Leg Shopping

Here we are again, one day past blog-posting deadline and I am all over the place.  Literally all. over. the. place. There is so much to do, with work, the kids, renovating the bathroom to make it one-legged friendly and trying to pretend I have a social life.

I can say, thankfully, that the list might be finally thinning out:

  • Finishing up last few sessions of physical training before I leave for vacation (I have actually gained weight but I’m not even upset! If I factor in all the muscle I’ve added it’s not awful at all!)
  • Pull up count: well, okay, zero, but I can bench press like a champ!
  • Bathroom renovation is on track with EVERYTHING now purchased (even a shower head! The water isn’t just going to shoot out of a hole in the wall!)
  • Cleaning and organizing is scheduled for this week (notice I said it’s scheduled, not that it’s been done. The trick to a successful to-do list is to manage your expectations)

It looks like a pretty great list but believe me, to do-list overload is in full effect. The overload led to my, if I’m keeping score, eighth ugly cry since this blog began.

I suspect the eighth ugly cry was not the last one. If forced to guess I’d say I probably have at least three more in me

But the overwhelming feeling also led to some procrastinating which also led to something I’ve genuinely enjoyed:

LEG SHOPPING.

Yup, I’ve been shopping for legs, more specifically, leg accessories. I went to all the best stores, you know: J.C. Pen-knee, (Thigh) Gap, Cen-Toe-ry 21. I even saw some high-end designers: Yves Shin Laurent, Tommy Hil-femur, Ba-leg-ciaga.

Okay now I’ve gotten all the terrible puns out of my system, here’s some real talk about leg prosthetics. With all the information out there about limb costs and how long they will last, it can get a bit depressing. Costs are high. On average, a decent prosthesis will set you back between $50,000 and $70,000. Sometimes even more; I discovered I have very expensive taste in fake legs. What’s more, the expected lifespan of the limb can be as short as three years. With insurance only covering one in a lifetime, that cost seems impossible. It’s basically the equivalent of financing a new Range Rover every three years.

That’s a depressing, horrifying thought. So I did what any normal person would do: I denied the existence of the problem at all, and distracted myself by looking at fancy leg covers.

It’s pretty! It’s pink! It’s $475!

This might also seem monstrously expensive (it’s only a cover!) but you know what? I’ve never been able to wear heels anyway.

Trying to walk in heels with two working legs, I walked much the same as I do now with one busted one

So all those times I haven’t bought a pair of Jimmy Choo’s? I’ll now spend that money on some leg accessories.

This might seem frivolous but here’s a tip: when the panic starts to set in, virtual shopping is quite soothing.

With only 20 days left until the big day, I do find my anxiety levels are higher. Not just because the surgery itself is daunting, but with every passing day I have less time to get everything organized. I’m trying to be okay with not getting everything done but there are days that I just want to stop the clock.

If I am perfectly honest, I’m scared. No scratch that: I’m terrified! Then throw into the mix random conversations with my 12 year old like the following:

Jack: How long will your surgery take? Like twenty minutes?
Me: No, more like a couple of hours.
Jack: Why? Why can’t they just use a big bone saw?
Me: They DO. But they have to cut through the bone with a saw, then stop the bleeding, then reattach the skin from my calf to cover up the open wound.
Jack: Oh, I just thought new skin would grow over.
Me: You thought they’d just leave me looking like a cartoon ham!?

We then got into a very serious discussion about which cartoon meat my severed leg would look most like. Ham? Steak? T-bone or scotch fillet? This is the shit that happens on the regular when you start talking about chopping off your favorite leg.

me at any given moment

I always stay as positive as I can but there is a part of me that knows I’m not going into with a fully functional right leg. So if I remove the left one, where will that leave me? I can’t balance on my right leg at all. Why does this matter? Because I have been watching endless videos of adaptive athletes and I’m watching them do workouts sans prosthetic, which means they balance and hop on their remaining leg. If I can’t do that, or my right leg—which is significantly weaker—can’t handle the extra work, it may mean that my activity level is actually diminished. Which would suck.

This is why I’m leg shopping. If I can’t be as active as I originally planned then god damn it I’m going to look cute standing around.

If Ariel can be this confident with NO legs then I can do it with one

Terrified or not, this is happening. In 20 days. Take a breath and get ready to say goodbye to my favorite leg.

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