Let’s start at the beginning, tell us about the first time you tried Coapt. For example, where were you, who were you with, what was it like, etc.?
May 2015 with my husband and the team at Handspring in Middletown NY trying it out after not wearing a prosthetic device since 1990.
Before you used Coapt, what were some of the pain points or difficulties in your day to day activities either using other prostheses (if applicable) or just in general living with a limb difference?
I spent 25 years boycotting prosthetic devices after having difficulties wearing a dual-site prosthetic device. I managed day-to-day life raising 2 children but there were always things I struggled with and needed assistance and had to request assistance from others, such as preparing a meal, carrying items, and opening jars and containers.
With a Coapt system, what are some ways that your daily routine has changed for the better?
The more I wear my prosthesis the more efficient I become in doing everyday tasks and I am finding that I am completing them at faster rates. I feel a sense of embodiment with my prosthesis and I’m discovering that I incorporate it in many activities that I do, from easily transferring things from one hand to another, holding objects to open them, and opening up the refrigerator and cabinets. my life has definitely been enhanced in many positive ways since making the decision to incorporating the prosthesis into my everyday tasks from leisure to work and I love learning how to do things for the 1st time in a long time with two hands.
What is your most memorable Coapt moment since becoming a Coapt user?
The 1st time I rode my horse, I felt so complete it was the most magical thing to be able to ride a horse with two hands again. That and holding up a piece of paper and cutting it, instead of having to hold down on the table and try to cut.
What would your advice be for a first-time Coapt user?
Have patience with yourself! Remember the 1st time you got your new cell phone and needed to learn how it works? The same thing with this technology, we get better over time and, practice makes perfect. Start with the small things and build your way up from there. You will be a superstar before you know it!
What are some of the biggest misconceptions you see about people living with a prosthesis?
I think there are a few misconceptions. People believe that the prosthesis should be able to do any task that they want, and then feel disappointed when they realize it can’t, not realizing it takes time and practice. One of the biggest I think is people think all prosthetics are alike. Once they’ve had a bad or negative experience, they say forget it and choose to live a life without a prosthesis without giving new technology and devices a fair shot.
Plug yourself! What are you most proud of this year? Any milestones in your life? Any thing else that you’re eager to shout from the rooftops?
I am most proud of myself for returning to school after 35 years and leaving my long term profession of Retail Management to become a licensed Occupational Therapist. I have 4 years left, but I’m super excited, and this technology played a huge factor in making this decision. It has changed my life and I’m so grateful that I made that decision 5 years ago to start wearing a prosthesis after 25+ years.
What’s next for you – do you have any big or small goals on the horizon?
My 1st goal is graduating in May 2021 with my Associates as an OTA and taking my boards to become a licensed COTA as I work on completing my Masters in OT.
Finally, are there any other details about your Coapt experience or your experience living with a prosthesis you’d like to share?
Thank you for this technology and for making a huge difference in so many of our lives! I can’t imagine ever going without wearing a prosthesis or this Amazing technology.