Hey everyone! I’m going to share some insight into my life as an amputee with you all today; I’ll talk about my own conditions, what I’ve struggled with and how I’ve overcome some of the difficulties that I’ve faced!

I’ll start by introducing myself – I’m Amy! A 20 year old amputee from Birmingham, England.

I was born with a congenital defect called PFFD (don’t worry – most people I encounter have never heard of it!) and I am also missing the pinky fingers on both of my hands. However, my hands don’t impact my everyday life the way that amputation does.

What is PFFD?

Proximal femoral focal deficiency (PFFD), also known as Congenital Femoral Deficiency (CFD), is a rare, non-hereditary birth defect that affects the pelvis, particularly the hip bone, and the proximal femur. The disorder may affect one side or both, with the hip being deformed and the leg shortened.

The femur bone I was born with was around the size of a fingernail; so my deformed limb was very tiny as you can imagine!

Because of this condition, I have had to wear a prosthetic leg my whole life and have undergone operations to fix the deformed leg, including having the foot amputated.

What has been your biggest struggle, and how have you overcome it?

My biggest struggle has definitely been with my own self confidence.

I always hated the body that I was born with because of my disability; I desperately wanted to be ‘normal’ and have perfect legs and hands like all the girls that I grew up around.

I’d avoid joining in activities out of fear it would draw attention to my leg; as much as I wanted to dance or play sports, I just couldn’t because of low self confidence and paranoia that people would ridicule me because of my disability.┬áSometimes I’d even avoid walking and just stay seated when I could because I didn’t want any one to notice my limp.

I overcame all of this when I started to think about younger disabled children and how I’d want them to feel – I didn’t feel ashamed of anyone else with a disability, so why was I so ashamed of myself? I realized that if I met a disabled child I would tell them to never let their disability affect them in a negative way; and that was the day I changed my outlook on everything.

I decided at that point to create a blog talking about my disability and sharing my experiences as a disabled person, covering topics that many could relate to; not just the disabled!

Since I started my blog I’ve received messages from parents of disabled children saying my blog has helped their child – and that is the reason I will never stop. it’s unbelievably rewarding to know what you’re doing is helping others; even if it’s just one person!

I can’t wait to try swimming and some sports this summer, something I’ve always avoided because of low self esteem. I cannot wait to see my confidence continue to grow.

What is wearing a prosthesis like for you?

Imagine you’re constantly wearing a pair of shoes that just don’t feel quite right! Ha, this is the only way I can describe it!

I’m so much comfier without my prosthetic leg on; I get so excited to take it off and RELAX! It’s like there’s something foreign on my body that isn’t mean to be there.

My prosthesis does cause me pain sometimes – usually from wearing it for too long. I get sores, rashes and the strain of wearing a prosthetic leg my whole life has really taken a toll on my lower back.

To ease the strain on my body, I use my crutches and wheelchair – they really help and let me enjoy the feeling of being free without my prosthetic leg!

As much as I enjoy not wearing my prosthesis at home; I’m of course grateful for the freedom that it gives me. I am grateful to be able to walk (even when in pain) as it’s something that many people around the world aren’t able to do.

My prosthesis stays on with straps around my waist and they do have to be pulled pretty tight so can sometimes hurt and dig in; I need the straps as I’m unable to support my weight with my stump… my stump is exceptionally tiny! It’s tiny because as I explained above with PFFD, my deformed limb was so small!

The foot was amputated but the heel was saved and attached to the end of the deformed leg. This is called a Syme amputation and the heel is the strongest skin – this is why a Syme amputation works so well!)

I hope you all enjoyed this post, and if you’d like to know more please feel free to check out my blog/social media accounts below!
www.apffdjourney.wordpress.com
www.twitter.com/apffdjourney
www.instagram.com/apffdjourney
www.facebook.com/apffdjourney

Amy Grana

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