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  • Henry Paniccia

Amputation Anniversary

15 years ago today I was hit by a dump truck while crossing the street. It resulted in the amputation of both of my legs.

I spent three months in the hospital before I was released.

There are many memories I have of being in that hospital. One in particular relates to music.

I had to get skin graphs on my back. Between the truck and the actual amputations my legs had very little skin left on them. So skin was taken from my back and sides of my torso.

The bandages would have to be changed regularly and the wounds had to be cleaned once every two weeks. Both processes were extremely painful. On my back in particular, the doctors took off more skin than usual, meaning the healing process was much slower than typical.

So one day, before the doctors do a wound cleaning, they put me in this tub with warm water. The idea was to soak the bandages so they would remove easier. They transferred me in this tub and told me to relax. I was very anxious. This process hurt a lot, like everything else that happened while I was in the hospital, and I was definitely NOT excited about what was going to happen after I got out of that tub.

My mom gave me my CD player that had KoRn’s Freak On A Leash. Her and the nurses laughed as I took it and started to listen, saying they didn’t understand how anyone could relax and listen to that kind of music at the same time.

I completely mellowed out as I listened. It was something familiar, something I didn’t associate with pain, something I thoroughly enjoyed. I got half way through the album before they told me it was time to go.

Not everyone will understand your music. Not everyone will understand people’s reactions to it. Not everyone will comprehend it. But someone, somewhere, might be listening to calm themselves before they have to endure something shitty.

Stay focused.

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