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.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Mobility Clinic Recap

The past 24 hours has done wonders towards clearing my mind. My stings are still uncomfortable, but I'm doing well considering how severely I was swarmed. I want to thank everybody for their well wishes and positive thoughts. It really means a lot to me to have such caring friends and readers!

Before my sting attack, I had been planning on writing about the Challenged Athletes/ Ossur Mobility clinic that I attended on Saturday. It was an utterly amazing day, and I couldn't have conjured a better way to spend my birthday!

I was surprised to see the sheer number of amputees who showed up for this event. It was wonderful to see that most participants were accompanied by a small legion of their own cheerleaders. Grandparents, parents, siblings, spouses, children, and friends all showed up in droves to support and cheer their loved one who was bravely trying something new and outside of their established comfort zone.

I should be used to being assigned an unexpected task when I am asked to work at one of these events. Despite the history of these requests, I am always taken aback. When I arrived at the clinic I learned that I was going to be leading the warm-up stretches for the group. After a five minute cram session to try to learn the progression of the stretches, I was standing in the center of the circle of participants, all staring at me for instruction. If they only knew the irony of my leading the group! Somehow I mustered my way through the routine without falling.

With the stretching complete, we broke into smaller groups for running instruction. I joined the novice running group, hoping to offer support or help when needed. I was quickly paired with a young lady (17 years old) who was a new above knee amputee. Despite her smile and enthusiasm, her nervousness was obvious.

Bob Gailey, the physical therapist running the clinic, breaks running into five distinct steps. My partner mastered the first step without difficulty. Unfortunately she stumbled and fell  when she was trying to master the next progression. I was impressed with how quickly she stood up and attempted to walk. Her prosthetic knee refused to cooperate.

If you are going to fall and have a prosthetic issue, the running clinic would be an ideal location. Within minutes she was being attended to by practitioners and Ossur representatives. The problem was quickly remedied. Apparently the bits of rubber padding from the AstroTurf field lodged in her hydraulic knee, jamming the mechanism.

With the knee cleaned out, she asked to continue with the clinic. We got back in line and waited for our turn to work on phase three. The fall only seemed to strengthen her resolve to try.

Five steps into the course, she stumbled and fell. Again, the rubber lodged in her knee necessitating the prosthetic be dismantled and cleaned out for the second time. We didn't go back onto the field as she opted to watch instead of participate for the rest of the day. I can't say I blame her! She has my utmost respect for her determination and the strength that she demonstrated by trying something so new and scary so soon after becoming an amputee. Although she fell twice, I have no doubt that she will be up and running in short order.

During the break I gave my speech. I was asked to talk for 10 minutes. I managed to speak for 6, which I guess isn't too bad. If you round up, it is 10, right?

We spent the second half of the clinic cheering on the legion of young children who were learning to run. Their spirit and positive energy was contagious! Some of these little ones had never attempted to move quickly and in a few short hours they were literally jumping, skipping, and racing each other. I saw more than one Mom and Dad shed tears as they watched the transformations.

Lives were changed during the clinic on Saturday. I am honored to have witnessed people achieving goals they never dreamed possible. I met a young lady who had been fearful of running her entire life. After a little instruction and a lot of cheering she was running with so much confidence that she barely resembled the person I met at the beginning of the session. She hugged me when she left and confided that she has decided to run a 5K this summer. She then waved to me from the parking lot as she was running to her car.

Scott was amazed by the people he met and the changes that transpired within them. I've tried to describe the event to him, but I really think it is something that needs to be witnessed in order to be appreciated. I know that he is changed because of this experience.

Every time I attend this Mobility clinic, I leave feeling uplifted and empowered. I  made some new friends and have memories that I will always cherish. I may not always remember names, but I will never forget the smiles on the faces of the participants and the pride oozing from their loved ones as they saw disabilities overcome and dreams realized.

Here is my speech if you are interested...


  1. http://images.thesartorialist.com/thumbnails/2012/05/51212LaFayette4755Web.jpg

  2. You did perfect, perfect speech, I wanted to clap a cheer but I remembered no one will know what I'm clapping for lol