Tuesday, November 9, 2010 arrived with a clear early morning that promised to become a chilly, sunny, and typically autumn day. I zipped my coat, buckled my helmet strap, unlocked my bike, and headed off to work. A few minutes later, a garbage truck crossed a bike lane to make a right turn. I was in that bike lane. The tires of the truck crushed my left leg and caused other internal injuries. An amazing team of trauma surgeons saved my life, but they had to amputate my leg to do so.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. Confucius.

In July 2011, I set off to walk a thousand miles as an above-knee amputee in my new prosthesis. The journey has held more twists, turns, and detours than I ever imagined.

I reached Mile 1000 on March 30, 2013.

But of course, that wasn't the end.

I'll keep walking!

Friday, August 12, 2016

Bionic Babysitting

Mile Marker 4249:

Maya and Gavin are twins.  They're two months old.  They have two car seats.  And of course, there are two of them.

No matter how you count it, I'm outnumbered.

Today, I'm the bionic babysitter.  Late as always, I rush up Jen's steps and into her house.  Jen waves hello and runs out to her doctor's appointment.

"Don't worry,"  I call after her.  "I know the drill!"

Well technically, I don't know the drill.  But I know where the diapers are.  And I'm hoping that's good enough.

After all, the twins and I have been hanging out together for a long time.  We go way back.


Yes, there are two of them.  But Maya and Gavin are well-behaved babies, and to Jen's credit, they're on a great schedule too.  They eat well.  They snooze in shopping carts and doze during dinners out.

Best of all, they make great weight training partners!



Check out her reply...
When Jen leaves, the twins are sleeping in their bouncers.  Or at least I think they are.  They're so cute I snap a photo and send it to my friend Deb.

She's right.  Let the games begin.

Maya goes back to sleep, but minutes later, Gavin starts to fuss.  I pick him up, rock him in my arms, and walk him around a bit.  This sounds natural enough, but it turns out, hoisting an infant out of a bouncy seat is like a new PT exercise.  I stabilize my prosthetic leg, shift onto my right leg, bend my knee, lean toward the floor -- and scoop!

Once we're up, instinct kicks in.  I sing camp songs like they're lullabies.  My Genium goes into "baby sway" mode.   Each step is careful and calculated, but surprisingly I feel solid and strong.  (Thanks Ottobock!)

When we stop for a diaper change, there's a slight fumble, but it has nothing to do with the babies.   My diapering skills are just a bit rusty.  I tape Gavin's Pamper on backwards, then switch it around.  Ahh, the design goes in the front!  Gavin watches me curiously from the changing pad.  (Is that a smirk, kid?)

I got this.

First selfie??
The two of us settle down on the couch. Gavin's warm little body creases the crook of my arm.

Then Maya lets out a pint-sized grunt from her bouncy seat.  I glance over.  Uh-oh.  She wriggles into a new sleeping position.

At that moment, I'm struck by a jolt of panic.  What if they both wake up at the SAME TIME?

Miraculously, they don't.  At least not until Jen comes home.

When she arrives an hour or so later, Gavin and I have paced off Mile 4,249 together.  And Maya is still asleep.  Whew!   We made it.

On this journey as an amputee, there's a first time for everything.  We'll call this mile my first successful babysitting double date!


So my little friends, it's true.  Between the two of you, you do have four legs.

But until you can walk -- and count -- I'm still ahead of the game!

No comments:

Post a Comment