As the title states, I was born missing somewhere around 15 bones, with another 25 amputated shortly after, 40 total. That's 14.8% missing at birth, and 19.4% missing now.

My left leg was slightly shorter than my right leg. So, doctors amputated my foot, and I have a prosthetic foot/leg in it's place. Additionally, I am missing the Fibula in both legs, although it doesn't matter much in the prosthetic one.

Both of my hands have 2 fingers and a thumb, 3 total on each. Originally, there was just one plus a thumb, but doctors split the single digit, and made two out of it.

In grade school I played baseball. In high school I played football and went downhill skiing. For the past 14 years I have played bass guitar.

For the past 8.5 years I have done martial arts, and have been teaching for the past 5. Primarily Muay Thai with a dose of Western Boxing thrown in, a mix of Panantukan/Wing Chun/Silat/Boxing, another mix of mostly Filipino weapons arts (Kali, Eskrima, Arnis, Silat), and finally some Italian Fencing/Bolognese Side Sword (mostly Manciolino).

For all of my life, at least as long as I can remember, I have played video games (Atari, Nintendo, XBox, WoW, LoL, Diablo, etc.)

Airport security takes an extra minute, at most, for me to get through (< 30 seconds last time I was at LAX).

This year, my birthday landed on Memorial Day, so I figured I'd do an AMA to celebrate. Ask away!!!!

Proof 1

Proof 2

Proof 3

Proof 4

EDIT: Yes, I should have used a semi-colon in the title. Thank you to everyone who has pointed that out.

EDIT2: Better proof, as requested.

EDIT3: Been at this for 8 hours, but I need to go and teach, maybe stand up for a little bit too. I'll be back in a few of hours (9PM CST) to answer the next 7 pages, plus whatever else gets added between now and then, promise.

EDIT4: Another 6 hours down, and still pages of questions and comments to get to. I'll start again after I get some sleep. Until tomorrow Reddit.

EDIT5: I was able to find a song list, one of the last lists we put together, of a bunch of stuff we played at one of our last gigs. If there's anyone still around to see it, enjoy.

FINAL EDIT: I finally got through all of the questions/comments, 29 hours later. All of the comments go to my inbox, so I'll still reply to any more that I get in the future, but this seems like it's nearly the end. Thank you everyone for all of the comments and questions. I hope people had as great a time reading them as I did answering them!!

Comments: 1623 • Responses: 76  • Date: 

BmFBrando1769 karma

How did they find you?

danmart1451 karma

Define they.

BmFBrando856 karma

I was making a joke actually. Your title says "I was born missing" and then further down "As the title states, I was born missing somewhere"

danmart11585 karma

Aahh. Then the answer is simple. They found me falling out of my mother's vagina.

BmFBrando40 karma

Is your mother Elastigirl?!

danmart166 karma

No.

TheF0CTOR552 karma

I hate to be a dick, but how are your shadow puppets?

danmart1484 karma

When I was much much younger, they were good. People could tell what they were, they could tell who's they were too. Now, they probably suck, since I'm very out of practice.

Mikchi202 karma

My apologies, did you make these as shadow puppets?

danmart1331 karma

I went around stabbing all the other kids bunnies with it too.

funnyfaceking32 karma

Have you ever read "We're Not Here for Your Inspiration" before? What do you think?

danmart173 karma

I only got to read a small portion of it, but as far as I can tell both sides suck.

If someone isn't willing to help someone else out, especially if it's something as simple as a picture, then they can just go and sit by themselves.

At the same time, trying to make someone else feel bad because they don't want to, or don't have the means to, do something isn't cool.

Right now, in this AMA, I'm not here to tell people to do something that they think they can't, it's not my place. If anyone wants to read this and be "inspired" by it, go ahead. That wasn't my goal, but I'm not going to forbid it.

The picture themselves are just a way to make money, as with all inspirational posters. A great business venture, but I'd never buy one.

StayCheesy528 karma

[deleted]

danmart1803 karma

Sympathy, not so much, but I do get a lot of praise for doing what other people do normally. I wouldn't say it's annoying, maybe a little embarrassing, but it's just people expressing how they feel. I'm grateful for it, even if it is a bit uncomfortable.

StayCheesy212 karma

[deleted]

danmart1287 karma

For me, just go ahead and offer. If I don't need the help, I'll politely decline and not think anything of it.

However, that's mostly because of where I was born and raised. Offering to help people, even strangers, is a very common occurrence, so it's not abnormal to see it happen regardless of the situation.

73qzQUeGlQfw144 karma

[deleted]

thatoneguy73185 karma

I think it's called canada

danmart1232 karma

Minnesota, actually, but other than pronouncing about correctly, health-care, and the view on guns (nearly everyone has one, hell I even have a firearm safety endorsement on my drives license), it's not much different.

Wiskie57 karma

How do you feel about Wisconsin?

danmart1165 karma

I find myself wondering if they know what a blinker is. Other than that, I have family and friends over there, but they like the Packers, so they're not family and friends during football season.

danmart122 karma

If someone is J-walking, I most defiantly will let them know how illegal, and unsafe, that is. I am, unfortunately, the exception.

A general rule of thumb is, if I can't stop it without getting hurt, or killed, I should probably get out of the way.

Braunsleeve6 karma

[deleted]

danmart14 karma

I've been doing that all day, but I usually catch it. Although it does work.

Notonethrowaway22 karma

[deleted]

danmart168 karma

I guess, to me, it doesn't matter much. I've used both terms in the past, and neither one really gets the point across to others, until I explain it.

As far as medical professionals are concerned, it's a disability. Without the aid of a prosthetic limb, I wouldn't be able to walk. A deformity wouldn't necessarily need the aid of a medical device.

ericformansbasement71 karma

Sympathy, not so much, but I do get a lot of praise for doing what other people do normally

Dude, I don't mean to be one of those people. But seeing as how most people, including myself have the 20% that you're missing and yet only a small minority of us can claim to be mixed martial arts instructors...I would say you go beyond what other people do normally.

Hell, I'm pleased if I can squeeze a 10 minute mile on most days. You would probably get a lot of praise even if you weren't missing that 19.4%. It's impressive by any standard.

danmart118 karma

Thanks.

lifestyled453 karma

[deleted]

danmart1374 karma

It's cinnamon AND sugar!!!!

FluxuationOfMaybe339 karma

Have you ever dressed up as a Ninja Turtle for Halloween? If so, which one?

Yes, that's seriously my questions. But I'm glad that you've been able to do everything you want to do. When people look at others like us, people with disabilities, they tend to think we can only do so much. But it's people like you that shows everyone that we have a disability. We aren't a disability.

danmart1354 karma

Donatello was my favorite, but I never dressed up as one for Halloween. I never had 3 other friends that wanted to get turtle costumes, and one lone turtle would just be ridiculous.

Thank you. Over the years I've come to realize that people don't necessarily think that I (we) can't do something, it's that they couldn't do it (or at least wouldn't know how), if put in that same exact scenario. The thing is, I've had 33 years of experience, and they've had 10 seconds to think about it.

FluxuationOfMaybe116 karma

Dude, I'd be the Mikey to your Donnie.

I myself have a genetic disorder classified as muscular dystrophy. My potassium shifts from muscle to muscle and when it leaves a muscle, that muscle becomes temporarily paralyzed. Hence the name Hypokalemia Temporary Paralysis. And I know what you mean. Usually when someone tells me I can't do something that I know I can it's because they couldn't. But me, I do it for myself and them. After doing something I always go back and say " I did it, your turn " and help them through it.

danmart162 karma

I'll admit, that is kind of fun to do. ;)

StayPuffGoomba3 karma

While I agree that Donny was totally the best, Raph could have rocked the lone turtle gig. He was all broody and angry anyway. I think at one point he did flip the bird to the others and did his own thing for a while.

danmart14 karma

But Donny had the strongest attack in the NES video game. And that's when he started being my favorite.

pkmffl176 karma

What's something you can't do but don't want to do anyways?

danmart1546 karma

Cut my left foot open and bleed by stepping on a nail.

atomheartother83 karma

Wow you're so vanilla

danmart174 karma

Yup, white as a ghost.

Kirchyking159 karma

Hello, fellow weird-armed brethren, I'm missing a limb, too! How do you play video games with three fingers, and how do you hold things?

danmart1176 karma

Console games, or PC games that use a controller, aren't that bad. I've been able to adapt with each new controller type that comes out (besides the blisters the first Nintendo controller was really easy to use), so I never had to jump into anything. A lot of times, I'll plan ahead. If I know I'm going to have to use a certain combination of buttons, I'll get my hands in position, if I need to. It's mostly just drawing from past experience.

Games that use a mouse & keyboard are a little different. I often use a lot of alternate keybinds for games. I also have a foot switch for those extra special occasions, mostly voice chat.

Holding things isn't bad, I normally use my fingers. But seriously, it depends on the size. Pencils, pens, and other writing utensils are very similar to everyone else. Cups, glasses, mugs depend on the size and/or handle, sometimes I just hold it by the bottom. Swords, sticks, knives are a different monster. I have a decent amount of strength in my last finger on my right hand, which is enough to hold an control all of those things. If it's too big, I just use two hands.

rhandyrhoads11 karma

Follow up question. What is your preferred platform? I'm guessing PC since you have a huge variety of options for controllers on PC, but I'm curious.

danmart125 karma

PC. It's more convenient to have everything in one place, and I don't have to worry about scratching a DVD, or having someone borrow it and not return it.

ZoopSoup134 karma

You should check out /r/bass if you don't already. They (myself included) would love to hear about your playing. What kind of bass do you play?

danmart1129 karma

I have an Ibanez EDB 600, an Epiphone Gothic Explorer, a crappy can't-keep-it-in-tune acoustic bass, and an old Rogue bass (my first bass).

I converted the Rogue to work with the lower 4 of a 5 string set. The nut broke when I was in college, so I went in to the machine shop and made a brass one.

My favorite is the Ibanez though. My hands are smaller, so I really enjoy the skinnier necks.

dBASSa8 karma

I have small hands too. Try a geddy Lee or my fave a stingray :)

danmart18 karma

I've never really seen a Geddy Lee before, the bass at least.

I didn't much like the look of the Stingrays, sorry, so I never went that route. They're nice, I just didn't like the shape of the pick guard. Also, I liked having the dual pickups, so I could change the sound when I wanted.

myvirginityisstrong134 karma

Can't help but ask... are you better or worse at fingering a girl?

danmart1215 karma

I never really asked for a comparison, but they seemed to enjoy it, so........

sadmoody118 karma

I have yet to find something that I want to do but can't

Have you ever wanted to high-five someone?

Check

danmart1478 karma

Three from one had, two from the other. It doesn't look cool, but it's adds up.

Check-mate

sadmoody29 karma

What about high-fiving two people at once?

Did I just un-checkmate myself and checkmate you instead? I think I did.

danmart188 karma

What if I don't want to? A menage a trio of high fives sounds very unsanitary.

el_monstruo91 karma

How did you handle any type of bullying or the like when growing up?

danmart1429 karma

Not anymore than the other kids in school, although they could be a little more specific to me.

One time, a kid grabbed my leg and it slipped off. He thought he pulled my leg off. He almost died, he was so scared. I thought it was hilarious. I'm even laughing about it right now.....

mariofan36633 karma

Wow, I am laughing too. That kid must of assumed his (and your) life was over.

danmart122 karma

Of that, I have no doubt.

hulkj77 karma

How are you at thumb wrestling?

Sounds stupid, but I would guess that your thumbs would be stronger than an average thumb, since you don't have the other extra fingers to help out.

Or am I way off?

danmart185 karma

My thumb strength is the same as everyone else's. I do have a bit more leverage as my other fingers are shorter, so I can use more of my thumb to wrestle with.

Krabbi76 karma

Did you have to have a lot of surgeries? If you had any were you old enough to remember them?

danmart196 karma

5 surgeries, depending on how you count them. The first 4 happened before I can remember, and all happened relatively close together. The last one happened when I was older, and was in response to scar tissue from one of the surgeries that was causing problems.

ohfuddleduddle72 karma

DUDE! My hand is just like yours. I was born with a single digit, but it was split in two by doctors when I was two and a half years old. To get the skin to heal back, they implanted the hand on the surface of my belly, so the skin that healed on there is actually stomach skin. I get chest hair like my stomach on the skin on my hand now, it's weird.

(http://imgur.com/4URxAhS)

Edit: I also play guitar and bass. Keep rocking!

danmart145 karma

Yup, skin from the same place on mine too!!

ALoadedPotatoe63 karma

You're more qualified than like 90% of America to be labeled a stone cold bad ass.

Keep on keeping on dude!

But if I had to ask you a question it would have to be,

What's the most difficult thing for you to do, that people who aren't missing any limbs or digits don't think twice about?

Picking your nose, walking the dog, changing a light bulb? You get the idea.

danmart165 karma

Uumm, that's had to say. I've never not been this way, so I'm not entirely sure what's it's like doing any of those things from the other side.

Taking a shower is a pain in the ass. My leg isn't waterproof, so I have to kneel.

friday670036 karma

Why not get a shower chair?

danmart145 karma

I'm lazy and cheap. Seriously, I just don't want to spend the time and money to go and buy one. It would still be a pain in the ass to get in and out though. Not difficult, just a pain.

HydraHail59 karma

[deleted]

danmart146 karma

Ya, toss up between him and Wolverine. Teleporting ninja vs. near immortal with claws....... It's a tough one.

fuccess58 karma

BORN MISSING, THAT'S TERRIBLE, HOW DID THEY FIND YOU?

danmart1181 karma

They followed the scent of awesome.

MrMoose098740 karma

  • When you're typing, do you use the typical home row, or do you place your three fingers elsewhere?

  • For baseball, what position did you play? Did you try pitching at all?

danmart147 karma

Home row, yes, I keep my fingers on a/s, k/l, and the space bar. Everything after that breaks the rules. My hands will cross over to the other side frequently and I usually use Shift other the opposite hand.

I played all over the place. I was pretty young, but I do remember playing 1st Base a bit. I was never dedicated enough at practice to pitch.

ConsonantQ8 karma

Follow up to the first one: do you know what your typing speed is?

danmart118 karma

Not fast enough to keep up with reddit. 5 hours and my mail box just keeps getting bigger.

Other than that, I'm not sure.

socialclash38 karma

Do you know if there's a genetic/hereditary cause for why you were born missing so many bones? Was it just an error while you were developing in-utero?

Happy birthday dude :)

danmart134 karma

It's not hereditary, no one else in my family has anything similar. It was probably just something that happened during the pregnancy.

NYstate33 karma

What encouraging words do you have for say to people without disabilities that have given up hope or are trying to achieve something and have failed?

Thanks in advance.

danmart1109 karma

I am probably the worst motivational speaker in the world, but let's give it a try.

The combination of the human body and mind is limitless. There is nothing that a person can't do, or figure out a way to do, with time, patience, and practice.

Nixplosion31 karma

What kind of music do you play?

danmart174 karma

Rock, metal, alternative rock, 80's rock. My tastes in music, at least the stuff I play, start a bit beyond pop, and end just before death metal.

BreakingGoodd26 karma

Hey, I'm a Cell & Molecular Biology major and I had a couple questions more on the medical side of things.

1) Were you born missing bones due to a heritable genetic condition? If so, what was it?

2) You may not know the answer to this, but are your calcitonin/PTH(parathyroid hormone) levels normal? Calcitonin and PTH are normall responsible for the remodeling of bone tissue in the body. Since you were missing quite a bit of bones at birth, I was wondering if your hormones may have been at a decreased amount.

3) Are your red and white blood cell counts normal?

danmart128 karma

Hhmm, I can't really answer any of those, but I'll try. I'm not sure if the doctors even know. If they do, they didn't tell my parents, but would probably tell me if I asked nicely.

  1. There is no history in my family of any sort of genetic disorder, excluding hair loss and heart disease, as far as we know, and my grand father was able to trace his side of the family back a few generations. Other than that, the only other abnormality in my extended family is a cousin with hearing problems.

  2. No idea.

  3. Probably not. I've had blood tests, donated plasma, and no one has ever said anything about red or white blood cell counts. I'd hope that if they were low, some one would have mentioned it to me, but you never know.

CarteRoutiere25 karma

Aren't you often posting on /b/ (or on some board related to gaming for disabled people) ?

Congratulations anyway for living your life the way you do

danmart126 karma

I'm ashamed to admit, but I didn't even know those existed......

Well, that's not entirely true. I assumed they existed, but I just don't know where.

jaguarskillz24 karma

With the Muay Thai, isn't it almost unfair to whichever poor sod throws a leg kick that gets checked by you?

Joking of course, but I am curious as to whether that issue ever comes up for you.

danmart119 karma

Yup. I usually warn them before hand, but sometimes they don't listen. I very rarely throw a kick hard enough to hurt someone with that leg.

sujins21 karma

What is your favorite meal?

danmart159 karma

It's a toss up. If I'm not making the meal, Pizza. If I am, Chicken Fajitas.

phreanix17 karma

Just curious, is there a reason you chose mostly Filipino weapons arts?

Keep on keepin' on dude. You are an inspiration and a reminder that I need to get off my lazy able bodied ass.

danmart118 karma

The Filipino arts were what my teacher knew. It was a club in college, so it was free, which helped my decision as well. Since then, our access to the Filipino arts has been wide open, so we've stuck with them.

I wouldn't be against trying out other weapon arts, but the availability of them is the biggest hindrance.

Abradolph_Lincler9812 karma

You said you play video games. What is your favorite game? And do you have special controllers, or do you use normal store bought ones?

danmart131 karma

Favorite game of all time is a toss up between Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy 3 (the American version), now they call it Final Fantasy 6. Counter-Strike, World of Warcraft, and League of Legends all suck(ed) up a lot of my time.

I just have normal store bought ones. I find that mice are the most difficult things to find that fit my hand correctly. I really want to try out a Razer Ouroboros, but after past disappointments I'm not willing to drop that much money on something that may not work right.

Someday, I'm going to gut my old Microsoft Intillimouse, which was the best fitting mouse I've ever used, and cram in some higher end electronics. The shape was perfect for my hand, but it was so slow.

neonr4in11 karma

What is your favorite book ?

danmart154 karma

The Dark Tower series. I can't really say I have a single favorite book.

neonr4in8 karma

Wow, thats great. I also love Dark Tower and what your favorite or inspirational quote, especially for your life ?

danmart117 karma

I can't really say that I have one. Although, I can say Duct Tape fixes everything, even a broken foot.

RebekahRave9 karma

Since you mentioned video games, does your disability in your hands aid or impair you from doing well at them? Also, I would love to play with you sometime, I love all those games!

danmart18 karma

It just takes longer to learn, sometimes. my keybindings for CS were far beyond normal. No one else used them when I played.

My World of Warcraft bindings were less complex, but I had a lot of them. I use the key board for everything. I just always had to know the shortest path out of the fire so I could turn and run sideways.

League of Legends has fairly minor changes. Ctrl instead of Alt and some other small adjustments to item slots.

I probably won't play WoW again until the new expansion, but if you want to add me on League my summoner name is Thuch (NA servers).

Slowlydrifting7 karma

Have you ever consider taking up brazilian jui jitzu or anything of that nature?

danmart16 karma

At the school where I train/teach, we have Brazilian Jui-Jitsu, but I don't go to those classes. Part of it is because I teach another class during those classes, and part of it is because I don't like it that much. I'll jump in every-so-often, just to see if anything has changed, but it's never as enjoyable to me as other arts.

MissPetrova6 karma

Do you often pretend to be a T-Rex?

i'm sorry but it's just what i would have done

danmart17 karma

Unfortunately, my arms are too long for that.

zachary879215 karma

Do you play any instruments?

danmart18 karma

Bass guitar for the past 16 years.

I tried band in High School, but got relegated to the trombone, which I hated to play. That resulted in me not practicing, and being horrible at it, so I dropped it.

In college, I played in pep-band for a couple of years, and got roped into playing in concert band as well. I had to learn percussion for that.

zachary879215 karma

Aww, trombones seem like awesome instruments. Any aspect particularly challenging?

danmart19 karma

Trombone, no, I just didn't like playing.

Bass guitar, arpeggios take lots and lots of practice.

Percussion, learning to read sheet music, and play multiple instruments all within a couple of months.

Bellsie5 karma

How do you buy shoes?

danmart123 karma

With money.

funnyfaceking5 karma

If 15 missing bones equals 14.8%, and now you have a total of 40 bones removed, you should have just under 40%, but you said you had 19.4%.

Did you grow more bones to account for this discrepancy as you grew older?

danmart110 karma

The foot came off after I was born, and as the human body grows bones fuse together.

CaLiBeR_JR4 karma

I Take it you got bullied? if so how severely?

danmart110 karma

No more than others, just more specifically.

One time, a kid grabbed my leg and it slipped off. He thought he pulled my leg off. He almost died, he was so scared. I thought it was hilarious. I'm even laughing about it right now.....

Bluecat163 karma

What positions did you play in Baseball/Football? How was it?

danmart19 karma

Baseball, I was all over the place. Football, I was a linebacker.

Besides blowing out my knee, for a second time, it wasn't that bad. I did need some extra padding so I didn't hurt the other players.

gretchen86423 karma

Do you have any radiographs of your hands? I'd love to see them. (That's not supposed to sound as creepy as it does).

danmart16 karma

I don't have any. My medical records probably do, but I haven't had an x-ray since I crushed my finger with a log when I was 10. They had no idea if it was broken or not.

Axton7403 karma

How does martial arts work missing that many bones? Wouldn't the risk of fracturing others increase?

danmart14 karma

I still have a healthy bone density, as far as I know. Plus, at my age, the density should be at it's highest.

Also, I'm mostly missing the small ones that no one really notices.

CulturedNinja3 karma

can you alter your height whatever you want to be with the prostetic leg?

danmart14 karma

Only one side, which makes me lop-sided. That tends to hurt my joints a lot.

sn0wtec2 karma

Have you ever rode a motorcycle? Will you be able to?

danmart13 karma

Thought about it. I'd need a suicide clutch and shifter for the left hand.

Styxlanian1 karma

What kind of machines do you use to exercise?

danmart10 karma

Free-weights mostly.

mundane_marietta0 karma

Happy May 26 bday homie. We get the double dose of memorial day every now and then!

danmart12 karma

Happy Birthday to you too.

It was really nice when I was in school. Long weekend for my birthday every few years!!