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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, July 18, 2013


Yesterday morning we woke up to dreary weather, and I began to wonder if our snorkeling adventure was going to materialize. Trying to put the weather worries aside, we went to breakfast. My boys have an affinity for the all-you-can-eat gorging, and by the time we were done (90 minutes later), the skies had cleared.

Robby was ecstatic about going snorkeling in the ocean whereas I was a tad more cautious. I was worried about his safety and my losing my leg. This is the first time I have been snorkeling since becoming an amputee, and I wasn't sure how to proceed. My water leg doesn't really help me swim, and it actually becomes more cumbersome than helpful in deep water. However after much debate, Scott and I decided it would be best to wear my water leg simply because it would be easier (and less embarrassing) climbing onto and out of the boat.

Once it was decided that I would wear the leg, I began preparations for tethering the prosthesis to my body. I know too many amputees who have lost their prosthetics to the waves and current. Knowing that I was going to be floating around in the deep ocean, I didn't want to risk losing suction. Having my prosthesis stolen by the waves would certainly hinder on our vacation!

With the help of a family friend before the trip, we refurbished a boogie board tether to create a makeshift prosthetic leash. Yesterday I wrapped the Velcro strap around the ankle and provided extra security with a safety pin. I then put the handle of the tether through a belt appropriated from an old pair of shorts and strapped it around my waist. I am sure that my contraption looked odd, especially the beige belt, but the extra security that it provided outweighed the stares and second glances.

With my prosthesis tethered and Robby and Scott finned up and ready to go, we all hopped into the ocean. Robby was initially nervous, clinging to me with a look of sheer panic on his face. We finally convinced him just to relax and to float. Within a few minutes he was gently paddling through the reef, reaching to pet the fish (which managed to stay safely out of reach) and following creature he found interesting. Eventually I began to relax, trusting that Robby was safe and happy.

We had a great afternoon snorkeling, and thankfully my leg never lost suction. While my prosthesis did not help me swim, it was easy for me to climb back onto the boat. The fact that I didn't have to be hoisted by the crew was worth the effort of donning the odd looking tether!

Today will be spent playing in the pools and in the ocean. We are scheduled to help the aquarium staff feed the giant turtles this afternoon, an event that Robby has been eagerly anticipating since we arrived. The weather is supposed to be beautiful, and I'm sure we are going to have a great day!

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