“I actually know exactly what you’re talking about. I’m a congenital below-elbow amputee myself.”
I don’t think I’ve ever said that on a call at work before.
But, I said it today.
A woman called to express her concerns about our health insurance company’s lack of available prosthetists (according to her). When I revealed our similarity, I could tell she was both surprised and relieved. “There’s not many of us around, ya know!” she said. I listened intently as she explained the situation and agreed knowingly when she described an issue she had with one of the providers. I promised her, as someone who understands the situation well, that I would get the information to the decision-makers.
At the end of the conversation I told her I have a website and she was so excited about it. She said she’s always looking for people, especially those with the i-Limb Hand. Then, somewhat randomly, she said, “Ya know when people ask how lost your arm? That drives me nuts! I didn’t lose it!” It was great! We laughed and talked about the funny things people ask, like, “Are you right or left-handed?”
My favorite part of the conversation was when she was explaining what the hand means to her. “Since I grew-up without my hand, the difference with the i-Limb Hand is incremental; not night and day. But, like, I’m the president of an association and last night I held my script with my i-Limb Hand and the microphone with the other during a presentation. I got to move! I couldn’t have done that a couple years ago,” she said.
It was a blast to talk to her and to hear her experience. We were both born missing part of a limb and raised well, but have very different perspectives. And they both work for us! I haven’t worn a prosthetic in over 20 years and she’s rocking an i-Limb Hand at the age of 65! Anything is possible.
As I tell all parents of limb-different kids (and will until I’m dead)…just love your kids and do your best. Everything will work out.
If you’re unfamiliar with the i-Limb hand, here’s a short video of one in action: