Confidence or Apathy of an Amputee. . .

I originally wrote this blog in 2012; it's kind of snarky, but still very fitting today!  I don't write too often about my amputation because of "devotees" trolling the internet.  But, today I felt like sharing this blog.

"A lot has been on my mind lately regarding my amputation.  These days I'm quite used to my prosthetic, nerve pain, phantom pain, discomfort, etc.  Lately a few people have made comments about my legs and so the wheels in my mind have been spinning.  I know a person who has an amazing ability to be very condescending and even confrontational, but in a manner in which she says she's concerned or wants to help out in some way.  I find this kind of communication patronizing to the point of dishonesty.  I feel that I'm really close to telling this person off and so I'm reverting to my blog.

Lately this person has been telling me I need to find a way to cover up my legs or figure out a way to wear pants because if she were in my situation she would hate to have her one obviously handicapped leg and the other obviously prosthetic leg showing.  I think to myself, "you're not in my situation, because if you were, you wouldn't suggest pants at all."  I also think to myself, "mind your own business, I don't recall asking you what you think.  I don't care what people think of my legs."

Yesterday a few co-workers were asking me about my prosthetic and suggesting ways I could paint the metal.  They were asking me about different kinds of liners and ways to cover up the liner.  One gentleman asked me what kind of design would I like if I could choose,  I answered, "this one, this is the leg I chose.  I find other people care about my leg and how it looks but I don't care."  

Let's think about this situation logically:  I have a prosthetic leg; no matter how I wrap it up, it's still going to look like a prosthetic leg.  In addition I have to care for and maintain my stump, which means taking my prosthetic off a few times a day.  These days my life is about comfort and convenience rather than style and image.

I was born with a birth defect that affected my calf muscles; I've always had skinny little calves and little feet.  I've always walked a bit funny.  It's like my whole life I've been training for when I would lose my leg and need a prosthetic.  I'm used to being stared at; as a child I was made fun all the time; a gentleman on a blind date once suggested I get calf implants!  I have had to resort to an attitude of not caring what people think.  I can't care because there isn't anything I can do about my physical situation.

In my world there are two kinds of people:  People who see my situation and find my accomplishments and the way I handle myself inspirational.  These people tell me that I'm confident and they look up to me.  The other kinds of people are those who see my situation and and how I handle myself as apathetic and think they could handle it better.  These people offer advise on how I should take care of myself and tell me about their troubles, saying, "you're life isn't that bad."  or "you think you've got it bad, listen to what happened to me last night..."  So am I confident or am I apathetic?  

Confidence:  Belief in oneself and one's powers or abilities; certitude; assurance.  

Apathy:  Having little or no interest or concern. 

Here's the kicker (pun intended):  I don't think my life is bad!  I'm a very happy person!  I know that everyone has troubles they have to deal with and my troubles aren't worse or better than anyone else's. I find myself somewhat bothered when people start a sentence, "I shouldn't complain to you, but...."  Of course you can complain to me:  I'm happy to help or be a listening ear.

In conclusion to my venting, rant of a blog; I'd like to think I am a confident person but at the same time I do have to be apathetic about certain situations in my life.  I have found a balance of confidence and apathy that has helped me cope with my life's troubles and I'm okay with that.  So if you don't like how my legs look:  I really don't care."

(Originally written March 22, 2012 HERE.)