It stands for “Amputees Beyond Life’s Expectations,” a name that says it all.
A.B.L.E., a support group for amputees, is all about “empowering each other with knowledge and positivity,” as their mission statement says. Through group meetings, personal visits and social media, A.B.L.E. is sharing inspirational stories of fellow amputees who have survived – and thrived – despite what others may consider long odds. Support for amputees in Arkansas has never been stronger.
Sharing Heroic Origin Stories
Scott Burton of Arkansas, A.B.L.E.’s president, notes that the first three to four months after an amputation is a difficult one. Not only do amputees have to adjust to the reality of losing a limb, but the recovery period also is one with a lot of downtime, which can lead to depression.
That is why A.B.L.E. sends out ambassadors wherever possible – folks who have already been through the same experiences. By sharing their own motivational stories of what they have overcome, as well as providing much-needed, first-person advice, A.B.L.E. can be a crucial first step in the road to emotional and physical recovery.
In addition, A.B.L.E. has opened chapters of local support groups, including in Arkansas and North Carolina. By visiting a support group for amputees, people with similar challenges can share them with one another. These personal exchanges are especially important, according to the professionals at Horton’s and other area facilities that support A.B.L.E. They note that while they are well-versed in customizing and caring for prosthetics, they cannot always answer the emotional and even practical challenges faced by new amputees.
Along with providing support for one another, those newly facing the challenge of losing a limb have a chance to hear from what they call “seasoned” amputees. Amputees with more experience are invaluable for new amputees attending A.B.L.E. support groups, because they can describe their current lives in specific detail, and how they are able to confidently take on extensive travel, athletic pursuits, challenging careers, and family responsibilities.
On its Facebook page, A.B.L.E. regularly shares a wealth of practical knowledge and inspiration. It also posts notifications about groups that offer special services to amputees, such as prosthetic cosmetic coverings that are not covered under most insurance plans.
Through social media, A.B.L.E. serves as a clearinghouse for information and advice that new amputees would not necessarily find on their own. Recent posts included links to a blog post from a writer who shares tips about such daily tasks as cooking and dressing after losing an arm, to Horton’s informational series, with tips on everything from what to pack on trips to how to negotiate icy sidewalks.
And, of course, A.B.L.E.’s Facebook page is filled with accounts of amputees who are not only conquering life, but also fitting out their prosthetics to suit their passions, including tattoo artists, chefs, and even a Dalmatian lover with “spotted” prosthetic legs.
With locations throughout Central Arkansas, Horton’s Orthotics & Prosthetics creates customized orthopedic, orthotic, and prosthetic devices to help patients live life to the fullest. Let us help you live your own inspiring life with an amputee prosthetic by calling (501) 683-8889 today.
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