Thanks to all that have helped!!!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Falling Down

Today has been rough to say the least. I experienced my first of many falls today. The fall, although painful, wasn't as bad as what it concreted in my head. That impact slammed into my head the finality of my situation. Without the aid of a device I am no longer able to just get up and get out like I want to. I find myself trying to balance and juggle things while maintaining using the walker. The physical therapist wants me up on crutches as soon as possible, and while this represents a huge step in locomotion, it does nothing to help me gain that full independence I want so badly. I wish I could take the burden of care from those around me and have that freedom I want so badly. I have spent the last almost 9 months having to get around on some appliance and have people get things for me. I just want to be able to walk again. I know I have lofty aspirations, but those first steps unassisted will be like a weight lifted off of my back, liberating if you will. I dream of that day. The day I no longer have to ask Kate to be my fiance' and my caretaker. While I'm sure there will be set backs, and she and I will revert to these roles we know so well, I yearn for those days. I wish while we are in between visits I had a way to just take off for a couple of days. Just get out of town and away from the everyday fact of my current existence. I know this is impossible at the moment. A pipedream if you will. I know that in the coming months this pipedream I will be able to make a reality. We have a goal of within the next five years we want to go to Ireland. We'll see if we can make it happen. I've wrote about it before, but the stress placed on caretakers can sometimes be worse than the stress placed on the patient. They have to balance everything while the other focuses on healing. I am blessed to have such a loving, caring woman to take on these roles. She has done nothing short of amaze me.

The concrete evidence of this new life I am going to be dealing with, the wind knocked out of me lying on my back in my living room floor. I had to take a moment, to just look up at the ceiling and ask what have I done. Once the initial emotion passed, I am still resolute that I have done the right thing. My physicians all agree that I have done the right thing, and the ultimate outcome would have been the same no matter the path taken to get here. Although, one cannot help but ask why and wonder what if. Those are two questions I don't go one day without asking. I think anyone with a permanent life change has to ask these things. In those few moments lying there I realized that this life change is not my own, it's Kate's, it's my family's, my friend's. It belongs to all of us, because I rely on all of them in order to make this work. So tonight I end with a few words that are more powerful than most. Thank you and I love you.


  1. Hey Joe,

    Hang in there. You probably know this but protect your residual limb if you fall!! I took one on the chin not long ago to save my stump. : ) This is where I guess it pays to be a former horse trainer for 30 years...the falls are mostly nothing. The main thing is keep going. I still tell myself: it's only hard the first thousand times you do it. I cut & stacked firewood yesterday & thought of all the good you're doing in the world--now & in the future as a medic. One day at a time.

  2. You are doing FANTASTIC Joe. I love reading your blog. I love the fluidity and flow of your words. You are a fantastic person and you inspire your older cousin! :) Having known you your whole life, I know that you will NOT give up..and FALLING??? were knocked down by GIANTS on your football team..falling is just a ripple in the pond my friend. You'll be back on the back of that truck working as a medic in no time flat..I look forward to the day! GET A LEG UP! <3 :)


  3. Don't listen to your physical therapist crutches are not safe for us. Think about it! My physical therapist doctor etc never said to use crutches. You want to risk falling even more then try using crutches. I still use my walker when Im not wearing my leg. Why isn't insurance paying for your prosthetic leg. I wrote you earlier that I have an extra leg (knee)that I could give you. You just need a new socket. I know the Clegs and others are more expensive but get started with the basic prosthetic leg.

  4. Joe, you really are an inspiration for anyone going through a rough patch in their life. I can't wait for you to get back to doing what you love. We miss you!!