To view HOMESPUN please click:
Our TV show HOMESPUN features Platte County resident Darla Adams this week. Darla has an infectious, positive attitude that she maintains whether it's sunny or stormy. Hear here inspiring story this week.
WHEATLAND – The Wonder Woman we have seen on television and movies is fictional. The Wonder Woman you see in Wheatland is very real indeed.
Not only does Wheatland resident Darla Adams kind of resemble Wonder Woman in her looks, but her personality is spot on.
Adams, who was diagnosed with Type I diabetes at age 19, watched the disease eat away at her body for decades. When the pain just became too much to endure, she opted for amputations.
First just her toes on her right foot, then in a three-year period and fifteen surgeries, her toes on the left foot and parts of her foot and heel were cut away. Finally, she gave up the left leg and then the right, both below the knees. At this point, some might opt for a wheel chair existence, but not Adams. Even growing up, she always had an active and positive attitude.
She was raised in San Diego where she said that even though she grew up on the beach and graduated from Granite Hills High School. After high school she went on to community college also in southern California.
It was shortly after graduation that she was given the news at a routine physical exam.
“When you are 19 and out of college and you are not doing activities, you tend to get out of shape,” she said. “I started getting sick. When I was young, I was active, and we ate healthy and no junk food because there was 11 of us growing up. When I started letting myself go and get out of shape is when I discovered I had it.”
The doctors found that her pancreas was not working and most likely had not been working since birth or perhaps just got to a point where it failed after a period of time.
“I was very tired, very thirsty all the time, I couldn’t quench my thirst and was urinating at least two times an hour,” she said. “I went just to get a physical and then they found out and the put me on insulin right away.”
She then began to live her life in a new normal.
“After high school I wanted to be a teacher or get into finance,” she said. “It’s a hard story. I was actually going to college and then got kicked out of my house, so I had nowhere to live and I had to get a job, so I had to quit college and I got this job as a bank teller.”
That destined move gave her a start in finance that spanned 20 years where she was promoted to the head bank teller to eventually managing a bank before she hit 40 years of age.
Not one to do simply deskwork, Adams has been active all of her life.
“I played softball for one of the local softball teams around town,” she said. “I’m an avid bowler and have bowled since I was a child. I played volleyball at rec centers, coached my kid’s soccer teams.”
Adams and her husband, Craig, who works for Coors in Colorado met while he was still in the Navy. She said it was love at first sight and they were married six months after they met and the couple have been married for 27 years. They also have two children, Harley 23 and Cole, 20.
It was after the Navy that the couple moved to Colorado and then to wider open spaces and more hunting opportunities in Wyoming. Adams said that they didn’t want to ranch, but just wanted to be in the middle of nowhere.
“We used to come up here because my husband likes the hunting,” she said. “We lived in Colorado, but we loved Wyoming and wide-open spaces, and the small-town life, so we moved up here. It had a bowling alley and that’s all I required.”
Adam’s husband still works in Colorado and makes the commute every other week.
She said that things began to go downhill in her 40s.
“I got sick with a blood infection,” she said. “With diabetes you develop neuropathy. Your toes and your fingers are the things that it happens to first and you just don’t get circulation down there. I had that numbness feeling in my feet and they would get cold really easy. The blood just wasn’t flowing.”
The infection that she had developed had settled in her feet and eventually got into the bone. After doctors took so much of the foot that it was pointless to try to walk on it, Adams made the decision to have it amputated.
“I didn’t have much of a foot left,” she said. “I was at the point between the pain, and I couldn’t walk on it anymore and they couldn’t get the infection out of me, I was just done. Take it off.”
Adams who looked at it as a new way of life and a new challenge decided to learn how to make it work. In September of 2014, she began that journey of process. At Christmas of 2018 she lost the other leg. With both legs gone and not wanting a lot of help due to her own confessed independence, she wanted to do it on her own.
Some people take months and even a year to get used to prosthetics. Adams was a case study in acceleration. Although she didn’t actually get fitted for her prosthetics for two months, she made up for lost time and within two hours she was walking on her miracle legs.
“I blew all the doctors away,” she said with a smile. “They did not expect it. The first one I was still a bit unsure and it took a few days to get used to it. With the second one, I walked out of the doctor’s office.”
She walked and never looked back. There was simply too much to do. She bowls, she has walked in two 5Ks and as she is beginning to navigate terrain, she is going to go hunting this year for the first time. With a new lease on life she doesn’t take anything for granted.
“I got through that period of my life, and I’m a better person for it,” she said. “I am stronger. It’s been a trippy experience, but in my eyes it’s all positive. I refuse to see the negative in it. I’m walking better than I have, I’m active and I’m not sick.”
With all of her challenges, she said boldly, “Tell me I can’t do it, and I’ll show you I can.”
She’s a wonder. A Wonder Woman alive and well and living in Wheatland.