Thanks to all that have helped!!!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Six Million Dollar Man and PTSD Breaks

Yesterday I did an AMA (ask me anything) on Reddit. It was a great experience. It reminded me of the power of the internet. I was able to reach out to thousands of people with a simple  post. More importantly, I was able to connect with a person who is facing an amputation and after reading and participating in my AMA felt much better about the prospect of amputation. It amazes me that it's 2014 and still amputation is looked upon as a life ending prospect.

Link to Reddit AMA

What comes to mind when you hear the word amputee? Do you still get flashes in your head of peg legs and wheelchairs? Do you see a person who is downtrodden and broken? These are the common perceptions of the amputee. I hope to change that. No, when I hear the word amputee I see a fighter. I see strength. I see a future where man and machine are joined to not only replace, but enhance our abilities. Yes. I am a bionic man (play the six million dollar man theme here). It is an exciting time to be an amputee. No longer are we going to be forced to sit idly by and watch the world pass. We are out on the front lines of the blurring of flesh and bone limbs being replaced and augmented by gears and neural interfaces.

After such a high of course, I came crashing down. I was quickly reminded that while I am happy with my decision to have an amputation, and about where the future of prosthesis are headed. I still have my demons that I must deal with. As I lay down last night to try to sleep, the PTSD demon reared his ugly head in full force. It was different than any attack I had ever had. Not only did I feel like I was reliving the moments after my fall. I was there. My background noise of what ever show I was half watching was replaced with the sounds of birds chirping and water splashing down against rocks. For most it would be a serene scene, for me it was Hell envisioned. The walls lit by the television light were replaced with the sights of trees passing overhead as I was carried up the mountainside by Fort Knox Fire and Rescue. This was the first time that I had a full on hallucination of my fall. I WAS THERE! I felt like my bones were trying to crawl out of my skin, my phantom pains added to the delusion by recreating the burning sensation of an open ankle dislocation. Yes it was truly terrible. Yet, today...I'm still here. I'm alive. No demon; PTSD or otherwise, will stop me on my quest. I am thankful today that I was reminded in vivid detail of why I'm here. I'm not saying I'm thankful that I have PTSD. On the contrary I loathe this disease with all my being. I am thankful that I have a place to go talk about it and it can be seen by anyone who wants to read it. I hope this message reaches you. I know your in Public Safety and being affected by the atrocities you see is perceived as a weakness somehow. I want you to know you are not alone. I realized now that I have had these issues for awhile. Sometimes it's my fall, other times it's that SIDS baby or the pediatric full arrest or the dead husband that I couldn't help and had to break that news to his wife on Christmas morning. Yes, we all deal with it. I have just chosen to stand up and say I am a Paramedic, I am an Amputee, I am a PTSD sufferer, and this is OK.

If this is you, if you want to talk I am available. You can contact me via my email at You have complete and total privacy. No one and I mean NO ONE you do not want to know will no. I promise I won't say a word. I care about you and all my readers. Weather you are an amputee, member of public safety, or just a normal person feel free to reach out. Someone is here who is willing to listen.

Until Next Time.


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