Sunday, June 14, 2009

8 1/2 Weeks

I continue to be amazed by the scenery of my journey through foot amputation. It's like going down a road you've always traveled, and one evening at twilight all that was old is illuminated in ethereal brilliance.

Earth and heaven collide.


On Wednesday, June 10th, I met my CP, Larry Wiley at Dr. Ohlson's office at my eight-week post-op appointment. Larry and I had a good conversation in the waiting room; I am very concerned about sweat and my upcoming prosthetic foot, specifically the liner. Being in a sub-tropical climate and knowing it's sometimes difficult to know if you are sweating or it's an afternoon shower drenching you to the bone, I am worried I am going to spend more time drying out my liner than running during the summer. I have a few more months before I can run again, so it's best that I find a reasonable solution - if one exists - before then.

I was mildly surprised that no x-ray was taken this visit to see if the bones had fused together. Larry and I were taken to an examining room where we continued our discussion until Dr. Ohlson arrived. I introduced Dr. Ohlson to Larry; others from Larry's office had spoken to Dr. Ohlson in the past but this was the first time these two had gotten together. I was very pleased that Dr. Ohlson asked to trade cell numbers with Larry and told him to call with any questions.

The doc examined my stump and removed the steri-strips and the gunk that was under them. I cleaned up nicely but still have a couple of spots that need a little more time to dry and completely heal. I made an appointment to see Dr. Ohlson in six weeks and I will see Larry on Wednesday, June 17. It seems a little strange that I might be walking about on my new foot in a matter of weeks. I have been going through the surgery and recovery process for the past 8 weeks but it has been since November 2007 since I was able to run.

Larry informed me that I have been approved for a free foot from Ossur! I will have more details soon, as originally Larry wanted me to participate in a local seminar sporting said foot on June 26. It seems a little quick for me to be up and walking around but if I am I be one happy dude. Once I get all the details - mainly because I hate disappointment and if for some reason this falls through - I will make a separate post about it.


On Thursday I had the honor of speaking to Mr. Dick Traum, founder and president of the Achilles Track Club (ATC). When you talk about turning adversity into opportunity, Mr. Traum has done that for himself and thousands of other so-called disabled athletes. I say "so-called" because I do not see people who have faced amputation or were born with a birth defective or had some other circumstance that claimed some part of their bodies as disabled. They are giants; giants of spirit and heart.

From being the first amputee to run a marathon to founding an organization with over 150 chapters in the US and around the world, Dick Traum took losing a leg in stride and has touched lives worldwide.

When I talked to Mr. Traum he said he expected me to tell him I would be running the NYC Marathon in a year or two. I have resisted running big marathons in the past - except for the Chicago marathon in 1997 - but I have been giving this some serious thought. Since I sitting here with a stump and a wheelchair and crutches for mobility, I am some distance from even walking again.

I have several reasons why I should do this race, in memory of an old cyber-running friend Jim Ahrens; in honor of those who died on 9/11; and for the help and support of the ATC.

The marathon is still not a distance I have had much luck with; I train to race it, not to finish, and in every match so far it has demolished me. With this in mind, I don't want to commit to something before I know I can give it all I have on race day. I am old school track, lacking talent but never the determination to give my best.

We shall see.

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