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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 03, 2012

I'm Sad!

Yesterday morning Robby and I were bustling with excitement. The pool water was delivered ahead of schedule, and we were swimming before noon. We played for hours, basking in our new summer oasis. We were both exhausted and purely happy by the time we climbed out of the water in the afternoon.

After we wolfed down a snack (after all, swimming makes you hungry) we headed to Target to secure some new pool toys. We stocked up on diving rings, another raft, and assorted chemicals to keep our pool sparkling clean. The back of the SUV was bursting with a summer's worth of pool supplies and games to keep both my little swimmer and me occupied during countless hours of relaxing in the water.

I drove into our driveway and, instead of seeing our beautiful new pool, I saw nothing but aquatic destruction. A floor board came loose and broke through the bottom of the pool. The 3700 gallons of water that was delivered mere hours earlier had gushed down the hill towards the stream. All of the hard work, all of my visions of us spending the summer poolside were squelched.

I went for a walk down the hill under the guise of inspecting the damage, and I screamed before breaking down into a puddle of tears. I fully admit that my reaction was extreme, but I felt angry, sad, and for some inexplicable reason, lost. Between my inconsolable sobs it occurred to me that my reaction was probably more a result of my AmpuVersary being today. However, knowing the root cause did nothing to lessen the intensity of my emotions.

For some reason my AmpuVersary is hitting me hard this year. During the past few years I have flirted with sadness on the anniversary, but I haven't experienced the raw emotion that I am feeling today.  I am feeling what I can only describe as a strangulating sense of loss.

It's hard to fathom that 9 years ago I entered the hospital with two feet knowing that I would be leaving with only one. I clearly remember looking down at my toes on my left foot, trying to memorize every detail. On the operating table I remember deliberately wiggling my toes as I was falling asleep, hoping I would always remember what they felt like. I knew that when I woke up my life would be different, and although it was the best medical option, I was nearly paralyzed by fear.

My amputation has set my life on a different path and has brought some truly remarkable people into my life. I have pushed myself to live my best life despite using a prosthesis. I don't live my life on the sidelines, and I am actively engaged with my family and community. Every obstacle, every battle, and every setback that I  have overcome has done nothing but empower me to push forward and be a better person.

I love my life! That being said, today I am profoundly sad. I miss my foot, but not in the physical sense. I miss the simplicity of my life when I didn't use a prosthetic. I miss being able just to get up in the morning and walk,  to hop into the stream without changing legs, and not having to deal with copious amounts of sweat that pool up in the bottom of my socket when it's hot.

Today I'm tired of being stared at and receiving second glances and hearing not so subtle whispers about my prosthesis when I walk through the grocery store aisles. I want people to look at my eyes instead of my socket. I guess I am simply tired of always being different!

Between the pool destruction and my AmpuVersary, my mood is tender. I suspect that I will shed a lot of tears as I reflect and think about my journey. I am taking Robby to see Brave today, partly because he wants to see the movie but primarily because I want to hide. I don't want to interact with people and talk. I just want to retreat. I know that tomorrow I will be okay and that this mood will lift. In the meantime, I am just going to try to survive today.


  1. How may parts vinegar and water mixed in order to wash a liner? Thank you.

  2. Is there any chance you paid for the pool with a credit card? Some credit cards offer some great benefits that pay for lost/damaged/stolen items within a certain time period after purchase. I *only* use my American Express for expensive purchases (particularly electronics) because they'll add up to a year to the warranty and if the item is lost/broken/stolen within the first 90 days, they'll replace it. Came in handy for me recently when I'd spent a few hundred dollars having some art framed, walked into the house and immediately banged the frame against a light fixture. Frame was chipped, Amex just credited the purchase price to my account.

  3. If the credit card company won't help, your homeowners' insurance may cover the loss, not just for the pool but for the water as well. It is worth checking out. You may also want to put something beneath the pool before you put it back on the deck in case another board comes loose. Even spreading out big cardboard boxes like those from appliances would provide protection, and you may be able to get them free from the store where you bought your new oven.

  4. I am so sorry Peggy! I suppose you also have an angry and sad little boy also! You know that your emotions are not right or wrong. We can try to talk ourselves out of grief with citing all the great things we have, but the grief is still there under it all. Yes, a good night's sleep will help turn things around.

    Sometimes when I am feeling that way, I take a nap. Someone once told me I can start my day over at any given time. Maybe try it today!