Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Attended an Amputee Support Group meeting yesterday on OKC

Like I mentioned in the software review entry, it's only Wednesday, but it feels like it has been a full week already. Rushed out of the office a few minutes early on Monday to vote, so we wouldn't have to fight the crowds when we were needing to get to OKC on Tuesday. What we were told was going to take an hour and a half took a total of 22 minutes. For once a productive government office ... who would have thought?

Got around Tuesday morning, gathering up all the items our girls would need while staying a friend's house, and started out for OKC. I had planned enough time for Renee and I to eat a nice lunch and still arrive at the meeting a few minutes early (those of you who know me understands that is like 30 minutes prior to the doors opening). Lunch was nice, and even provided somewhat of a floor show, as the gentlemen sitting behind us were more than happy to share their political views loud enough for everyone in our section to hear. I won't say who they voted for, but their opinions appeared to flip-flop during the 30 minutes we were near them. Even after a leisurely lunch, we still got to the conference room before it was even unlocked!

Fast Forward to the meeting .... it was more of a "come and go", "glad to meet ya" type meeting, in an attempt to get this group started. It was nice in the fact that I got to talk with my surgeon and CP (certified prosthetist) in a non-clinical setting, getting to know them better. All the people that attended were quite nice, and it seems like the group has potential ... if for nothing else than just to get additional ideas and stories to share as I help new amputees (that is something I am very active with, and hope to become more active!).

Sad note during the meeting: a younger couple (approx college age) came into the meeting, and I could tell that both were very sad, but neither were amputees (we weren't wearing signs, but in a small environment it isn't hard to tell, when you know what to look for). Upon speaking with my surgeon, he advised that this couple was here for support, as their four year old son had become an amputee the previous Friday (29 Oct), due to a farm implement accident. I didn't have a chance to speak with the couple any, but told my surgeon to pass on my info to them when/if they are ready to talk to someone. For all of you reading this, if you make prayer a daily habit, please lift this family up in your prayers, both the health and recovery of their son, but also for the strength they are going to need to get through this as a complete and functional family.

Good news: I may be getting some 'official' training in the area of peer-support certification. In other words, a national amputee association has a program to train and certify peer-mentors for helping others through the initial issues of an amputation ... something I have been doing already. With the certification, I would be able to make myself available to area hospitals for contact in case of an amputation issue. The certification lets the hospital(s) know I'm not a crack-pot trying to get in contact with patients. I'll provide more info as it happens.
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