Slowed to A Crawl

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
I didn't want to be dead, but I wanted to be whole, and now my leg was gone. Running was my life, it gave me my freedom, now I wondered what I would do.

It didn't take long for me to realize that feeling sorry for myself just wasn't going to change anything. I was alive and I needed to live my life fully.

"What happens from here?" I asked.

"You will be in the hospital only a week or two, not that I agree with that, but thats what the insurance companies cover, and then you will go home, but you will have physical therapy everyday for awhile, and you will go home in a chair, it's going to take time for your prosthesis to be ready, and when it is you will have to learn to walk on it."

Submitted: May 28, 2017

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Submitted: May 28, 2017

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I woke up to my world changed forever, woke up in a hospital bed.

"We tried to save your leg, but we had to amputate, right leg above the knee.' The doctor said straightforwardly.

I woke up knowing something was wrong, but not to what extent.

"My leg can't be gone, I am a runner, I need my feet." I said.

"We did everything we could, but the damage was to severe, we had to amputate, you are lucky you came out of that crash alive."

I didn't want to be dead, but I wanted to be whole, and now my leg was gone.  Running was my life, it gave me my freedom, now I wondered what I would do.

It didn't take long for me to realize that feeling sorry for myself just wasn't going to change anything.  I was alive and I needed to live my life fully. 

"What happens from here?" I asked.

"You will be in the hospital only a week or two, not that I agree with that, but thats what the insurance companies cover, and then you will go home, but you will have physical therapy everyday for awhile, and you will go home in a chair, it's going to take time for your prosthesis to be ready, and when it is you will have to learn to walk on it."

"I wanted to walk out of here." I said.

"It's going to take time, but I believe you will walk, I can already tell you are stubborn and that might be a good thing in this case."

"Thank you Doc." I said laughing, it was weird that I was able to feel so many emotions at once.  "No I think its more like I have Jesus in my heart and that is what is going to get me through this."

"Good, because this isn't going to be easy."

"I didn't think it would be." I said.  "But I am going to get through this."

I was not going to let myself fall into that engulfing pit of self pity, I lost my leg, and I would have to live with that,  I would have questions, and there would be times I would hurt, but I could not let the hurt overrun my life.

"I wish all my patients had your attitude." The doctor said.  "I can't change it so why should I let it ruin my life."

"That's good, but I am not going to kid you, this is going to be hard, do you have family that can help you when you get home?"

"Yeah a sister, but she is on a missionary trip, not due back for at least a week, maybe more."

"You're going to need her, I would call her when you leave here, even if not physically you are going to need her emotional support."

"I don't want to tell her right now, I don't want her to worry."

"She would worry more if she didn't hear from you."

I knew the doctor was right, but I was firecely independent, I hated to admit to myself or to anyone that I might need help.  I was strong, independent, I could not let anyone see the pain, the vulnerability I sometimes hid inside.

"When do I start physical therapy?" I asked, changing the subject.

"Tomorrow, but I am warning you this isn't going to be easy, you are going to have to come to terms with your injury."

"I know." I said, the truth was I did know, but like I said I hated needing anyone for anything, I was the one who offered the love and comfort everyone needed.

 

his is harder than I thought." I said as I struggled to stand and step on the Prosthetic leg I was now wearing.  "i didn't think it would be this hard."

"It takes your time for you to relearn to do things over again, you just lost your leg, you have to rewire your brain to think the Prosthesis is part of your body."

"I know, I just didn't think it would be this hard."

"Give it time." The physical therapist said.  "You have the the will and determination to get through this."

"And I have the good Lord." I said.  "That's the most important thing."

I knew that it was my faith getting me through this.  I wasn't being strong because of myself but because of the Lord.  If I had to face loosing my leg, and waking up to a life forever changed without the Lord I would have broken down long ago.  Yes of course I still had my questions, and I even got angry, frustrated with myself because I was so used to being independent, but I was learning to lean more on the Lord, and I could not help but think I needed that.

"You have a good attitude about this, it's going to serve you well."

"I am grateful for that."

"Good."

I pushed myself up again, and took one faltering step, it was a small awkaward step, but it would be so much more than that in the long run.
Learning to walk with a leg made of plastic was not easy, but I was doing it and I was thankful for that, but sometimes I felt the phantom pains that nearly knocked me to my knees.  My brain was still acting as if my leg was still there, although I had lost it in that accident, and Phantom pains were a tricky thing, but there was nothing phantom about being shaken to your knees.  I refused to let these pains stop me from regaining my independenence and get back to my life.  I wanted to get back in the classrom and finish my degree, I was so close to finishing out that there was nothing that was going to stop me not even the accident that had taken my legs, besides I did not need both legs to be a counsellor, perhaps going through this in a strange way would bring me closer to the patience I would have.  I was trying to look at this in a postive light, though even I was having some struggles, I had my questions, and they were hard to answer, but there was a big difference in wondering why, and asking why than there was in obsessing over things that could not change.

"Regina I don't know how you can be so strong about this." One of my friends said, as she came over to visit me a few days after I left the hospital.

"I'm not always strong, but feeling sorry for myself isn't going to give me my leg back."

"Are you nervous around others when you aren't wearing the prosthesis."

"Sometimes, probably to often." I admitted.  "I just need to get past it though and if others don't like it that's their problem.  I can't he;p this happened to me, but I am not going to spend my life hiding from it either."

"I don't think I could be as stong as you are." Kathi said.

"I think you're selling yourself short."

I've learmed to accept my life as it is, and I have learned that being an amputee has not changed who I am on the inside.  Things may be different for me, but I lost my leg, not my true self, my leg did not define who I was, eventhough I was a runner, not even that defined me.

I am a believer in the Lord and that helped me through the rough times, of learning to live my life in a new and different way, and I guess I could have let myself wallow in self pity, but what good would that do me?  It certainly would not give me my leg back.

I am learning that even though I have lost my leg it does not have to mean that my dreams of running have to die, learning to walk on the Prosthetic leg was a struggle and I know learning to run again would not be easy, but sometimes we have to fight hard for our dreams, and I truly believe that we have struggles in our lives for a reason, maybe it helps us to cherish the good times more.

July.2008


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