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.

Friday, November 30, 2012


For the first time since my injury on Monday I received some positive news. Although I'm still hurting, I am now feeling optimistic about my prognosis. It's amazing what a little good news can do to buoy ones spirits!

When I fell, the muscle tore and detached from the tibia on my residual limb. The muscle then went into a contraction, in essence pulling in upon itself. The contorted, dislodged muscle has been the crux of a majority of the pain that I have been experiencing. 

My doctor spent nearly 20 minutes massaging my limb in an effort to reposition the tissue. When I think of getting a massage, I usually think of lying on a table in a dimly lit room, listening to harp music and smelling various incense while somebody gently rubs away my tensions. It is a rare luxury where I am pampered and doted upon. What I experienced on Wednesday was anything but relaxing!

It was painful to the point of forcing me to sweat and causing me to become dizzy. It felt like the doctor was pushing his thumbs directly into my eye sockets, the only difference being that the pain was in my leg and not on my face. He pulled, pulled, and pressed on my sensitive limb until the muscle was finally in the correct position. When he was satisfied, he pulled out the needles.

Seeing needles and knowing that they are about to puncture my residual limb is a frightening experience. By injecting the muscle with botox, we are hoping that the muscle contractions will stop and the tissue will remain in place. (Of course, I was planning on my inaugural botox injection being occurring on my face, so the fact that it was in my limb instead was a bit disappointing!) Although I hate shots, I knew that stopping the spasms is integral to my healing quickly and properly. I buried my head in a pillow and endured 5 separate injections directly into my sensitive residual limb.

If the botox was successful, the doctor said that I would notice an improvement by Friday. I don't know if it is wishful thinking, but I have already noticed a decrease in the intensity of my pain as well as a marked increase in my range of motion when bending my knee. I don't want to jinx anything, but I think I may be on the road to recovery!

Tomorrow afternoon Scott, Robby, and I board a plane to Florida. Monday morning we will embark on our cruise ship and begin our much anticipated oceanic adventure. I have accepted that I will have limited mobility on vacation, but I am elated with the prospect of having decreased pain. Here's hoping it worked!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Robby's Explanation

This begins the third day since my injury. While I can't say that the pain has lessened, I have certainly noticed an improvement in my demeanor. I have been inundated with well wishes and phone calls from friends and neighbors. With so much support, it would be impossible to stay in a funk for long!

Robby couldn't wait to go to school to tell his friends about my mishap. According to the email I received from his teacher, Robby made what he dubbed as the "big announcement" during morning circle. With all of his little classmates sitting around him, he stood up and proceeded to tell his version of the events. 

"You are not going to believe it. I mean what happened is horrible. Momom fell and hurt her ankle and her prosthetic leg. We had to take her to the hospital. Thank goodness they didn't have to put little tubes in her this time because that really freaked me out. This time, instead of the little tubes, the doctor took pictures of her bones. She can't walk on her ankle. Not even a tiny little bit. She can't walk on her prosthetic because her leg meat peeled away from the bone just like when I eat chicken. So she can't walk on her ankle. And she can't walk on her prosthetic. You know what that means? It means she's screwed." 

He then proceeded to take a bow before sitting down with the rest of his class.  His classmates were all duly impressed by my mishap and concerned about my inability to walk. Collectively, they decided to make me a get well book. Robby was so proud bringing home and presenting me the treasure he and his classmates constructed. The pictures that they drew and the messages that they wrote are utterly precious!

The get well book, as well as the help and support of my friends, have made this time easier for me. In addition to the pain, I am finding it frustrating to slow down and relax. I am always working on a project, planning and implementing and activity or doing something active. It's hard for me to just sit, but right now that is my only option. I've been wanting to figure out how to move in a slower gear; I just didn't want to be placed on the "injured reserve" list.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


I spent all day yesterday wallowing in both pain and frustration as I have not experienced this intensity of pain since my amputation. Every time I move my residual limb, I feel pain. The constant struggle to find a comfortable position, the cramping and the omnipresent soreness is reminiscent of the first few days following my amputation surgery. To be succinct, I am utterly miserable!

I am angry that something as benign as a stick could wreak such havoc in my life. In a second everything has been turned upside down. The excitement about our much anticipated cruise has morphed to sheer chaos as Scott and I try to figure out the logistics of my traveling without a prosthesis.  It feels like our dream family vacation has been ruined because I slipped on a stick, and the reality that I will not be able to fully enjoy the cruise because of my injuries makes me angry beyond explanation.

It has been a long time since I have been confined to a wheelchair. Everything, from personal care to being situated in a restaurant, is more laborious when a wheelchair is involved. In addition to the level of inconvenience and difficulty that result from relying upon a chair, I am dreading the stares that await me. I am accustomed to the stares that are generated by my prosthesis. The stares that come from my being in a wheelchair are those of pity, not curiosity. I hate being pitied!

I apologize for not having a more positive outlook on the situation. I realize that so many are confronting more disabling issues than mine, and that in their eyes I must appear petty. However, my knowing that others are worse off does not invalidate my feelings in this moment. Right now I am hurting, disappointed, and sad. I'm hoping that things will start looking up tomorrow!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

I Fell

Right now I am in significant pain, which is impacting my ability to concentrate and write. Please excuse the brevity of this post. I am sure I will write about the incident in more detail at another time, but right now I find myself struggling through the simplest of sentences.

Yesterday I slipped on my way to pick up Robby from school. When I regained my senses, I instantly knew that I was injured. A few phone calls for help, followed by a lengthy trip to the emergency room, began what turned into a long and difficult night.

Thankfully I did not break my ankle. Unfortunately I did sustain a severe sprain, rendering me unable to put weight through my foot. Always an overachiever, I also injured my residual limb. The muscle tore away from the tibia, and I suffered a deep bone bruise from the tip up to my knee. I cannot wear my prosthetic or put any pressure on my limb.

I cannot use my knee scooter because of the ankle sprain. I cannot use crutches because I can't put enough weight through either limb to be functional. My mobility is limited to my kneeling on a towel pulling my body along the floor with my arms. I can't go far, nor can I move quickly. On the positive, my hallway should be buffed by the time I am healed.

It has been years since I have been immobilized and in this much pain. I am frustrated, miserable and deflated. For the first time since my amputation, I feel completely disabled. I am not happy!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Christmas Tree

After coming home from my mom's house, I stashed all of the gifts I secured on Black Friday in Mr. Bill's closet. I have learned that I have to listen to a lighthearted lecture about buying too much and spoiling Robby and Scott, but the trade-off is a secure place to hide my presents so the lecture is worth it. Robby still fully believes in Santa Claus so I don't want a slip up on my part to cause him to question the magic of Christmas.

Last year I wasn't sure if Robby would continue believe in Santa. With him in school, I know that older kids can quickly squelch the innocence of the younger ones. I can't begin to explain how happy I am that I have at least one more year to enjoy this magical season, and I plan on making the most of every aspect!

We're only a few days past Thanksgiving, but it is already beginning to look a lot like Christmas in our house. The first few batches of Christmas cookies have already been baked- and enjoyed. The DVD's have been swapped, exchanging CARS and Ghostbusters for Rudolph and The Grinch. 

Because we are going on a week-long cruise next week, I had every intention of keeping my decoration to a minimum. After all, it seemed illogical to invest a lot of time and energy into putting out lights and decking the halls when we are going to miss 20% of the season. Logic apparently went out with the turkey carcass on Thanksgiving because my house is beginning to resemble the North Pole!

Since Scott's football viewing schedule didn't commence until 1:00 yesterday, I pounced on the opportunity to get our tree. Robby didn't take much convincing to bundle up and drive to the tree farm. Scott required a little more cajoling, but he quickly got into the holiday spirit when he realized that my invitation was more of a directive than a question. 

Singing Christmas carols and talking about our wish lists, the hour-long drive to the tree farm passed quickly. As soon as we arrived, Robby grabbed a wagon and saw and immediately took off towards the tree field. He spotted what he swore to be "the most perfect tree in the whole world" from the road. Although we tried to encourage him to look at other trees, he was convinced that he found the best one. In retrospect, I think that he just wanted to start sawing! Scott and I acquiesced, agreed that it was a nice tree, and "helped" him cut it down.  It took us 60 minutes to drive to the tree farm but we were only there for thirty minutes, twenty of which were spent wrapping and tying the tree to our roof. 

I wish we had invested at least as much time in tree selection as we did in driving to the field. Although we tried, we simply cannot get the tree to stand straight. It looks like a coniferous leaning tower and is precariously propped in its base with a series of stones and bricks. I'm hoping that Charlie Cat is not interested in what is essentially a cat playground because I'm fairly certain it will tip over when bumped.

After the tree was propped and wedged in the base, I went about the task of stringing the lights. This is when I realized that the branches were not adorned with tiny pine cones. Instead, they were covered with cocoons of an unidentified insect. It took me nearly 45 minutes to ferret them out, significantly compromising the fullness of the tree. I decided to fill in the gaps with handfuls of Christmas lights.

Despite the imperfections, our tree is beautiful. In many ways it is perfect fit for our family. It doesn't stand completely straight, it is riddled with holes and I'm sure it is home to at least a few more cocoons. (Hopefully nothing will be tricked into hatching early because of the warmth of the house.) I'm hoping to take a cue from our Christmas tree. It does not have to be perfect to be beautiful just as our holiday season doesn't have to go without a hitch to be successful. I'm going to try to stay both relaxed and in the moment this year!