About Me

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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.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Prosthetic Parity

I am a creature of habit, especially in the morning. Each morning I make a cup of coffee, sit down on my loveseat and log onto my computer to check my email. I have come to enjoy my morning email fetch, primarily because I never know what to expect.  While most of the time my inbox is filled with advertisements and assorted cyber junk, on occasion I open a message which turns into a wonderful opportunity or adventure. Yesterday morning I opened one of these messages.

It turns out that the website The Mighty had decided to publish an article I wrote explaining the obstacles faced by the limb loss community because of insurance limitations. I was delighted for the opportunity to educate the general public about issues surrounding prosthetic parity. Because of the blatant absurdity of tenants such as "one limb per lifetime," I truly believe that change is within reach. But in order to force our elected officials to act on Federal Parity legislation, we need to rally not only the limb loss community but also our able-bodied peers. By embracing and creating opportunities to talk about insurance fairness, and through sharing real-life stories of individuals whose potential is limited by their insurance more than their limb loss, we will continue to make inroads towards effecting change.

Please read the article I authored, and take the opportunity on the website to click the heart button. I know that "hearts" and "shares" are actively tracked when evaluating the success of a topic on the website. I want to send a clear and strong message that ProstheticParity is an issue that deserves attention.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Jellystone Fun!

This past weekend we packed up the cars, picked up Robby from school and began to drive south.  Nearly three hours later we arrived at Jellystone Natural Bridge for a weekend getaway. With a cabin directly adjacent to the fishing pond and an activity list heavy with Halloween festivities (including trick-or-treating), I knew that everybody was going to have a blast.  Because of the unseasonably warm weather, we were delighted to discover that the pools and splash zone were still open. Robby and Timmy could hardly wait to get changed into their swimming gear when we arrived. 

Timmy, entranced by the splash zone, never made it to the pool. He was content running through the water fixtures and sliding down the pint sized water slide.  Robby opted to split his time between the regular pool, the corkscrew water slides and the splash zone. The weather was perfect allowing us to thoroughly enjoy our time. 

Our weekend would have been perfect had it not been for an unexpected case of Timmy hives. He woke up on Saturday with a few pin prick spots on his cheeks.  As the day progressed, the spots spread and deepened in both size and color.  By the end of the day he was almost completely covered and, although he didn't seem bothered by the outbreak, other parents were starting to pull their children away from him. It broke my heart, but yet I understood the instinct to protect your own child. 

Despite the hives and the worry that both Scott and I felt, the boys were able to participate in most of the campground activities.  Timmy decorated a pumpkin while Robby tackled painting a ceramic shark.  We made a tie-dye shirt and entered the costume contest.  In the evening I opted to keep Timmy cool and quiet in the cabin while Robby and Scott went trick-or-treating around the campground.  The pair dropped off a full bucket of candy before heading to the "Monster Mash Dance Party." 

Sitting in the cabin with my little hive-covered Timmy sleeping, my mind began to worry. In the midst of a growing panic attack, Scott sent me a video of Robby dancing. Immediately I was transported from my woeful "I wonder if" mentality to the present, which made me smile.  My little Koopa has, unfortunately, inherited my dancing abilities. He has also inherited my enthusiasm. I'm not sure where he developed his confidence, but it was fully on display during the dance. 

Sunday we woke up to discover Timmy's hives were improving. We went to breakfast and headed to the playground.  Timmy took a detour and ran straight into the splash zone.  He apparently missed the memo that the temperatures had drastically cooled overnight. He seemed perfectly content splashing in the cool air first thing in the morning. I just love watching him play!  Despite the hives, he is a happy little boy.  

Friday, September 23, 2016

Not Giving UP

I can't believe that it is true, but I am actually feeling guilty for not going to the gym this week. I still don't enjoy working out, but I did come to appreciate how I felt at the end of each session. I pledged to keep going once everybody returned to school, but that promise has gone down in flames. Between sick Timmy and my leg sore, I have failed miserably at maintaining my gym schedule. 

I was flirting with going to the gym yesterday but the tenderness on the back of my leg led me to rethink that decision. I realized that I wasn't healed enough to put my limb through an intense 30 minute workout.  As much as I wanted to sweat and get back into the groove, my desire to completely heal and recover took priority. Sometimes I really hate being an amputee dealing with skin issues! 

Hopefully my leg will continue to make progress and I'll be able to return to the gym next week. In the meantime, I am going to try to remove the self imposed guilt. I had to take a respite because of family and health issues, not because I quit. A setback of a few weeks is not going to deter me from my goal, and in the long run it is only a blip.  Now maybe if I keep reminding myself of this I will actually start to believe it!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Unexpected Surprise

Unexpected surprises are definitely the best!  Yesterday Scott was late coming home from work, leaving me to fear his mood upon arrival. Between meetings and paperwork, he has put in a lot of extra time this school year. He doesn't mind putting in the time if it will directly benefit the kids, but meetings for the sake of holding a meeting tend to wear on his nerves. 

It turns out that his delay was not because of a meeting but because of a shopping detour. Unbeknownst to me, he was working on a surprise. I was absolutely flabbergasted when he presented me with the box containing a shiny, powerful new smartphone. Sometimes he frustrates me to exhaustion, but he is also capable of completely surprising me.  Yesterday was definitely one of those occasions.

While he took Robby to Tae Known Do, I tucked Timmy into bed and settled down to set up my new phone. It took me a few hours to migrate everything off of the cloud, but my device is now ready to go. I am looking forward to breaking it in (figuratively definitely not literally) and start putting it through its paces.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Not My Best Day

Yesterday was not my best day. I struggled to find my groove with just about everything. From burning Robby's waffles in the morning to spilling Timmy's dinner all over the kitchen floor, I was just having one of those days where everything went wrong.

In the middle of a report I came to the realization that my laptop is on electronic hospice.  I know it is a matter of time before we need to part ways and I buy a new one, but I despise the entire process. Having to reload my programs and reconfigure everything so that the transition is smooth is both laborious and expensive. I try to put it off until I have no choice. In the meantime, I am constantly restarting, exiting programs and waiting for the circle of death to subside so that I can finish writing my sentence. My computer ailments only served to intensify my frustrations.

I was happy that Scott took Robby to Karate last night, allowing me an hour of complete quiet after Timmy went to bed. Unfortunately about 10 minutes after they left I developed a migraine.  I only experience migraine headaches on rare occasions, typically no more than one every two or three years. Many of my friends suffer with frequent migraines and, after my experience last night, I consider myself lucky that I only endure the agony every few years.

I went straight to bed and waited in the dark for the pain to go away.  Eventually I fell asleep, and I'm feeling better this morning. I'm hoping that today is a better day, because I certainly don't want a repeat of yesterday!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Closure Attained

Considering that a sore on my limb rendered me immobile Saturday evening, I am amazed at my recovery. I have progressed from crawling around on a hotel room floor because I couldn't wear my leg to walking and chasing after Timmy with minimal discomfort. Every once in awhile, usually when twisting, I felt a sudden reminder of the sore. I will definitely take occasional bites over constant pain!

I am not sure how I hurt my limb, but I suspect that my skin became pinched in the socket during the long drive to western Pennsylvania. After more than a decade as an amputee, I'm always surprised when I have a new experience. Unfortunately, at this stage in my post-amputation life, new experiences tend to lean towards the negative. Thankfully I am experienced enough to render proper limb triage when these situations arise, allowing me to heal quickly.

The pain in my limb certainly did not help my affect over the weekend, but I am feeling much better now. Not only am I physically healed, but I feel an emotional closure that I was lacking. I will always miss my Dad, but I am now able to filter through all of my memories and feelings surrounding our relationship. It was far from ideal, but instead of dwelling on the "what ifs" I am going to hold onto the happy memories.

I learned a lot from him professionally, and I am going to continue to apply those lessons throughout my career. By remembering and trusting the professional advice he imparted, I am keeping his memory alive.  I will always miss him, but I have gained some perspective and peace over his passing. Even though it was inconvenient and a difficult weekend, the unveiling was good for me.