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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

And now...The Reveal

It's funny to me how people apologize when they ask about my limp and I tell them I have a fake leg. I try to show them I am comfortable with it and I don't mind talking about it. I kinda have to be since I'm stuck with it until they make bionic legs or full limb transplants. I read about how doctors are using salamander DNA to grow back fingers (on humans), since salamanders can regenerate their own lost body parts. I wish I could do that, but since my loss of limb is due to a genetic disorder, I would just grow back another defective leg. (sigh)

Ok, enough about lizard limbs and damaged DNA, I wanted to share my experience of telling people about my leg and their reactions. Adults usually show little reaction. The braver ones ask how I lost it and will assume it was due to some accident. When I was younger,I told a person a shark had bitten it off. He didn't believe me. I guess this proves I'm a very bad liar. My best friend has two children. As they grew from infant to toddler, they would stare at my leg and reach out to touch the prosthesis then touch my other leg. Then they would touch both at the same time, then touch their own leg. I would knock on the top where the hard plastic is not covered by foam rubber and they would knock on their own knee. Since it didn't make the same sound, they would knock on mine and we would spend several minuets doing this. When they got old enough to ask about it. I told them it was my barbie doll leg. Jamie, the girl, thought this was funny. Noah insisted it was not a barbie doll leg. So I said it was a robot leg. He accepted that.

I am student teaching right now and I debated on telling my students about my leg or not. I had this small fear that it would scare them or make them reject me. I was silly. It didn't bother them at all! I explained how my old leg was broken and the doctors had to make me a new one. I showed them one of my old prosthesis. There was some EWWS and OOHHS and WEIRDS but they all wanted to hold it. I think its amazing how children can be so accepting of what is different when you explain it in a way that they can relate to. As long as you have a positive attitude about it, so will they.

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