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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 28, 2013

Back Breaker

Unlike many of my amputee friends, I have never attended formal physical therapy. Don't get me wrong, PT was recommended after my amputation, and I was willing to participate. Unfortunately, my insurance adjustor deemed the sessions unnecessary and denied the request. At the time, I was overwhelmed with emotions, and I just did not have the energy to fight.

If I had the opportunity to go back in time, I would have fought my adjustor on several issues including PT. Of course, going back in time is not a possibility, and I need to keep looking forward. I've been living as an amputee for nearly a decade, yet now I am seriously contemplating pursuing physical therapy.

I woke up Monday morning with my lower back in a spasm so severe that I was unable to move. It took me 10 minutes to sit on the edge of the bed only to realize that I had no easy method of putting on my leg. Unable to bend, donning my liner was a feat in acrobatics and contortion that was worthy of a medal. It took me 15 minutes of slow and deliberate movements, but I was finally able to slip on my prosthesis for the day.

After I popped a few Aleve and sat on an ice pack while sipping my coffee, the spasms began to release. I felt twinges throughout the day, but the pain did not keep me from going fishing with Robby and working in our garden. Although the pain subsided, I only have to look to my mother to realize that I won't always be so lucky.

My Mom has severe lower back issues. I've seen her laid up for days at a time, suffering with relentless and debilitating pain. I worry that I inherited her weak back. The difficulties I encountered when trying to put on my leg while my back tweaked has forced my hand. I need to become proactive about strengthening my back before it becomes too late!

Although I have a good gait pattern, I realize that the fact that I utilize a prosthesis alters the way that my body works while ambulating. My back, hips and shoulders all move and bear weight differently than my bi-legged counterparts. Not only do I need to make sure that my back is as strong as possible, but also I need to make sure that I am not prone to stress injuries.

I'm hoping to learn exercises to thwart future back issues. I know that I can't fight genetics, but I can be as proactive as possible. As I am approaching 40, I am realizing that I need to take preventative health measures seriously. After all, I admire my Mom greatly, but this is one attribute I hope to avoid as much as possible!

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