Amputee New Years' Resolutions

42 Amputee New Year’s Resolutions 

It’s time to make your amputee New Years’ resolutions. This means reevaluating your physical and mental recovery. With five hundred new amputees every day in the United States may mean this is your first New Year’s with a new body image and limb loss to deal with. It is time to create a recovery plan if you don’t have one or see what needs to be refined if you have been using an existing one. As we get ready to change our calendars, we also need to be prepared for the barrage of social media posts that will talk about new year’s resolutions. However, new year’s resolutions can be completely overwhelming, especially if your body doesn't cooperate.

My Own Standard of Health 

Measure your well-being using your own standard of health. Social media will always make it easy for us to compare our progress against those of someone else’s. Yoga may be a great lifestyle choice for your friends, it might not be right for you. Don’t force it. Do what is right for your body right now. Maybe you are new to the amputee journey. This may mean focusing on your physical therapy sessions or amputee training sessions instead. There is time to get into amputee yoga or prosthetic running in the future if it’s what you want. For more seasoned amputees knowing that you must have cardio exercise every day or face a shortened lifespan.

Honor Your Body and Listen to It

We can learn from teenage girls whose brutal self-examination of their body image can give us insight into how to recognize its self-destructive consequences. Someone can push themselves to run with their prosthesis for two miles instead of one, However, this may not be you.  You might be better off sticking to one mile and giving yourself time to rest. There’s a prevailing notion in the health and fitness industry to “push your limits.” However, there is also value in listening to your body and stopping when you’re tired. There will always be another day when you feel up for the challenge. This is all part of adjusting your amputee new years’ resolutions. 

Rest and Relax More

Amputation gives us insight into how the body works. It lives in cycles that have been disturbed with civilization turning night into day. Overworking has become the ultimate badge of success. However, rest is also essential to avoid burnout and allow your body to repair itself. You know your body best, and you know if a nap will improve your focus and overall quality of life. It is a combination of adequate rest and daily cardio-vascular exercise that prevents the amputee from shortening their lives by five years or more.  Another factor obstructing a restful sleep is phantom pain. Several studies show a direct connection between incidents of chronic pain that goes untreated and sleep disturbance. 

Ask For Help More

An amputation cuts into your independence severely. Some of us already had a problem asking someone to do something for them.  If you don’t ask for help in your initial healing you stand a greater chance of falling and prolonging your recovery. Not asking for help in the beginning of your recovery makes it that much harder. As you achieve much of your return to your previous mobility and your lifestyle is getting back to what it was before you still need assistance from time to time. It is a stronger person that asks for some assistance rather than quietly suffering. Realize that people around you are willing to help you. You only need to ask.

Don’t Apologize For Being Honest About Your Struggles.

Coping with limb loss is compared to the loss of your significant other. Many amputees fear showing others the physical pain and emotional anguish they are experiencing. They may feel pressured always to put on a brave face and make the situation less uncomfortable for the people around them. However, keeping up the charade will tire you out. Being a silent sufferer only makes you a martyr. The world needs more honesty. If you feel the need to share your struggles, don’t apologize for it. Your experience may help others who are struggling with the same thing. And your honesty might help the people around you understand what you’re dealing with better.

Celebrate Successes

When you lose a limb you see clearly your faults and limitations. The road to physical and mental recovery looks insurmountable. Ask anyone who endured great hardship and they will tell you to celebrate the successes no matter how small. We are big advocates of celebration, especially when you have achieved something difficult or insignificant. Have you made progress in your amputee training sessions? Or your residual limb doesn’t hurt as much now when you’re wearing your prosthesis because you took the time .to take care of it. Whatever it is, no matter how small it may feel, success must be celebrated. See that you become more energized and motivated to surpass future challenges as a result.

Take Control of Your Healthcare. 

Your healthcare is about you. In the past, you have let the insurance company tell your doctor what can be done to heal you. They exclude the procedures that are “too costly” and limit the number of appointments you can have. Patients develop what psychologists call “learned helplessness” where they accept this because they are convinced they have no other choice. It’s time to resolve to change of your medical care. Only twenty percent of patients take charge of their health care. It is time to stop being one of them. If you get turned down appeal, and complain to the insurance commissioner. Never stop till they endorse your prostheses and fund your recovery plan.

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