My hat goes off to you. You have a great attitude.
Back in '55, I had an operation on my torn up knee. It was service connected, so i was treated at the VA hospital in West Haven, CT. I was in with a whole crowd of guys, many had been in korea, as had I. They were a happy bunch, and while in recovery (in those days, they kept us around the hospital for a few days for what nowadays, they kick you out the same day. While I was there, I met an EX-GI who was a little older and had been injured working on high voltage electric lines on a civilian job after he had gotten out of the service. He had lost both arms from the burn and had been amputated to 1" nubbins on each arm. That was when a lot that was being done on prosthetics was more on the experimental side of a good thing. They were having a lot of trouble with fitting as the knobs they had left him with were actually too short for any attachment. Even tho he was left with a big problem, he was very upbeat and good humored more than should have been expected.
A day before i was to go home, I found out he was supposed to go back to Brooklyn Navy Hospital for new measuring. For whatever the reason, he could not get a ride the day he should go, or maybe not back, whatever. Since I felt I could be available, i offered to help out and next day, the first thing I did when i got home was to hop in my car and head back to the hospital and transported my friend to Brooklyn. I was totally surprised at what i saw down there. even tho I had been a combat medic in Korea, i had never seen so many amputees with any where from a hand to four appendages missing. There were maby 15 or 20 amputees in that ward. I don't say i felt sorry for the nurses on that ward. I don't think there was one in the lot who was unhappy, but they sure had to be aware of what was going on around them. Those guys were, even for a bunch of GI's, the craziest and most happy go lucky bunch. They were driving those nurses absolutely crazy with their antics.
I am sure there must have been some problems when they got out in the world, but they sur were manufacturing some wild times in that ward. I remember especially one vet who was quadruple amputee. The VA had set up an Oldsmobile for him to drive. he would climb into that car and pull a lever to lock himself into the driver's seat. there was a valve bank in front of him not unlike the valve controls on some of the construction machinery i operated a few years later. I don't recall if he used foot pedals for braking, but the car was automatic. In those days, the "Auto trannys" were not so snappy as they are today and he was complaining that he could not spin the wheels as he would take off with engine roaring.
I did manage to converse with several of those vets before I had to return my friend back to Connecticut. That day was an eyeopener for me.
I'm glad for you that you have found a way to keep yourself busy and have such an upbeat attitude.