15 Things I Have Learned Since Becoming A Leg Amputee

  1. Some days the leg slips right on without a catch, while other days it take several tries to get it right. I have to factor in time to put on my leg as part of morning routine.
  2. Hopping has become a necessary skill. With determination it is astonishing what you can accomplish on one leg. I’ve got hopping mastered.
  3. My stump is the amazing shrinking limb, even when I think there is nothing left but skin and bone. A few weeks later I am adding socks to take up yet more space in the prosthetic socket.IMG_1793
  4. My Facebook timeline always has an amputee story or picture on it. Every time anyone who knows me stumbles upon anything about a leg amputee (human or animal) on social media, they tag me and share it.
  5. People are curious. I have made myself transparent (open) to help others, however people who don’t know me often start the conversation with, “Is it okay if I ask how you lost your leg?” I have had some of the most fascinating and rewarding conversations with people who had the courage to ask.IMG_1200
  6. A good one-legged sense of humor goes a long way. Poking some one-legged fun at myself immediately puts people at ease and lets them know I am comfortable with my situation and approachable.foam roll
  7. I live my life as a strong confident person (not an amputee), but I always take advantage of “bragging rights”. As a 51-year-old leg amputee I have accomplished physical things most two-legged people never do, so damn right I’m going show my skills off!


    30 feet up a climbing chimney.

  8. Saying I walk comfortably is a relative thing. After over a year of walking with a prosthesis, I started to have small windows where it hits me that I am walking comfortably. For the most part walking in a prosthesis always has a certain amount of discomfort; it just becomes the norm and I have come to tolerate it because being able to walk on two legs overrides the discomfort.
  9. Compared to getting a leg cut off, a colonoscopy is a walk in the park.
  10. Many people seem to think my prosthetic leg is permanently attached. I don’t sleep in it or shower in it and my stump sometimes just needs a break. I personally love hanging out one legged; my prosthesis is the tool I use to walk. It’s like wearing a tight work boot all day – when I want to relax, it needs to come off.
  11. I have picked up some new language that only an amputee might say. These include, “I will be ready as soon as I attach my leg”, “My leg has become loose”, “I need to take my leg off” and “My nonexistent foot has gone to sleep”, just to name a few.
  12. My two most valuable possessions are my prosthesis and my crutches. My prosthetic leg is my baby, my working transportation mode. My crutches are my comfy slippers, always there when my stump is sore from a long day and next to my bed ready for quick use during bathroom trips.posseions
  13. I am human, and just like anyone else I will get upset or have a bad day. It has nothing to do with being an amputee.
  14. A leg is a very valuable thing. There’s no denying that a real leg is extremely valuable to have, but a prosthetic one is very pricey. Health insurance only pays for one, and even then the co-pay on a leg can be thousands of dollars. 
  15. Living a full, active, happy life is all about your attitude. Living on one leg is not an easy thing to do; sometimes plain and simple it just sucks. A positive attitude and an avenue to pull yourself back from the dark spots is an absolute necessity. For me, pounding out some one-legged box jumps and one-legged tire flips at the gym is the best antidepressant I can find.30 box jump
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About Darryl Partridge

I am a husband, father of three and amputee. I was active all my life, a Certified Ski Instructor, DYI enthusiast and Elementary Special Education Teacher. My life came crashing down when I was 42 years old after suffering a life changing ankle injury. I endured six ankle surgeries that forever changed the anatomy of my lower left leg, ten leg casts, recovery time on crutches that added up in the years and debilitating pain. In the end wound up with a deformed lower leg, chronic pain and unable to walk without crutches. Oh yeah, I also lost my teaching job after the third surgery. Being left a 47 year old unemployed disabled father. I took two years to rebuilt my life using crutches full time, achieving a new career in public health and preparing to amputate my leg. I amputated my lower left leg 9/24/14, 15 months post amputation became a NASM Certified Personal Trainer. Follow me on my life without limits journey as an amputee. I now hope my stories will help others find some support and comfort in living with their disabilities. Explore my website Lifebeyond4limbs.com .com to read my story.
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