I’ll consider this to be that infrequent post where I dump my feelings at the moment for those that are in the same boat and need that hand on their shoulder.
As other posts on this site state, I am a leg amputee and have been for approximately 7 years now. This was the outcome of large pick-up truck running a red-light at 50 MPH just as I was in the middle of a left-hand turn into a gas station. This accident removed more than my leg, it removed a part of my soul.
At the moment I am near my 40 year birthday by 2 months, sitting and remembering my time. About the time of the accident, I was an avid cyclist, runner, body-muscle tuner, and I was only a few months from registering for the military for which I had tuned my body over a matter of a year or so. I wanted to be somebody, and I was hell-bent on it. That day removed everything I had worked for, including my pride.
On this day I sit on my chair and listen to the voices I heard people constantly say to me afterwards. From, “It’s only one leg, feel lucky you have the rest of your body” to “You don’t see everyone riding bikes and running, so your normal”.
It’s the little things of life that build up to be what you are, and who you want to be over time. Imagine one day waking up and having everything you hold as yourself taken away in the blink of an eye, with scars the rest of your life that resemble a scarlet letter. I can still feel the road under my feet in my mind, the cadence, the adrenaline slowly running through your body that numbs everything but your mind. It’s your world, no one can take it away you say… until they do. It’s a double-slap during those personal moments with your spouse or significant other.
For those that have had a part of themselves taken away, I’m here for you brother. I hold back tears at least once weekly because of it, and I know there are more than feel the same way. I don’t care what anyone else in this world says, it makes you feel like half the man you were before, and the only remedy for that is someone else understanding. Don’t try and make someone else feel better, just understand and accept. It’s more than a wound, it’s post-traumatic stress.