Sometimes, the best step a new amputee can
take doesn't require a prosthesis at all.
Suffering an amputation is traumatic and isolating. It's embarrassing for the amputee. There are no obvious peers and in many cases, people will choose isolation and ignorance over outreach. They default to sticking their head in the sand and hoping it will all go away. Some people face some different challenges than others. Those accustomed to feeling independent typically view amputation as a direct challenge to their independence, and isolate themselves quickly or compensate with other strategies. While those who are strong social communicators tend to become sad and down about their loss and openly express their grief while trying desperately to hide their new “deformity”.
These are normal, if not very helpful feelings. And one of the greatest strengths of our peer program is that it helps new amputees find acceptance and healing without this fruitless sense of shame or isolation. Our peer counselors help new amputees feel they are already normal even as they adapt to a new normal. They intercede in a positive and open way, often creating immediate camaraderie with the new amputee. The presence of someone else who has gone through the process creates a bond of trust and in some way opens the new amputee’s eyes to his or her own future. They immediately relate to the peer.
This has been such a wonderful, energetic and synergistic program for AtlanticProCare’s patients -- and for the peers themselves. The peers find it a great way to give back and to help others in ways they that they know would have been helpful to them when they went through their own amputations. They know, often before the new amputee realizes it, that they have done a great service.
Our method of patient engagement fosters these peers and encourages their desire to give back. They learn about the process here, participate in it. They don’t just receive a leg or an arm. They become junior prosthetists, who are well versed in teaching amputees. No one knows better than they do!
If you are interested in being matched with one of our peer counselors, call us at 1 877 538 8825 or email our office.