Thanks to all that have helped!!!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Defiantly Optimistic

Rough day today, the GI bug has made it to the Prosthetic Medic household. Needless to say a panicked trip to the restroom is difficult for a one legged man. Now that you have that disturbing/hilarious stuck in your head we'll move on to the post for today.

Last night was rough as well, I have moved down a size with the stump shinker and my phantom pains have increased as a result. Strangely enough we've discovered that if I look into a mirror and Kate rubs my right leg it tricks my brain into thinking my left leg is being touched. This normally helps the phantom pains pass quicker than they would on their own. It's amazing how the human mind works. To go from this weird sensation of itching or cramping and have her rub the right leg and feel like its working on my left. Craziness I tell you.

So aside from the phantom pains and stomach bug, I am actually very excited. Yesterday, I was told that I should be walking in the next few weeks. The more I dwell on it and more excited it gets me. I am so excited at the prospect of being able to get up and walk without the assistance of a cane or crutches. To just decide I need to do something and be able to get up and do it is a freedom that I have missed beyond belief. Definitely something that most people take for granted. You never really think about the freedom of movement until it is taken away from you. It is something I will never take for granted again, and I'm sure those first few steps will be the most liberating since I had my first steps on a cane after the fixator was taken off. I have been a member of a few groups of people now that are cursed to have their movement limited. First I was stuck in the fixator, and although I could get around on a walker, it was such a limited amount of movement that I felt trapped. I graduated out of that to my next prison. I was stuck with foot drop, for those of you who don't know what that is...Foot drop is a condition where you can no longer dorsiflex your foot, or bring your toes towards your head. This means that your foot just dangles there without any nervous or muscle control. This is a very strange sensation to deal with as well, but one that has prepared me for walking without feeling the ground. Prior to my amputation I had no sensation below my knee. So, when walking I couldn't feel the ground and had to guess where my foot was in space. More than likely, since my prosthesist is using a vacuum system to hold my socket on, I'll have better proprioception that I did with my actual leg attached. Now I am moving into the next group I'll be in for the rest of my life. I am an amputee. I will be using a prosthetic to mimic a normal person's every day life. This is fitting for my lifestyle. I have never considered myself normal and now I have to say I am not. I am not normal for many reasons, and like a t-shirt I had many years ago, Normal People Scare Me. I am blessed to be in this situation. I have been given an opportunity to be abnormal again. I am taking a situation where most people would quit and get depressed, and instead I am pushing myself and I am excited. I get to prove people wrong. I have a set group of people in my head that I think of when I feel like quitting. The people who want me to quit, who want me to fail, so they don't have to deal with me. Congrats, you are my motivation. You are my driving force. Yes, I am driven by my family and friends, who want to see me succeed...but I have to say. I want to see the look a few peoples faces when I WALK in and they have to deal with the repercussions of my victory.

So, as I end tonight, I will quiet my defiant tone and end appropriately on this Valentines Day. Kate, I love you. Happy Valentines Day I am alive because of you and am blessed that I get the honor of spending the rest of my life with you.


  1. Joe,

    I'm glad that you are doing well. As I was reading your blog tonight, you do have a sense of peace that YOU know that everything is going to be alright. Your story is so uplifting and amazing!

    If there's anything you need, let us know. We (Brenda and I) are pulling for you and thinking of you! Take care!

    Dwight Overstreet

  2. I had heard about that mirror trick. I'm glad it's working for you.
    I'm sorry you have people who want you to fail- but I'm glad you are using that as motivation. I have to admit I'm a little excited to hear how it goes as things progress.