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I am a below knee amputee. More importantly, I am also Mommy to two boys, a very active eight year old (Robby) and an infant (Timmy). I have learned that being a parent with a disability can create some unusual and sometimes humorous situations. This blogger is available for hire! Let's talk and learn how a blog can expand your business.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Facebook Memories

Facebook memories keep popping up in my news feed. While I typically enjoy seeing the photos of past years, lately the posts have been depressing. Yesterday I was reminded that one year ago I was in Texas trying to help care for my Dad. The photos that have been popping up on my Facebook wall show us sharing some of our last moments together. I look exhausted and my Dad looks sickly and gaunt. At the time I knew that he didn't look well, but it was only yesterday when I realized just how sick he looked.  It is amazing how operating in survival mode can mask a situation to make it bearable.

It has almost been a year since he passed, but I am still missing my Dad. He was my "go to" person for professional advice. While I am fairly confident on a personal basis, I continue to second guess myself when it comes to professional decisions. I wish I could pick up the phone and call him, if only to hear him reassure me that I am on the right track.

Instead I am forced to reflect on our previous conversations as I muddle my way through career crossroads. I find myself wondering what he would say when I am conflicted. In most situations I already knew the answer. I guess he taught me more than I realized. 

While I enjoy the memories that pop onto my wall, I think I am going to turn off the feature for the next few weeks. The photos hold memories that are simply too painful to constantly relive each time I log on. Again I am turning to avoidance as my coping mechanism, but right now I'm okay with it.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Cold Shock

Every season has its benefits and pitfalls. In the summertime, I thoroughly enjoy playing in the pool with the boys, walking any distance in oppressive heat causes my leg to profusely sweat, creating a puddle off ickiness in the bottom of my liner. In the spring and fall I have to be careful while walking to avoid slipping on wet leaves and nuts. In the winter, ice and cold are my amputation foes.

Waking up early in the morning, sliding out of my warm covers and slipping on an ice cold liner is simply torturous. Little is more shocking to my system than the instant cold that radiates up my limb and throughout my body. When I have the luxury of time (which is not often), I can warm the liner up a bit before donning. Unfortunately, Timmy's squawking doesn't calm with time and I am forced to move quickly or risk him waking up everybody in the house. On those mornings I am forced to slip a rubber icicle over my limb which is not the most pleasant way to start my day.

The temperatures are supposed to plummet over the next few days, so I am mentally preparing myself for the cold shocks I will experience. I realize that in the realm of amputation issues, a cold liner is minimal. More of a nuisance than an issue, I am trying to keep it in perspective. Of course, perspective is difficult when I am trying to put a frozen liner over a warm limb in the wee hours of the morning.

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Murphy's Law

I should know better than to plan my next day in advance, especially during the winter. Yesterday I worked my schedule into precise 15 minute increments. I went to bed feeling pleased with my effective planning. I knew that the day was going to be busy, but I was also optimistic that my manageable schedule would allow me to maximize my productivity.

Well, Murphy's Law has struck in the form of an overnight snow event. Robby's school is delayed two hours, effectively nullifying my entire schedule. So much for planning and efficiency! Despite my efforts, I am back to juggling on the fly.

Typically I feel phantom pain heralding a winter storm. Last night I didn't experience any discomfort which is why this school delay has thrown me off kilter. Of course In this situation, my comfort led me astray. I believed the weatherman and wasn't expecting a snow event.

Robby is still sleeping, happy in the cozy warmth of the electric blanket. He will be able to enjoy a few extra hours of sleep thanks to the weather and road conditions. Timmy has no respect for the school delay, waking up early as he demanded that I exchange my warm bed for the cold living room. I can't help but look forward to returning the favor when he is a teenager.

Monday, February 08, 2016

Old Lady

Even though we were only gone for 48 hours, it felt like considerably longer because of the extenuating circumstances behind our trip. Seeing Scott's brother and sister-in-law mourn their daughter made me want to hug my kids a little tighter. Scott must have been feeling the same compulsion because we practically smothered Robby and Timmy with hugs and kisses when we saw them.  Wanting to spend some quality time with the kiddos, Friday night I packed them in the car and we headed to the trampoline park. Because Robby is at an age where he doesn't want his mother as a playmate, I allowed him to invite Jack, our neighbor, for the evening.

While Robby and Jack ran and bounced, I spent the evening trying to keep up with Timmy. My goodness my little toddler loves to jump! He was grinning non-stop and only paused from playing long enough to splash in the water fountain.

Eventually Timmy jumped his way into the middle of a Dodgeball game. The game didn't stop for a pint sized player, but as soon as I entered the court everybody froze. A boy, about twelve years old, barked "Everybody stop! Don't hit the old lady."

Now while I appreciated this lad's desire to avoid hitting an adult with a ball, I took issue with the "old lady" descriptor. Feeling particularly spry, I cocked my head and smiled before turning around and pegging him with a ball on his leg. I screamed "game on" and everybody began to scramble.

Before I knew it, I was in the middle of an epic trampoline Dodgeball game. It was the "old lady" versus 10.5 kids (including Robby and his friend and Timmy), and I wasn't about to go down without a fight. I am sure I wasn't as graceful as I felt, but I really think I hit my groove. I was ducking, jumping, slamming and sliding my way across the trampoline field. After about 10 minutes, I had managed to peg every single youngster without incurring a single hit.

While I had a great time schooling the kids in the art of Dodgeball, I think I may have overdone it. I kept my head high and bounced my way off the court with a cocky smile on my face, but I was fairly sure that I wasn't going to be able to bend the next morning. As I swallowed a muscle relaxer that night before bed, I couldn't help but think that perhaps this "old lady" should have stayed out of the game.

Friday, February 05, 2016

Headed Home

We're catching an early morning flight home.  It will be nice to be home and hug the boys!  Trips like this certainly make me appreciate my family.

My Mom has been an absolute godsend this week, dropping everything so that she could come down and take care of the kids. I know I will never be able to properly thank her, but I'm thinking that a gift certificate for a massage might be a good start. I suspect that she could use the pampering after chasing Timmy the Terror for two days. From talking with her, I understand that he has been in full entertainment mode. From removing our floor registers and trying to go spelunking in our ventilation system to playing unannounced games of hide and seek, he has been nonstop mischief. 

I'll try to write more tonight, when I am home and things settle down.  But we have a plane to catch, and I certainly don't want to miss this flight.

Thursday, February 04, 2016


Yesterday was simply exhausting. While it wasn't physically taxing, emotionally I feel as if I have been wrung out to dry. Funerals are always sad, but there is something profoundly heartbreaking watching a young child grieve their mother and parents mourn a daughter.

As expected, this tragedy has hit Scott especially hard. Monica was his first niece, and they had a special bond through childhood. Time has separated them, but those early bonds are strong and always have a way of holding. I wish that I could help him, but I find myself feeling inadequate as all I can do is offer hugs and hold his hand. 

Today is the funeral, which I know will be difficult. Again, I wish there was something that I could do. Unfortunately, not everything can be fixed with words and cookies.

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Travel Day

The next few days are going to be difficult. Scott and I are headed to Ohio to attend the visitation and funeral for his niece Monica. It is still difficult to grasp that we are traveling to say a final goodbye to somebody who was so young and so full of vigor and life. It just doesn't make sense.

My mom, true to form, is graciously helping us. Without hesitation, she offered to come to stay with the boys.  This morning she woke up well before dawn to drive down to Virginia to watch Robby and Timmy. (Robby has missed so much school due to the snow days and we dreaded having to pull him because we were going out of town.) 

I know that Timmy is going to keep her on her toes, and I feel guilty when I think about the level of exhaustion she is going to experience trying to keep up with him. I'm hoping that the novelty of entertaining his Nana will help to stymie his mischief.  Wish us all luck!