I'm about to begin my journey walking through life with a prosthetic leg.
On my way to the prosthetist's office today I was surprised by my lack of excitement, but sense of purpose and hope. This has been such a long and strenuous healing process. As my patience wears thin, at least my skin is growing stronger! I'm constantly amazed by the medical technology that saved my life. I'd like to write about what I experienced in the hospital (and preface that with a quick note - I probably only remember half of the events that occured, due to all of the pain medications that flowed through my IVs).
I remember feeling very relaxed my first night in the hospital. I knew I was finally safe. Safely on pain meds in a hospital filled with people who could help me. I had my parents with me and my close friends (shout out to Amanda, Sam, Danielle, Alban, Ben, Erin, Jon, Jen, and Sketkh!). But that night was the calm before the storm.
The rest of my stay in the hospital was filled with surgeries, pain, anxiety, and fear. Also love and support. But mostly fear. For over two weeks the doctors weren't sure if they could save my knee. Most of the skin below my knee wasn't salvageable and they didn't know if the muscle underneath would be viable. I never prayed so much in my life.
I had a 50/50 chance of keeping/losing my knee. Luckily the odds swung in my favor. Unluckily, I had to spend two more weeks without skin covering that muscle. Everytime the residents changed the dressing on my wound it felt like they were peeling off my skin while simultaneously burning my leg. Yet somehow my parents managed to help me find a sense of humor to cope with the situation.
We laughed when one of the residents thought I was a med student. We found a sense of community with my roommates, who consisted of prisoners and stabbing victims (I changed rooms 5x during my stay in the Newark hospital). I cracked up when my order of shrimp scampi arrived as prawns and rice. And my parents smiled when they walked into post-op and found me holding hands with my surgeon and resting.
I don't know how we survived between all of the surgeries and the side effects that come along with being bedridden. But we did survive! And now I'm taking it one painful step at a time.
Here's a picture of my beautiful new leg! When I start performing again, please do me a favor and don't wish me, "break a leg!"