Saturday, July 6, 2013

Awesome Sauce: Lego Leg Edition

I saw this amazing video on the Living With Disability Tumblr, and from there got to Christina Stephens' YouTube Channel, Amputee OT. I then watched all of her videos, which document her journey from deciding to get her lower leg amputated after a severe foot injury, through the surgery, recuperation, and gradual fitting of a prosthetic lower leg.

Christina is so matter-of-fact about the whole thing … cheerful, but in a way that doesn't seem forced or intentional. It seems like she probably wasn't the sort of person to sentimentalize before her accident, and has retained that quality after. It probably helps that she is an Occupational Therapist, trained to train others in adjusting to various disabilities. And she's got a nerdy enthusiasm that's impossible for me not to like.

In one of the videos we see she's painted an atheism symbol on her prosthetic. As someone who is about as close as you can get to atheism without actually fully committing to it, I wonder if an atheist outlook might help, too. It seems like one thing atheists don't do very much is anguish over "Why me?" and "What does all this mean?" She's not wondering where she went wrong, or what grand purpose there might be for her injury. It is what it is. But that's just speculation on my part, as she doesn't talk about her deeper philosophical or spiritual thoughts in her videos. That's all to the good, because by hitting just the right middle ground between revealing a lot while not over-sharing, her videos are probably much more relatable to a wider audience.

I wonder now if there are other video series that explain other disabilities in the same upbeat, factual, and unsentimental way? Maybe it's time to do some exploring.

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