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High Four - Enthusiasm Returning

 
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High Four - Enthusiasm Returning
On January 4th, 2016 I had my left pinky finger removed due to serious complications from my Canadian Rockies Climbing Accident. The finger was evaluated by 4 hand specialist who said my finger was way beyond saving and had multiple nearly impossible issues that locked my finger. Arthritis was already forming which would only get worse over time. Amputation was my best option. One could say I was dealt a bad hand. ;-)

I had some spells of depression and often pondered whether I regretted mountain climbing. On some days when the pain was intense and the head aches/head pounding got bad I would lean on the side of wishing I never had. After three weeks I was released from my arm sling, stitches removed, and had to do more months of therapy (still have many more sessions to go).

The great news is that I am no longer dealing with these regrets. Going to Canada was a mistake (due to preexisting conditions), but climbing was not. I'm aware that I will always suffer for what happened back then. Some days I feel almost normal, on others I have bad head aches, back pain, hand scar tissue issues, and memory loss. My enthusiasm for the alpine is returning and I am working on getting back in shape. I lost 20 pounds since December of 2014. The best ascents are still yet to come. :-D

Photo taken on March 22, 2016.

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Puma concolorGo Josh!

Puma concolor

Voted 10/10

Great to see your love of the mountains remains in tact.
Posted Mar 22, 2016 6:08 pm

Josh LewisRe: Go Josh!

Josh Lewis

Hasn't voted

Thanks Puma, as Gary Paulsen once said: "You can take the man out of the woods, but you can't take the woods out of the man".
Posted Mar 22, 2016 7:33 pm

peladobotonRe: Go Josh!

peladoboton

Voted 10/10

Is it too soon for Simpsons jokes?
Posted Mar 28, 2016 6:53 pm

Josh LewisRe: Go Josh!

Josh Lewis

Hasn't voted

It's absolutely not too soon. My land lord called me Avatar the other day. ;-)
Posted Apr 3, 2016 11:46 pm

Antonio GianiBest wishes!!!

Antonio Giani

Voted 10/10

And go Josh, you'll see that everything will be fine... (0:

Ciao Antonio
Posted Mar 23, 2016 3:16 pm

Josh LewisRe: Best wishes!!!

Josh Lewis

Hasn't voted

Thanks Antonio. I wouldn't quite say that everything will be fine, however I think there is a good chance that things will work out and that my hand should mostly be functional. :-)
Posted Mar 24, 2016 8:17 pm

Josh LewisRe: Awwww, man....

Josh Lewis

Hasn't voted

I lost about 20% of my hand strength permanently, supposedly this is normal. Eventually I'll have to hit it hard to get my left hand up to a normal strength, my right hand will always be stronger as a result.

And yes I will carry on.
Posted Mar 24, 2016 8:20 pm

reboylesRecovery

reboyles

Voted 10/10

I had the same feelings after they whacked off my toe due to frostbite. Some of my depression was due to the pain drugs and once I ditched them and got active things got better. I think it took a year before I quit thinking about it all the time and that was when I knew I was over it. When Hubert Humphrey was going through cancer he said it's not what the doctors take that's important, it's what you are left with that is.

Bob
Posted Mar 24, 2016 6:17 am

Josh LewisRe: Recovery

Josh Lewis

Hasn't voted

The biggest issue is the head injury. Over time I started discovering that I had many career opportunities that were never going to happen. I'm still working on relearning to spell, although I'm tempted to say I'm most of the way. I now remember the alphabet (seriously, I had to relearn this too). ;-) I can still do math, but my response time is slower and I find myself more timid at answering questions that I know the answers to. The other big issue is the head aches/head pounding. When that comes in, I lose between 20-60% of my mental powers. It's not because of giving up or not wanting to deal with the pain. It has to do with focus.

The good news is that hard mountains only lightly give me a head ache. Running is still too much, ironically mountain climbing is now pretty much the only way to stay in shape (biking is good too). Lifting weights is also hard on my head as well as other exercises. I'm trying to be healthier than I've ever been, so far it's working. :-D
Posted Mar 24, 2016 8:29 pm

lcarreauPositive attitudes prevail !

lcarreau

Voted 10/10

OK, it CAN always be worse.

If you lost a thumb, you couldn't give two thumbs up.

"Two thumbs up" for your attitude and unending ambition to blend humor with adversity.
Posted Mar 24, 2016 10:16 am

Josh LewisRe: Positive attitudes prevail !

Josh Lewis

Hasn't voted

During the accident it was actually likely to be a lot worse which I'm thankful it wasn't to this day. I came close to becoming paralyzed, I could have easily shattered more than one finger, getting stabbed in my kidney was incredibly close to being very serious, I almost fell off a lethal cliff, most of my memory is still in tact, and my collar bone is mostly repaired.

I appreciate your comment ending a lot. You can call me Jovial Josh. :-)
Posted Mar 24, 2016 8:35 pm

lcarreauRe: Positive attitudes prevail !

lcarreau

Voted 10/10

Can I call you 'J.J.' for short ?
Posted Mar 25, 2016 10:47 pm

Josh LewisRe: Positive attitudes prevail !

Josh Lewis

Hasn't voted

Absolutely! When the flames are hot, my heart is chill. Just don't look back.

Posted Mar 25, 2016 11:06 pm

chicagotransplantBest Wishes

chicagotransplant

Voted 10/10

Good to hear about your recovery Josh, keep smiling and keep climbing!
Posted Mar 24, 2016 12:07 pm

Josh LewisRe: Best Wishes

Josh Lewis

Hasn't voted

Thanks CT, it's been a long haul but I'm nearing the end of the recovery phase. I do both at the same time. :-)
Posted Mar 24, 2016 8:44 pm

Nader1Get well!

Nader1

Voted 10/10

courage and smile

La vie continue!!!

Nader
Posted Mar 24, 2016 12:40 pm

Josh LewisRe: Get well!

Josh Lewis

Hasn't voted

Thanks Nader.
Posted Mar 24, 2016 8:45 pm

TonkaNice job staying positive!

Tonka

Hasn't voted

At least putting gloves on will be a little easier and you have a good excuse for not doing that silly pink square thing.
Posted Mar 24, 2016 1:18 pm

Josh LewisRe: Nice job staying positive!

Josh Lewis

Hasn't voted

Putting gloves on is harder due to sensitivity (which might go away), however it's easier than with the messed up finger. What is the silly pink square thing?
Posted Mar 24, 2016 8:46 pm

Mark DoironIt's Been Pretty Amazing ...

Mark Doiron

Voted 10/10

... watching you grow up through the eyes of SP. Your help in recent years with SP's website redesign, and your skills as a photographer, are definitely appreciated by me (and many others I'm sure). Keep the attitude positive and climb on!

--mark d.
Posted Mar 24, 2016 3:54 pm

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on Mar 22, 2016 5:28 pm

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