I have been an amputee since February, 2013 as a result of a traumatic injury. My doctors did not give me the option to amputate, but because I am an occupational therapist and a clinical researcher, I researched the outcomes of limb salvage versus amputation and discovered that people have more positive outcomes after amputation than they do with salvage. Armed with this information, I convinced my surgeons to amputate. I am absolutely certain that I made the right decision and I have become much more active since my amputation.
Because I enjoy pushing myself and trying new things, I have become an aerial artist (a type of aerial acrobatics using a trapeze and fabric), mountain biker, and with the help of Amputee Blade Runners, a runner. The ABR team pushed me to compete in several 5K’s with my regular walking prosthesis so I would truly understand the benefit of a running prosthesis once I received it. The running prosthesis makes a huge difference in terms of limb comfort, speed, agility, and confidence.
When people take control of their own health decisions (and by extension their own lives), they are usually much happier and fulfilled. Getting a running leg was yet another way for me to take control of my own fitness goals and remove limitations I might have due to the type of adaptive equipment I use.
Since receiving my running leg, I run multiple times per week and have signed up to participate in several 5K’s with a goal of eventually participating in a triathlon.