Limb Loss Awareness Month and World Meningitis Day!

With this month being Limp Loss Awareness and with World Meningitis Day coming up, there is so much to celebrate.  First things first, I am very grateful for the life I live, even on prosthetic legs!  As traumatic as it is for someone to have their limbs amputated, it even proves to be a bit more challenging to recover from it.  I felt trapped in my own body when I was in the hospital.  Physically, mentally, and emotionally.  This was something I could not escape.  My path to recovery was similar too.   Sure enough, I was able to become independent on my prosthetics.  At the time I was in college, and to walk back on campus was truly fulfilling.  I also lost my fingers back then, so to take notes again in class was something that I was excited to do, when originally these were things that I took for granted.  People, who live their lives as amputees, are everyday average humans but we have a little something extra special.  Limb loss isn’t something to fear, it’s something we over come and we conquer on a day-to-day basis.  We are unique individuals who have adapted in ways that most people can’t fathom.  We are today’s super heroes.

 

Now with World Meningitis Day coming up, it almost feels like it’s my time to shine and spread the awareness!  I’ll be in New York City and hopefully you’ll catch me on the TODAY show, waving my arms in the background promoting WMD! As always, I encourage everyone to go and speak with their primary care phsycian about the meningitis vaccine as a way to be proactive!   Meningitis is a truly deathly disease and is something that you don’t hear about often, however when you encounter it, you will have a hard time forgetting it.  Meningitis is a fast killing disease that is known to typically killing an average healthy individual within 24 hours.  While rare to catch the disease, it is even more rare to survive and those who survive are more likely to be permanently scarred and/or disfigured.  This disease heavily defines my life story but more importantly, I survived it.  Trust me, meningitis is a nightmare that you can’t wake up from.  Don’t wait, vaccinate.

 

When I first transferred to the University of Texas at Austin I was so excited and definitely was not considering any precautionary steps for my health.  In fact, that might have been the last thing on my mind. I was the average college student, studying for a highly reputable education while also having fun in my spare time. Being invincible.  Within three months of my first semester at the University, I contracted meningitis and was in the hospital for over seven months where I had to endure amputations below my knee and all of my fingers. Definitely something that most people at the age of 20 don’t deal with but I had to face the world again but as a slightly different person. Within time I was able to overcome this obstacle, and head back to school but only with a new determination; To make sure people are aware of what this disease can do, and that there is a vaccine available to prevent it.  Today I still continue to pursue the awareness of meningitis and vaccination because I do not want anyone to go through what I did.

 

On this day, being World Meningitis Day, I encourage everyone to speak to his or her primary care physicians, and ask about the vaccine as a way to be proactive! But more importantly on this day, I find it imperative for middle school, high school, and college students to have their (booster) vaccinations as that extra precautionary step to feel invincible in their own lives.

 

Happy Limb Loss Awareness Month and World Meningitis Day!

From that woman living beyond limits,

Jamie

 [This is Jamie picking up the Austin MD magazine (March-April 2015).  Front Cover!]

[This is Jamie picking up the Austin MD magazine (March-April 2015).  Front Cover!]