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Amputee Life

Amputee Humor: Laughing Behind the Scenes

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When you go through something like flesh-eating bacteria and amputations, you really need to look at it with an open mind.  If you don’t use humor as a way to cope, you’ll be crying all the time. Join me as I share some of the amputee humor and jokes that we share in my family.

Amputee humor:  My first public with horrifying the community

I think our first experience with an out-of-control prosthetic was back when our youngest son, Matt was playing football back in the early days of wearing my prosthetic legs.  While I was sitting in a lawn chair watching the game, I had my legs crossed at the “ankles”. The funny part is, we were at the top of a small hill.

To paint the full picture, let me share the hardware on my prosthetic legs so you understand how they work. My legs work on what’s called a pin system. I wear rubber liners with pins that are probably 2 inches long at the bottom.  When I put my legs on, I step into a socket and the pin snaps into place so the leg locks on. This is how I’m able the securely walk without losing my legs.  The liners stick to my legs and the pins attach to the socket that contains the rest of the leg. If you would like a better visual check out  Amputee life: 5 things I do differently than you do.

The other team scores!

My legs have buttons on them that release the pin so I can take them off at night.  So there I am with my legs crossed calmly watching my son play football. Wait! Can you really be calm while your kid is playing football?  Nevertheless, I’m minding my own business. What I didn’t realize at the time was that when I crossed my legs, I accidentally popped the button on my prosthetic, so when it came time to stand up, my leg had come undone.

The next thing I know I was making a public scene because my leg had fallen off and started to roll down the hill.  From, that position it took the help of my awesome hubby to put me back together. The running amputee joke was that Matt thought it was great that I had lost my leg because it was a great distraction to the other team and our team could have the advantage.

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We live in a calm country road and the norm and expected thing to do is to wave at your neighbor if they are walking or driving past you.  I often wonder what they think I’m doing when I do my version of waving, which is putting my nub in the air. Do they think I’m waving or flipping them off?  I just don’t know but it’s always good for a laugh. I still think it’s better than not acknowledging our neighbor at all, right?

Amputee humor:  Don’t make me take your leg off!

My daughter, Megan has a warped sense of humor. We could be having a regular conversation or be horsing around.  However, if I say something to annoy her, she has been known to, without any warning mind you, reach over and pop the button on my leg and take it off.  I can’t tell you how many times she’s said something to the effect of, “Mom, don’t make me take your leg off!”

Megan has since moved out and I miss her like crazy. Although knowing her, she will threaten me like that for the rest of my life. I could be 80, sitting in my wheelchair and she’ll reach over and snatch my leg. Gotta love that girl! Oh, the joy of amputee humor!

I often wonder what people think when they first encounter me

What do they think when they try and shake my hand and I hand them a nub?  They’re probably thinking, “What kind of crazy amputee joke is this?”  I always get a kick at the look on their face in that moment of panic when they’re thinking, “Oh no, what do I do with that thing?” Trust me when I tell you that it’s awkward for me too. I’m not a fan of hand-to-nub shakes. I’m not a huge fan of hugs either but sometimes it’s just a better choice.

My feet are electric and they adjust for things like hills, stairs, and uneven terrain.  They have an adaptive microprocessor controlled ankle. The motor-powered ankle motion increases toe clearance when I walk or climb by raising the forefoot, reducing the risk of trips and falls. It also adjusts the ankle angle to changing terrain, providing more stable foot placement on stairs and inclined surfaces.

My love-hate relationship with my prosthetic feet

This sounds like a good thing.  However, there may be times that I will be walking at a gate that is faster than normal.  What happens then is that the ankle adapts mid-stride and from my perspective, it feels like it’s launching me forward.  It’s not unusual for others in the house to hear me yell the words “I hate these feet” from across the house. My greatest fear is that I’m going to get “launched” on the way to the bathroom one of these days and give myself a swirly!  Can you imagine?

Obviously, I have many limitations when it comes to helping around the house.  With the exception of a couple of crock pot tricks, I don’t do a lot of cooking.  That makes me sad because I have always loved cooking.  Now, I  fold clothes as my contribution to helping out around the house. I have my own method of folding which gets the job done.  However. I’m no Marie Kondo.

Our washer and dryer are located in the basement. Since I’m unable to climb the stairs without help, Mike does the washing and I do the folding.  We have a beautiful large garden bathtub and he is threatening to pull that out and replace it with the washer and dryer. I don’t get to use the bathtub at all because I cannot get in or out of it myself, but I would rather look at that than make my beautiful bathroom into a laundry room.

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My hilarious amputee swimming experience

Let me tell you another reason that I cannot use the bathtub and my experience with swimming.  I have learned the hard way that without my feet to weigh me down, my legs are extremely buoyant. It’s completely comical and actually unsafe to take a bath.  Once I am in the bathtub, my very buoyant legs rise to the top of the water.  This makes me slide down under the water.  It sounds horrifying, but it makes for great amputee humor.  So it’s probably best to shower instead of bathe.

Last year we went to Missouri to attend the wedding of our youngest son, Matthew to his wife Samantha.  I was anxious to try swimming so we found a pool that had a handicapped lift. To use the lift, I sat down, took off my legs and it slowly lowered me into the water. The plan was, once I got in the water, I would jump off the lift and swim, Tah Dah!

Floaty Potatoes

Well, that was a great plan. However, I had forgotten about the weightlessness of my legs.  Add that to the fact that it was a saltwater pool and that means my legs were what we refer to as floaty potatoes.  My upper body, however, didn’t float.  It sank. Thankfully, my kids were right there to save me.

So if you can picture this, I jumped or swam off of the lift chair.  When I scooted off of the lift chair, my legs skyrocketed to the top of the water.  Then my backside sunk and I somehow flipped over so I was face down in the water.  Without feet, there was nothing to kick with so I couldn’t swim. I got a horrible cramp in my thigh so I needed my kids to pull up out of the water.  What a mess! I wanted to swim so badly.

When I was failing at my efforts to swim, we were laughing so hard. It was hilarious and frightening all at the same time.  You should have seen the looks on the faces of the other swimmers.  We couldn’t get a good video, but this is the YouTube video of what happens when Wendy gets in the pool.  As you can see from the video, Megan carried me from one end of the pool to the other.

The moral of that story is you really need hands and feet to swim, or at least flippers, which I now have thanks to my prosthetist who heard this story.

So as you can see, it’s not possible to live in our home without laughter.  We find joy in amputee humor and like to play tricks and freak people out every chance we get.  Like I said earlier, if we weren’t laughing, we would be crying. It’s just really important to use humor as a coping mechanism.  I also think gratitude and happiness are instrumental in a healthy life. Check out the following posts.

Keep smiling, friends. Thank God daily and appreciate the joy and laughter you have in your life.  I’m always open to a good amputee joke so if you know any, please send them my way. By the way, I found some fun products to show you in Amazon.  I wanted to make you laugh and continue on with the amputee humor theme!

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24 Comments

  1. So many parts of this made me chuckle out loud, especially thinking of others watching while you guys laugh. Laughter is contagious. At the football game, at the pool…I’m positive that God is using your laughter, and your attitude to help others see Him.

  2. What a funny post. I love how you find the humor in things and share them with the world. I couldn’t help but laugh quite a bit at the ‘floaty potatoes’.

  3. I have to say thank you for that laugh Wendy! The image of your leg rolling down a hill is just too much!!! It’s such a blessing to be able to find the joy in even hard situations.

  4. Oh my goodness – the idea of your leg rolling down the hill had me laughing hard! It’s definitely important to laugh when you can!

    1. I know, hilarious right? I’m glad we can all laugh about it. You should’ve seen the looks on the others in the crowd. Priceless!

  5. I love what you said, that “gratitude and happiness are instrumental in a healthy life” and that humor is critical for you and your family. These are great gifts God gives us! We can find joy in ALL THINGS. Love this!

    1. Hi Blythe,
      Thank you. Yes, I really believe in humor and think it’s so important to laugh so you’re not crying.

  6. Yes! I loved this post. Then again, I love all of your posts, Wendy! The part about your daughter made me laugh. You two must have such a great connection!

    1. Thank you, Sierra. Yes, Megan and I have a great connection. I do with all my kids. Thanks for reading.

  7. 😂😂😂 floaty potatoes. I just laughed out loud so hard I scared my kids haha! You have a fantastic sense of humor. Thanks for sharing, some of these things I would have never thought about like your legs being more buoyant.

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