Most of the time I consider myself to be a well-adjusted amputee. I have taken an unfortunate situation and strive to use what I've learned to make the adjustment to limb loss easier for others. Although I don't sit around wallowing, I do admit to having the occasional bad day. Yesterday was one of those days.
Yesterday marked the 14th anniversary of the accident which ultimately resulted in the amputation of my left foot and ankle. I woke up in a grumpy mood. My irritability quickly changed into sadness. I was sad thinking about my younger self during that exciting time in my life when I had so much optimism- so much potential in my chosen career. The course of my life changed the moment that computer monitor began to fall.
I realize that saying, "It isn't fair" is stating the obvious and provides no true benefit. However, every once in awhile, thankfully only a few times a year, I find myself wanting to scream, "Why me" at the top of my lungs. I was doing all the "right" things 14 years ago. I was in a helping profession providing rehabilitation to newly blinded adults. I was self-sufficient and making it on my own. I was taking karate classes, not doing drugs. In short, I was an eager, happy, optimistic young woman who wasn't causing waves. I did not deserve to have my foot crushed!
Fourteen years ago my life was pushed onto a different track. I was in my mid-20's and single with few responsibilities. I should have been having the time of my life. Instead, I was faced with relentless pain and a seemingly endless revolving door to the operating room. I was robbed of that carefree time because of the accident.
Yesterday, while I was reflecting upon the last 14 years, I found myself becoming increasingly angry. I wasn't angry at God or at the Universe; I have come to accept that sometimes things happen, and we don't know why and may never understand the reasons. Instead, I focused my ire and became furious with the careless individual who dropped the monitor!
That half-witted, idiotic fool tooled around a crowded exhibition hall with a monitor on a cart without using the tie down strap. It was precariously teetering on the edge as it was pushed around the hall. I know this because I can still see it vividly when I close my eyes- even 14 years later. The cart became stuck and, rather than take the time to secure the load, brute force was applied. The monitor began to slip and instead of attempting to steady the heavy machine, this careless schmuck chose to reach for his falling briefcase, letting the monitor continue in free-fall. The wide edge of the monitor landed squarely on the top of my foot.
I live with the ramifications of this careless mistake every single day. I doubt that the salesperson even remembers the incident and, if he does, I doubt that he knows the consequences of the mistakes that were perpetrated. I certainly never received an apology or even a get well card from the dim-witted cart pusher!
I tried to put the events of 14 years ago out of my mind, but I'd be lying if I said that it was easy. Sometimes anniversaries come and knock the wind out of my sails. I spent the afternoon stewing and feeling a lot of anger. Today I'm ready to put the past behind me and move forward. I never expected to live my life as an amputee. I miss my foot every day, but I am also happier, personally and professionally, than I ever dreamed. I still have the occasional bad day, but that's okay. Deep down, I like my life and I know that it would be drastically different if my foot hadn't been injured.