OK I’m scared

So maybe not scared more anxious but I knew that this would happen, as the time got closer but I am really starting to second-guess this decision. I know that this decision is the right one and was made in sound mind. As I wrote before the closer this gets the more I not able to manage pain. That fact alone is enough right now to affirm that this is why we are doing this. To add to that my brother is here and our time is great. There is something about having someone around that you have known and loved for so long that is so comforting. Between him and Tara they really know exactly how to deal with me right now.

Everything around the house is done, changed the shower head, got the shower stool, with this heat thing that is going on we got some fans, they gave me some prescriptions for some good drugs and we pick up those, moved things around so that when I get home it is done, had to stop and get some forearm crutches that was fun. The store that we went to also sold the motorized wheelchairs so of course I had to take a test drive. Now I get the pleasure of waiting. I will definitely watch some RENT. I have about 3 hours left before I have to stop smoking for a while so I will get that in and have a couple beers. I will write again a leg off.

The waiting is the hardest part

I am not a patient man. When something needs to happen, by all means do it now. On the first date with my wife I knew that I would marry this woman and we got married in four months, and that was too long for me. Even waiting on baby to arrive in two months is starting to drive me nuts. That one is a little different because there is that whole aspect of wanting a healthy baby. This waiting for life to change is hard. I have to try to go to work today for the last time in a couple of weeks and “do my job”. To do that I have to be “on”, and I am not. The only thing in my head is this up coming event. When that isn’t dominating my thoughts the anticipation of baby coming is. Which eventually brings me back to the chop.

My brother is coming in this afternoon and that will definitely be a huge assistance for both Tara and I but also us for him. I am so glad the he will be able to be here for this. For most of the hospital stuff he couldn’t be there because the hospital I went to was in TX and we lived in CO.

But now I will go to work and sell sell sell!!!

The Party

I love to throw parties. So about a month ago when I had a dream about a going away party for my leg where we served only drumsticks and had a leg shaped cake, I had to do it. Friday night we had the party, 30lb’s of chicken legs. Part of the reason I love to throw parties is to mostly observe the different people there. It is no secret that I have a wide variety of friends, from the most conservative Christian to gay atheists. I love them all and all are so dear to me. To be able to watch them all have a good time in the same place and celebrate this time of life with me just warms my heart.

Some people brought gifts, yes some one brought a mannequin leg. The most touching came from a 3 yr old. If you know this boy you can hear the words coming out his mouth after breaking his toy “daddy we have to give this to Tarver”

Gift from Jack

“I’m not serious”

Today I was told that I am not taking this up coming surgery seriously. This is mostly coming because I say that I am “getting my leg chopped off” or “cut off”. There is also the fact that I am throwing a going away party for my leg. Yes I am also serving drumsticks and a cake shaped as what will be removed from my leg, complete with cherry filling. I asked this person how I should say it then. The suggestion was I should refer to it as losing my leg, or amputation anything but chopping off. “Losing it” are you kidding me. It’s not lost, I know where it is going. Now in a couple months should I misplace my prosthetic then yes it will be lost.

One thing this person is failing to understand is that this is a choice that I have been faced with. I have been processing it for over 14 years. Now my wife and I have made it, and now is the best time. Does this mean that I am not scared? Absolutely not! I am scared that it will hurt. I am scared that my sex life will change. I am scared that I will no longer be attractive to my wife. I am scared that my unborn child will some day resent the fact that daddy only has one leg. I am scared to have my God given limb removed. I am scared about the financial impact, along with about a million other fears going around in my head. I know that most of these fears are false and only time can prove that to me. I also know that this is the right decision.

That is why I choose to be flippant, humorous or crass about this. Again it is the right choice. By taking this approach I am able to slowly enter into dialog about it and show people that it is ok to talk about. I love talking about it. For most people they will never be in a situation like this and I am honored to share my experience with them.

Oh how I love insurance companies

So in the last few months as Tara and I have been looking into making this decision to amputate my leg we have been talking with my insurance company. Today we finally found out exactly what they will pay towards a prosthetic (knee and foot). They are going to be generous enough to pay, get ready for this, $5,000!!! This is a per year maximum on a Durable Medical Equipment. So as I look into this I find out that this is a norm. My insurance company is right in the middle of the pack on what will be covered on any prosthetic, wheel chair, shower stool, cane or other piece of necessary equipment. To add on to that my insurance company will only work with one prosthetic company. When I talked with them and asked about how they will work with us in terms of payment she kind of gasped and said “we are not a bank, if you can’t pay for it take your business elsewhere”. She then gave us an application for a “special” medical credit card. I can understand this from a financial aspect, I mean who really wants to possibly have to foreclose on someone’s leg. Again this is a norm, most if not all amputees have to go into hawk to get their limbs, with a good number not being able to because of large pile of already unpaid bills.

The good news is that I found out that Oregon is about to pass a bill that will force insurance companies to treat the cost of equipment for amputees as any other procedure. This means that if I have an 80/20 type policy they will have to pay 80% of the cost after my deductible, with only a note from the Dr. saying that it is necessary. This is great news for the future of not just me but a lot of other hobblers out there. If you would like to find out more on what this bill does go here.

“can’t sleep”

We are on our way to NY and I cannot sleep for shit. I am too damn big for the seats, been awake for close to 24 hrs and in a lot of pain. So I get a whiskey/ginger ale and write a little. (ok 2)

It is crazy how the closer the surgery gets the more I am losing my ability to control pain. Walking to the car is becoming an experience that I would rather avoid. Over the years I have gotten pretty good at pain management. What I do is I tell my self that all the pain that I am feeling is actually in my right big toe, providing that I haven’t hurt that some how. My feelers are down there trying to see what is up and distracted from the real source. It took me years to learn and function in this and now it seems like over a few days I have all but forgot it. It is something that is happening subconsciously. Many who know me know that there is a part of me that does enjoy pain; I think more correctly I enjoy controlling it.

I am having a hard time figuring out why I am losing this gift of pain control. Is it fear, nerves, stress? Yeah those are all there. Maybe my body is just saying, “don’t for get what we have come through”, or “look what are getting rid of”. Yeah my body talks to me. Is there a part of me that has just gotten tired of dealing with it? Yeah, possible, would definitely explain the ease of the decision. I don’t know but it is really starting to piss me off.

“healthy baby”

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Baby is healthy, we had a Dr’s appointment for baby this morning and all is well.  Tara is doing a wonderful job as an incubator. The Dr. made the comment that she hasn’t seen a mother and baby so healthy in a long time.  I don’t know whether to believe that statement or take it as nothing more than over encouragement but nonetheless baby & Mommy are healthy.  With everything going on these appointments are an eye opener for me that there is so much to be happy about. My favorite part is when they put this microphone thingy on her stomach and we get to hear the heart beat. Helps to make it tangible to daddy.  I am going to be a father!!!! Woo hoo. I have wanted kids for a long time, been trying to adopted for three years before meeting Tara, no I did not marry her just to have kids.  I am so ready to be a dad.  The negative that hits me though is that with everything that is going on it is hard not to feel like I am stealing Tara’s baby thunder.