STORIES ON DISABLEDPLANET

 

 


How I lost my leg and some thoughts on devotees


When I was 12 and riding my bike I got rammed from behind by a car and suffered pretty bad leg injuries. A recurring infection and nerve damage eventually resulted in the removal of my left leg proactically to the hip in late 1994. I was 22 then and pretty used to the thought that the leg would come off sooner or later, so at least I was spared the shock.

Having one leg is a nuisance. Sitting is uncomfortable, and with a stump as short as mine so is using a false leg. I miss having my gammy leg to balance on -- the falsie sometimes lets me down (literally!) because I cannot feel it and cannot always keep an eye on it. Otherwise, things are pretty ordinary for me, maybe because my real leg wasn't up to much anyway - I don't miss all the things I could do with it (but missing activites IS a factor in most other amputees lives).

I go out on crutches when I can do so without drawing too much attention, on the occasions when my leg is being revised or repaired (very rare), and on hot sweaty days. This year I went to the beach for teh very first time since I was 17 and naturally had to use crutches and put up with the stares. Usually I attract lots of discomfiting attention and feel like I am in a fishtank being gawked at. I put it down to human nature (I guess I would stare too), but it is tiring after an hour or so and positively infuriating after a day. No, it is not flattering for a woman to be looked at - we all need our private moments and want to look just one of the crowd, anonimous.

I did not know of the deveotee 'scene' as such until very recently, but I did know very well that guys are interested in me because of my disability (before and after the amputation), so it amounts to the same thing. Most if not all my boyfriends have been 'into' my limping and crutching. No harm in it I suppose, but don't expect a one legged robot gogo dancer! Women have feelings too, and they don't want to dwell only on the physical side of attraction.

One type of creepy guy I have noticed is the type that hangs round bus stops and tries to follow me around. I get so annoyed! If the guy looks weedy (mostly this type does) I stare hard back at him and he gets going pretty quickly. If the red curtain falls before my eyes one day I might cause a scene with such a man just for the pleasure of seeing him embarrassed. Not sure if they are 'devotees' or peeping toms or whatever, but they are the pits!

I am single for the time being and far from desperate to meet a man, marry, have children etc. I would not hide my disability, but I would not use it either in attracting men. I haven't had any guy turn me down because of it. You usually know if it's going to work or not, and I leave off if it looks like it isn't. If it looks promising, I press on and like I say I haven't been turned back yet.

Some guy on a chat line asked me If my stump has sexy feelings, well it doesnt really. All depends on who youre with, and the right guy can squeeze sexy feelings from a stone and the wrong guy - well, forget it. So just for your information the stump feels like a bit of a leg and occasionally it gets sort of crampy feelings or pins and needles, and no thanks I havent had phantim pains.

Well thats it for now, hope it is interesting to you and makes you realise what an amputee has to live with.

from: Althea, female, 27, UK
e-mail: anonimous