About Me

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I am a below knee amputee. More importantly, I am also Mommy to two boys, a very active 10 year old (Robby) and an mischievous toddler (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, December 08, 2016

Best Cookies

I am constantly amazed by the differences between Robby and Timmy. When Robby was two he was a proud assistant baker in the kitchen, handily cracking eggs, unwrapping butter sticks and carefully sprinkling colored sugar on cookies. Despite numerous attempts at recreating my baking memories, Timmy has shown no interest in helping me in the kitchen. If given the opportunity, Hamlet would throw the eggs on the cat, sprinkle the sugar into his mouth and run around the house holding sticks of melting butter hostage. 

The learning tower, which Robby artfully utilized to help me in the kitchen, is frequently disassembled and stowed in the corner because Timmy uses it to climb onto the counters, to reach the water dispenser on the refrigerator or to play in the sink. Even though we have yet to be successful, I have not fully abandoned my baking ambitions. Yesterday afternoon I think I discovered a way to intrigue Timmy to participate rather than to just create chaos when we are in the kitchen.

When Robby came home from school yesterday he surprised me by asking if he could bake some cookies. I agreed, handed him the recipe book and watched him get to work. Timmy, seeing his brother at the counter, froze and watched intently. I sensed an opportunity to reintroduce the fun of baking cookies, so I pulled out the learning tower and set it up near Robby.  Timmy climbed up and intently watched everything his brother was doing, frantically trying to help with each step. Robby was a surprisingly patient teacher, allowing his little brother to help unwrap the butter and handle the eggs.

Typically much too busy to help, Timmy was attentive and patient. I think he was just so delighted to be spending time with Robby that he wasn't going to risk running Robby off by misbehaving. As I watched with my heart bursting with love, my boys worked together and whipped up what turned out to be the best cookies I have ever tasted.  I might just have a new baker in the house!


Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Phantom Twisting

The relentless cold rain wreaked havoc on my phantom foot yesterday. If the rain hadn't been enough to keep us indoors (in reality it was all the motivation I needed), my twinging non-existent ankle would have kept me sidelined. I knew as soon as I woke up that the phantom pain was going to be an issue. As I have crept into my 40's I've realized that my limb is more accurate than the weather channel at forecasting changes in patterns.

I spent the majority of my day reminding myself that my ankle is not twisted. Physically I was not hurt because the foot was not there. Despite the lack of tissue and bones, my ankle felt like it had been newly twisted. I can only describe the sensation as painfully bizarre. 

Massage, heat and compression all failed to break the phantom twisting. I finally took some ibuprofen, donned my leg and prepared for a day of phantom leg discomfort. I hate bad leg days. Nothing makes me feel as disabled and sours my mood as quickly as hobbling around in pain.

Unable to stop the twisting, I was forced to resort to talking myself through the episode.  It is definitely an odd self-dialog that transpires as I remind myself that my foot is not really hurting because I don't have one. Out of fear of garnering even more glances than usual, I tried to keep my mumbling as quiet as possible when I was forced to venture in public. Thankfully Timmy decided to step up his game and distracted all of our fellow shoppers with his cheerful singing and giggles, masking any self-dialog that might have been audible. 

By mid afternoon the ibuprofen had taken affect, the twisting was starting to lessen, and when Scott came home from work, my leg was nearly normal. I am hoping for fewer pain days this winter.

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Squawking

Apparently I was not the only one who was fighting against returning to reality. I think that Timmy has thoroughly enjoyed being the center of his Nana's undivided attention. While I'm sure she found him exhausting, I have no doubt he relished the role of entertainer. Back home in our normal environment, he seemed to go out of his way to find the limelight.

Unfortunately, Timmy doesn't yet seem to know the difference between "good attention" and "bad attention." From his two year old perspective, anytime he is receiving attention, he considers it to be a victory. The fact that he was able to fling an open cup, full of water, from the living room into the kitchen sink was simply a bonus compared to the reaction he received.  (On a side note, he does have a fantastic throwing arm. If he ever learns to harness his talents for good instead of mischief, I think we would be a force on the baseball field.)

I really need to work on tempering my reaction when he is naughty so that he doesn't find it so rewarding. I try to maintain my composure, but after he is found on the kitchen table trying to swing on the chandelier for the third time in an hour, I find myself squawking like an angry chicken. Of course my over-the-top reaction only serves to fuel his mischievous ambitions.

I realize that I am spiraling in the abyss of toddler misdirection. I know that I need to stop reinforcing his naughty behaviors because he is only seeking attention. I need to reinforce the positive while gently correcting those I want to modify. Of course, that task is easier said than done. Thank goodness I don't have any qualms about dyeing my hair, because this little guy is making me go grey quickly!

Monday, December 05, 2016

Whirlwind Rebound

Thursday night was simply surreal. The award reception was hosted in the penthouse of a NYC skyscraper, in close proximity to the Empire State Building. The view from the windows, looking down on the city lit up with Christmas lights, was breathtaking and awe inspiring. The reception, as well as the honor I received, will be held near as highlights of my professional and personal career. 

I was delighted that Scott was able to take off work to accompany me to the reception. With the exception of two funerals, this was the first time that we have traveled alone since Robby was born. It is hard to believe that it has been ten years since we've had a couples vacation!  Our trip was quick, but we crammed as much into our 24 hours away as possible. I really hope it isn't another ten years before we have another opportunity to escape together.

We have returned to reality after an amazing, albeit quick, New York City adventure. Now I'm looking at my short and chubby tree, which although cheerful isn't nearly as grand as the one in Rockefeller Center. I guess I'm going through a bout of post adventure malaise. Even though the time was short, the degree of adventure was great.

This is gearing up to be another busy week, but I'm having a difficult time rebounding from the trip. Of course the fact that I'm fighting a cold is not helping. Hopefully I'll be able to get in gear and back on track because the schedule isn't letting up anytime soon. 




Friday, December 02, 2016

NYC!

Good morning from New York City!

I have never been particularly apt at keeping secrets, but somehow I managed to keep the details of this trip under wraps until it was public knowledge.  Several weeks ago I was notified that I had been selected to receive the Henry Viscardi Achievement Award.  This international award recognizes individuals with disabilities who are making an impact in the community.  

Last night was made even more special because another honoree is my dear friend Dave.  Dave is my podcast and advocacy partner in crime.  Scott and I thoroughly enjoyed sharing the evening with Dave and his wife Cara.  






Thursday, December 01, 2016

Tom Price and the Future of Prosthetic Care and Policy

President-Elect Trump has made some important nominations administrative positions in the past few days. In terms of prosthetic care, the most relevant positions are Tom Price for Secretary of Health and Human Services and Seema Verma for the head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.  These appointments have provided more clues as we try to predict the future of prosthetic care and policy in the new administration.

Yesterday Dave and I recorded another podcast where we dissected health care legislation previously proposed by Price. While we do not expect all of his proposals to be enacted, this legislation is a valuable indicator for his governing priorities as he assumes this important post in the Cabinet.

The podcast can be accessed on this blog, or downloaded through this link.  Enjoy!



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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Going For Gold

Last night was a big night in our house.  After months of practicing, Robby went for his Tae Kwon Do gold belt. To say that he was petrified would be an understatement. Despite hours of preparation, he was terrified when his time came for the exam.

Even though I had full confidence in his success, I have to admit that I was nervous watching him on the mat. He looked so scared and timid. I wanted to run out and hug him, but I knew that he needed to go solo.

After a shaky start, he calmed down and nailed the exam. We now have a proud gold belt in our household. Robby was beaming all night, proudly calling everybody he thought might care on our drive home.  I don't think that his Tae Kwon Do classes have improved his self-defense skills, but I must say that it has done wonders for his confidence.