An Amputee’s Autobiography

I’m sure you’ve all been wondering what happened to Tuesday Talk during this two-week hiatus. The past fourteen days have been anything but normal for me. Unfortunately, I was urgently admitted to the hospital as a result of a pressure sore on my left foot. For anyone who’s familiar with people with spinal cord injuries, they know that pressure ulcers and urinary tract infections rank high among our top concerns.

That was the case for me. I had been wearing a pressure-relieving boot on my left foot for several months. The wound seemed to be gradually healing from the surface of the skin, but it turned out that it was tunneling to the bone. Just in a matter of hours, my foot was red and swollen. My mom described it as “a big, red tomato.” At this point, it was difficult to heal such a sore simply with antibiotics. While in the emergency room that evening, it was quite traumatizing to hear the doctors saying “the best solution is to amputate part of the leg!”

No one knew for sure how much of my leg would need to be removed, but I wanted to do what was best to keep me healthy. It was several days of IV antibiotic therapy to see if it would alleviate the intensity of the infection – which helped greatly.  Some of the swelling and redness decreased. Fortunately, the surgeons only amputated the foot and ankle.

I was indeed grateful that it wasn’t any worse. It could have been an above-the-knee amputation or even removal of the entire limb. I’m still trying to get used to seeing my leg without the rest of it being there. What’s even more surprising is how my sitting posture has changed from this situation.

I didn’t realize how much of an impact the minimal amputation would affect the sensory nerves in my legs. Since I’m a C5-C6 incomplete quadriplegic, I usually do not have feeling below the chest; however, I can feel some pain and soreness. As my leg heals, I will get measured for a prosthetic and will eventually be able to wear two regular shoes!

In a matter of weeks, I’ve gone from having a spinal cord injury to being an amputee with a spinal cord injury. Regardless, my passion for life is still the same!

Showered with Love and Support

This entire process would not be nearly as manageable without the overabundance of love and support I’ve received. I’ve been showered with prayers, cards, flowers, phone calls, text messages and food during my recovery. I appreciate my parents, relatives, church family, co-workers, friends, doctors and nurses who were by my side the entire time. I am forever grateful.

This blog post is a bit longer than many of my posts, but I had to make up for lost time (and a lost foot and ankle)! I will keep you posted on my progress.

Cheers to a Speedy Recovery

I’m not sure if you’ve seen the Guinness commercial where a group of guys are playing wheelchair basketball. At the end of the game, all but one of the players get out of the wheelchairs. It’s admirable that the group of friends make their activities inclusive for everyone. This proves that humanity still exists and I can say cheers to that.

To see the commercial, go to http://www.businessinsider.com/new-guinness-ad-breaks-the-mold-2013-9.

About Tuesday Talk With Alex

Born in Charleston, SC, I was injured in a motor vehicle accident when I was nine months old. I acquired a C5-C6 spinal cord injury. I'm now 30 years old and I do not let my disability deter me from acheiving my goals and enjoying life. I will be sharing my experience of living with a spinal cord injury.
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23 Responses to An Amputee’s Autobiography

  1. Carrie says:

    God bless you friend, you are truly an inspiration! Certainly no one wants to hear that prognosis, but I pray that your spirits remain high and that smile wide. Happy, healthy, speedy recovery wishes pal!!

    Like

  2. You’re awesome! PLEASE take it easy for a few more weeks! Give yourself time to heal! Love you my friend! Yes indeed, a terrific commercial.

    Like

  3. ahellams says:

    Oh Alex! I am thinking of you and hoping you have a swift recovery.
    The first time I watched that commercial, all I could think about was the AWE basketball tournament, I cried like a baby. I literally showed everyone I saw all weekend the commercial, truely inspiring!
    I will be thinking of you in the weeks to come and you know if you need anything, anyone in our class would be there ASAP, just ask!

    Like

  4. The Charleston Crossleys says:

    A;ex: Prayers and peace be with you! The Charleston Crossleys

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  5. Glad your O.K. Alex. Thanks for sharing your experience. May GOD bless you during this time of your recovery.

    Like

  6. Kara McDermott says:

    Wishing you a speedy recovery, Alex!! Your outlook on life is amazing. Thank you for sharing your story!!

    Like

  7. Erin Kienzle says:

    Alex,
    You never cease to amaze me. Through all of this, you still have your bright, beautiful smile. I’m praying for your continued, speedy recovery. You truly are an inspiration to anyone who meets you.

    Like

  8. Annie Watson says:

    Hey Alex, it was good to see you again at the Gavalos/Kolanko Scholarship reception. Your smile is as beautiful as your spirit. Blessings to you for continued strength and success.

    Like

  9. Alex! You are an amazing person and a true angel amongst us. I will not be at work tomorrow to see you (due to me moving) but I want you to know I am praying for your continual recovery. God bless and I will see you next Friday!!!! You Rock!

    Like

  10. Shelton says:

    Take care my friend!

    Like

  11. Michael Scott Steedley says:

    With love and gratitude for your never-ending brightness!

    Like

  12. Pingback: Looking Back on 2013 | Tuesday Talk With Alex

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