For many of us, family gatherings over the holidays are complicated already. (Yes, some people out there have nothing but fun in these situations – but most of us feel a little anxious.) If you’re new to limb loss and still adjusting to your prosthetic device, it might seem even more daunting to think about getting together with family this season.
Here at BioTech, we completely understand how strange it can feel to navigate this new world you’ve entered, and we’ve got some tips to make the holidays go as smoothly as possible. Read on!
Make Your Wishes Clear
Everyone feels differently about losing a limb. If you’re fine talking about it, then go ahead and mention your prosthesis as soon as the first person asks how you are. A casual “I’m good, just still getting used to this thing!” can break the ice immediately and signal to your loved one that you don’t mind discussing your amputation.
However, if you’d rather not be asked about the situation, it may be wise to have a trusted family member communicate that beforehand to everyone who will attend the event. This way, you’ll avoid the covert glances, the hesitant half-questions (“So, about your, uh…”), and the general uncertainty that comes along with these kinds of things. No one will want to handle it poorly, so if you can set out your wishes clearly ahead of time, it will be to everyone’s benefit once the gathering is underway.
Practice Your Answers
If you decide to face the situation head-on and address everyone’s inquiries, you may want to rehearse some answers before you go. This might sound silly, but in the end, it can save you a lot of energy – especially if you’re an introvert!
Think about the five questions you’re most likely to hear. This will vary from person to person, but generally, your family members will probably ask how you’re feeling, how your recovery has gone, how you’re adapting to your prosthesis, and so forth. Consider how much detail you’d like to go into when you answer these questions, and craft an answer that will satisfy the asker without requiring you to divulge more than you want.
(And remember, if you get too many follow-up questions, excusing yourself from the conversation is totally warranted.)
Give Yourself an Out
There aren’t many things worse than being trapped at a holiday gathering with no escape. If you think you might panic halfway through, or if the questions become more than you anticipated and you’re tired of being the center of attention, find something that will give you an out if you need it.
There are lots of things you could use for a potential escape, but one thing to keep in mind is that your family already realizes you’ve been through a lot. If you tell them you’re ready to go home and rest, they will likely let you leave without giving you a hard time (or they should, anyway). Honesty may be the best policy when it comes to leaving the event early, but you’ll have to decide that for yourself.
Call BioTech for Your Prosthetic Device Needs!
We love our patients so much that we treat them like family. If you need a friendly ear, advice from an expert, or a fitting adjustment, contact us right away. We are always here to help!