This has been a difficult week. Perhaps I am feeling the lingering affects of jet-lag, and I suppose I am still flustered by the events that transpired at the airport on my way home. I am feeling overwhelmed with piling housework and the never ending stream of laundry which accumulates everyday. Robby, who had been a well behaved little angel, has morphed into Robby Rotten and has been a demanding handful. I am disappointed that I am continuing to have socket issues, and devastated that it will impact me on Saturday. All of these factors have created the "perfect storm" dealing me an emotional blow.
I recognize that I have not been my usual optimistic self. The amputee blues, which typically waft in for an hour or so, have been lingering an uncomfortably long time. I don't like how I have been feeling, so I am going to change my perspective.
My laundry mountain is beginning to look like a hill, and my house is quasi-clean. It is by no means immaculate, but I am comfortable with "livable" for the time being. Robby is discovering that Mommy will not tolerate back talk or being hit. He kicked me today and his little world came crashing down. I think it will not take long to find my sweet little boy again.
I have been feeling like a failure because of the pain I continue to experience when I am running. I have been under the misconception that, as I became adjusted to the new activity, my stump would become less sensitive and would no longer hurt. I assumed that I just needed to "toughen up."
I have come to the conclusion that my prosthetic has failed, but I have not. We simply ran out of time to make all of the necessary adjustments to create a comfortable running leg. The pain has nothing to do with my desire, my training or my motivation. The discomfort is because I continue to experience rubbing on a sensitive area and my stump is becoming angry.
I began this running adventure to prove that, with dedication and enough motivation, the amputee can overcome whatever obstacle is blocking their way. I now believe that I discovered a different, but just as important reality. Sometimes situations are simply more difficult because I am an amputee. Residual limb pain and prosthetic issues are now a part of my life. I don't like it, but it is not going to change.
For most runners tomorrow, success will be measured in minutes and seconds. They will compare their results to their running peers as they strive to increase their speed. When I signed on for this race several weeks ago, I was planning on using the same markers. I now realize that I was wrong.
It would be irresponsible of me to injure myself to prove a point that I now realize is faulty. Robby deserves a healthy Mommy. He would rather I was able to play with him at the park than watch me sprint across a finish line with an injury. I am not going to stress my limb to the point of exacerbating my injury.
For me, as a middle aged amputee Mommy, success will be defined using a different criteria.
Each step will be awkward and painful. I am going to have to contend not only with the weather, the distance and the hoards of people, but also I will also be facing prosthetic challenges. I may have to stop and adjust my socket. I may have to reduce my speed to a fast walk or a jog. All of this is okay, because this is all reflective of the life of an amputee. It may take me longer and I may not be as graceful, but I will be out there, trying. A willingness to try, I have learned, is the hallmark of the well-adjusted and happy amputee.
I am changing my status from runner to walker. My residual limb is simply not able to run at this time, and to pretend that it is would be foolish and irresponsible. Joggers are welcome in the "walking" category. I feel that I am safer jogging and I am not risking my limb health.
I remain excited about the race, and I am embracing the category change. I am no longer seeing it as a racer's demotion. After all, a few weeks ago I wouldn't have been able to jog at all. And tomorrow morning, we will get up early and I will jog a 5k. For me, that is success!
I will post pictures on Saturday. Wish me luck!