The Mighty Logo

What People Don't See About Life After My Daughter's Limb Amputation

The most helpful emails in health
Browse our free newsletters

How’s Callie doing? We get asked that a lot. We have a huge tribe and a lot of people that care about our little warrior. It seems like a simple enough question, but sometimes it’s not. I never know exactly how to answer it.

If you don’t live with us 24/7, it’s hard to explain. On the outside, you can see her walking with her prosthetic and living her life to the fullest. We will continue to move heaven and earth to make sure she can continue to do so. But what you don’t see is…

The multiple appointments we have to build her legs.

The stress of not knowing when she’s going to hit a growth spurt and simply grow out of her leg — making it painful for her to even wear until a new one can be built.

The focus she has to have when walking in a new leg. The balance and thought she has to put into it until she adjusts to it.

My husband and I washing her sleeve every single night and putting cream on her leg because she can get sores otherwise. Sores mean she can’t wear her leg, and we never want her to be sidelined.

My husband rubbing her leg at night before she goes to bed because she has phantom limb pain. Me stumbling into her room to comfort her when she wakes up in pain in the middle of the night — pain in a limb that’s not even there.

You don’t see us clothes shopping, because finding pants is hard. Finding shoes is hard. Don’t get me started on boots.

You don’t see the calls from the school nurse saying a screw came out of her leg and now she can’t walk, and me having to explain to my bosses that I have to leave work because my daughter will be immobile until we get her leg fixed.

You don’t see her little face when someone points to her leg. The flash of pain when she knows they just made fun of her.

You don’t see her eyes when she realizes something is physically not feasible for her to do.  The light that leaves her eyes and the slump in her shoulders.

You don’t see my heart break when she asks why this has happened to her and why she has to deal with this.

You don’t see the emotional struggle of this for her and our family.

You don’t see how tired we are and how many sleepless nights we’ve had.

You don’t see that I long for you to “get it,” but I also pray you never have to experience it firsthand.

You don’t see that we never want your pity but are humbled, grateful and blessed by your empathy, love and support.

Originally published: May 22, 2019
Want more of The Mighty?
You can find even more stories on our Home page. There, you’ll also find thoughts and questions by our community.
Take Me Home