The first time I arrived at the Specialised Ability Centre Manchester, I was pretty impressed. A nice airy building with a little cafe and lots of seating, a user resource area and lots of information up on various noticeboards. I was actually quite glad the ambulance had left me early and I had chance to potter round. I found out that there was disabled swimming sessions at my local pool and this is when I first found out about the MPUA. There’s also the Ability Matters shop that has lots of wheelchairs and various mobility aids – a great place to nosey round while you’re waiting.
I sat in the waiting area watching amputee after amputee walk or wheel in, each at different stages of their prosthetic journey. I’d never really noticed any amputees before or even met one. I watched in awe as people walked in, sometimes perfectly, wishing for my new leg but also knowing that I was way behind them with a lot of work to do.
I saw the nurse, Dr and the physio, finally seeing some familiar faces from when I was in hospital. I saw the gym and a few new prosthetic users learning to walk. One man was walking using a weird grey looking device that had a blow up bit. This leg is known as a PPAM Aid, a sort of training leg that allows a new amputee to start learning to walk again without bearing too much weight.
Sadly, not being weight-bearing meant that there was no prosthetic for me. My stump was measured though and I was given a stump shrinker sock to use.