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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, April 22, 2010

Not So Sweet Dreams

It is going to take a few extra cups of coffee and some Tylenol to get me moving this morning. I am stiff and sore from contorting my middle aged body to fit on the couch last night. No, Scott and I didn't have a fight. For the past several months, he has developed a habit which forces me to choose between sleep and comfort. Scott snores.

Actually, snoring is an understatement. I am not sure how his relatively small frame could produce such a booming noise. Every few seconds it sounds as if a freight training is sounding its warning whistle. Not only has he driven me out of the room, but my elderly and partially deaf cat Sophie has sought an escape as well.

I've tried waking him up when his snoring begins. His retort must be instinctual because his response is always the same. "I wasn't snoring. I'm awake." At this point, probably because of my fatigue and frustration, I find myself wanting to wring his little obnoxious noise-polluting neck! After piling pillows on top of his head to mute the sound is not successful, I am forced to sleep elsewhere.

Getting up in the middle of the night is one of my top five annoyances about being an amputee. I cannot simply stand up and walk away. In the middle of the night, the inconvenience of being an amputee frustrates me.

I have to put on my leg before I can get away from the snoring freight train. Yes, it is only a few simple steps, but the fact that I have to do it in the wee hours of the morning makes the process seem labor intensive. I hate having to put on my leg in the middle of the night. I find that this everyday, typically mundane activity somehow angers me when I have to do it at 2:00 AM.

I have found myself lying in bed, lamenting the fact that I'm an amputee and dreading the extra time it will take me to put on my leg. These feelings sound strange in the daylight, but somehow at night, they are very real. I have tried reasoning with myself during these times, but the combination of the freight train whistling next to me and my own exhaustion seem to keep reason at bay. I always find myself feeling disabled, and I hate it!

Eventually my will to flee the intrusive sound wins, and I put on my leg. I grab my pillow, typically making sure that it bops him in the head as it is removed from the bed, and I make my way to the couch. It only takes a minute or two for me to transition from our bedroom to the living room sofa, but I assure you I hate every single moment.

Scott will call me from work, chipper and well-rested. When the good cheer is not returned, I will be accused of being hormonal and grumpy. Although he recognizes the inconvenience of my having to sleep on the couch, he is completely unaware of the emotional turmoil the process causes in the middle of the night. He attributes my mood to being stiff and tired. He is only partially correct.

Since putting on my leg is a reality of life and something which I do daily, it shouldn't be a big deal. In the middle of the night, this simple task becomes more than putting on a liner and stepping into a socket. For me, it becomes a symbol of all of the obstacles which are confronted by living with limb loss. I suppose that, unless you are an amputee, it is difficult to understand.


  1. I think you should video tape him--prove to him that he seems to have an issue, then think of visiting a Dr.--snoring usually means there's an issue of some kind, that can easily be fixed :0) As for getting up during the night, my son usually hops or put's his leg on without the liner for journeys to the bathroom, hanging out on the weekend on the couch and even walking down the driveway after swimming at a cousins house. He has no discomfort and will sometimes use his shorts as a liner. I don't know if this works for anyone else--at first I freaked since the prosthetic maker seemed to think that would be extremely painful--but my son swears it's totally comfy. I have thought that when he get's older and hopping becomes harder to do, I would get him crutches for the short trips when he wouldn't want to be bothered by the leg in the middle of the knight :0)

  2. I usually hop or crawl to the bathroom, but it is a bit of a distance to the couch... besides, if I hopped onto a dinosaur or matchbox car I'd be in trouble.

  3. ouch, yup have walked on those regularly and the thought of hopping on one gives me chills!

  4. Hi Peggy,
    I am usually confronted with the same problem about going to the bathroom in the night. Its just been 6 months since the amputation and am still figuring out a lot of things. I tried hopping sometimes, but it is kind of scary. I usually use crutches, though of late it s getting to be cumbersome. I was looking for other options. I came across this
    What do you think of this? I think this is a good option to be mobile around the house without having to go through the need for a complete donning of the prosthesis.
    Amp-ed up doc.

  5. I actually tried that device at an ACA Conference. I found it cumbersome and unsteady. It took awhile to get strapped in, so I wasn't impressed... it would be just as easy to get into my leg. Good idea though... It didn't work for me, but that doesn't mean it won't work for you...

    I do have a rolleraid which is handy for late night bathroom trips, and has proved invaluable after surgeries. There is no strapping etc., and it is stable. You might want to look into it if you don't have one. I don't keep it by my bed because Robby liked to sit on it and thought that it was a really neat toy... I will bring it back out when he is a little older