Monday, March 06, 2006

I be Gimpy

My mom had one of my Aunt's visiting from Philly staying with her for the past week. I hadn't seen her in quite a while, the last time I did was only 2 months after my amputation in 2002. I suppose she felt uncomfortable asking me about the situation, as most people were. Although anyone who knows me, knows that you'll never have to walk around on egg shells with me. No matter what. Anyway, after talking to her for a while, she asked me a question that I've been asked pretty much by everyone I know, "How are you able to deal with it so well?"

The first time I was asked, I actually didn't have an answer. I have an answer now and I'd like to share it with you. Just in case any of you were wondering. I'm sure you weren't wondering, but fuck it, I'm telling your asses anyway!!

The reason why I'm able to deal with being a young, healthy woman who had her foot cut off is this: Sure I could spend the rest of my life feeling sorry for myself and wondering "why me?" But what good would that do? Who does that benefit? Absolutely no one. I'd live the rest of my life being miserable if I ran on self pity. Not to mention the fact that the other's around me would feel my misery as well. Being an amputee is me and like it or not, I'm going to be this way for the rest of my life. I knew that when I made the decision to have my foot cut off. So in my opinion the best way to deal with it is just to embrace it (as Kira would say) and not let it get me down.

I've made it a point to ensure that the people around me are comfortable with me and my leg. I don't ever want to be one of "those" people. You know, the one's who other's are afraid to even talk to for fear they might accidentally say something that might offend me. For example: "I was just pulling your leg." or "We've got a leg up on the competition." or "Your mamma's so fat then when she broke her leg, gravy poured out." I want people to be able to ask me questions about what it's like to be sans a foot, without feeling awkward. After all, it's not everyday that most of us encounter an amputee. And if so, can you really ask them questions? Say you encounter a guy at the grocery store, how likely is it that you'll be like, "Dude, do you ever get phantom pains?" Exactly, you wouldn't.

It's because of that awkwardness, and basically rudeness, that I wear pants in public. Most of my friends and family say, "Who cares what other people think? Who cares if they stare? Just wear your shorts and skirts, fuck 'em!" That's easy for someone not in my shoes to say. Don't get me wrong, it's not that I really care what other people think of me. I just don't want to be the center of attention every where I go. I want to be able to walk in to the convenient store and not have everyone staring at me like I was a leper. Don't think that happens? OH BOY DOES IT!! Let's just say that I used the convenient store example based on experience. But around my house or when I go to my friends or family's house, I'm wearing shorts. Weather permitting of course.

So anyway, there you have it. My take on being an amputee. All you other's with two good legs, can lick my stump!! =)

Deep Throat of the Day: If CowPig's leg broke, would gravy pour out?

32 comments:

Alicat said...

So, do you get phantom pains? I thought I would be the first to break the ice. Kidding! Since I have only been reading your blog and commenting for a few months now I really dont know anything about your situation and before I would never ask. It's like one of those things where, if you don't know that the person is ok with talking about it you definately don't want to step over some boundary, ya know?

Maine said...

You know this, because I always tell you, but... we've all got differences, but we don't all wear our differences on the outside.

Missing a foot is no worse than having heart disease or a missing appendix. The only differences are the visibility and the fact that I'll never ask you to play on my basketball team with me. I can't see the real reasoning behind treating somebody differently based on it.

I swear, I don't even think about your foot until you make me.

Grant said...

Have you considered buying a hollow prosthetic so you can sneak booze into movies and such?

hotdrwife said...

My father-in-law lost his arm in a hunting accident when he was a little kid.

This weekend, my nephew (6.5) noticed it was gone and asked if it was "broken". He told him the arm had been gone a long time.

My nephew thought about it and said, "Well, then how to count to 10??"

Pure honesty, and damn, if it didn't crack us all up.

april said...

Alicat: I know exactly what you're talking about. That's why I try to make people comfortable around me and the situation. And to answer your question, YES!! I do get phantom pains every single day. It's crazy because I can tell you exactly where on my foot it's hurting too. Like I could say, the arch of my foot hurts, or my big toe is killing me. They don't last long, but hurt like a bitch. Sometimes they hurt so bad, my leg will jump up as a reflex. It's crazy.

Maine: Sorry to make you think about it!! But listen, I'd like to play basketball with you sometime. Don't exclude me!!

Grant: I have a hollow foot that I put my keys, lighter and lipgloss in when I go to a bar or club. Which really isn't often......

Hottie: That is too cute!! When my niece's or nephews see me they always ask what happened. Kids are better about it than adults because they're not affraid to ask.

Mojotek said...

Very admirable April. I wish I could say I'd have an attitude like that if I was ever put into your position... but in reality I don't think I could. I think I'd be too weak to stay positive for myself and those around me. Big ups to you for sure!

A.J. said...

So................when this stump-licking fest happens, I'm getting an invitation,.....right?

mikey said...

I'm like Maine. I don't think of you as April with the missing foot. You're April.

April with the nice rack, that is.

Seriously though... I'll admit, I'm usually one of those people who feels sorry for... how do I say this delicately? Disabled folks. But I try my absolute BEST not to let it affect how I treat them. People like you make it easy - you make no bones about how you don't want people to act around you. I respect that.

So, while I'll still refuse to call you "gimpy," I definitely see you and will treat you just as I treat my other friends.

(I'm not saying that for a pat on the back or anything - it's more for me. I'm trying, but I sometimes have to remind myself that feeling sorry for people doesn't help them, and I would never ever ever want to be "patronizing" like that. Thank you for the reminder.)

Maine said...

I'd destroy you on the basketball court. Destroy you like a 5'4" one legged woman. Then I'd unzip my head and spray you with fire to finish you.

"Scorpion wins."

Randi said...

On a very moving episode of Golden Girls the other day, Blanche was nervous about dating a man in a wheel chair. He told her (and I'm paraphrasing here) that he was the same as her until an accident happened. It's too bad more peeps don't watch Golden Girls.

april said...

Mojotek: Most people say the same thing as you. They don't think they could handle it the way I do. But I disagree. Sure, at first it will be difficult, but then you get over it. I think you'd be just fine!! But thank you very much!! *hugs*

A.J.: You'll be the first one mailed!!

Mikey: Ok, you don't have to call me Gimpy. I'm happy with April with the nice rack!! =) I would pat you on the back if I saw you. Because you deserve it!

Maine: I'd beat you on the head with my titanium leg so you couldn't destroy me on the court or burn me with your fire shooting head. SONYA WINS!!

Randi: I love me some Golden Girls! I haven't seen that episode, though.

The Lily said...

That is an awesome outlook. I wish more fed employees had that outlook. Then maybe the government would actually function.

Itchy said...

Well...since you brought it up:
http://today.reuters.com/news/articlenews.aspx?type=oddlyEnoughNews&storyid=2006-03-06T145733Z_01_N037080_RTRUKOC_0_US-LIFE-LEGS.xml

Thought you'd wanna see that.

RE: CowPig. If gravy did pour out, do you think she'd put it on her lunch?

(like how I completely ignored how adult this coversation has been?)

Kira said...

Yes, embrace it! It's really the best way to deal with the new circumstance. Sometimes things happen that are fixable, and in those cases...fix 'em. If not, move on. There's nothing else to do. I would probably do as you do and just wear pants in public even though I'm a chiquita banana nose because...well, sometimes it just must get tiring to know you're the center of attention and a bunch of people might interrupt your errands with questions.

I've got a better suggestion of where we could lick, April :) Well, unless the operation moved your clit to your stump. Then we can keep it at "lick April's stump."

Lisa said...

Just wanted to say "Hi" and your awesome!

JJ said...

Hmmm... Since you're welcoming questions...

Ever have fun with any amputee fetishists? And by "fun," I mean "sex."

Ever throw your prosthetic at someone in anger? *foot flies across the room and hits their face* "Ha! I just kicked you in the face!"

Ever pull a prank on someone who didn't know about it? Like at a paty, you could whip out the stump when no one's looking then grab your leg and start screaming. "My foot! Oh my god, what happened to my foot?!?!"

Dark Damian said...

Fuck anyone who would stare at you like you were some kind of freak. They don't have a leg to stand on.


(I HAD to, April. You know me. I couldn't resist. It was a hanging curveball, and I was Barry Freakin' Bonds.)

JJ said...

Ummm... *party*

april said...

Clairebell: Send all the hot fed employee's my way and I'll try to fix 'em up JUUUUST RIIIIGHT!!

Itchy: YAY SHE GOT THE BACK!!! And I DIDN'T FUCKING TAKE THEM, DAMMIT!! Yes, CowPig would certainly use the gravy for her lunch.

Kira: If people asked questions, rather than stared, I'd wear shorts all the time. But they don't. It's amazing how many people look at you like you're mentally challenged or have some sort of infectious disease. That's the truth. IT'S A FUCKING LEG!!!! (or lack there of) I like your idea of where to lick, naughty girl!!

Lisa: HI and right back at ya babe!

JJ: No to the fetish question. I don't think my husband has any amputee fetishes. I was with him when I had the surgery.

I have thought about throwing my leg at someone, yet never acted upon it.

And YES I have scared the shit out of a bunch of 12 y/o kids. My little sister's birtday is the day before holloween so our parents made their yard a haunted walk. They have an actually cemetary where a family was buried in the late 1800's. It's pretty cool. Anyway my stepdad hid in the cemetary with a chainsaw and I laid on the ground and acted like he cut my leg off with it. IT WAS AWESOME!! I think one kid actually peed his pants. But he won't admit it. =)

DD: YOU ARE A DORK!!! Not Barry Bonds, a BIG DORK!! But I still love ya!!

Laurie said...

People are so stupid. I mean, who wouldn't want to be as HOT as you are? Fuck the missing limb.

I'd kick their ass with one leg tied behind my back...er..uh...well you know what I mean.

Ron said...

Yeah I think if you as April with the big rack too. I told you gay men are fascinated by boobs too.

By the way we have officially established that JJ is a freak.

WOULD YOU PLEASE TELL ME WHO COW PIG IS?????

april said...

Laurie: I lub you!! a lot.

Ron: I've a history of gay men who have adored my boobs. And yes JJ IS A FREAK!!!! you can find CowPig HERE There's a link in that post too which references my first post of her. She's a fat, nasty, ugly, MEAN, bitch.

Ron said...

OK after reading that tirade...I love you even more.

JJ said...

I admit it. I'm a freak.

fyrchk said...

I love you and miss you.

dukethor said...

Well, on one hand, of course, I admire you for handling ALL you've gone thru so well. And on the other, if something were to happen to me, in the end, sure, I hope I'd be able to handle it withe the same style and flare.

I mean, it's coming. My family history shows it. My father just beat cancer for the 4th time, and the prostate cancer might be coming back. My back problems are some kind of auto-immune disease, and might be MS. When I heard that, honestly, my first thought was, "So...will I still be able to type?"

Then I thought, hey, what would be better than MS with the symptoms of an enlarged prostate? All the benefits of a wheelchair without the mess of diapers. I'm all over that!

On top of that, I want to hear the questions. "What's it like to be in a wheelchair?" "It's like sitting on your ass all day. What's it like to have two working legs, dipshit?"

That's just wrong of me, isn't it? :)

schmims said...

I always got that vibe from you. That you're like, "hey this is what happened to me. now moving on..." That's why I like you! I've never heard of phantom pains, I've just heard of itching where the body part that was amputated used to be. What causes that medically? The nerves in the stump? Or the brain?

I would wear a skirt anyway. I love to be the center of attention though it rarely happens. And when I caught someone staring, I'm make a smart ass joke and grin. And I'd be a pirate every year for Halloween. I would definately live that one up.

Deep throat of the comment section: Girls with big boobs work at Hooters. Girls with one leg work at IHOP. What about you?

april said...

Damn, and here I thought you liked me for my uncanny resemblance of Punky Brewster!! =)

What causes phantom pains and itching in the missing limb is the neurons in the brain. See, the foot is gone along with all of it's nerves. However, my brain does not know this so it still sends pulses down to the nerves that are not there. It's pretty fascinating. To me anyway.

Re: your deep throat comment....you cracked me the fuck up!! But unfortunately girls with big boobs and one leg do medical billing. I don't recommend it!

schmims said...

That's so weird. How does your brain not know you don't have a foot if you know you don't have a foot. Like you, I'm fascinated by the science of it all.

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