Life After Amputation: These Travelers Didn’t Let Injury Stop Them4 min read
Amputation can be tricky to get used to. If you aren’t battling the feeling of phantom limbs, you’re noticing how different life is from how it used to be, especially regarding accessibility. Luckily, you don’t need to give up seeing the world just because of an amputation. A few amputee travelers have inspired others like them and showed people with disabilities that traveling the world is still possible.
These stellar amputees prove travel after amputation is entirely possible. By using their resources, they get to experience the world while helping and inspiring others. Their stories might motivate you to keep moving forward and visit the destination of your dreams.
1. Jodie St. Clair
Jodie became an amputee at 13 years old, but her life hasn’t slowed down. The Active Amputee podcast features her opening up about becoming an amputee and how she still travels internationally while being a businesswoman and a mother. Though traveling as an amputee can be difficult—especially when you have other responsibilities—Jodie St. Clair shows it’s all possible and you don’t need to give up something you love when trying to live life to the fullest.
2. John Morris
John Morris—a triple amputee—is the founder of Wheelchair Travel, which details his life experiences and varied travels from his wheelchair. He’s an authority you can trust, as he only writes about experiences he’s actually had. Through his work in disability advocacy, John Morris proves travel after amputation is possible.
3. Debra Kerper
Debra’s mission is to ensure people with disabilities have the chance to travel the world. She’s grown a thriving franchise of cruise planners from her home. As a double amputee, Debra has quite a few health conditions that limit the kind of work she can do.
Still, she’s made a difference in several people’s lives without leaving the comfort of her house and retaining the flexibility to attend appointments she needs. She’s determined to show amputees and others with disabilities that travel is possible, even though it might be a bit harder.
Things to Remember for Travel After Amputation
Travel after amputation can mean several new things to remember when going on vacation. Here are some of the major things you need to know, like how to care for your skin after a dry flight or the TSA regulations for prosthetics.
1. Pack Skincare Supplies
The air in a plane is so dry. You might need a moisturizer to help your skin feel more hydrated and you should bring supplies to moisturize any skin that touches the prosthetic socket. Additionally, remember to pack sunscreen, which can protect against skin cancer, the most common type of cancer in the United States.
Also, pack products that stop perspiration if you plan to visit somewhere warm. You want your skin to stay fresh throughout your trip and sweatiness from the skin against your prosthetic can lead to things like bad smells or even abrasions. Find the products that make you feel good about yourself.
2. Do Physical Therapy Exercises
If you can manage them on your own, remember to complete your physical therapy exercises once you reach your destination, especially if you’re a new amputee. PT can help you understand life without a particular limb and might help you fight against the possibility of developing phantom limb syndrome. Though you may have returned to your usual routine for a while now, you should still look after yourself.
3. Know the TSA Regulations for Prosthetics
You may be relieved to find out prosthetics are allowed through TSA, but they might be subject to additional screening measures. For most prosthetics, security officers will have to touch your device, but they won’t ask you to remove it. Just remember that you always have the opportunity to have a private screening if you want it.
Travel After Amputation Is Possible
Several things change when you become an amputee, but many things stay the same. You’re still the same person many people love and nothing will change that. Though traveling can pose some difficulties, you can travel the world as an amputee. Countless services and resources can make travel after amputation happen by getting the support you need and allowing you to visit destinations that will give you the best possible experiences.