I would have to say that it took me about 6 months to one year to become proficient with my new limb. Getting used to daily amputee life took a little longer. Going to the beach, which we did constantly, was a little more difficult now. It was complicated in funny ways, like putting my limb on in public used to embarrass the hell out of me. Also, we used to swim in the Niagara River/Chippawa Creek, which mostly meant diving in up river and floating downstream a mile or two. I felt like a bit of a freak at times, noticing people staring at me. My girlfriend or somebody would have to carry my limb and crutches down river to where I would get out.
I persevered, however, and gradually, time did its’ thing, and I became “normal” again, whatever that is. I returned to school and life went on.I think the main thing that helped me adjust during those two years, was the fact that it was me who got to make the final decision for the amputation. I remember lying fully conscious in the operating room, while they sawed my cast off for the fifth and final time. When the cast was removed, they actually pulled out a pin and stuck it up and down my leg to see if there was any feeling, just like in the movies!. I could feel it in my foot region, but nothing from mid thigh to mid calf. The next day, all my doctors came around and presented me with the facts.
To this day, I know that my attitude going in was very good because I had made the decision. From day one, I was only concerned with getting on with life. I didn’t have the “poor me” attitude for very long at all.With the support of my friends and family, I was determined not to let this slow me down. I didn’t want to be considered “disabled”. Life for me was going to be much like it was before my accident.