The holidays are one of the most anticipated times any given year, but after the unexpected events of this year, many have begun the celebration early. Decorations are out and holiday music is ringing throughout western North Carolina. Many of the small towns in our region are already hanging wreaths and lights to bring cheer and encourage goodwill toward residents and visitors. While your friends and family may still be taking measures to make sure they are gathering safely, you probably already have a list of places to go and people to see in the next few months. 

If you have experienced an amputation recently or have been navigating life with limb loss for some time, you know the holidays can be a challenging season. Some family and friends may ask uncomfortable questions, treat you atypically, or display aloofness to your situation. Some homes will not be as equipped as your own to accommodate your needs. It is possible to dread this part of the calendar even in a year that has been fraught with challenges. 

Looking for a perfect end to your summer? There is a lot to do in Asheville, NC. Don’t let anything stop you from enjoying the last of the summer days, especially when there are so many options for the differently-abled. Take a look at a few events you may want to consider.

During COVID-19, please check with each location for opertaing hours and safety procedures before heading out.

You never realize how much work your ankles do for your body until you injure one. Suddenly, even the most routine tasks are difficult, from walking and climbing stairs to completing a day at work. If we are “lucky,” then the injury is minor and results in temporary discomfort, a bit of hobbling as we go through our days, and some ice packs and ibuprofen. But fractures and dislocations can be quite severe, quite painful, and quite limiting. When is it time to ask your doctor about an ankle brace?

Living with limb loss is complex: while we can, with adjustment, live a full, active, healthy life, there is no doubt that - at times - it is far from easy. Fortunately, though, artificial limb technology has evolved significantly in the last two decades. Advances make it, if not easy, then easier to find your new normal, meet your goals, and thrive. We have come a long way since the first prosthetics made of wood and leather (and even iron!). And while we have a ways to go and are committed to continual innovation, today’s prosthetic devices represent a vast improvement. 

The first known prosthetic was… a wooden toe. An Egyptian noblewoman had a big toe crafted to correct her walk - and because a big toe was necessary for traditional Egyptian sandals. In early prosthetics, we also see metal limbs that were attached to the existing stump with straps. Movement, as you can imagine, was quite limited, and the prosthetics were heavy and unwieldy. Prior to the 20th century, people also took a DIY approach, crafting artificial limbs from household objects, like chair or table legs, textiles, and string.