There are periods I can only wear my artificial leg for a short span of time. On these occasions I use it just to do the very nescessary or very nice activities. The time left on one leg I am using accessories to help me getting through life.
Which unfortunately has been the case very often in the three years after my amputation. So I feel very lucky having them all:
In earlier days I was fast on the keyboard with two fingers only. Nowadays I'm slowed down a lot because I can only use one. I type mistakes very often so I always use spelling checkers afterwards.
In spite of this setback my computer gives me access to interesting information and nice contacts. I've learned a lot of people and visited many sites about amputation, prosthesis and components, complications, partners in misfortune, organisations etcz.
Through websites, amputation mailgroups, messageboards and direct contacts, national and international.
That's why I made this webside. It would have been great for me, if I could have learned all I wrote down in this site from another website myself. For those, who have to go through experiences alike (which I do not hope), they can use my story for their hopes, descisions and ideas.
All this makes the computer a very usefull instrument in my rehabilitation and getting into life and work again after my accident.
Before the accident I had periods I of very active sporting. But also during less fanatical times I kept taking care of my physical condition well.
The fact, that I had a trained and healthy body (and do not smoke) has without doubt influenced my healing proces and rehabilitation positively.
Back in the hospital, just amputated I was busy thinking what kind of sports would be possible for me in the future.
During rehabilitation I started again carefully. First with fitness to reshape my miserable shrunken muscles from laying in hospital beds for months. Man, you see your legs and arms shrink more every day!
I started playing table tennis because this sport is perfect to exceed your limits during the game. First in wheelchair but later on standing up with my prosthesis.
I'm still playing table tennis at the moment at a small and cosy sportsclub for disabled: AVAS-BRAVO in Apeldoorn. Most of the time in my sports wheelchair.
A good sport that I started practicing seriously during my rehabilitation is swimming. At the start it's difficult to get your stroke technics back like before, but now with only one leg.
But I learned quickly and after some training my crawl was even better than before the accident. After some time I could swim one kilometer or more varying different strokes. It helped a lot with making my paralized shoulder and arm mobile again.
Sports I practised before my accident like karate (1st dan Wado-kai) and jiujitsu were very difficult with only one leg or with my unsuccesful prosthesis. A good arm- and legfunction is very important in fighting and falling technics. Maybe later, when my arm, hand and leg are better usable I can start again.
Another form of recreation I used to practice before my accident was target shooting.
I worked as a salesman in the gun- and ammunition bussines for sporting, hunting and law enforcement purposes. Target shooting was a part of my job which I enjoyed greatly.
Two major problems with starting target shooting again after the accident: my balance (mostly comming from the ankle joints) needed for sighting a gun; and safely gunhandling with the lack of feeling in my left fingers. Without looking I do not know exactly where my fingers are: can cause very unsafe situations with firearms!
An active shooting disciplin I practised is combat shooting. A dynamic form of shooting fast and accurate in various situations while moving at the range; with pistol or revolver.
The function disabilities in my left hand make it impossible to participate the training and matches in my present condition.
Precision shooting with long-distance rifles is more which isn't possible with my limitations. Both the shooting and handloading my own ammunition what I used to do. The very first sport I practiced fanaticly when I was young was boxing. I started at fifteen and trained for almost two years intensely. Mike my son, the same age now was looking for a new sport. Together with him I took the challenge, we started boxing on a boxing school: the ABCC here in town. An outstanding school with 2 Dutch champions and good trainers.
I myself train at a lower level and only if I'm able to wear my prosthesis ofcourse.
I can take it easy on the legwork when suffering from cramps and continue training with my upper body. Have to take care of not getting too much punches if I'm too static in my movements however! A matter of good defence technics.
I like boxing and will continue training when getting more mobile in the future.
One time, autumn 2003 I got the opportunity to experience a testdive specially for disabled, organized by the IAHD (International Ass. for Handicapped Divers). How I enjoyed myself scuba diving! Never knew it was that nice to do! Made me so enthousiastic for this kind of sport.
I discovered how exciting it is to relax, floating almost weightless in the water. Not having to move, not missing any bodypart. Discover new limits and experiences without being confronted with disabilities.
Moving under water without having to care about a prosthesis, about taking care not to fall and enjoying a complete different world.
I'm glad to experience something I haven't known before my accident. Something new to me which I aquired after my accident, something I don't have to compare with before. Something new I found as a disabled.
I would very much like to continue scuba diving
I planned to attend a diving-course when all the wounds are healed; and when I raised the nescessary financial funds ofcourse.