Onward & Upward (6.03.15)
Just arrived at Indiana University North Hospital, and now in pre-op. Beautiful hospital, and very kind staff. Good start to what is likely to be a long day.
Here's a description of my procedure: Ertl Amputation Procedure described by Dr. Jan Ertl. Dr. Ertl may be doing a 2 step procedure, due to my having had osteomyelitis (bone infection). I may have wound vac and not be completely closed up after today's surgery. This way if the osteomyelitis rears its ugly head again it won't be trapped.
It is surreal to know I’ll be waking up from surgery in less than 48 hours without one of my feet. A foot and leg I’ve fought for almost 34 years to keep. I’ve had over 40 surgeries in my life (over 30 have been on my leg), but this week’s will certainly be unlike the others. This is letting go of something I thought I needed to be whole, but realized is an obstacle to who I can be. I’m trying to stay curious about it, but it is overwhelming. I’m reminding myself I am taking a big step towards a new life, though I’m having moments I feel I may dissolve into a puddle.
Tomorrow I’ll be heading to Indianapolis, in preparation for surgery Wednesday with Dr. Jan Ertl at Indiana University North Hospital. My parents will be with me, as they were after my accident in 1981. I’m blessed with supportive family and friends. I’m grateful for the many great people in my life, which now includes new friends I've met on my quest to learn about what my new life will be like as an amputee.
Reclaiming is by definition the act of retrieving, recovering, or restoring something previously lost. I’ve done a lot of salvaging in my life, trying to make the best of challenges I’ve been presented with. What I’ve learned is that reclaiming doesn’t mean trying to save something that will never function better or harms other aspects of life. Sometimes reclaiming means giving in to what is, and letting go in order to move forward-accepting that in losing something we thought was essential we may gain new freedom.
I’m having a below knee amputation Wednesday, June 3. I’m writing in order to keep in touch with family & friends, and in hopes of helping someone else facing the difficult choice of amputation or persevere through other challenges I've experienced.