Getting a leg further up
I still can’t believe it’s been six months since Safety Ed brought me to the Emergency Department at the VA Medical Center in Seattle. It’s been (sorry) a long, strange trip, but it’s about to come to a conclusion… I will be going home later this week.
In case you’re just joining us, back in February I got really sick which made having my right leg amputated below the knee necessary.
Since then, I was sent to a skilled nursing facility to recover from the surgery, then returned to VAMC Seattle for physical and occupational therapy. The picture shows the latest version of a prosthesis I will be wearing for the rest of my life. Unless, of course, someone discovers what gene switch to flip to make amputated limbs grow back, as some reptiles can do.
I see others in the scooter blogosphere dealing with medical issues—one of them being Steve Williams of Scooter in the Sticks, who is recovering from a heart attack. He has written about the changes in his life since then, and I think about those writings as I contemplate the changes in mine.
I consider myself very fortunate to have been treated in the Veterans’ Affairs healthcare system. VA has more experience in orthopedic surgery and prosthetic design (one member of my prosthetic team is a world-renowned authority on the subject) that just about anyone. Those IEDs and roadside bombs in Iraq and Afghanistan have a lot to do with it, for sure. While I’m inclined to believe the private sector would have bodged up a leg and pushed me out the door, the process of fitting the new leg and teaching me to walk again has been careful and thorough. Those who’ve been working with me have been thrilled with my progress (I always have been a quick learner), and assure me I should do just fine when I rejoin the world.
We’ll see. I haven’t forgotten about scooters, and do expect to be back on two wheels sooner rather than later. But for now, there are many formerly mundane tasks that will require new approaches now that I’m missing a limb. The easiest way to go pee in the middle of the night, for starters. 😉