orange flowers, open bible, living with amputations

The Honest Truth About Living with Amputations

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All Scripture references come from the King James Version of the Holy Bible (KJV)."

One of my goals for One Exceptional Life is to show you how I can get through life as a quad amputee woman and what life looks like to be living with amputations.  Every day is a challenge when you don’t have hands and feet.  But also, every day is a blessing.  Read on for the honest truth about living with amputations.

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Living with Amputations

I love to cook, clean, garden, decorate, travel, try new foods, enter sweepstakes, and blog. I have a whole list of things on my bucket list. Unfortunately,  I can’t just do those things without help so I’m going to share how something as simple as prosthetic legs and a stylus can reveal a whole new world of opportunity for this quad amputee woman.

If you were to look at me first thing in the morning, all you would see is a body with no hands and no feet. In order for me to be successful throughout the day, one of the things this amputee needs is to get put together, like a robot or puzzle.

Since I can’t do that myself, my wonderful husband Mike takes care of me before he goes to work. He usually leaves by 5:00 am so he gets me up around 4:30. Without hands, I cannot put my legs on or dress.

prosthetic legs, living with amputations

How Do Prosthetic Legs Stay On?

I wear acrylic sockets with battery-operated feet. My old legs had bulky batteries attached to the inside of my ankles, as you can see from the above picture. Not to mention they were heavy and frumpy.  But as time goes by, my needs change, and my legs are recreated to adapt. I recently got new, sleeker, slimmer legs. (See the picture below). I will always update and make progress with my legs. These legs were made in 2019. I always got compliments on my butterfly tattoos.

front view of prosthetic legs
side view of prosthetic legs, butterfly tattoos

Updated legs in 2023. My love for butterflies has grown. Butterflies are a sign of transformation. That’s ME! I’ve come out of my cocoon, always growing.

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Completely Independent Without Hands

Then Mike dresses me and I stay up to start my day with prayer and Bible Study. He also makes sure I have a breakfast muffin and some tasty peanut butter crackers for lunch. I can pretty much fend for myself if I find that I need anything else throughout the day.  I find that there aren’t many things this amputee needs to be independent throughout the day.

The most important tools that I use throughout the day when living with amputations are my stylus and my cell phone.  I have found that prosthetic arms are difficult to manage. Plus, they aren’t very user-friendly so I go without them.  I can do everything that I need to do with my stylus.

Amputee with tools for daily life, prosthetics, One Exceptional Life
This is my favorite tool, my stylus.

There’s a lot of activity behind running a blog and a coaching program.  We created a method where I can attach a stylus to my arm. My cell phone goes on the other arm and I can type my blog, send emails, manage my social media, and basically run my business simply and easily.  When it comes time to actually format my blog post, I do that from my laptop, but most everything is done on my phone.  So you can see that living with amputations is manageable with a little creativity.

Amputee tools, phone adapter, One Exceptional Life

Walking with Prosthetic Legs

Prosthetic legs are necessary for me to live a normal life.  In the beginning, it was very hard to stand in these sockets, which I refer to as my legs. It’s pretty much like walking on stilts, it takes a lot of balance. But now that I’m used to them, they’re just a regular part of my body. The benefits of prosthetics help me to be more comfortable while living with amputations.  Walking with two prosthetic legs is a completely normal part of my life.

I find walking a lot easier than standing still. When I’m just standing, I’m pretty wobbly. You’ll often find me holding onto a person, chair, or wall.  There are a lot of muscles working behind the scenes to help me keep my balance. My new legs offer more support. However, I still like to hang onto something or someone for balance.

My foot is electric hydraulic which controls my ankle. This allows me to walk over uneven ground and up and down small hills.  My hydraulic feet make a little noise when I move them. I am truly a bionic woman. I also need to plug my feet in at night.

purple flowers and bible, living with amputations

The Process of Getting New Legs

I found my prosthetist, Tony, while I was in the hospital.  He was referred to me by my physical therapist. The process of creating each individual leg takes a lot of talent on the prosthetist’s part and a lot of trial and error. For more information on the process of making prosthetic legs visit Life After Leg Amputation:  5 Things to Know About Prosthetic Legs.

When Tony makes a new prosthetic leg, I wear them for a few days, then I go back for adjustments.  Initially, it took several months of that process to make the perfect result. We live about an hour away from his office, so I went back and forth quite a bit.

Due to the fact that I am not comfortable driving that far, either my husband takes time off of work to come with me. Plus he enjoys participating in the process.  Going through the adjustment period is a very chaotic and frustrating time. Even though I have comfortable legs now, it’s pretty typical to update and get a new set of legs every five years.  Because the warranty doesn’t last very long and the mechanisms fail over time.

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The Future of Prosthetics

As technology rapidly improves and developments are made in prosthetics, I am excited to see the possibilities that will be available for future legs. The cool part is that I can be as tall or as short as I want to be. With my most recent set of legs, I grew over an inch. I am more comfortable being taller and I walk better with more height.  I’m back to my original height which is 5’8″.

If you would like more information on amputation support you can contact the Amputee Coalition.  They also have a really cool segment on their website called Amplify Yourself, where different amputees share their inspiring stories.  You’ll find my story there as well.

For more of my personal amputee stories, simply visit my About Me section and my Amputee Life Page.  Please remember. I’m an open book. Feel free to ask whatever questions you may have. That’s why we have a comments section on the blog.  I’d rather you ask than stare if you see me, or assume. 

I’ve gotten used to living with amputations.  It’s a normal part of my life now. I’m thankful for the many blessings I’ve been given and I’m always willing to share my story with you.

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  1. I am amazed at how adaptable we are but what impresses me most is your positive attitude. I imagine you experienced your dark times as you grieved the way things used to be, but I find myself encouraged by your attitude every time I read your posts.

    1. Thanks so much, Heather. Oh yes, there was plenty of grieving as well as a big long pity party. But then God reminded me that I was a great witness to others, so here I am!

  2. The Honest Truth About Living with Amputations can be summed up with ONE word Wendy!!! Inspiration, You truly are one of the most amazing women I am blessed to know. I wish you knew how much you encourage me by being YOU! You should really consider speaking at conferences etc…Great Job

    1. Wow, Angie! I truly appreciate that. I don’t know, someday I might speak, if the opportunity presents itself, and the Lord leads. But for now, I’ll keep doing what I do. Thanks so much for your support.

    1. Thank you, Christina. I feel like it’s my job to be a good witness for Christ, all while inspiring people through their challenges. If I can do this, you can do that!

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