Author Topic: how do you fell about your looks  (Read 6525 times)

Offline pegleg jack

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how do you fell about your looks
« on: March 12, 2008, 09:28:27 AM »
i have read some great post on how people feel about how they look and just how they are coping with it.

I will admit there are days when i cant stand to look at my self in a mirror when i have my legs off and am in my wheel chair and last night while cleaning my liners, i got that feeling.

I can count twice on my fingers just how many so called friends that have gone away and always have some excuse that they cant meet with you, those people arenot true friends, and also have had that happen with family members also, they dint want anything to do with me anymore and this sure hurts my lovely wife of 45 years. which has been the best care giver in the world to me.

Guess maybe i best tell you of my amputations, I lost both of my legs BKA, in march of 2002, lost them to blood clots cause by two things, one was cigarette smoke, and the other not yet prov en, i had a bad fall while in the service and landed on my back sides a drop of about 4 feet. I am back to doing 90% of what i was doing before i lost them.

If i can figure out just how to do it will post some picture of my hobby on here, so far i haven't had much luck, but then again i am not really that computer savvy

you-all have a great day.

Offline metdrs

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Re: how do you fell about your looks
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2008, 10:10:34 AM »
Pegleg,

My grandfather always said " If a person has 3 true friends in life they are very lucky"
I don't always quote him, but this is simple wisdom !!!

Second quote " When you feel down it is like being under water hanging on to a water wheel, HANG ON and the wheel will bring you around.

You bring so much to this forum with your wisdom, knowledge and the ability to say just the right thing. You are a leader, so keep on leading and we will follow.

Dave
Taking one day at a time!!

Offline Oneblueleg

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Re: how do you fell about your looks
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2008, 12:39:22 PM »
I thought I looked a bit odd the first few times I caught myself in the mirror after the amputation but now I don't think anything of it... I am who I am... if someone has a boil on their nose they may consider they looked a bit odd in the mirror, it's no different.

As for friends and family, I can honestly say I don't know of anyone who has ever 'gone away' or had excuses for not meeting me as you describe.

Like your quotes by the way metdrs

Offline pyourke

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Re: how do you fell about your looks
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2008, 04:39:00 PM »
Pegleg...
It bothered me at first and then I realized that it really didn't change who I was and when I've got my pants on, no one can tell the difference. I don't wear shorts, but am considering them for the first time in 34 years. The cosmesis on my new legs gives a much better look to the knees, although it might look a little strange for a guy to wear stockings! As for friends, they are what you make of them. I make fun of things, including me, to put them more at ease. Once that they realize that I've accepted my amputations and am ok with what I can still do, they become more at ease around me. I want people to accept me for who I am not what I'm missing. Now if there's just something that I could do about the wrinkles on my face... lol!
Peter
BAK since '74

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Re: how do you fell about your looks
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2008, 06:58:48 PM »
hey pl jack i know what you mean sometimes when i am at the gym look in the mirror it sometimes sucks to see that i am missing  something i am a rak i am still new at this it is been a year now i am like you some days it just sucks and most days i do not let it bother me like pyourke said i found around my friends if i make fun of it then they do to and it puts them at ease as far as those so called  friends do not bother with them there not worth it never friends to begin with hey jack with your pic go to photobucket put it on there then you click on it then copy it then paste it to your post it took me a few trys now i got it down lol will good luck take care plj and how is your wife doing?

Offline Dick Stevens

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Re: how do you fell about your looks
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2008, 09:25:37 AM »
I think Peter summed it up very well.  If we accept ourselves, as is, and can add a little humor, it can go a long way to help people feel comfortable with us.

My family and friends have stuck by me wonderfully.  If there's anyone who can't stand to be around me, they've left quietly, and I'm not even aware of it.

Of course, people come and go in our lives - and I have no way of knowing if my amputations ever had anything to do with it. (I'm not losing any sleep over it.)

As an older male amputee, I can wear long pants, and most people aren't aware that I am an amputee.  I walk with crutches, so they qbviously know that "something is wrong".  Some will ask "Bad knees?"  So I can explain that the knees are fine - but everything below them is fake.

If we act "matter-of-fact" about it, others usually accept it as that.

As one wise soul said, "I don't let my amputations define who I am."  It's just a physical detail, like some wear eyeglasses or hearing aids or other "supplemental parts".  But then, I've never been one for whom my physical prowess (or lack of it) has been at the core of my self-identity.

So .... :) .... the fact that I am alive and well, and ready to launch off to yet another busy day, surrounded by family and friends, makes this a fine day.
Dick Stevens, DBKA in PA

Offline herb

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Re: how do you fell about your looks
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2008, 04:17:34 PM »
Hi PeglegJack - The things in this world that we can not change, we have to learn to accept and make the best of it. While some people may feel uncomfortable around you now, most people will admire you for handling your situation so well. I think my wife feels worse about my amputation than I do. I wear shorts every day, have no cosmetic cover on my prosthesis, and am proud of the way I look. It took me a few years to accept my amputation but now it is normal to me and not even a hassle even more. I used to especially hate washing my liners, now it part of my routine. Spring is coming soon, I hope you can stop worrying about how you look. Spend more time outdoors. Be well. Herb

Offline Jeff Jester

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Re: how do you fell about your looks
« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2008, 11:44:01 AM »
When an accident happens, you find out who are true friends and who aren't. There were some people that surprised me with their attitude. The ones that stuck by me stayed friends the ones that didn't got the boot. And I have made plenty since. As for looks, you are who you are. Nothing will ever change that so it is best to look in that mirror and say 'What a handsome fella you are'  (well I don't actually say that to myself but my wife does, bless her heart) and Pegleg Jack from everything that I have read over the years from you, shows that you also have one hell of a wife who doesn't care what you look like but cares for what is inside.
Jeff

Offline Dick Stevens

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Re: how do you fell about your looks
« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2008, 08:49:37 PM »
Jack and Jeff:

We have ONE thing in common, at least, we have super wives who stand by us no matter what.  Mine took my amputations in stride - provided home-grown nursing when I needed it.  I had a surgeon who believed in it.  Taught her (us) how to change dressings, flush PIC lines, and all sorts of "fun" stuff.  So obviously she's plenty used to me with or without pros.

As for the rest of the world, I do tend to "cover up" with long pants and pros with cosmetic covers.  There are times I'd like to go without cosmesis, but they don't pop on and off easily.  As a pastor I'm standing before a congregation with a message to share.  If I had uncovered prostheses showing, guess where all the attention would go, at least for some.  While it may help me prove a point, it would be counter-productive to my main purpose.

Once, when I came from prosthetist's office with 2 test sockets, no cosmesis and wearing shorts, I went into a McDonald's for lunch.  Well.... I freaked out this poor ii'l toddler of 2 or so, that she went running to her father all upset.  This isn't how I want people to react to me.  But then a girl of 12 or so came over and was quite curious, and we had a good conversation - so all was not lost that day.

So the dilemma goes on - to cover up or not.  For me, both ways are fine.  To each his/her own.

Dick Stevens, DBKA in PA

Offline Sparky

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Re: how do you fell about your looks
« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2008, 09:01:58 PM »

Offline King Rocky

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Re: how do you fell about your looks
« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2008, 01:25:45 AM »
Hi Pegleg,
Appreciate your honest feelings ... like most of us would agree here, you have given a lot into so many of our lives.  You were always there when anyone of us had questions.
At times, it seemed you HAD IT ALL ... that each one of us coveted, at least I did!
But then sharing your honest feelings means, you are just like the rest of us ... perhaps, a little ahead of some in the race with your experience, which brings a lot of comfort to the rest.

Wonderful to hear how your wife is handling this and loves you no matter what the world out there says.  That's what marriages are for - "in good times, and in bad ..." 
Bad as in - when we are unable to do the things which we once did.
I'm blessed with a wife, who I know carries a lot on her shoulders ... and she has accepted that.  The fact that I'm still around and not dead is a comfort for her and the children.

Like I had mentioned earlier, I was affected by polio - so I grew up being a handicap all my life.  Went through it all - longing to be perfect. 
An opportunity came along, not so long ago, when I saw this advert in the newspaper about a Doctor who could help polio victims and increase the size of the leg (which was 1 1/2 inch shorter than the other) - that dream was shattered and ended up being an amputee (above knee, left leg).
I sometimes feel, was it wrong that I had a desire to be able to walk normally???

Now being an amputee, in retrospect I long to be a polio victim, as that was better - with a weak knee, which God created and not OttoBock or made up of any other technological device!  You pay a lot of money and realize the polio affected knee & leg was much better off, than the latest technology.

Like someone said you can't turn the clock back and prevent what happened; neither is it a bad dream!!
Let's accept it and face it with a renewed challenge.
I'm not preaching to anyone ... but reminding myself here!

I find solace in the fact that my time here is temporal and look forward with hope to an eternal future - no more prosthesis there!
But in the meantime trudging along the road laid out before me ...

Yes, it is difficult when you realize you can't do as much.  But hey, it could have been worse for me and for my family.  I'm still trying to do the things to make this world a better living place for everyone, to the best I can.
King Rocky
aka - Jan. '06
"Significant times in life are NOT ALWAYS significant, when we are going through it" -  Rajan '98

Offline pegleg jack

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Re: how do you fell about your looks
« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2008, 08:42:21 AM »
THIS IS A GREAT BIG HEART FELT THANKS TO ALL WHO ANSWERED ME ON THIS,

Now i would like your permission to print your answer and put them in a folder that i am setting up for new amputee's. when i get my team set up to visit a new amputee for the first time in a hospital setting, letting them know that it is not the end of the world and that there is life after amputations and that we just have to addapt to the circumstances.
you-all have a great day.

Offline Dick Stevens

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Re: how do you fell about your looks
« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2008, 11:24:36 AM »
PL Jack:

The folder is a great idea.  You've got my permission if anything I said is helpful.  Do us a favor, though.  Please share your folder with us, that we might share with new amputees that we encounter.  As a Peer Visitor, I'm always looking for good stuff to share.

The wisdom and experience shared here is too good not to share beyond this cozy little circle of on-line friends.
Dick Stevens, DBKA in PA

Offline Sparky

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Re: how do you fell about your looks
« Reply #13 on: March 15, 2008, 12:13:47 PM »
PLJ

I also think it is a great idea. If you think that my ramblings with help then go for it.  Being a relatively new bilateral amputee I have learned a lot from yourself and Dick. I've not contributed much but, I have read everything. Printing the information for others to read is no different from being sat in front of a PC and reading it.

Offline metdrs

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Re: how do you fell about your looks
« Reply #14 on: March 15, 2008, 02:46:26 PM »
Pegleg Jack
ditto for me. Feel free to use anything I post. I am looking into peer visitation. I was lucky to have such a visit during my rehab

Dave
Taking one day at a time!!