The answer: Very carefully.

About twenty years ago I was staying at a friends house on a weekend trip away from college.  His parents seemed to love having me stay at their house, the even dubbed the room I stayed in as “Bart’s Room”.  It was an honorary title I am sure, I think they let other people stay in there.  They certainly didn’t ask me if other people could stay in my room.

This bedroom had its own bathroom with a bathtub.  For those of you that have two legs, this is not the greatest scenario for a one-legged person.  I used to hop out if there was good traction, but if the traction was not good, I would support myself by holding on to the shower door.

Fun Fact:  Shower doors are not supposed to hold a persons body weight.

I managed to put the handle back in place after I had almost broke it.  I cannot honestly remember if I told them about it or not.  I might not have because I would usually get pretty embarrassed anytime I did something that would show me to be a one-legged person (I think they might have figured it out though).

Since then I have had a few shower slips that are mostly pretty painful, I refuse to sit down.  Well I did until I was forty, then I found a shower chair on Craigslist and decided it was time to be comfortable when I was taking up all the hot water.

I broke it.

So now I am back to standing in the shower, which is not a big deal unless you have just arrived back at your house after a 12 mile bike ride.  Usually I would get in and stand under the hot water.  Occasionally I bike enough that standing up on a leg that has been doing roughly 80% of the bike work is just not an option.  I had made the decision before I even went downstairs to take a shower (upstairs, perilous bath tub; downstairs, nice big shower stall) that I was going to just sit on the floor of the shower and soak for awhile.  So I did, and it was great except for the fact that it is hard to reach anything when you are sitting on the floor of the shower.

Sometimes I don’t care about the difference between me and two-legged people.  Many times that moment is preceded by an event that has fatigued me to the point that my pride says”okay, I get it”.  Even though I have been an amputee for 25 years now (is that the silver anniversary?)  I still compare my accomplishments to people that have two legs.  If I wasn’t able to keep up on the bike ride, it was because I was fat or out or shape or sick.  The people on the ride still say that they admire me for what I can do, and I usually try to tell them that I would be able to keep up if I was in shape.  That may or may not be true, but at least if I am out of shape I still maintain that there is a version of me, that is possible to attain, that can keep up with you.

I estimate that in the next five years I will have squelched that voice because my body won’t allow me to listen to it anymore.

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