Had my first fitting today for my socket. This is the integral part of the prosthetic system. No matter how good the technology is, without a proper fitting socket, it is for naught. Luckily, I trust these guys and they are working hard to get me a proper fit and designing this socket to be optimal for me and the lifestyle I hope to live. It was good to get my stump into a socket for the first time and get an idea of how it feels and where I will have different sensations because of it. Today's fitting was just the first of many, it was a clear socket that was a rough draft of what it will become. Later this week I get to go back in and stick my stump in some casting molding to make the final adjustments and create a custom socket just for me. I know that it will be a vacuum system that will hold pressure against me in order to create a better hold with every step I take. I'm very excited to be moving forward with this.
Next, I went to Fraizer Rehab to meet with the physicians that will be in charge of my physical therapy for the foreseeable future. You know you are getting an expensive prosthetic when the MD looks at you and says, "wow that's a top of the line prosthetic, that's quite an expensive leg" I had to laugh a little, knowing that Humana finally came through and I don't have to fight that fight anymore. That is one stress that has finally been lifted off of me. Fraizer is amazing inside. I had been in there a few times while working EMS, but looking at it through a different set of eyes today really amazed me at what they do there. I was able to glance inside at some of the treatment areas, where they work with people just like me, trying to get back to their lives, whatever that may be since their personal traumas. I was in awe of these people and their drive. To glance inside and see the sweat and tears that it takes to get back to where they want to be. It was nice to hear the doctors say that there is no reason for me to be afraid of getting back to where I want to be. I know that they are going to make me hate life for these next few days, but it will all be worth it. I am ready. I can't wait to get started.
I have been advised by Metro HR that I need to fill out my American's with Disabilities Act paperwork. Not asking for a transfer out of EMS, but to secure my position and insure that they have to make "reasonable accommodations" to make my transfer back into EMS a seamless one. I also was informed that I will be getting my first bill for insurance that I have to pay out of pocket. Not really excited about that, it's money we don't have for a service I can't make it without.
Lastly, I had to take some paperwork to EMS HQ today. There I came face to face with what I am trying to return to. The challenges that lie ahead in trying to return to this agency as an amputee. I know that until I prove that I can do it, I will not be seen as a paramedic, I will be seen as an amputee who "used to be a medic" as I was introduced. I'm sure he doesn't know I heard him, but I did. Thanks, that's just more motivation. I can honestly say one individual particularly was very cold and disinterested in any progress that I have made. I'm sure he wants nothing more than to see me fail, or be able to just close the door on my career there so he doesn't have to worry about me anymore. I am a liability. One that he has a personal vendetta against, one that he wants to just fade away. Sorry, I'm not going anywhere, and if I have my way I will be there for years to come. If not, I know there are other agencies out there that would love to get this medic a chance. I want to go back there, hopefully in a few weeks, and proudly walk in those doors, up those stairs, and let them see the progress I have made.