Minneapolis City Pages May 4, 2016 : Page 15

want Sellie to hear — is that a cataclysmic event either destroys you or reinvents you. “Anybody who goes through amputa-tion goes through shit,” Goltry says. “We don’t want to try to explain to you. It’s a world you don’t want to walk into. But if you have to, there are people who will hold your hand and take you in the door and out the exit and say, ‘It’s okay, we got through this. Now it’s just about moving forward.’” Tugging the string Twice a month at Allina’s Courage Kenny Rehab Center in Minneapolis, Sellie lies on his back in a giant spring bed as a physi-cal therapist pushes his knee back into his chest as far as it will go. His face is a rosy grimace. The therapist orders Sellie onto a tiny trampoline tauntingly imprinted with the brand name “Pure Fun.” He hops on one leg for three minutes at a time until rasping breath and the rush of blood make him want to puke. Sellie’s recovery hit a snag when the first prosthesis left a throbbing ache in his residual limb. Doctors suspected neu-roma, a frayed nerve that wants to extend its endings into new tissue. Finding none, it bunches into itself like a bonsai root, producing agony. Until doctors could absolutely identify the cause of his pain, they took his leg away. This uncertainty is a source of constant, debilitating frustration, holding up every aspect of Sellie’s life. So he stays with his parents, who subsist off his dad’s job paint-ing classrooms and dorms at the U. He doesn’t feel great about it. Sellie hasn’t held a job since before the surgery, when he harvested corn for the U. That kind of heavy labor is beyond his realm of ability now. He has yet to assemble the courage to crutch into an interview room with his residual limb hanging loose. Blood thinners also prevent him from returning to the park. If he crashes and hurts himself, he could bruise and bleed excessively. But Goltry and Edmondson keep beckon-ing him to the 3rd Lair skate park in Golden Valley. They believe Sellie could put his mind ahead of his body just by watching the basic modifications amputees make in order to skate. They also want to get him out of the house. Isolation causes the mind to run. Sellie always has some excuse, but he insists all’s right in his heart. “I occasionally get that feeling, like depression and that kind of stuff,” he admits in halting words. “I just wanna be as happy as I can all the time, just for the fact of my friends. I didn’t go through what they went through. I didn’t watch their best friend almost die. I’ve been trying to be as happy and as positive as I can be for them and for my parents and all that.” Sellie prefers to spend time with his high school friends, the guys who popped up out of the past when he needed it most. Their company, along with weed, is the only thing that helps. Yet there were problems with his life even prior to losing the leg. In the months lead-ing up to the operation, Sellie would spend every night at the Dog House, drinking and smoking as much as he could, knowing he had a heart condition. Goltry and Edmondson remain undaunted. Though Sellie avoids the park, Goltry discovers he can lure him out for burgers and beers at Neuman’s. Edmond-son also invites Sellie to watch his adap-tive floor hockey team play. They end up kicking a board around in the parking lot of Wayzata High School. Leaning on his crutches, Sellie shows Edmondson how to do a shove-it with one leg. When Goltry and Edmondson go to 3rd Lair on Saturday mornings, they invoke Sellie in countless Facebook posts, hoping that just seeing them skate will bring him around to giving it a try. Even if he has to roll down a ramp on his butt. In early April, Edmondson strips off both prosthetics and places them by the side of the rink as he kneels on his skateboard. He speeds up and down the floor using only his arms, as the hordes of 10-year-old skaters that crowd 3rd Lair every week-end stare and take video. Usually averse to posting photos of himself without the legs, Edmondson wants Sellie to know there’s no shame in learning all over and skating any way he can. Homecoming The first anniversary of the day Sellie lost his leg looms large as summer approaches. The memory of Goltry’s plan to get him on a board by the end of the year seems like distant fantasy. There’s no way anyone could have anticipated the medical com-plications that slowed Sellie’s transition to prosthetics for so long. SHEPHERD’S HARVEST NEW IN 2016 FREE FAMILY LAMAPALOOZA & PHOTOGRAPHY SPONSORED BY MIDWEST COMPETITIONS FRIENDLY ACTIVITIES LAMA ASSOCIATION FLEECE, FELTING, SKEIN MAY 14 & 15, 2016 SPINNING SHEEP SHEARING DEMOS KNITTING 100 FIBER & SHEEP BREED DISPLAY & MORE VENDORS MORE THAN WASHINGTON COUNTY FAIR GROUNDS -LAKE ELMO, MN • ADMISSION $5 • FREE FOR KIDS 8 & UNDER • FREE PARKING FRIDAY, MAY 13 CLASSES ONLY • SATURDAY, MAY 14 9-5 • SUNDAY, MAY 15 10-4 Interested in volunteering? Contact us at info@shepherdsharvestfestival.org ShepherdsHarvestFestival.org MAY 4 –10, 2016  CITYPAGES.COM   15  

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