I remember when I was fresh out of the hospital. It was like seeing the world for the first time because it had been so long. I hate saying that I was a prisoner, but it did feel that way sometimes. I hadn’t been able to leave the hospital in 88 days like I have said before. And to me, a young and vibrant girl who had always been on the go, 88 days felt like a lifetime. I can still picture my (super attractive) doctor waltzing in and asking, “So, are you ready to get out of this place, how does tomorrow sound?”
And at that moment, I realized that those four walls were my home. I was being evicted and I really didn’t want to leave. I felt I wasn’t ready and that the world wasn’t ready for me yet either.
But I stumbled out into it, lost and quite frankly, a little afraid. When I got home my brother had to lift my weak and frail body out of the car and carry me all the way into the house, sitting me on my bed. The bed I hadn’t seen in so long, my old sheets that smelled like I used to. It was a warm and welcoming smell. It was a “hello, my old friend,” kind of smell.
Day after day I would lay in that bed not knowing how to get in or out of it because it was so tall, and I was so frightened of falling. I was stuck sometimes making faces out of the orange peel texture of the ceiling and wishing that it all would end. But then, I began to learn.
After many, many attempts I found a way to get in and out of my bed, now it’s second nature. I’m no longer too weak to roll myself for long periods or lift myself up out of a car.
I know that the cliché thing to do is to say don’t look back, just move forward. But I think that it’s a really good thing to look back sometimes. To remind yourself of where you were, how far you’ve come, and how much further you can go. I still surprise myself nearly every day with the things that I am capable of doing that, in the beginning, I thought would be impossible. There is a lot of emotional and physical achievements that come with remembering that you, as a person, are adaptive and plenty capable enough to do whatever you put your mind to. That even though something like having your legs amputated happened to you, you can still live a very fulfilling and happy life. I am grateful for the life I have been given and blessed beyond belief for the things that I have and for the things I’ve accomplished.
There will be times when we stumble across yet another obstacle, but we will persevere, and we will keep learning.