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Living with PFFD

My name's Hannah, I'm 20 years old, live in south England and have lived with PFFD all my life. I have a shortened right leg and use a full length prosthesis. I've never really thought about contacting other people with a similar disability to mine but I feel now is the time to maybe talk to people who know what it's like and am interested in your experiences in life. I have been brought up in a pretty normal family - mum, dad and 2 older brothers - who have never treated me as any different from the other kids and always encouraged me to try everything, whether I can do it or not, and just adapt to find a way around my 'disability'. I've grown up not really classing myself as 'disabled' as I've never been told I can't do something; you can do anything if you put your mind to it. I guess that why I've never really looked into finding others similar to me.
When I was younger I was quite shy around new people and the friends I had never felt very close and most of the time I felt quite invisible to them. I had a close-ish friend most of when I was little but we grew apart over time. My mum always encouraged my brothers and I to go to Scouts and Girl Guides, which is were I met my closest friend, Katie. It feels like I've been friends with her a lot longer than I actually have but that's because she's a genuine friend and I can count on her all the time with anything. She, like all of my family, doesn't treat me any different from anyone else and doesn't really see me as disabled. Since we've both moved on to university and college we still always keep in touch and make time to sit down and have a good old cup of tea. Two years ago my parents and I moved along the cost to a smaller town where I joined a different college and workplace. I work at a cinema and a Florist and go to college full time training to be a Florist. Moving here has been the best thing that could happen to me as I've come out of my comfort zone, not knowing anyone and coming alive and into my own personality, which has given me the chance to be who I want to be and therefore being a stronger person with friends who appreciate me for who I am. Being at a new college I have made another 3 very close friends who, again, don't treat me as if I'm disabled and treat me as a normal human being. I think this is a very rare quality to have and count myself lucky to have found 4 people who are like family to me. I have almost finished 4 years of college and can't wait to go out and find a full time job which I love doing.
I've lived with a full length prosthesis since I was one and have had many since of course as I've grown. Growing up there's always a lot of funny stories to tell about my leg, peoples' reactions, out and about etc. It never ceases to amuse me when I tell friends and meeting someone new the fun and games I've had with my leg. With my family and friends I will always laugh and joke about things, which I think is better than being down and depressed about something I cannot and will never be able to change. When I was about 15 I did go and speak to a doctor about anything that could be done, operations I could have or different types of leg I could have. One suggestion was to amputate my foot, but with the structure of the lower part of my leg (not having the Fibular) the doctor said that it was unlikely that it could support my whole body weight (and to be honest I'm quite fond of my foot!). Another suggestion was to turn my foot to make my heal my knee but I wasn't very keen on that either, it sounded quite horrible to me at the time. At the end of the day and discussing it with various family members I decided against surgery as I would have to learn to walk again and there wasn't much of a guarantee that the wouldn't be complications etc. and I was just starting my GCSE's and didn't want to be so far behind and finish school later than I had to. So I still wear a full length prosthesis but I discovered I could have a flip-flop foot, which I was very excited about as I could never wear them in summer and now being an 'adult' I'm now getting a foot so that I can wear higher heels as well, which could be interesting trying to walk in them!!
So that's me. 20 years squashed into 3 paragraphs. Doesn't seem like much to me really but oh well. I would love to chat with anyone with other stories about living with this disability and how you deal with it. :)


bing! i can totally relate to your story! would love to chat!

The key is keeping the emphasis on "living" rather than the pffd. Your attitude about life, friends, even strangers will say more about you than your gait. If you walk into a room with a smile on your face, people may notice the limp, but they will remember your smile.