The Walking Dead
Well I’m not dead, but I am walking. Though my form right now is about as bad as one of those zombies on TV, so I’m not sure if I’m fooling anyone. Walking for me now is not, and never will be, like I used to walk, yet luckily I haven’t lost too much ground during my recovering over the past few months from various set-backs. My physical therapist was confident enough to let me bring my “stubbies” home. To refresh your memory, the stubbies are like my training wheels. They are rigid, bulky, and heavy, but they are sturdy and only about a foot off the ground. The bottoms are square and stable, as opposed to the more natural, narrow feet. The idea is that as I become comfortable moving on these, the prosthetic legs will grow taller, and increasingly more complex. The more advanced the prosthesis, the more natural the look, feel, and function. But if I can’t master the simpler ones, the advanced models will serve as little more than expensive anchors. (In case you were wondering, the best legs on the market go for around $25,000 per leg-no, I’m not joking)
People have deemed this an “exciting step” (pun intended), but honestly I kind of dread putting the clunky things on. It is exhausting, frustrating, and uncomfortable. My residual limbs (also known as the remaining parts of my natural legs) are sore, as the prosthetic legs press and rub on areas that sustained severe trauma and numerous operations. Being the realist that I am, I know it is foolish to hope for any desirable outcome without the appropriate actions to achieve it. Luck plays an important role in all our lives. Whether it be a snow day when you didn’t study for a test, the ball from a roulette wheel landing on your chosen number, or the judge being in a “good mood” when you contest that speeding ticket, luck can sometimes give us what we want without the work involved. Walking on prosthetic legs will sadly not have luck involved. Hard work is the only way for success on this one. Reality bites.
You can see a video of me walking outside last week. It was the first time I walked beyond the confines of the physical therapy room in the CFI building.
Before I finish this note, I want to share a couple final thoughts. First, I want to thank my friends at Veterans Airlift Command for returning me safely home following my trip to NY. Tom Torti at the Signature Westchester County Airport, Bob Wilson and Charlie Huggins at the Wilson Air Center, and each of their crews, displayed kindness and skill, which made travel comfortable and easy. I don’t know how I’d have done it any other way. Second, I’ve been working with my brother Tom on making some upgrades and changes to this webpage. Well, he actually does the work, I just provide input and complaints. Thanks Tom for putting up with me and making this site possible. Finally, thanks to all of you who continue giving me the strength to move forward. Many of you feel it’s the other way around, but I assure you, it is you who give me the motivation to do what I do, and I am forever grateful.