16 Years Ago to the Date

by Damon on June 14, 2011

June 14, 1995 was the date that has changed the last 16 years of my life.  This was the day that I was in a car accident that has made me the man I am today.

I broke my ankle in a car accident when I was 16 years old and had reconstructive surgeries in 1995, 1996, and 1997.  I then had another surgery in 2001 where my ankle was fused to alleviate pain.  It was fused so I could no longer move it left and right, only up and down.  The the last surgery in 2005 was to remove bone spurs that had developed over the years.  Even after all these years and all the surgeries, there has always been some level of pain.

Last year I saw a doctor in Temple and he told me the next step would be to do another fusion so I couldn’t move my foot up and down either and even after that it would still be “highly likely” that I would have to have it amputated later in life.  He told me since the pain medication was working, we didn’t need to do a surgery at that time.

However, the last couple of months the pain has become unbearable and I went to visit the doctor again.  Due to the degeneration of the ankle and increased pain in the rest of my leg (heel, knee, hip – all because of the ankle) just in the past year, he told me that at this point I had two options, the fusion or an amputation.  He thoroughly explained the pros and cons of both and it was almost a no brainer to have the amputation done.

This is a positive thing, trust me!  Even though it’s been challenging emotionally, this is the best for me long term and I am excited to have the surgery.  It will alleviate my pain and allow me to become active once again. *Sign of the cross*

I’ll be competing in triathlon’s in no time!

I’m using this blog to reflect on the lessons I’ve learned throughout the years and the lessons that I’ll continue to learn during my new life as an amputee.  Next week Monday, I will have my right leg amputated below the knee to remove the ankle that was broken in that car accident as it has deteriorated to a point that is so painful, it has become too overbearing to enjoy being active.

Without a doubt, I am a better person today because of that accident.  The accident has taught me so many lessons that could never be reproduced in a classroom, would have taken a lifetime to learn in the “real world”, and broadened and enhanced the understanding of myself.

My story is neither better or worse than anyone else’s story…just different.

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