Asking for help is probably one of the hardest things to do for people yet it’s one of the first things that we offer to others. Even if people do offer it we still don’t take them up on it. I don’t know why it’s so difficult. It’s like we have this pride that if we ask for help we are less of a person or that we have somehow failed. I know that I am definitely guilty of this. I don’t like to bother others or feel like I am a burden. I have had so many surgeries and health issues that there comes a point where I feel like I have used up all my favors. I try to plan out my helpers so they don’t get burned out. Luckily we have family and some friends that still offer to help and who don’t even wait to be asked.
I was talking to a good friend of mine the other day and we talked about needing help. She recently had an injury and wasn’t able to use her arm. She said that she never needed help like this before and now that she has if she knows someone that needs help she isn’t going to wait to see if they need help she is just going over to help. I think that if you have never needed help that you never will know how appreciated it is. It’s usually those that have needed help that will be the ones to help without offering or being asked. People often think of the things to help with like meals and rides which are so helpful. They are also the easiest to ask for. Other things that people have done for me that I have appreciated immensely that aren’t so easy to ask for are picking up the house, doing laundry, coming by to visit, calling to check on me or even sending messages.
Being in this situation and unable to do my usual routine can become very frustrating and lonely. I sit at home all day with no one around to talk to. People work during the day and are busy at night. I also think that people don’t realize how lonely it is and think that they don’t want to bother me or that I have plenty of visitors. In my case there are never too many visitors or phone calls. I know that I also feel bad and guilty for all that Jason and even my kids have had to take on during these last four years. It’s nothing I will ever be able to repay to them and I know that they don’t look at it like that but it doesn’t stop me from feeling that way.
I never imagined that life would turn out this way. I can only hope and pray that one day it will get better and that I can hopefully help others out as much as they have helped me. You would think that I would be used to it after dealing with it so many times but I don’t. I’m grateful for all that I have though and I know that God has a reason for all of it so that keeps me going. Thank you to all of the people that have helped me and my family throughout the years. It means more than you will ever know.
I have held back on sharing my story because I was waiting for it to be a happy ending where I am able to run, go for walks and do things with my family. I had such a positive outlook when I first had my leg amputated. I never dreamed that having it amputated would make it worse. This was supposed to be my time to shine and my time to cash in on all the things I had been waiting so long to do. Unfortunately that is not how the story goes. My story isn’t telling about all of the things I have accomplished physically. It is the story of the things I have accomplished mentally and my drive to never give up.
Having my accident happen when I was so young has made this a story of over 20 years of difficulties. Decisions of other people have caused me difficulties that I had absolutely no control over. There have been things where there wasn’t anything I could do to change it or make it better. Things have often felt so far out of my control.
When I was younger my emotions were also out of control. I was so embarrassed of how my foot looked that I wouldn’t show anyone and I really didn’t want to talk about it or how I felt about it either. I would often just try to pretend that things didn’t bother me not only to others but to myself also. When I was alone and with my thoughts was when I couldn’t pretend everything was alright. My parents took me to see a psychiatrist but I was so annoyed by the thought that I had to go that I never even gave it a chance. It took me a really long time to realize that by keeping everything in and not talking about it was making me depressed and even angry. That was super hard to admit too and a whole other blog post.
I honestly don’t know what finally got me to start to shift my perspective but I started to realize that it was good to talk to people about it. It wasn’t until after my leg was amputated though that I wanted to share it with more people. My story isn’t the feel good happy ending story. It isn’t one of how I came back from these horrific injuries to run or some other lifelong dream that I have had since I was 15. It is a story of being brave and still getting up and living life even when it continually knocks you down. I want to share my story even if it helps just one person to be able to continue on in their difficult journey.
I have started going with my prosthetist to UW Madison, UW LaCrosse and soon at Blackhawk Tech to speak with their physical therapy and physical therapy assistants. I get to talk about my accident, what led up to the amputation, what went wrong with the amputation, what I have to live like now and my advice for them to work better with their patients along with any questions that they have.
I have also stated sending out my biography to different groups and conferences. Each time I do it I get so nervous like I want to puke before I send the email out. Then I remember that the worst that could happen is that they could say no and not want me to come meet with their group. I am so excited that I will be doing a breakout session at a conference for Dane County Children Come First. This has motivated me to start to send out my biography to area principals and alternative schools to see if I could come and speak to their students and staff. I would love to start going to other groups in addition to schools such as medical staff, drivers education, anger management or anywhere that needs to hear a story of courage and bravery. If you have a group that you would like me to come speak with please contact me. Limb Laugh Love Bio
As Rosa Parks said, “You must never be fearful about what you are doing when it is right.” I feel that even though I get scared that sharing my experience is the right thing to do.
I have had this blog for over a year yet I have only posted a few things. I don’t know if it is being scared to put everything out there or what it was but that is over. I feel that God has given me the gift of writing and to relate to others. I guess I have felt like I am just an ordinary person with a life that has given me bigger hurdles than others. I still feel that way but I have had several people tell me that I am inspiring to them and make them feel like they can conquer the hurdles that they have by hearing about how I face mine. For that reason I am going to start sharing what my life is like every day and not just the really good or the really bad because there is a lot in between that I haven’t shared. I think it will be good for me too because I don’t always talk about or share how I am feeling, what my difficulties are, what makes things better and what makes them worse.
I also want people to know that they can reach out to me too. I want people to asked me questions about what I am going through. I want people to share what is going on with them too. I feel like people think they can’t talk to me about what is going on with them because they think I have too much on my plate. I feel like even my close friends feel like this. While it is true that I have a lot on my plate I love being able to talk to other people about what is going on with them. That is a huge reason I became a therapist is to help other people. Not only is it rewarding but it makes me feel like I am giving back for all the people that have been there for me and helped me through my journey. It also keeps my mind off of things and it helps me put things into perspective that there is always someone that has something worse off than I do. It also will keep me from losing my sanity especially while I am out on medical leave. Having a therapist alone in a house all day is not a good idea. My poor family when they come home and want to chill after being around people all day get attacked by me wanting to talk about everything. My family and friends that come here probably feel like they can never leave because I can’t stop talking. Hopefully by blogging more I can save my family and friends from getting attacked by the locked up therapist.