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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.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Our little family is vacation bound in a few days. We are going to Pensacola, Florida, for a week of sand, sun and a daily ice cream fix. Robby is excited about going on vacation. I suspect he is feeding off of my excitement although I do think he comprehends the promise of daily ice cream.

Packing for a family vacation is a chore. Scott has dubbed packing an "ovary" job. It has somehow become my responsibility. Nevertheless, it takes organization and creativity when trying to fit a weeks worth of clothes for three people into one suitcase. This task was a little easier before airlines started charging for luggage. Trying to fit everything into one suitcase to minimize our travel expenses is a challenge.

I need to pack at least three complete outfits for each member of the family. Robby needs his star machine. I wouldn't think of traveling without his small train set. We also need to pack his life jacket and swim diapers. Water shoes for every member of the family and our toiletries must also be packed. In addition to all of these standard items, I must also pack for my specific amputee needs.

This is the first year I have a dedicated leg for swimming. I am thrilled that I am going to be able to walk and swim in the ocean with Robby this year. Unfortunately, the swim leg is going to take up substantial room in our communal suitcase.

I have stuffed the socket of the swim leg with socks and underwear in an attempt to utilize the space. I am also packing a liner for swimming which is worn out and full of holes. Sand and salt are nearly impossible to get out of the inside of a liner. I am bringing along an old one that I can throw away at the end of the trip, allowing room for a few souvenirs.

We are staying at my cousin's house. I won't have access to my shower chair and his tub does not have rails. I am bringing along my portable safety grip to help me with these tasks. It is surprisingly stable and adds an overlay of safety I appreciate. Click here to see a picture. I bought this about three years ago and I have used it on a myriad of occasions. I would highly recommend the investment.

Humidity is bound to fluctuate which will necessitate using prosthetic socks. In lieu of a shrinker sock I am opting for an ace bandage. I can use it if an injury occurs or if I need to apply compression to my residual limb. I like anything that can multitask.

As a steadfast rule, I never travel without antibiotics. I have a fear of developing an infection in my residual limb. I have heard horror stories from other amputees about infections, and I am not willing to take that risk. The beach poses too many opportunities for my limb to become nicked or cut.

The camera, cell phone charger, computer cords and the charger for my Proprio ankle are all stuffed into my purse. Despite adding a lot of weight, I am more comfortable keeping possession of these items. I would be in trouble if the cord for my leg was lost in transit.

Robby is allowed to take his Black Bear with him on the plane. Scott and I both fret about the bear being lost. Black Bear has been Robby's steadfast companion since he was born. Our vacation would be ruined by Robby's grief if anything happened to his well-loved toy. Robby has a Diego backpack for the trip as his "carry-on." We plan on encouraging Black Bear to ride in the bag through the airport.

Scott will carry-on the laptop computer bag. In addition to housing the computer, the pockets of the bag will be stuffed with extra binkies, diapers and wipes. Tylenol will be placed in the computer bag towards the top so that it is easily within reach.

I am dreading packing for the trip. I suppose this is the reason I am blogging instead of starting to gather everything together. Hopefully the zippers don't break on the suitcase, and it will be under the weight limit.

Perhaps there is one benefit to packing everything into one suitcase. Space is at a premium. I will either have to buy another piece of luggage and pay an additional fee, or I will have to stay out of the souvenir shops. I think the latter would make my husband happy.

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