Two years with one less leg

It’s been two years since my elective left below-knee amputation. It’s been more challenging than I anticipated, but there’s still no regrets. Recovery hasn’t been as straight of a line as I’d like. Instead, it’s more of a really slow and boring roller coaster. I’m constantly learning about how to optimize my routine to take care of my leg and increase my chances of it feeling good enough to do everything I want or need to.

The last two months have been rough. I’d love to get running again, and every day my leg feels a little better. Thus far, however, any significant attempts at activities other than riding a bike put me in my place really quick. About a year ago, I ran my first ever 5k, and my hope was that this year I’d be in a much better place to really run and not struggle through it. Right now, it’s not looking good, but I’m still optimistic.

It’s a constant challenge asking myself whether I should push myself harder or slow down and not be in such a hurry. Either I push myself and struggle with just enough pain that I can’t ignore it, or I slow down and feel like I’m giving up. Both options suck, but I’m increasingly leaning towards embracing the pain.

Progress is still progress, and I’m definitely in a better place than I was a year ago. But when your body won’t do all of the things you want it to do, it’s frustrating. I still frequently take my leg off when sitting down for extended periods of time, and there’s still moments where I scan for the nearest chair and can’t get my leg off fast enough.

I suppose no recovery would ever be fast enough, and, looking at the long-term, things are definitely still trending up. I guess we’ll have to wait and see what year three is like.