Friday, January 27, 2012

Feeling Temporarily Discouraged

I wouldn't be honest if I didn't devulge how difficult this learning to walk on short legs has revealed itself to be. At this point in time I must admit I am feeling a little discouraged about the whole program.

It seems to me that maybe I put my expectations of my success either too high or as usual, not given myself enough time to achieve my goal. Sometimes I feel like I am a broken record (remember those?), repeating the same mantra over and over, its not good enough, its not fast enough and I'm not making progress.

I realize that I have made some progress, that part in undeniable, however, I guess in my own mind I thought it would be easier.

Chris, my physical therapist, and I have decided to cut my therapy sessions from twice a week to once a week. After all I have been going to therapy twice a week for the past ten monthes.

We feel I have learned the basic maneuvers, how to walk, how to use canes, how to fall, how to get up after fall and now it is time to implement those learned traits by putting them into practice.

As you may recall, the goal is to wear the short legs as much as possible, going through the usual daily routines while wearing the shortened legs. "It is easier said than done" is an understatement.

At this point I can barely walk to the next room without feeling fatigued, much less continue the task I walked into the to room to do in the first place.

Rarely do I lose my enthusiasm when I set my mind to achieve a goal. I think my track record had shown I always perserve. I feel my expectations of achieving my goal are waning.

When I began writing this blog, I wanted it to be a collection of optimistic, realistic and truthful accounts of my experiences through my leg loss journey.

Thus far I feel my blog has been all of those things but it troubles me to have to admit this whole discouragement feeling. If you are reading my blog and have suffered the loss of a limb or possibly two or any monumental loss in your life, I wanted this blog to be a place to turn to for words of encouragement and hope.

Perhaps my sharing my current feelings of discouragement with you, will help you and help me at the same time, by realizing that we are all human beings, only capable of achieving so much in our lives given our situation.

I hope my candor about my feelings will acknowledge that even I, the eternal optimist, feels let down, beat down, and discouraged from time to time. These are natural feelings to be expected and to be dealt with.

Where do I go from here? Get back on the horse or in my case the short legs and try again.

I thought that maybe I shouldn't write about my feelings of disappointment and discouragement, shouldn't share this part of my life, because it borders on feelings of defeat. Obviously, I decided I would write about it.

Let me make sure I am being clear here, I am not giving up. It is not a part of my DNA to be a quitter, to give up, to lose my race. I guess it was time to share with my readers the feelings of frustration and discouragement that are an everyday part of my leg loss.

I do not live in this world wearing rose colored glasses nor do I live in a "Pollyanna" world as I have been told by others from time to time. It has taken me a year to realize the magnitude of the loss of my second leg and how much more difficult it is than the loss of the one leg.

Am I discouraged? yes, somewhat. Have I lost my zeal for life? absolutely not.

As a matter of fact just writing these words today has already begun to stir within myself the importance of walking the walk (excuse the pun), practicing what I myself have preached over the past year. It is about lifting yourself out of the fog of negativity and potentially destructive feelings of defeat, then recommitting yourself to your original objective.

Alas, no one said life would be easy and I for one can attest to that.

Fortunately as we all know nothing lasts forever. This loss of my legs appears to be something that will last forever but bear in mind it will only last the length of this lifetime, which as we know will not be forever.

When this lifetime has come to a close and I refect upon it, I want to know I did my best and did it with courage, conviction, and dignity. What more could anyone ask of me and I of myself?

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Importance of Spirituality

A strangely eerie but quite joyful event happened at my sister Rhonda and brother-in-law Peter's house on Christmas day. I was taking pictures of my family, I took seventeen pictures in all. They were the usual kind of photos anyone would take on such an occasion.

When I viewed the photos there was one particular photograph that stood out. It was a picture of my sister, Delpha, in the background and of my neice, Erica, and her new baby, Matthew along with the back of my great neice, Emily's head in a Santa hat, in the foreground.

For some unknown reason it was the only picture of the seventeen taken that was out of focus. When I saw the image I was immediately struck by the fact it looked like a picture of my Mother.

This photograph, although out of focus, looked as if my Mother was sitting on the couch in the living room! I showed this photo to Bill and even though he had never met my Mother, he has seen pictures of her in my home, without any prompting from me he said to me this looks like your Mother.

A discussion about the photograph ensued and he began to scrutinize the photo more closely. If you look carefully there is an aura about her head in the photo. After Bill left my house he did some research about this type of photograpic phonomena and his research devulged that often times when our deceased relatives pay us a visit it is often around happy family events(like Christmas) or when a new member enters the family (my new great nephew).

Before he mentioned those facts I had never really considered that this was my great nephew's first Christmas. Of course anyone who knew my Mother would know that Chrsitmas was by far her favorite holiday.

Some readers may wonder what does any of this have to do with the fact that this blog is primarily about losing your legs?

I believe when you have dealt with, or are confronted with monumental catastrophic life changing events like my leg loss, your belief in a higher spiritual being will be of great comfort to you during these and the subsequent events in your life that folow.

If I did not have my belief in a Higher Source, a Devine Being, God, a source of unseen guidance, my life would be greatly diminished. I pray often for guidance and strength to get me through the leg loss ordeal I have been thrust into.

I'm sure I have mentioned before that I talk to both of my deceased parents all the time, asking for help and strength. It was no surprise to me that my Mother came to visit her family, meet her new great grandson and participate, although unseen, in our Christmas.

Upon closer analysis of the whole photographic phonomena I wondered why my Mother had chosen Delpha as her vehicle to show herself in that photo. Why wouldn't she choose Delpha? Delpha was the only child of her four children who was with her when she left this world and Delpha is her youngest child.

There are many naysayers in this world, people who would like to think I am silly for thinking such things as I have just written. Be that as it may, I believe it was my Mother, a realization that has brought me joy and comfort. My belief in an afterlife had sustained me in this life, given me reason to carry on, live a life of dignity, grace and perseverance. You can't really argue with a belief that has helped and continues to help you live a better more fulfilling life.

I get goosebumps everytime I look at the photo, goosebumps because I know she was and is here now as I write this.

It looks like my Mother gave me the greatest Christmas gift of all, herself...

Friday, January 13, 2012

The Comment Box--A Mix Up

When I began writing this blog, and as time went on, the goals I hoped to achieve through this blog began to evolve.

One of the main objectives that became more and more apparent to me was that this blog is here to help people, particularly persons who are facing hardships in their lives.

I have received many comments throughout the past year in the comment box located at the end of each blog entry. Of course I appreciate all of the compliments I have received and all of the feedback about  those topics that  I have chosen to write. I thank each and every reader for taking the time not only to read my blog but especially for taking even more time to comment on what I have written.

That being said, what I would like to address are those comments I have received from people who were going through their own personal trials, be it a physical affliction, a psychological problem dealing with a particular disability or injury,  and those asking for advice concerning various organizations that are designed to assist people with disabilities.

As we know I am not the most computer savvy person on the planet and I  have been learning how this whole "blog thing" works  as I have gone along. There have been readers who have written to me asking for help in various ways.

When you leave a comment in the comment box at the end of my blog, it sends an email to my personal email inbox, alerting me that a comment has been made. In the past, when I read an email sent to me through my blog I was under the mistaken impression that when I responded to the email by hitting the reply button on my personal email account,  that those who wrote to me would receive my reply. This is not the case.

To those who have written comments that were asking for help, advice or information, I want you to know I did not ignore your comments or requests.

I have been troubled by the fact that when I responded, or thought I responded, I never heard from you again, even if I asked for a response from you. The reason is that you never received the feedback that I thought I had sent. I am so sorry I did not understand how this blog works. I have not ignored anyone who was asking me for any type of assistance, please understand that.

This blog was designed to be a public format, meaning your comments and my responses were to be published on my blog, I am just now understanding that format. Given the sometimes sensitive nature of my blog, I thought my responses to your personal problems were best addressed through a personal and private response, thus I used the reply button on my email, all the while not knowing you would never receive them.

In the future, if you want to comment, send a question, or request information, that is sensitive or private in nature, I want you to email me directly through my personal email. My personal email address is:

If you have commented to me on my blog and thought I had ignored your problem or request for information I can assure you I did not ignore you. If you are one of those persons, I still have the original responses I made, or thought I made, in my personal sent file on my computer. I would be pleased to forward them to your personal email if you request me to do so.

I understand that if you commented to me and did not receive a response, you may have stopped reading my blog, which is most troubling to me because it defeats the main objective of this blog. Perhaps you quit reading for a while and now you are back, I certainly hope that is the case.

To reiterate again, if you leave a comment of a personal or sensitive nature, expecting a response, please in the future, write to me directly through my personal email.

I will continue in the future to post my personal email address at the end of each blog to assure  that such a mix up does not happen again.

My personal email address is:

Please keep your comments, criticisms, or requests for information, or whatever they my be, coming--after all that is the purpose of this blog.  Thank You.