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.