I just gave a leg! Just a “little” amputee humor there! Denise (she is my better half and the prettier of the two of us!) reminded me yesterday, that I am handicapped and that I should include information on being handicapped and traveling in my blog! Yep, it’s true, behind every successful man is a woman, wait, is she behind me now?
At 54, I had a below the knee amputation. I had been battling with open ulcers and infections for the last 25 years. I had countless operations to correct my situation, that only seemed to complicate matters. On January 20, 2016, it all came to a head with an infection that got into the bone and it was agreed on (Finally!) that the best alternative would be the amputation. Sounds horrible, but honestly it was what I had wanted for years and has been a “blessing in disguise!”
My healing took a little longer than anticipated. Oh, did I mention that patience is not one of my strong suits? It took until Mid-August to get a test leg and the beginning of October to get my new “leg!” (The insurance company said, “it’s not medically necessary” to have a leg! But, that is a story for another day!) I still have not been able to walk distances greater that a few hundred feet at a time and a few other pesky items, such as the difficulty I have walking after sitting down and getting back up. But, I am resilient and positive and I put it on every day and walk to the best of my ability.
So, that is the back (actually leg) story! I am so blessed, to be alive and be able to function every day! It just takes a little more thought these days. Little things like, thinking about how you are going to stand up! Thinking, “where can I stop along the way to use the restroom, will the restrooms be handicap accessible?” I use a portable, collapsible wheelchair that fits in the trunk of the car, to cover longer distances that I can’t walk. Some destinations are not all that handicap accessible, especially the historic sites. But, even those places can be very accommodating. One great example has been the airlines we’ve flown, they “bend over backward” to assist you in any way they can. I take my own scooter when I fly. They let me take it all the way to the plane, store it below for the flight and then bring it back to me when we land. Oh, and my chair, flies free!
The moral of the story, from now on I will include information on the hotels, restaurants, parks or where ever else we go, to let you know how handicap friendly they are and what you will need to know before you go, to make your trip a little more pleasant! Let’s learn together and have fun along the way!
Let me share with you the most important thing I have discovered, where ever you go, whatever you see, share it with others! Don’t be afraid to stop and smell the roses, to share a smile with a stranger, a meal with friends and build memories together that will last a lifetime!