Thanks to all that have helped!!!

Sunday, January 29, 2012


Ok second post for the night. I just did something I have been avoiding. I looked in the mirror. You know the look I'm talking about, the look where you not only see your reflection, but you see all the imperfections you think everyone else is focusing in on. As I stood there looking at the place where my left knee should have been, I kept thinking that I look like a sideshow. I feel like a freak of nature. I wasn't ready for that. I'm sure that this feeling will pass. That this is a normal reaction when transitioning from  bipedal to "unipedal," but that doesn't make the feeling any less true. I wasn't really ready for that. Looking at the stump alone, seeing pictures, none of these are as piercing as a mirror and an empty room. I am crushed. Emotionally drained and physically tired. Luckily, I have my family and my beautiful fiance'. Tonight, Kate has had the difficult job of trying to refill my broken self-esteem. She's amazing like that. Yet, with all her kind words and assurances that I am the same person. Something is missing, other than my leg, (for those with the same dark sense of humor as I), something inside of me feels gone. Tonight, for the first time I have started to question my lofty aspirations. Is this possible? Am I really strong enough to do this? I'm not sure I am...I know I'm going to give it one Hell of a fight. I'm accustomed to these doubts creeping in. I've fought these for awhile now. Doubt, is a powerful enemy to self-esteem and motivation. If I give in to my doubts, then I just sit back and quit. No need to try, because there is no way it'll work. That way I don't have to face disappointment. Trust me, I've known these feelings for awhile. I'm not giving in to them, but it's difficult to keep them from creeping into my head, especially on nights alone in a hospital room. Oh well. I will fight these demons when I wake up. For now, I will try to keep these thoughts out of my head and rest. Tomorrow the fight starts again. I was reminded from a friend that I forgot some definitions, she reminded me that I am a friend. So I'll end with this tonight...I'm Joe Riffe, I am an above knee amputee, a paramedic, a fiance, a father, a friend, a self-professed redneck, a brother, a fighter, unsure about what tomorrow brings, but willing to face it head on. Goodnight everyone


  1. By far my favourite tweet of all of last year was the following:

    "Courage does not always roar. Sometimes, courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying 'I will try again tomorrow.'"

    I don't know where the quote is originally from, so I apologise to the owner. But thank them for it. This blog, this belief, this confidence, and yes, even this doubt are all proof that of course you can do it.

  2. Your Kate sounds like a wonderful gal. I'm sure with her love and your determination you and she will get through this. Your blog is very encouraging

  3. Joe,
    I didn't find this blog until tonight. Your story is amazing. I believe you accomplish all that you dream of. I too am an amputee. I was 3 when my foot was taken off. I didn't lose it from an accident but a birth defect. I was born with spinal bifada. My family was told I would never walk but I showed them all. Like you, I could have stayed home and draw my disability. I couldn't let that happen. I am a 911 dispatcher in Alabama.
    I am praying for you and your family. God will see you through this.