DAILY LIVING & MOBILITY

Over the Waves of Uncertainty- Becoming an Amputee

Amputee

Steven Medeiros

A Moment, A Story, A Life Forever Changed when I became an amptuee

The medic shouts, “we’ll be landing shortly” or at least that is what I thought he said—his words muffled by the roaring of the helicopter propellers. The twenty-five mile flight to San Francisco with the uncertainty of death was all consuming. This uncertainty while confined to my hospital bed forced me to analyze my life up until that point. Had I been living up to my potential? If given a second chance what would I do differently? Often times with tragedy as such one may come to a cross road, either by taking the route of self-pity and giving up or realizing all the opportunities a second chance on life can afford, and using that as the fuel to move forward and do something great. For me self-pity was never an option.

Preparing for my life as an amputee

While in the hospital I was already devising solutions to what I believed were foreseeable obstacles I might face in the near future. I watched television solely to observe the biomechanics behind walking knowing that I would soon learn how to walk all over again. I spent most days preparing myself mentally and physically for my life as an amputee. A year after my surgeries and nearly fully healed I was fitted with a prosthesis. I was scheduled two weeks later for a physical therapy session to learn how to walk. However, I was eager and determined to walk at that moment. I spent the days leading up to my appointment practicing for hours a day the everyday movements that most take for granted. On my very first physical therapy session I was able to test out of therapy by completing an array of obstacles that are essential to an amputee’s independence. Surprisingly, I have never looked at the obstacles placed before me as a barrier that will prohibit my growth as a person or to achieving my goals. Instead, I have seen them as vital, even necessary, for the development and growth of my character and forward progression. My drive and resolve to walk again and move forward in life has in many ways become the prevailing undertone behind my current successes and future aspirations.

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