After many months of contemplation, in 2012 I made the decision to have my second leg amputated.
Although this was a big decision to make, six months later and I was so much more mobile and healthier than I have ever been. A whole new world opened up, with exciting options of shoes, clothes and most of all swimming. An immense challenge to swim with no legs as my balance and my centre of gravity are gone, but it is all about finding that again. At the moment, I swim 6 laps and I’m exhausted. However after 30 years of not being able to be in a pool it is amazingly liberating.
In January 2014, this was taken to a new level of experiencing the ocean for the first time since 1982. The greatest thing about this was it was done without touching sand. Even as a kid I hated sand ….. loved the beach, but that gritty feel between the toes was a shuttering experience for me. Maybe subconsciously I knew I didn’t need feet? A dear friend in Perth organised this great chair for me that bumped across the sand and straight into the beautiful salty water. Joy that was something I had longed for such a long time. See, dreams do come true.
Along with the challenges of learning to walk again with my prostheses, I revelled in the curiosity of others who want to understand how my prostheses work, and are comfortable to ask many questions around the challenges I face on a day to day basis. Interesting questions around socks – Do I have any? Can I wear high heels? – and my favourite of all is around my painted toenails.
After not being able to wear off the shelf shoes for a very long time, shoes and showing the pretty toenails off has been a ‘girly’ thing I had not had the opportunity to do. I am surely making up for lost time …… I am up to 27 pairs of shoes, and have fun taking my legs to the nail salon, dropping them off and rolling away then coming back after they are painted. A time-saver or what?
I’m guessing the excitement of my new life is coming through, which makes it all the more fun to share.