And the countdown continues 8 days to go...I've been looking at different artwork that I can get on the socket of my prosthetic. A lesson I'm learning is the prosthetic language, the socket is the part that I slip onto my residual limb (PC term for stump). Apparently I can have it airbrushed and desgins put on it to fit my personality. I'm thinking of getting a visual interpretation of the Prosthetic Medic put on there...Just a redneck with missing limb hanging from the back of an ambulance. Then, I got to thinking. I could go the route of many sports arenas and NASCAR...sell advertisement space on it. "Prosthetic Medic brought to you by [Your Company Here]" People are selling advertising space on their bodies already, getting different tattoos for significant amounts of money. Why not take advantage of this blank canvas I have to walk around with already. Heck, for the right amount I'll tattoo my stump, er I mean, residual limb. I can see it now. Zoll, LifePak, Medtronic, Phillips, all fighting for the advertisement space. I know that this is a long shot. It's never going to happen, but it brings a bit of humor to a dark subject, doesn't it. I know you can picture it. I suppose I'd have to send my socket to the company to have thier advertising teams work out the designs. That might be a hiccup in my plan, I have to have those to walk. Guess I'll need a back up too, hey just more advertising space.
Anyway, that's just the thought I had this morning. I've been questioning why we pay insurance companies so much money for them to decide what we need in terms of healthcare equipment. Why wouldn't you want to give a person the best peice of equipment so they can return to be functioning members of society? Instead, they take the stance of giving you just enough to qualify as a prosthetic. Some of these companies are only giving people a few steps above a peg leg. This bothers me to no end, I want to return to work, so in order to do this, my prosthesist has to literally be denied 3 times by my insurance company before they will take it to the city of Louisville, which has the final say in this matter, who will say OK give him the leg. Do I have to prove I really want it? Is this a Jesus/Peter issue and we have to be denied 3 times before the rooster crows in the morning? This is a major flaw in the system. How many others would/could be able to return to do their jobs if they were given the oppourtunity with the right prosthetic? This falls in the same insane category as a few one legged firefighters I've read about. (you know I hate the word amputee) They are denied the right to return to work as an active firefighters because they don't have an ankle that will flex. No matter that they have the right prosthetic equipment that is rated for them to return to work and even go in to fully involved blazes, their companies say NO, just because their prosthetic ankle doesn't flex with nervous control. The leg works, the ankle adjusts to adverse terrain, but they can't think to move their foot and it move so they are incapable of doing their jobs. The reason I bring this up, is I'm afraid of the same fate befalling me. After going through all this drama, removing a limb because I love my career and want to continue serving the public, to just be told no because I can't rotate my ankle with conscious thought. We send men and women back to the front lines of war with these prosthetics, but not back to a housefire or an ambulance. Something doesn't add up. We have to get past this antiquated thought process that unipedal = handicapped. Not all of us are. Life dealt me a raw deal. I could quit, sit back and draw my check. Just give up and say OK, I'm going to let the taxpayers of America pay me for the rest of my life because I had a terrible accident. I refuse to stop there. I can't imagine sitting at home all the time. I proudly say I'm a redneck. I was raised to work for what I have. Yes, I've asked that people donate to help me pay my bills and insurance while I'm off work, but that's because I'm a father and soon to be husband. I have to swallow my self-pride and do what I can to provide for my family. Asking for help is one of the hardest decisions I have ever made. Oddly, it was harder to start asking for donations than it was to decide I'm going to have my leg removed and return to work.
Tomorrow is a big day. One week away. 7 short days till I say goodbye to this hunk of dead meat I've been lugging around for the past 8 months and start the uphill battle to getting back on my ambulance. Please keep following along and spread the word. And hey, if you want to buy some advertising space let me know...just sayin.