Never Give Up
I have been an amputee since May 31, 2022. I was a BKA, and then on Dec. 1, 2022, I became an AKA. I had surgery on my Achilles tendon in 2016 and after 11 surgeries, and all the pain and infections, there was nothing else they could do. I had everything from a cadaver Achilles tendon and ankle fusion to
stem cell research, the cage, and much more. I never gave up, and I always did it all with a smile. I now wear funny and cute shorts to show how proud I am to be an amputee. I am not able to have a prosthesis yet due to all the issues and infections and damage done, but I am working really hard to get there.
My life has changed dramatically in this past year, and I am thankful every day to be alive. I was angry, mad, upset, and just plain defeated when I was told I had to have an amputation. After reaching out to communities like the Amputee Coalition and Facebook pages for amputees, it shined this really bright light on my heart. I said to myself that if we are going to do this we are going to go big. I think the hardest part for me was all the stares and disrespectful people that are in this world, but you learn to look at them and smile. Nobody can take your spark away, so you just keep your head held high and believe in the good people in this world.
Having an amputation does not define who I am. It just makes me realize I am even more special. Learning to be an amputee was not that hard, other than being bound to a wheelchair. I had already used walkers, knee scooters, canes, and such, so transferring and other things were easy for me. I have blinged out my wheelchair so, if I am going to be in it, I will ride in style. I was also very lucky to have a village behind me supporting me and pushing me when I felt weak and when I felt that I couldn’t do it.
Going through this also made me realize what my wife was going through. Sometimes when people go through medical issues like I have, we think about how hard it is on us but not our caregivers. I definitely am very thankful for my wife and sister for being my rocks and never giving up on me. Asking them every day or week how they are doing and handling this has helped me realize that I am not the only one dealing with the changes in our life. My life as we know it will forever be changed, but I wake up every day grateful for being alive and being able to eat more tacos!!!!
Instagram handle: melissa_louise2018