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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.

Monday, July 06, 2015

Rock On

Last week Scott and I went out for the evening. We didn't realize until we were actually out of the house that it had been nearly 4 years since we went on a proper date night. I wish we go out together more often, but our lacking a babysitter certainly puts a damper on those aspirations.  Because we were going to a concert and we were anticipating a late night, my Mom came down to watch the boys.

The last time I went to a concert it was to see the Wiggles, so watching Tesla, Styx and Def Leppard was certainly a switch. Scott was beyond excited about the lineup, and while it isn't my type of music, I was content to see him so happy.  Although I love music, I lean towards country and Billy Joel whereas Scott enjoys more edgier genres. Needless to say, I was definitely pushed out of my comfort zone.

I felt like a fish out of water, not knowing the majority of the songs and unsure about concert etiquette. I felt as if I was playing follow the leader as I tried to emulate Scott's movements.  Unfortunately, since my "rocking out" was not authentic, I was slightly out of unison with the sold out crowd.  Thankfully the individual behind us noticed my desperately trying to plug my ears and offered me some ear plugs. Sporting neon orange foam ear plugs and fist pumping out of sync with the rest of the crowd, my attempts to assimilate were in vain.  I have come to the conclusion that I am far more comfortable at the Wiggles concerts.

Although seat assignments were issued with each ticket, I was surprised that they were rarely utilized. I anticipated some standing and cheering, but was woefully unprepared to stand for the duration of the concert. Standing in place is difficult with my prosthesis. I could easily walk three hours without experiencing the pain, numbness and tingling that ensued after I attempted to stand and "rock out" for 30 minutes.  My shifting weight from my prosthesis to my sound side became a bit of a solitary dance as the concert progressed. While I knew that only Scott noticed, I couldn't help but feel out of place because of the prosthetic issue.  Being an amputee stinks when I can't find a comfortable position!

Despite the aching limb, ringing ears and awkward fist bumping, I had a good time at the concert. Actually, I should preface that statement by saying that I had a good time with Scott at the concert. I still don't care for the music, but I loved spending the evening with him. We really need to orchestrate a date night more often. Only next time, I get to pick the activity!


Friday, July 03, 2015

Happy Ampuversary- 12 Years.

Today is my Ampuversary.  It has now been twelve years since that emotionally ridden day when I drove to Baltimore to begin a new life. The terror and uncertainty I felt on that morning were overwhelmingly strong and I can still feel those emotions today as I reflect.

I remember staring at my foot as Scott drove, trying to soak in every last moment of it still being attached to my body. It was broken and deformed, but it was still mine.  After 5 years of pain and surgery, I was ready to rid myself of the disability of my injured biological foot. Although I knew that it was the most logical decision, I was petrified of life as an amputee.

I remember being wheeled back on the gurney into the operating room. I remember the last time I wiggled my mangled toes and rotated my swollen ankle. I remember the pain when I woke up in the recovery room as I cried out for my Mom.  Twelve years have passed, yet my memories remain vivid. I doubt that I will ever forget the sights, sounds, smells, emotions and pain that surrounded that day.


This morning I am not waking up mourning what was removed. Instead I am celebrating the beginning of my new life. As I watch Timmy happily rolling on the floor this morning I am reminded that if I hadn't made the decision to amputate twelve years ago, I would not be a Mom. I am no longer in pain, and I walk and move without thinking.

If you ask me, my left foot and ankle were small sacrifices for the pain-free, active and wonderful life I am living today.  Today is definitely worthy of celebration.  Happy Ampuversary to me!

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Antibiotics- Again

Yesterday started as I anticipated, with my tackling the enormous mountain of laundry sitting next to our suitcase. By the time the boys woke up I had two loads washed, dried and folded and the pile was beginning to appear surmountable. Have I mentioned how much I detest doing laundry?

After everybody had breakfast, we headed to the farm to pick up our CSA box and to pick blueberries.  Robby was so happy in the car, chatting and singing songs to his brother. He quieted by the time we arrived, and halfway through the blueberry field he complained of a headache. 

He was white as a ghost, clammy and obviously not feeling well. We abandoned our picking and headed home. I gave him some Tylenol and tucked him into our bed so that he could rest and watch cartoons.

I checked on him an hour later and was alarmed that his temperature was over 103 degrees. Without pausing, I asked Scott to watch Timmy and we headed to the doctor.  It turns out that my little Koopa has ear infections.  I know he'll feel better in a day or two, but in the meantime our home has been transformed to the house of pestilence with both boys on antibiotics.

Hopefully everybody will feel better soon, because we have some fun adventures scheduled for the Fourth of July!

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

HOME

In terms of travel difficulties, yesterday was happily calm. Timmy slept the entire flight, sparing the crowded plane from his vocal protests about being restrained. Robby was content playing on my iPad while Scott helped him strategize the best ways for the plants to kill the zombies in the game. The biggest inconvenience was the burning in my arm from holding a resting Hamlet, but I didn't dare move for fear of waking him up. 

After a long six days away, we arrived home in the early afternoon. Robby immediately took off to check the status of his tomato and bean garden while Timmy felt compelled to systematically activate every toy within reach. I could tell that they were both happy to be home.

Watching Hamlet toddle around and play throughout the rest of the afternoon, I was astonished with his recovery. He went from battling a fever so high it caused an elevated heart rate to his normal curious, active and giggling self within a few days. I am so glad to have my happy little Hamlet back!

Today will be spent with laundry, a trip to the farm to pick up our CSA, and just resting. After this "vacation," I think I have earned a little down time!




Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Penthouse

Although our flight isn't until this afternoon, yesterday morning we packed up and left Scott's mother's house a day early. Timmy was showing signs of improving, and I felt safe traveling with him. We headed to Cincinnati where Scott's college friend manages a hotel.  Mick has been inviting us to visit and stay in his hotel for years, but we have never taken him up on the offer primarily because Scott felt torn about not staying with his Mom.

Mick met us in the lobby when we arrived. After the difficult few days that we have had, it was nice to see Scott smiling and relaxed with his friend. He escorted us to our room and the friends talked and reminisced the whole way. As the elevator rose I became acutely aware that we were going to a place we have never been: a penthouse suite. 

Robby was awestruck when the doors to our suite were opened. He immediately took off exploring, returning with his arms overflowing with little shampoos and soaps. "Look at all of these soaps we scored Momom.  Dad, where is the suitcase? We have to take these home!"  I kind of wish that he had waited until Mick left before ransacking his establishment. 

This multi-level suite has three full bedrooms, three and 1/2 bathrooms and a full kitchen. We have two private balconies overlooking the Cincinnati skyline. Even though he was still feeling punky, Timmy thoroughly enjoyed practicing his mountaineering skills by crawling up the spiral staircase. (I certainly got my exercise following him up and carrying him down multiple times.) 

Wow, am I glad that Scott finally accepted the offer of a room. I could definitely get used to penthouse living!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Upset

We flew to Ohio so that we could attend Scott's family picnic. This year was especially special because it was to be the first time that many in his family were going  to meet Timmy. Of course, I should come to expect the unexpected. Instead of being doted on by family, little Hamlet ended up spending the picnic afternoon at Urgent Care.

He is sick, and I am both angry and heartbroken. He was exposed to cinnamon which caused hives/blisters to form all over his body and down his throat. The throat blisters quickly became infected, and a high fever and vomiting ensued. I was devastated seeing my little guy so sick and felt responsible because I wasn't able to protect him from his allergen. Needless to say, I feel like a parental failure.

Thankfully we were able to locate an Urgent Care center that was open on Sunday, something that is rare in Appalachian Ohio. The doctors were compassionate and were able to prescribe strong antibiotics to help my little guy. I'm hoping that he will turn the corner today. I have a feeling that my guilt will far outlast his illness. 

While I know that I am not responsible for feeding the cinnamon waffles to Timmy, I still feel as if I failed because I was not with him when he was given breakfast. I know that I will spend the next few days and the coming weeks trying to process my feelings about the incident, but right now my energy is focused on Timmy.  I may not be able to reverse the cinnamon exposure, but I am going to do my best to help him recover as quickly as possible. 

Friday, June 26, 2015

We are here


After an extremely long and exhausting day of traveling, we have finally arrived at Scott's mother's house. It took us nearly 8 hours, which is almost the same amount of time it would have taken if we had driven. So much for making our live easier by flying!

As anticipated, Timmy was a handful. He screamed on the plane for about 30 minutes. Despite my desperate attempts, there was nothing I could do to calm him. Holding an inconsolable baby in a public space is an incredibly helpless feeling.  Eventually he fell asleep and the glares from our fellow flyers transferred to another Mom with a crying tyke.

I expected little Hamlet to become a full-fledged explorer as soon as we arrived, and so far he hasn't let me down. I spent the afternoon and evening following him around and removing just about everything from his hands. While Scott takes full advantage of seeing his family this weekend, I'll be chasing Timmy around a home where items within his reach are both plentiful and tempting.  It's a good thing I brought my activity leg, because he is going to keep me on the move!