Sunday, June 08, 2003

Tomorrow, I try out my new leg for the first time.

Today feels like the night before Christmas, full of anticipation at what's to come.

I can only guess what it'll feel like when I get up and walk for the first time with an artificial limb; unfamiliar and uncomfortable I'd imagine.

I've been asked to take a pair of shoes with me to the hospital. A pair of shoes. It's been a while since I've needed that. For the last two months just the one shoe has sufficed. All my left shoes are scuffed and worn but the right ones are as good as new!

I'm trying to remind myself that the prosthetic isn't a replacement for my missing foot. No piece of engineering, however sophisticated, can replace skin and bone. Rather it's an alternative to the real thing.

Over the last few days I've been thinking about all the things I won't be able to do with the limb; flex my ankle, wiggle my toes, point my foot left and right. It's hard to imagine that a limb made of carbon fibre and plastic will ever feel like part of me, but in time I'm sure it will. Maybe one day I reach the stage where it feels more "real" to me than the foot it replaced.

So tomorrow really is the first day of the rest of my life -- my new life with an artificial limb.

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