I was recently looking through old photo albums and I came across an article about 8-year-old me that was published in The Shreveport Times on February 28, 1993. How funny it is to look back at how this reporter captured my attitude towards being an amputee even at age 8!
The story starts out by talking about when I was born and the doctors telling my parents that there was something not quite right with my left leg – namely, I had a large bump on it and it was shorter than my right leg. They quote my mom talking about how she wasn’t sure what to expect and cried for an hour the first time she gave me a bath and washed the little bump on my left leg, but then moves into the present of 1993, at which time my parents knew without a doubt that I could do whatever my heart desired.
The photo below explains that I put my leg under my blanket before going to bed, but it doesn’t explain that I did this so I would have a weapon readily available should a monster or human attack me in the middle of the night. Gotta use what you got!
Anyways, the funniest thing about this article for me are the quotes he cites from my 8-year-old self…
First, I explained why being different makes me lucky.
Then I bragged about having a removable body part, but also pointed out the drawback of forgetting where you left your leg.
After that I matter-of-factly explained that my foot was “loose” before and that’s why they had to amputate it. For those not familiar with fibular hemimelia, there is no fibula bone to stabilize the foot, so those of us born with this condition often have a “floppy foot.” Clearly, that wasn’t going to work for me and I succinctly explained that to him.
Finally, I made sure everyone who saw our family refrigerator would know that I love myself because I’m very nice. (Apparently not very humble, but I was only 8…)
There’s also a quote from my mom that I really love in this article:
My parents didn’t treat me like there was something wrong with me or make me feel like people should feel sorry for me. Instead, they taught me that having a prosthetic leg is an awesome part of who I am, and clearly that had sunk in by the time this reporter talked to 8-year-old me about it. 🙂