No parent ever imagines that they would have to help their child adjust to life without one of their limbs. Unfortunately, sometimes parents have no other choice. Children who are born with congenital condition or need amputation as a result of illness or trauma will need the support of their family members to help them adjust to life without their limb. While it will be a hard, long journey, Excel Prosthetics & Orthotics wants you to know that you’re not alone.
Coping With The Loss
Sometimes grief about a lost limb can be just as debilitating as the loss itself. Adjusting mentally and emotionally to the amputation should start prior to surgery.
As a parent, make sure you stay positive and act as a role model to help your child keep an optimistic outlook. Work with your practitioner to make sure your child fully understands what is going to happen and how they will recover and live a normal life. Education and frequent communication about these challenges will keep your child in the right mindset.
Adjusting to Life with a Prosthesis
After your child comes out of surgery, they’ll need to quickly begin physical therapy and rehabilitation. Children are incredibly adaptable and often adjust to their prosthetic devices faster than most adults. Because they’re still learning, it’s likely that they’ll adapt quickly with the help of physical therapy.
As your child’s residual limb heals and becomes stronger, your certified prosthetist will begin fitting your child with their first device. Make sure your practitioner fully educates you and your child on proper adaptation and care to their new device. This includes keeping the residual limb clean and protected by a sock and knowing when a prosthetic isn’t fitting correctly.
Embracing The Challenge
Children are as physically resilient as they are mentally. Encourage your child to embrace the fact that they may not be like everyone else. Let them be open and honest about the emotions and challenges they go through and make sure they aren’t afraid to share their story with others.
It’s also important to make sure they have the best support system possible. Whether that’s getting involved in organizations like the Amputee Coalition of America or a sport, having others around them will assure them that they don’t have to go through this change alone.
Excel Prosthetics & Orthotics has had the opportunity to change children’s lives with prosthetic and orthotic devices. Our supportive staff and knowledgeable practitioners are eager to help your family through the process. Contact us to find out how we can help today.