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Chrissy

Thoughts on my first anniversary

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Today marks one year since the hip disarticulation of my left leg. It wasn’t sudden, or unexpected. My leg had been deteriorating from disease since I was 4 years old. My amputation was my choice and I spent a year planning it.

I thought that I would feel sad today, that somehow this day would be upsetting. But none of those emotions have come. This morning I looked at some photographs that my sister took of me in the hospital as we were all waiting for me to be taken to the OR. I was smiling. It shocked me to see how shriveled and dying my leg was. Looking back, I am amazed to see how much at peace I felt that day with my decision. It was a long time coming, and I had come to a place of acceptance. I was ready to let my leg go. There was a great deal of hope in that hospital that day. It was going to be a new beginning for me. The beginning of not having to fight constant MRSA infections, the beginning of not having to endure pain in that leg anymore, the beginning of being able to walk without crutches for the first time in 15 years and doing things I was never able to do because of my fragile leg.

Now a year later, I am not quite there yet, but I am on my way. I still have phantom pain. My leg is gone but still very much there in the sensations I still have of it. It was a long road of healing and I received my prosthetic just 6 weeks ago. I am already walking with only a cane and starting to take my first wobbly steps in physical therapy without any assistance.

The past year has been more challenging than I ever expected, but also filled with love and inspiration that I never expected either. I have met some amazing people along the way the past year and have been in awe of them. I have also learned a great deal about myself that I never knew.

Something inside me will always miss my leg; it was a part of me, a part of who I am. But I don’t regret my decision. Next weekend I am going on my first ski trip ever and I look forward to what the next year will bring with my new leg.

-Chrissy

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Today marks one year since the hip disarticulation of my left leg. It wasn’t sudden, or unexpected. My leg had been deteriorating from disease since I was 4 years old. My amputation was my choice and I spent a year planning it.

I thought that I would feel sad today, that somehow this day would be upsetting. But none of those emotions have come. This morning I looked at some photographs that my sister took of me in the hospital as we were all waiting for me to be taken to the OR. I was smiling. It shocked me to see how shriveled and dying my leg was. Looking back, I am amazed to see how much at peace I felt that day with my decision. It was a long time coming, and I had come to a place of acceptance. I was ready to let my leg go. There was a great deal of hope in that hospital that day. It was going to be a new beginning for me. The beginning of not having to fight constant MRSA infections, the beginning of not having to endure pain in that leg anymore, the beginning of being able to walk without crutches for the first time in 15 years and doing things I was never able to do because of my fragile leg.

Now a year later, I am not quite there yet, but I am on my way. I still have phantom pain. My leg is gone but still very much there in the sensations I still have of it. It was a long road of healing and I received my prosthetic just 6 weeks ago. I am already walking with only a cane and starting to take my first wobbly steps in physical therapy without any assistance.

The past year has been more challenging than I ever expected, but also filled with love and inspiration that I never expected either. I have met some amazing people along the way the past year and have been in awe of them. I have also learned a great deal about myself that I never knew.

Something inside me will always miss my leg; it was a part of me, a part of who I am. But I don’t regret my decision. Next weekend I am going on my first ski trip ever and I look forward to what the next year will bring with my new leg.

-Chrissy

Chrissy, you are a special person....anyone who goes through amputation is very special in my book. :smile:

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What a fantastic attitude, tough decision to have had to make, I'm glad it was the right one for you, good luck with your progress... and the skiing trip!

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I think many of us wonder how we will feel on the first anniversary and then, the day just sort of comes and goes... In retrospect of that day, it sounds like you are definitely at peace with your decision.. Good for you....

The healing process takes a different time for everyone. For me, it was actually over 2 years before I could say I felt healthy after my accident..

Have fun with the ski weekend.... :smile:

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That IS a great attitude, Chrissy...you can tell that you really did have time to make your decision and feel positive about it. The first anniversary is a "big deal" for a lot of us...it seems like we ought to "be there" by the end of the first year, and we find that it's not so cut-and-dried. I got very reflective on my own first anniversary...aware of just how far I'd come and how much further I needed to go.

Each year gets better...by my last anniversary date, I almost forgot about it! It was just a normal day in my normal life, and that was enough.

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Gosh a year already. :tongue:

Great attitude Chrissy! Your post was very well spoken and I think all the positive energy will help others who read it.

Now let's enjoy the snow!! :biggrin:

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Chrissy,

Your attitude is GREAT and if you keep looking at the situation that way, then I'm certain you'll be walking steadily and without any assistance in no time. I think all amputees remember the exact day they became an amputee...whether they elected to have it done or it happened as a result of an accident. I became an amputee when I was just 8 years old as a result of a car accident on June 7th. I don't really remember the first anniversary because I was still pretty young. But as I got older I always thought that I would be sad on that day. The day would come and go and not only would I not get sad, but I also eventually realized it was just another day. So now 22 years later I find that the day comes and goes without me even noticing.

What I like so much about your post is that it is a beautiful lesson about knowing when to let things go and embracing the opportunity for something new. That is a lesson that is universal...sometimes we hold on to things (jobs, relationships, etc.) when the best thing for us to do is let go so that we can open ourselves up to new possibilities. Even after all these years of being an amputee, I'm still in the process of learning how to be open to all that life has to offer! Thank you for being a great example!! I wish you all the best...and keep us posted on your progress!!

Mellie :)

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Mellie, RIGHT ON!! :biggrin::biggrin:

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Chrissy,

Your attitude is GREAT and if you keep looking at the situation that way, then I'm certain you'll be walking steadily and without any assistance in no time. I think all amputees remember the exact day they became an amputee...whether they elected to have it done or it happened as a result of an accident. I became an amputee when I was just 8 years old as a result of a car accident on June 7th. I don't really remember the first anniversary because I was still pretty young. But as I got older I always thought that I would be sad on that day. The day would come and go and not only would I not get sad, but I also eventually realized it was just another day. So now 22 years later I find that the day comes and goes without me even noticing.

What I like so much about your post is that it is a beautiful lesson about knowing when to let things go and embracing the opportunity for something new. That is a lesson that is universal...sometimes we hold on to things (jobs, relationships, etc.) when the best thing for us to do is let go so that we can open ourselves up to new possibilities. Even after all these years of being an amputee, I'm still in the process of learning how to be open to all that life has to offer! Thank you for being a great example!! I wish you all the best...and keep us posted on your progress!!

Mellie :)

Some great posts in this thread... this had me thinking... I haven't got a clue when I had my leg finally removed... it was around April time I think... 1984... I know the date of the accident that led to it... 10 months before, but not the amputation date. So I can't have an anniversary merely because I wouldn't know when to have it! :laugh:

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Congratulations on moving forward with your life Chrissy. I will be celebrating 8 years on March 21st being cancer free and entering into the world of limb loss. It hasn't been such a bad life, including living with phantom pain and a neuroma. But life has gone on which has been the best gift of all. Keep looking forward to the future and attitude with gratitude.

Best wishes!

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