Last time we all spoke Lilly was just getting started and hadn't even seen her new legs, let alone walked. We were still struggling quite a bit with the life changing adjustments that came with our choice to amputate. I still have flash backs to those early days and am so thankful we are done with that part of the journey. It was not easy or fun but wow, Lilly's new life is pretty phenomenal now and both of us are so thankful that we made this choice.
The new energy that Lilly is experiencing is remarkable as well. It's hard to say if its physical or emotional energy, probably both. She is just so happy and excited about EVERYTHING! The simple daily tasks like washing her hands, getting a glass of water and just being up right has changed her attitude dramatically.
A popular question right now is, how did I return to work so soon.
So whats happened in the past couple of months?
One of Lillys acheivements over the past 5 months is that she graduated Kindergarden and had the wonderful first experience of "walking" to her Teacher to get her diploma!
Lilly got her first set of prosthetics from Hanger.
Bill Shea is her prosthetician and is an amazing person who has had to spent a lot of time tweaking and adjusting her new legs. He has also educated both of us on how it all works! Bill has become one of our favorite advocates and mentors. He is also amazingly good natured about the importance of pedicures and pretty shoes!
Bill often reminds me to slow down and remember that Lilly has never walked before so she has no point of reference. Its hard to imagine, but for Lilly, each day is a mobility test and challenge.
In the process of Lilly learning to walk a wonderful non-profit organization came into our lives.
Santa Tim is the organization and it was the man and his organization who sponsored Lilly and I to go to Camp No Limits 2014.
Camp No Limits is a camp for children and families who live with limb loss. Oh my goodness, it was fabulous fabulous fabulous! Lilly and I met so many new friends and I was able to network with other families and organizations. I think the highlight was when Lilly got to try running legs. The look on her face was one that I will never forget. It was as if the reality of her new life had just hit a new high point and she was in love, totally in love with the running legs and all the possibilities that they held for her. From that day forward she aspires to participate in the Paralympics as a long distance runner. Can you imagine - just 5 months ago she had never even stood up and she is dreaming of the Paralympics, wow how amazing life is for Lilly and I now. I find myself speechless.
She also continues with weekly physical therapy, participates in gymnastics camp, swimming and T-ball.
So has Lilly had any PTSD symptoms or phantom pain? In the beginning, right after surgery for the first month or 2, yes. She was terrified almost "frozen", she was very angry and blaming of everyone for the loss of her legs. About 5 times she mentioned that her toes tingled or hurt. We were very lucky, all of these symptoms faded away as time past and she does not complain about any pain or loss today.
However, the other day she and I were having a casual conversation and she talked to me about things that she remembered from surgery and those early days and then quickly moved on to how happy she is to have her new legs and how she can do "everything" now.
So for now, we are just going to continue working on being 6 years old and making the most of every day. We are so grateful for every moment and everyone who has been so inspirational and loving. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts