July 10th, 2009

Adjusting to lost limbs without prosthetics

Setting: Fantasy world roughly analogous to the 15th century in Korea.

I have a character who has both his legs surgically removed from the knees down. He's a beggar and doesn't have access to any mobility devices. I'm trying to find out what it would be like for him to move around, period, and I'm having a really hard time finding any resources about amputation that don't involve prosthetics. I'm assuming he can scoot himself around... right? How long after the surgery would it take for him to recover enough to do this? Aside from the problem of reaching things and being slow/awkward, how limiting is this sort of movement?

Either personal experiences or a website providing more information would be welcome. I've looked at a number of resource sites for amputees, tried googling "lower limb amputation," "living with lower limb amputation," "lower limb amputation without prosthesis," and similar combinations. The most information I was able to find was at Disaboom, and it's pretty minimal. Found titles of a couple of promising books, but of course my library doesn't have them.

Info which may or may not be relevant: He's 17ish, was in reasonably good physical shape beforehand, and he is experiencing phantom limb sensations. As for whether the amputation is just above or below the knee... well, I don't know. If it makes any difference that could help me decide.