The New KATU 2 report

I was down at Saturday Market today and the KATU team was there to get an update on the progress of Shirts For Limbs. I will write more about the market experience but for now I am sun burnt and tired here is the link

The new KATU report

“The blue guy”

For the last three years I have had a handicapped hanger thingy, I call it the blue guy. Every time I would park somewhere I would get “that look”. I would describe it as a look that says “you little punk, you took your grandmas blue guy.” This would come from I would say 85% of the people that would watch me park or see me go to my car. There have been numerous times that people would come over to me and say something in the vein of “why don’t you leave that for people that need it”, depending on my mood I would normally just knock on my leg somewhere on my brace, around the mid calf. Most at that point would just walk away after a quick apology. I will refrain from what my response was if I was a different mood.

Now Tara and I pull up to the blue guy spot hang the thingy and still get the look. I can understand what they are thinking; here is a one of those punks that stole his grandmas blue guy and a girl way to beautiful for him. It is definitely a site when we get out. Tara is 37 days from her due date, almost all belly, and I have one leg. The people that were once giving “that look” have changed their expression to one that just scream’s, “Damn I’m doing to hell”. Tara and I will give a nice polite nod, say hello and then look at each other and hold a laugh until we are a safe distance away.

Still healing

I saw the doctor and the prosthestist (guy that makes the leg) on Monday and I am healing well. We are working right now on figuring out the nerve pain. The last couple of days it has been getting worse but completely manageable. I am still a couple weeks from fitting for the prosthetic, mostly because the incision is not quite closed yet. That actually works in our benefit because while shirt sales are climbing we need a lot more to make this happen. So please help us spread the word.

I was so looking forward to getting the process of fitting for the leg started. In all honesty it has bummed me out. Mostly because it is not following the time line that is in my head of how all this should be going. I have mentioned before how I am just not a patient man and this has really taken its toll on me the last couple of days. I know that it is just my body telling me to slow down so I have been sleeping a lot and in more pain than when I first came home from the hospital. The rad thing is that everyday I am more certain that this whole thing was the right thing to do. Tara mentioned the other day that I am getting around better with one leg and crutches than I was for the six months preceding the chop.

Finally a You Tube Link

Ok, so there have been a number of people asking about a YouTube link of the news report, and after me trying for a while I passed it on to a great friend who got it going. So here is the link.

Put it on your blog.
Put it on you’re My Space.
Email it to all you know.

Ok so click here for the link or Here or HERE or even HeRe.

Crazy Day!

So I am sitting at a coffee shop yesterday morning, just doing my morning thing; reading, writing a little, journaling, enjoying my coffee and just basically getting my head in the place to face the day. This guy comes up to me and says, “you’re the guy selling shirts to buy his leg aren’t you.” I tell him yeah and we talk a bit, and a couple other people start noticing as well. I’m kind of slow in the morning but I finally noticed that they all are reading the Willamette Week. It hits me that my article was published. I quickly hobble over to grab one after talking with a few more folks, and the article is pretty good. The only thing I wand to make perfectly clear is that, Shirts For Limbs IS NOT an NPO as of yet. We are definitely working on getting that status but it takes a while.

After leaving the coffee shop I get to car and check my voice mail and KATU wants to do an interview. I call the reporter, set a time and rush home to let Tara know. Unfortunately, Tara is sick and pregnant so she wasn’t able to be part of the interview. The interview was a blast. As many know it doesn’t take much to get me talking, and I just roll with what Shirts For Limbs is about, how I got zapped and a number of other things.

When the reporter and her cameraman left I checked my voice mail. There were a couple messages from my office. I called in and my boss, who I must say is a amazing man to work for/with, lets me know that I have to come in. For him to insist that I come in now and can’t wait means something big is happening. In short, anyone that was on salary was let go and their last day is Friday, the 22nd. Fortunately, I am a 100% commission employee, so I still have a job, kind of. The company that I work for has two separate sides, and I will be moving into a new position managing sales for both sides. This is a hard thing to be happy for, because the people that I was working with made working a pleasure, and they will without a doubt be missed.

To top it off we had our first baby class last night. That was interesting. There were seven couples, five knew that they were having boys and one couple besides us that are waiting to find out. I am pulling (51%/49%) for a girl, but of course I will accept and love which ever is incubating in Tara’s belly. There was one part of the class where the guys and girls were separated and the guys were asked to talk about one of the biggest mental struggles that we are having. I have said this before but it is definitely an “issue” in my head to get over. I feel like I am stealing Tara’s baby thunder. She confirms that I am not, and actually, the fact that we are so busy is helping the pregnancy go well.  She is enjoying this time of our life immensely. So again, I just need to get over it.

My beautiful wife and I

Just in case you didn’t catch the links above here they are again for the Willamette Week and the KATU interviews.

WW article

KATU broadcast

Phantom Pain

In my short almost thee-week experience after having my leg chopped there are two types of phantom pain. These two types that I describe are my opinion only and have no medical basis at all.

Type one-

This is the one that most expect. It is the mind and the body getting used to fact that there is no longer a part there.

Examples:

1. Putting pants on. I am a left leg first type of guy and got my left leg chopped. So when I go to put my pants on I am reaching and pulling, reaching and pulling and reaching and pulling and nothing happens. Until I look down, laugh a little, depending on the morning use a nice appropriate expletive and try to train my brain to start with the right leg.

2. When I sit I am a leg-crossing guy. So now when I sit for about 10 to 15 seconds every hour or so I make some attempt at crossing my legs. The only problem is, there is one leg and a stump that can’t quite rest on the other leg. It really is funny to watch.

Really if you want to know what this part is like, take an hour and do your day with just one leg from 6 inches above the knee down. You can still use your thigh.

Type two –

This is the painful side. The nerves in the bone, muscle and skin are trying to get used to the fact that, one they got moved around and, two there are some of their nerve friends or family that are no longer their and they take it out on me since I gave the order to get rid of them.

The best way I can describe this pain is.

Feel free to try along.

1. You know that painful side the occurs when you hit your funny bone. Imagine that or feel free to hit that nerve if you like.
2. You know when you hand is asleep and you hit it on something. Go ahead and give it a try next time and appendage falls asleep.
3. Take the peaks of the feeling from both one and two and combine them.
4. Now every time I do something that uses the muscles in the thigh, add a throb that increases the sensation in number three. You would be surprised at how many daily functions require the use of the thigh muscles.

AS AN OOPS: I forgot to mention that most if not all of this sensation is in my calf and foot, that I don’t have! There is also this damn itch that shows up every now and then on my foot, again that I don’t have.

That is about the best way to describe what I think the two sides of phantom pain are. Feel free to look around on the old World Wide Web and see what the Docs have to say.

The beautiful thing is from what I read and hear from other above knee amputees, is that most of this will go away, and if it doesn’t the drugs get better. The other cool thing is that it is still not even close to the pain that I was living with for the last 15 years. It’s a totally different kind of pain and I have no doubt in my find that I can figure out a way to get completely drug free again.

My soon to be a daddy day

I woke this morning to a Happy Soon-To-Be Fathers day card from my beautiful pregnant wife, along with a book that I have wanted to read. I knew somewhere in my medicated head that Fathers Day was coming today and that I would probably get a card from her. I don’t know if it was the words on the card, the realization that my child will be coming in less than two months, the combination or the drugs that I am on making me more emotional but I have been on the verge of tears all day. At church seeing all the little babies, looking at the card again or just seeing my wife’s beautiful baby bump, I fight the tears and get choked up.

For the most part this blog is dedicated to me talking about my chopped leg but I am constantly fighting in mind whether I am stealing my wife’s baby thunder. I am more excited to be a father than I am about the fact that my pain has decreased and will soon be almost nothing. My wife is doing an amazing job incubating and I have no doubt that she will be a great mother and I a great father.

One of the reasons I will be a great father is because of the father I have. Barry Hannant is a man that has done a magnificent job of loving me in a way that only comes from the way that he as been loved by our creator. Unconditional. HAPPY FATHER’S DAY DAD!