I have spent the last 3 weeks either on my back with my broken leg elevated, or in a mobility device (wheelchair, stroller, walker). My cast was removed this week and the prognosis for a full recovery is good, but I’ll be in a boot for the next 6 weeks followed by many months of rehab. I consider myself very lucky.
First off, the injury could have been much more severe…like many of my Armed Forces colleagues. We have had over 1600 amputations from Iraq and Afghanistan. This is not unique to service members. As we speak one in every 200 Americans have suffered a loss of limb.
Secondly, I now have an enhanced appreciation as to what it’s like trying to do routine tasks in your home using a wheelchair, stroller or walker. Nothing, and I mean nothing, is easy. We all take for granted how easy it is to get around in our homes. Kitchen, bathrooms, bedrooms etc all easily accessible. Some folks sit in a wheelchair for a few minutes and think they understand the issues that amputees are going thru. They don’t and I don’t. I refuse to let my temporary setback lead me to believe that I know what it is like to me missing an arm or a leg. I do, however, better understand the issues now than before my injury.
Sarah and I have been working with nonprofits that support our Wounded Warriors by building them mortgage free, handicap accessible homes. We work with the Gary Sinise Foundation, Operation Finally Home, and Homes for our Troops routinely. It is amazing what they accomplish. Check out this you tube video of what HFOT accomplished last year as an example:
Even with all the great work these non profits are doing, we still have over 1000 amputees from Iraq and Afghanistan, not to mention our Vietnam era amputees, who need handicap accessible homes. Please take the time to donate to these non profits. As Gary Sinise says, “While we can never do enough for our defenders and loved ones,we can always do a little more” Let’s do it.