"Endurance is one of the most difficult disciplines, but it is to the one who endures that the final victory comes." -Prince Gautama SiddhartaI have been thinking a lot about my fellow amputees and wanted to write a blog to express my empathy and admiration for them. Last week I was at a sales conference for work; while sitting in the general session I looked around the crowd and thought to myself, "I wonder if there are other amputees here". Later that day a gentleman walked up to me and introduced himself as an amputee and started asking me about my leg and how I became an amputee. His name is Patrick; he is a right above the knee amputee with a vacuum/suction type leg and waist band. He has been an amputee for 12 years, and I was amazed at how well he was getting around the conference. We traded secrets and talked about pain points and the burden of being in constant discomfort. It was so nice to know I wasn't alone at the conference.
After speaking with Patrick for quite a while I started thinking about other amputees I've met; mostly through physical therapy. Once in a while someone will walk up to me and show me their leg and it feels like we're instant friends. We have finally met someone who can actually relate to our situations. This feeling of camaraderie started me thinking about the support group I wanted to start but never moved forward with. I reserved places for our monthly meetings, I emailed amputees that were referred to me to inquire about their interest in a support group in Northern Utah, I even made fliers that I intended on hanging in prosthesis offices and physical therapy clinics. But then I stopped and thought I don't want to make my life about being an amputee. The fact that I'm an amputee has nothing to do with the person I am. Now thinking, after speaking with Patrick; the group is more about offering a way for people get together and talk about their specific issues and gain support from people who can relate to one another. My life isn't centered around the fact that I'm an amputee, but it sure is nice to talk to one once in a while. I think I may have to follow through with the support group after all.