Austin, TX, USA

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  • Derrick Woods

Input or Output

One week down and three weeks to go. My healing journey continues... As I was sitting outside, one of my neighbors asked me: would you rather be without your arm or your leg? Before I continue, first let me say, losing either would be awful and hard to cope with. But this question allowed me to think of my body as a whole, not just a convenience. Let me explain. My neighbor, without hesitation, said leg. Because it's easy for you to get a prosthetic, and you can keep walking; but without an arm, you can't grab things, so it would be a real inconvenience. I absolutely agree it would be hard to live without being able to grab things, and yes you can get a prosthetic and keep walking. Everything my neighbor said is true. However, it doesn't take into account the mechanism that is the body. We have four extremities, two arms and two legs. Although, both are equally important, they don't affect the body the same way. You see, when something is wrong with your leg, it can cause problems all the way up to your neck and or head. Your legs are more like inputs to the body where when something is wrong, it will travel all the way up the chain and mess other things up. Your arms however are more like outputs. When you break your hand it doesn't affect your elbow and go into your chest. In fact, arm pain a lot of the time can be sourced in the trunk of the body somewhere, and it's moving down the chain through the arms. That's why after thought I chose to lose an arm. If missing an arm means inconvenience, the loss of a leg means chronic lifelong pain.

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