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I am a soon-to-be middle aged below knee amputee. I am also the Mommy to a very active little boy. 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, July 24, 2014

Naked and Afraid

Slowly but surely I am beginning to recover from my leg surgery. With a carefully crafted socket and the use of crutches, I am now able to get around. I can't fully weight my leg and each step reminds me of the recent surgery, but I know that I am on the path to recovery. It feels wonderful to be back on two legs.

Optimistic and excited about my ability to walk, on Tuesday I opted to forgo the knee scooter in lieu of crutches when we set out for my gyn appointment. I knew that relying on my tender limb and new socket was a risk, but I also recognized that I am at the stage where I have to push myself through the soreness if I want to recover. Since Scott was with me, I figured that I could just remove the leg and crutch if the pain became too intense. 

Of course I didn't account for the doctor's schedule when I made the decision to wear my leg. He was running an hour behind schedule and towards the end I found myself eagerly anticipating getting into an examination room so that I could whip off the prosthesis. You know that the discomfort is becoming intense when you are looking forward to disrobing for a gyn exam!

When my name was finally called by the nurse, I was feeling desperate to take off the leg. I immediately popped it off when I reached the exam room, an act which both startled and shocked the nurse. I was so anxious to release the pressure that I didn't pause to give her warning. I am used to seeing my leg pop off, but I was reminded that this is not a normal sight for most people. 

After the doctor examined me I was left alone to dress before resuming the consultation. I stood on the table ledge, removed the pink paper gown and reached for my crutches. Trying to save myself some steps, I decided to tried to pull my clothes towards me with a crutch. Unfortunately I ended up knocking my other crutch, and my leg, off the counter sending them crashing to the ground.

The sound of my crutch and leg crashing to the ground prompted every medical professional in the hallway and nearby office to come running into the exam room.  Within seconds the door flew open and I was greeted by three nervous nurses, the doctor, a physician's assistant and one rogue workman. At the time I was bent over, reaching for my underwear, not expecting such an audience.

I stood up and froze like a deer in the headlights. Completely naked and unsure of which region I should try to cover with my hand, I stammered out a nonsensical explanation about trying to retrieve my panties.  Time slowed to the point where two strangers walked by and opened the reception door directly across from my room leading to the full reception area. If I weren't humiliated, I would have found the look on Scott's face humorous as he glanced up to see me in my indiscreet moment. Instead I only felt horror as I stumbled to cover myself with the remnants of the paper gown.

I really hate going to the gynecologist!


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Video!

I've written about it a few times, so without further delay, here is the music video!


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Unexpected Benefits

My pregnancy with Timmy was arduous, to say the very least. I was sick from the moment I conceived, continuing the ordeal for six weeks after he was born because of the uterine infections. The pain, sleepless nights, nausea, worry and endless medical interventions were worth it because I am able to be a mom for the second time. 

It turns out that the pregnancy had an unexpected benefit. In addition to having the baby, I managed to shed a whopping 54 pounds. Being transverse, Timmy acted like a little baby lap band keeping my caloric consumption to a minimum. Who would have thought that having a baby would inhibit appetite.  Thankfully, I had enough extra padding to carry me through the pregnancy!

While I will certainly accept the weight loss, it is not something that I am exceptionally proud of achieving. I somehow feel as if I didn't earn the right to brag about my shrinking bum. I wasn't able to exercise, and I wasn't restricting food on purpose. I was simply too sick to eat. Losing weight through diet and exercise would have been considerably easier than the pregnancy ordeal I survived. Putting the reasons behind me, I am embracing the positive in the situation. Regardless of the method, the weight is gone and I am again happy with my appearance.

Unfortunately I am dealing with an extremely limited wardrobe at the moment. My summer clothes from last year are too big, draping over me in unflattering billows of fabric. I am hesitant to invest money in new clothes because it seems that everything I put on becomes covered with baby vomit in record time. Timmy has many attributes, from his bright blue eyes to his curious personality,  but his ability to digest and keep his food down is not one of them! Yesterday I went through three shirts and four spit cloths before lunchtime. 

I feel helpless watching Timmy struggle with reflux, but I also have to admit that I am growing weary of being covered with vomit. Everything in this house constantly smells like rotting baby formula, including me. I am going to continue to wear my old baggy clothes until the spit-up situation is a thing of the past. When that happens, I will embrace the shopping trip as a reason to celebrate both the weight loss and the ending of the vomit assault.


Monday, July 21, 2014

Progress.

This weekend little Timmy reached a big baby milestone. He slept in his crib, in his own bedroom, for the very first time. My whole family pitched in to prepare an adorable Hungry Hungry Caterpillar themed room for his arrival. Due to his premature issues, he has been sleeping in his infant swing or pram which are in the living room. His cheerful bedroom had been relegated to a storing location for diapers, clothing and assorted supplies. 

Saturday evening Scott and I put a new crib sheet on the bed, worked to move the clutter, and readied Timmy for his first night. He seemed unimpressed with his bedroom, but seeing him in his crib meant the world to me. I am finally beginning to breath and relax from the turmoil of his health issues. After an arduous pregnancy and a difficult three months, we are able to enjoy our little baby boy.

Timmy seemed happy as could be lying in his crib, enthralled by the moving and glowing mobile. The mobile is leftover from Robby, and seeing Timmy enjoy it now makes it seem even more special. I remember watching Robby lying in the same crib, with the same look of wonder in his eyes. I packed away his baby things so carefully, hoping that I would be able to use them again. I just never thought it would take eight years!

Between the pregnancy issues and Timmy's premature arrival, I have been sleeping on the couch for the past six months. At this point, I'm not sure I remember what a real mattress feels like anymore! I would love to write that,with Timmy tucked safely in his crib, I slept soundly in my own bed.  Unfortunately that would be a lie.  I became so nervous that I had Scott pull out the sofa chair so that I could sleep next to the crib. Another uncomfortable pull-out mattress, but in a new location. I suppose that is progress!


Friday, July 18, 2014

I'm Going To...

Okay, yesterday was not my best. My leg was so swollen and painful that the only thing I could feel was anger and frustration. I keep reminding myself that I needed the surgery, but I am also struggling with huge feelings of regret as I try to process the setback. My surgeon promised that I could do no damage if I tried to walk at the four week mark; obviously he was wrong. If I didn't think it was a bad idea to alienate the man in control of my pain management, I'd have a few choice words for him right now! Instead, I find myself biting my lip and nodding attentively.

I should be enjoying summer with my family but I've been relegated to sitting on the couch and watching the fun unfold for everybody else. I so badly want to be the one on the trampoline or zipline with Robby that being forced to simply watch has been heart wrenching. I love being an involved and active mom; being forced to assume the role of passive observer has not been an easy transition.

My work, a source of both pride and great satisfaction, has been impacted by my surgery and recovery. I have been forced to slow down and adjust my schedule. I'm not earning as much because I'm not working at the same capacity. My mind is swirling with projects and ideas, all of which are on hold until I can ambulate. Perhaps this is another reason that I am chomping at the bit to start walking again. 

I keep reminding myself that the surgery was only five weeks ago and that I need to give my body time to heal. This weekend I am going to hold Timmy while sitting on the swing outside, watching Robby play and climb. I'm going to soak up the sunshine and try to accept my temporary new normal. I'm going to let my leg rest and hopefully heal. More than anything, I'm going to try to rediscover and channel my happy place.  Wish me luck!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Setback.

Every morning for the past week I have been pushing past the pain to don my liner. Yesterday it took four attempts, and I was in tears by the time it was rolled into place.  It would be easy to avoid wearing the liner and leg, but I fear avoidance will only delay my walking again. At this point I am feeling desperate to regain my independence!

I know it has only been five weeks, but I am shocked at the persistent pain. Straightening my leg, putting on my liner and trying to wear the prosthesis all result in a sharp soreness which stops me in my tracks. In the past I have been able to push beyond the pain, but this time it is more intense. I feel stymied, and frustrated.

The problems donning my liner led to my decision to keep my leg off for the day. I figured that my limb was angry and needed time to calm down. I kept the liner on because I wanted the compression, and also because I knew that it was going to hurt trying to peel it off. According to Robby I activated my "suck it up" mode and kept the liner in place. 

Late in the afternoon my limb pain intensified, motivating me to remove the liner and ice everything down. I was shocked when I looked at my bare leg. It was grotesquely swollen and discolored in places. Pressing on the tissue left deep dimples from the tip up to the bottom of my knee cap.  Obviously, something was wrong! I snapped a picture and sent it to Elliot for his input.

I spent the remainder of the day and evening icing down my leg and hoping that the swelling would leave. Elliot, who is friends with my surgeon, shared my photo and called me a few hours later. The pair suspects that I tore part of the muscle flap. During the surgery the surgeon drilled several small holes in the tip of my bone. He then threaded the muscle tissue through the drill holes, creating a secure distal tip. They think that part of the muscle tore away from the bone, probably when I was trying to wear the prosthesis.  No wonder it hurt so much!








At this point we don't know the extent of the damage, and we probably won't for a few days. I have been ordered to stay away from the liner and leg, to rest, to elevate and to ice the limb. I am officially declaring this a setback. My only hope is that it is minor, and that I'll be healed and returned to "normal" soon.   

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Injection Woes


Yesterday morning I squeezed into my leg, still a painful,feat, and took both boys to the pediatrician. My leg felt squished and sore and I knew I would not be able to wear it for long. Activating my "suck it up mode," I was determined to keep it on for as long as possible.

Although necessary, I knew that the pediatrician visit would be anything but relaxing. Robby was scheduled for his yearly physical and, unbeknownst to him, an injection. Timmy was scheduled to receive yet another one of the seemingly endless vaccinations recommended (and many times required) for babies.  Knowing that both boys were going to be receiving shots, I prepared myself for a stressful morning by indulging in an extra cup of coffee while wishing I had a cupcake. 

Robby’s physical went well although the pediatrician did notice a problem with his right ear.  My little guy has been complaining about pain and unexplained noises coming from this ear, so I wasn’t surprised to learn that there was an issue.  The tube, which was placed in October, was being pushed out of place by scar tissue. I don’t know the treatment for this issue, but I do know that I am again in the all-too-familiar position of waiting for the specialist’s office to return my call so that I can schedule an appointment.  When did doctors’ offices stop actually answering their phones?

After the examination, Robby begrudgingly sat on my lap in preparation for his shot. The past few months he has taken a slightly sadistic pleasure in watching Timmy receive a myriad of injections. Now the tables were turned, and the needle was intended for him. I braced myself for the worst, fully expecting to become reacquainted with Robby Rotten.

My brave little Koopa didn’t even flinch. After the band-aid was applied, he hopped off my lap and proclaimed that it was “easy peasy.”Apparently the finger puppet he earned from the doctor made the needle worth it.

Timmy received his injections without much fuss, and before I knew it, we were on our way home. I was proud of my two boys, and was looking forward to a relaxing afternoon. Unfortunately I breathed my sigh of relief prematurely. It turns out that the needle was the least of the issues with Timmy’s injections.

Timmy was nearly inconsolable by mid-afternoon. He was running a fever, refusing to eat, and agitated. I spent the entire day, and much of the night, holding and repetitively rocking him. The cause of his distress was different, but the outcome was the same. My little baby was miserable!

I was up rocking him until 4:00 AM, at which point I woke Scott to take over. By that point Timmy was finally asleep and I knew that if I didn’t get some rest, I would be useless today. I’m hoping that the worst of the reaction is over and that my pleasant and happy baby will return today. If not, it is going to be a long day (again)!


BTW-- This is what you look like after staying up ALL NIGHT long with a fussy infant.  Perhaps the best birth control warning ever?