Oh man. I can't even believe everything that's been happening this past week.
Apparently that's what everyone is saying, although I'm not sure I would consider myself that...Not until I'm on Ellen anyways.
If you've been following the blog this summer (or somewhat lack there of since I've been so busy), you've seen a few posts about all the things Joe and I have been doing because of his left foot amputation. Well, as of last week, Joey went viral last week with his courageous story. SOOOO viral in fact, that it's made it's way to the UK, Germany, Holland, Malaysia and even AUSTRALIA! It's absolutely crazy, and totally awesome. It's been crazy to see our photos and Joe's Story on so many mediums: NBC, ABC News, in German, in Dutch, in CHINESE! It's so surreal!
Last Monday, Joe's sister, Kaley, posted some photos and a little info about Joe's amputation (this is the Original Photo Post) and that launched it all! It made it to #1 on Reddit in just a few hours, and Joe decided to do an 'Ask Me Anything,' where he had almost 2000 comments and questions about his decision to amputate. From there, he's been contacted by fellow amputees, others with PVNS (the rare disease Joe had), news, media, reporters, and people who have been inspired by him.
So why have people been so inspired by him? Good question!
While this situation seems like it could have been terrible, Joe has had an INCREDIBLE attitude and has made light of the situation instead of being all 'woe is me.' While there were a few rough times and a lot of sleepless nights, instead of just sitting around waiting for it to pass, it was his sense of humor and charisma that got us through. One night when he couldn't sleep in the hospital, I dressed up in the beard and we had wheel chair races around an unoccupied wing of the hospital. Other times, we had Nerf gun wars or played basketball where Joe had to shoot his trash into the trashcan for points. We made a lot of great friends with the nurses and patients on our hall, and while we were more than ready to go home after a week of being there, it was sad to say good bye. I have been so incredibly inspired by him through all of this, and beyond glad that so many other people are inspired by him as well. You have no idea how much your kind words and thoughts mean to myself, and to Joe.
As you can see, he does not lack a sense of humor, and that's why I love him!
In fact, despite everything, we've actually managed to have a really awesome time through it all, making this summer my most memorable summer to date. When Joe first made the decision a few months ago, we started talking about wanting to do a few things before his surgery, so we sat down and made a Google Doc of all the things we wanted to do before June 25th.
Here are some of the things we did!
We did almost everything on our list except go to San Francisco (and Alcatraz!) and Jumpology (one of those trampoline places), so I'd say we did pretty good!
Now that we are back home after surgery, we are finally relaxing a little bit (which I can't say I mind terribly after such a crazy month.) He is still having some phantom pain, but we are working hard to get that down, and it's certainly not stopping us from enjoying our time together and with our families. See our walk photo below- just goofing around!
His family has been kind enough to let me pretty much move in with them these past few weeks so I could hang out and be with Joe. They are absolutely amazing and treat me like another daughter/sister. I could never thank them enough for everything they do for me on a daily basis. Tomorrow, we are heading to the beach with my family for a little more R&R and I am so excited to spend some time with them.
While I'd like to say we did all of this for something of the greater good, the truth is we were just being us and doing things we wanted to do. We had absolutely NO idea this would get so much publicity. But it's pretty darn cool. And a HUGE, GINORMOUS thank you to Kaley, his sister, for not only being there for me (and Joe) through it all with lots of wine and girl time, but for sharing his story and letting Joe be an inspiration to the world.
He's such an inspiration that he has reached some of these bigger News Mediums:
Daily Mail (They quoted me in this one!)
Free Lance Star (Our local paper)
I would also just like to point out that I am in fact 27...not 26, not 30....a ripe age of 27! :)
A HUGE, HUGE thank you to everyone who has left us messages, comments, written letters or sent packages. Your kind words, thoughts, prayers and support have meant the world to us and keep us going through the entire process. We could not have done it without you.
If you haven't already, be sure to like the Last Adventures of Joe's Left Foot to stay updated on Joe's recovery. He'll be getting his first test prosthetic leg really soon!