Hello and happy Tuesday! It’s been an interesting day so far. An incident that occurred this morning has made me realize that I’ve probably forgotten to disclose some pretty big information to anyone reading this blog: how my short arm came to be the way it is. I was at work talking to some co-workers (the fabulous Mari, Alyssa, and Liz) when a former employee moseyed on in and struck up a conversation with us. One of his first comments upon meeting me was about my arm. He wanted to know why I was wearing a single black silk glove a la Michael Jackson. (The reason for that, in case you’re wondering, is because the “skin” of the prosthetic attracts ink from newspapers/magazines/books/anything and gets really dark, which makes me look like a white girl with a black girl’s arm.) Anyway, the guy looked pretty embarrassed and uncomfortable after I told him that the arm was fake. Once he got over that, though, he asked me how I “lost” it. That’s when the girls I work with admitted that they had always wondered about it but were too nervous about potentially offending me to ask. I find that really funny, since I’ve known them for so long. So here’s the story for anyone who’s too shy to ask me!
While I’d love to tell you a super cool story about a dangerous encounter with a vicious tiger or something like that, the reality is pretty boring: I was born this way. That’s really all I know about it. My mom had a perfectly healthy pregnancy (despite miscarrying two other babies at the time, since I was supposed to be a triplet.) She didn’t do anything weird or unusual, and she wasn’t exposed to any crazy chemicals or radioactive stuff. My arm was a complete surprise. It just never developed into a normal arm, I guess.
My parents had me fitted for my first prosthetic when I was three months old. I’ve been wearing an artificial arm ever since. I only really use it when I’m in public, though. It’s way too uncomfortable and annoying to wear when I’m around my family or people I know well. The one you usually see me with is purely cosmetic, meaning it doesn’t do anything. The one I have at home is Myoelectric and opens/closes like a real flesh-and-blood arm. So yeah, I’m part bionic. 🙂
That’s basically the whole story. There’s nothing tragic or inspirational about it. It is what it is. Oh, and please don’t ever be nervous about asking me questions. I’m NOT easily offended, not unless you start to pity me. (Pity’s just one of those useless sentiments that does no one any good. I’ve got a GREAT life, so you don’t need to feel bad for me because I naturally weigh two or so fewer pounds (or however much a forearm weighs) than the average girl my height and pay half-price for manicures. Really, I’m doing well.) I’d actually prefer it if you asked me about my arm. I get it – you’re curious. That’s human. So go ahead and ask so that you don’t feel awkward around me. After all, it’s just another quality that makes me me. I have brown eyes, curly hair, and one arm. It’s not a bad thing, but it IS different. And it’s totally natural to want to know more about something that’s different.