Your civic groups and religious organizations
  • Your neighbors
  • Your support groups
  • Your sports teams and clubs

If you need more information about how to approach your community or how to find support groups specific to your amputation recover, do not hesitate to ask your doctor and counselor.

Resource 5: Orthopedic Appliance Company

Orthopedic Appliance Company has been serving the Asheville area for nearly sixty years with the highest quality orthotic and prosthetic devices. Our custom prosthetics are designed to serve your specific needs and provide the best possible quality of life. We would be honored to be part of your recovery process. Please contact us, for more information about our prosthetic devices, recommendations for resources, or anything else you may need.