Sometimes you fall…

Sometimes you fall…

June 4, 2017 – almost exactly one month after the IronMan 70.3 – Lamoni fell. He fell hard. We were visiting one of Lamoni’s brothers in Bear Lake, UT. This brother and his family live in California so we don’t get to see them often. We had a great time and enjoyed being together. We stayed at a time-share and the kids loved playing with their cousins. After getting out of the pool at the time-share, Lamoni was hopping in the shower to get his foot so he could put it on. He slipped in the shower and fell down hard. He landed right on his stub. Without his prosthetic on. It was bad. We were getting ready to leave anyway, so we quickly got in the car and headed for home. We stopped at a gas station on the way so I could get some ice for his stub. He was hoping it wasn’t too bad, but as we kept driving (it was about a 4 hour drive) he could tell that he had hurt it pretty bad. By the time we got home he couldn’t put his prosthetic on. It was too swollen and it hurt too much.

He saw the doctor and they took x-rays of his stub. They really couldn’t find anything except that maybe he bruised the bone. But even the doctor said, “Look, you don’t have a normal leg. These radiologists don’t really know if what they are looking at is “normal” for you.” That’s true Doc.

So, he was just told to stay off of it so he could heal. We wondered that if it was broken at least a little somewhere, maybe a chipped bone or something…. that he would need to stay off it for 6 weeks like any other broken bone. It was actually 7 weeks that he missed work and could not really wear his prosthetic. That was a bummer. When it was just starting to get better internally, the skin started to act up and get sores all over. He was starting to be able to bare weight on his stub, but then the skin on his stub started to blister and then scab up. So that was another few weeks of not being able to wear his prosthetic. It sure was a drag.

He had a Spartan Race already scheduled with his ticket purchased for July. But, being Lamoni, he figured there was still a way. Nothing can really stop him. He has some amazing will-power.

So, he started training for the Spartan using crutches. I will post about that Spartan Race soon.

He figured out how he could “run” while on crutches.

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After a few weeks, he was able to put his prosthetic on, but he couldn’t put full pressure on it for running. He still used the crutches as support as he ran.

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I will admit, in the video above I had parked along his route to see if he needed any assistance. Maybe he was too tired, maybe his foot was too sore, maybe he needed a drink….. but as you can see. He just smiled and passed me by.  I’m sure he was tired. I’m sure he was sore. I’m sure he could have used a drink… but he never stops.

In the meantime, he still kept as active as he could without wearing his prosthetic. We went on hikes and looked at some petroglyphs that are less than 10 miles from our house. That was fun! The 3-year old lost her energy on the hike and Lamoni had no trouble putting her on his shoulders to finish hiking back to the car. (I was holding the baby) We had a good time!

Newsletter Feature

Every so often the place where I get my prosthetic work done sends out a newsletter in the mail. They will feature one of their patients in the news letter. This time it was me!

I’ll give a shout-out to them, thanks Fit-well prosthetics and orthotics!

 

Q & A with Lamoni Riordan

Q. How long have you been an amputee?
A. April 13th, 1985 – When I was five years old, I was involved in a lawn mower accident. I 2006 I had an elective surgery to amputate a little higher allowing for better prosthetics.

Q. What are some of your successes as an amputee, both mentally and physically?
A. Mentally I have had to overcome very deep depression and thoughts of suicide. I’ve also had to overcome addiction to pain meds. I believe my greatest success is to keep going, keep living day after day trying to maintain a positive attitude. Instead of asking “Why me?”, I ask “Why not me?” How can I learn and grow from this? Physically I walk, I run, I work, I compete in physical events and most people do not ever know I’m missing a leg unless I say something. I always want to keep taking a step forward.

Q. How does your amputation affect your every-day life?
A. I can’t just step out of bed and go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. Sometimes it’s just the little things. Keeping my liners clean for the next day. Lifting and bending my leg just right to get in and out of the car. How to not hurt my kids with my prosthesis when we wrestle. To me, it’s all normal.

Q. What keeps you motivated?
A. My family. I am blessed to have a marvelous, understanding wife, 5 children, wonderful parents, brothers and sisters who care for me and help me. There was a time when I struggled to even want to live. My wife, children, and faith in Christ gave me the desire and motivation to press on and overcome my trials.

Q. What kind of physical activities do you enjoy?
A. Cliff diving, kayaking, hiking, mountain biking, snowboarding, construction work, logging and being a dad. More recently I have enjoyed obstacle racing like the Spartan Race. I enjoy anything physically challenging. When others think twice about it, I think “bring it on” this one legged man can do it.

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Q. What are some incorrect assumptions that other people make about amputees?
A. That they need to feel sorry for us. That we are weak and helpless. That it will hurt our feelings if you ask questions. It’s okay if children point at my prosthesis, they are just curious.

Q. What advice would you give to new amputees?
A. Press forward and realize there is light at the end of the tunnel. It’s a hard road, but you can overcome whatever comes your way with a positive attitude. You will become a better, stronger person and help so many others along the way by your example. Life is an adventure with many obstacles but it is worth it. Live it, love it, enjoy it!

Q. How has being an amputee blessed your life?
A. It has made me the man I am today. The pain, the suffering, the trials I had to go through have prepared me to endure and overcome whatever comes my way. It has made me more persistent, more resilient, and more determined to press forward regardless of the challenge. I am also more compassionate.