That Sinking Feeling


Ya know, I’ve been stalling on writing this particular blog for awhile. It’s not every day that you have your right leg removed and I thought the occasion should warrant some extra *something*. But really, I got nothin’. It’s been a long two year fight getting the Powers That Be to come over to the winning side and agree that the rest of me was much better off without a certain unspeakable appendage. The last two weeks in the hospital, because I apparently needed to be ill enough from it to fight for my life, has been something I dont ever want to replicate. But it is done. Finally.

Lots of people are asking me if it’s sunk in yet. It sank in 10 years ago when my podiatrist told me that once a diabetic loses a toe the inevitable stop point was a BK (below knee) amputation. I’ve been preparing for it ever since. Hell, I’ve been lobbying for it over the last 18 months as the artist formerly known as my right foot became less and less functional; more a source for pain, clumsiness and ad nauseal doctor appointments than anything that served a purpose to me. The clincher was a month and a half ago when my orthopedic/prosthetic guy fitted me with a Gump-style brace that looked to the casual observer like an actual post-op prosthetic and forced me to walk straight again for the first time in years. It was a taste of bliss to be able to walk with confidence again, and I just knew that an actual, fully functioning foot and ankle were going to be my only future solution, whether I was born with it or not. A chance encounter with a guy looking for beer money because he was a gimp turned into a 15 minute long chat, complete with step by step visual aids on what I could expect over the next 6 months and how much easier everything is now.
By the time I leaned over to my buddy in my backyard, shivering with a 103˚ in sweat clothes during an 80˚ day and asked if he’d mind dropping me by E.R., it was all over but the nonstop fever followed by 4 straight days of hourly vomiting. I was done. Ready, willing and able to get on with it.

Tomorrow is my expected release date. Apparently a bevy of elves has been hard at work at my house, cleaning it from top to bottom, rearranging things and installing gimp stuff. I dont think I will ever be able to wrap my head around just how much I am loved or by how many. The leg, no problem. Comprehending the love people closest to me (with a radius of 50, it seems) express towards me – that’s too much.
Right this minute my idea of bliss involves a freshly lit cigar on my back deck, throwing Jake the Ball and my girl by my side, laughing our asses off. Come to think of it, not much has changed at all. Has it sunk in? Just fine, thanks.