Hello! My name is Marisa, and I was born 15 years ago with ABS. I am missing my left hand, and my left forearm is about 2 inches shorter than my other arm. You can actually see where the bands were wrapped around my elbow – apparently it was pretty tight.
I have been a prosthesis wearer since the age of 5 months old. I had myoelectric until I was about 10, but I only charged it about twice a month so it was pretty much useless. I then switched to the much lighter passive hand, which is more functional for me anyway.
Hardly anything stops me. I am a singer, dancer, International Baccalaureate student, and I like trying new things as much as possible. The only things I have issues with are swimming (but I hate pools anyway so I don’t really care) and styling my hair (but luckily my mom is awesome with hair). It takes people anywhere from a few months to YEARS to even recognize that I have a prosthetic hand! I used to hate it when kids asked me questions about it, but now I’m used to it and welcome their questions. I even have this cool book that shows how they made a prosthesis for a little two-year-old girl.
In the future, I’d like to either pursue a Broadway career or become an optometrist. Kids are a definite for me, and even though ABS isn’t genetic, I wouldn’t mind if my own children had it too. I feel like it would be nice to have someone who gets why I enjoy leaving my hand in strange places (to freak people out! duh! =D) I may not even wear a prosthesis when I’m older, it would certainly rid me of the terrible hand tan I have in high summer. =)
As far as advice to any other people struggling to accept themselves or having others accept them, I give this morsel: Hold your head up high. Don’t let anyone else’s opinion shape your soul. It’s a challenge, yes, but everyone has challenges in life. Keep inventing fun ways to do things (like popping chip bags) and we’ll have a beautiful, unique, interesting world.