It can be all too easy to just give up after a life-changing accident.
The loss of a limb is a heavy loss, hindering you from doing many daily activities that you would have taken for granted.
Simple tasks such a tidying the house, washing the dishes or vacuuming, suddenly become logistical nightmares with the real risk of injuring yourself, if you’re not careful.
In my adjustment period, before I rejoined the working force, the doctors told me to go home and get accustomed to my home. I was impatient to go back to my old life, but was shocked to discover that the simplest acts of just climbing the stairs or dressing myself had become serious challenges that suddenly needed addressing.
Not only did I have to adjust physically to surroundings that had once felt so familiar, but I also had to change my behaviour in terms of lifestyle choices. With half a leg missing, my body was less capable of performing the feats of transportation that had seemed so simple before. As a result, I had to make serious lifestyle changes in order achieve and sustain a healthy life.
Comfort eating is not an endemic symptom of limb loss. Millions of people, whether consciously or subconsciously, indulge in food to sate their emotional shortcomings every day. Whether it’s due to a feeling of loss or self-pity – food has an instantly intoxicating effect on the body, bombarding our brains with endorphins that make us feel better.
There’s nothing wrong with indulging sporadically but, just like with drugs, regular lapses in judgement can cause you to rely on these binges in order to feel ‘normal’.
At home for the first 4 weeks, I put on a stone in weight. Without any daily activity and eating more as a result of being so down, I gained so quickly that my wife barely noticed the change. When she did, I was in for it though. There’s only so much self-loathing she’ll stand for, soon the junk food was thrown out and the super food was in. Low-carbs, low-sugars and high proteins with vitamin supplements. Of course, this wasn’t enough in itself to help my recovery.
Having gained control over my diet, I now needed to get back into engaging in more physical activity. With my wife prodding me in the back every step of the way, I joined the gym – found a local running club – and tried by best to vacuum the house.
With me on my arse for the best part of a month, the house has started to fall into decrepitude somewhat. I usually shared the cleaning chores with my wife, finding the act of relearning all these tasks too frustrating, they’d been left by the wayside somewhat – and we’d somehow fallen back into living in squalor, as if we were back in our student days.
Vacuuming was a challenge, mopping the floor was even harder and I nearly lost my other leg attempting to mow the lawn. Still, the next challenge was something that I had needed to do for a long time.
I know this was one lifestyle change that my wife had been waiting for me to make for a long time. Losing my leg in such a violent fashion had forced me to accept my life on new terms. If the accident had gone any differently, I could very easily have been dead.
Although I now had to learn how to approach life in a completely new way, I also had the opportunity to make some positive changes for the future, namely: Quitting Smoking.
My wife and I had been smokers throughout University. Frantically finishing essays with hours spare, we’d spend half the nights puffing away and it was a habit that only I had continued. After researching it online, I found that nicotine withdrawal symptoms had a surprising amount of correlations with losing a limb. Wasting no time, I had a look online and took a look into the burgeoning culture of ‘vaping’. XO Vape E-Cig Batteries and Mods seemed to be the best choice on the market.
With a weekly exercise and diet plan in place, my life had become healthier and I could finally breathe that little bit easier.