This is the fifth in a seven-part feature series, She Slays.
Hi, my name is Vidhi and I work as a branch manager in a reputed bank in New Delhi. Even though my work profile might appear very coveted to you, I would like to share that life hasn’t been too kind to me. I am an amputee and this is my story.
When I was seven, my family visited my grandparents’ village for a wedding. I was so excited to play with all my cousins that I insisted on going a day before my parents arrived. We all were loitering on the streets and playing when I accidentally injured my right hand. It was badly bruised and was bleeding profusely.
The natural resort for my relatives was to take me to the local medical practitioner (vaid), who bandaged my hand with some local ointment. Though it was a makeshift job, it dried away my tears and being a child, I let go of it until the next day, when my parents reached the village.
My parents immediately raised an alarm, for they sensed something was terribly wrong with my hand. It had turned blue and numb. They rushed me to a nearby hospital where the doctor told us that the makeshift job had resulted in ‘gangrene’ and that we were too late to seek treatment. The delay had turned my injury poisonous and my parents were given a choice–save my limb or my life.
It was a brutal either-or situation that no parent would wish upon their enemy. Naturally, in order to save my life, they chose the latter and I had to undergo a surgery where my right hand was amputated. And so, I became an amputee at a mere eight years of age.
Life was never the same again…
I was a child, so my memory of the incident is bleak, but the courage my whole family displayed is worth telling.
After the operation, I was hospitalized for two to three months. During this time, my parents tried their best to train me to work with my left hand. My father spent all of his time teaching me how to write and enforced a proper exercise regime to rebalance my body and strengthen my left hand. For a young girl, it wasn’t an easy ride to go through such mental and physical trauma but thanks to the love and care of my parents, I did it all without complaints. For better support, the doctors also provided me with a heavy prosthetic limb.
It took me many years to adjust to it–and it made me conscious for the longest time. Yet, I knew I needed it for rebalancing my body and slowly, as a part of my post-surgery treatment, I started wearing it. First hesitantly and then proudly.
The amputation of my hand had now changed my life completely. When all the children used to pray in school with both hands, I would feel very weird. However, after a few days when I realized that I am no less than others, I started praying to God by placing my left hand on my chest.
I was fortunate enough that my friends and teachers were very supportive of me throughout. Even when I would go to the computer lab for practicals, they would place the mouse and the keyboard on my left side so that I don’t face any difficulty. Such kindness at school as well as home infused me with positivity and in this way, I grew up well.
My biggest support came in the form of my soulmate
The struggle of not having a hand still bothered me, as it affected my daily routine. There were times when I would break down and ask God why it happened to me. Seeing other people my age doing normal things like holding hands or dressing up, made me feel low even though I hardly talked about it to anyone.
I guess the universe couldn’t bear my condition for a long time and it turned so generous that it made me meet the love of my life, my now husband, who fought against the world to marry me. People used to tell him that marrying me would mean that he won’t get all the love and care that he would need from a wife but instead, he stood by my side and never left my hand, for real.
Never giving up is the key
I am happily married today and we also have a beautiful son. I also have a high-profile job at a bank and though there are days when I feel inefficient, I just look back and see how far I have come and the possibility of how far I can go.
I believe that ups and downs are a part of everyone’s lives and we should focus more on the positives than the negatives. If we understand that we cannot have everything that we want and instead accept the way we are, mentally or physically, then life will appear less complex and better. It is only because of hope and faith that I had which gave me a chance to be the person I am today – with or without a physical externality.