Rob Rieckenberg was walking to a friend’s house in 2005 when he was mugged, beaten up to the point unconsciousness, and left lying on train tracks. He was hit by a train and, as a result, lost his right leg above the knee.
Through his involvement with the nonprofit organization Wiggle Your Toes, Rob helps people navigate many aspects of recovery, such as home remodeling, transportation, finances, legal issues, medical equipment, therapy, and prosthetics.
Rob shared the following advice to help new amputees make the transition to wearing a prosthetic device:
- Be open and honest with your prosthetist about what your want to do. How active is your lifestyle? What do you like to do? What do you want to do? Your prosthetist can’t fit you with an appropriate device if you don’t tell him or her what you want to do. If more than one prosthetic device will meet your needs, most insurance carriers will only pay for the minimum specification.
- Talk to other amputees and find someone who has done the things that you want to do. It’s helpful to talk to people who have “been there and done that.”
- Meet other amputees in person. Seeing someone do something is much more powerful than talking to someone about it.
- Find out if you are in a prosthetic parity state. The Affordable Care Act doesn’t allow carriers to decline coverage based on health, but if you are not in a parity state, the amount of coverage will vary.
- Talk to your insurance carrier and find out what type and how much coverage you have for a prosthetic device.
- Trust that your prosthetic leg is going to do what it is supposed to do and that your prosthetist will make it right.
- Question everything.