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, February 01, 2013

Kid Koopa Club

When I drop Robby off at school each day, he is met at the door by a chorus of greetings from his friends all of whom are excited to see him. When I pick him up he is all smiles and eager to show me the projects and work that he completed during the day. All indications point to Robby loving school, but lately that has not been the reality.

Since his extended Dengue fever absence, it has taken some time for Robby to get caught up academically. After a lot of work and largely because of the dedication of his teacher, my little guy is finally caught up with his peers. Knowing that he is no longer lagging behind has been a huge weight that has been lifted off of my shoulders! The journey to regain the knowledge that he lost during his battle with Dengue has been difficult.

He is on par with his classmates, but he continues to deal with the aftermath of the illness. He experiences difficulty concentrating and fatigues easily, both of which have impacted his classwork. Before he became sick he was an academic leader in the class. He now he ranks in the middle, and it bothers him. It is hard seeing him frustrated and watching him struggle to regain the skills that he lost. Normally happy and upbeat, he has begun referring to himself as "stupid" and "dumb" because it takes him longer to think of words.

Thankfully, earlier this week Robby received news that instantly bolstered his lagging self-esteem. I am thrilled to announce that my little koopa has been named his school's "student citizen of the month." Robby was selected for this honor because he intervened when he witnessed a classmate being excluded. Seeing a small group of students form a club and refuse admission to all of their classmates, Robby took action. Without prompting, Robby formed his own club and invited everybody to join. Within three days all of students were proud members of the "cool kid koopa club" and the first club (with the exclusive membership) was dissolved.  With all of the work Robby has been investing in his academics, I'm so proud that he still finds the time to help his friends.

Scott and I weigh citizenship equally, if not heavier, than academics. After all, there are only a few slots in the world for those who are brilliant and socially inept. Being nice and smart will always take you further in life. We have worked hard to instill the values of compassion, empathy and action. Being recognized as "Student of the Month" is a wonderful honor for him, but it is also affirmation that despite our numerous mistakes, we might be doing something right.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Nothing Remarkable

A few weeks ago I was contacted by a representative of an upstart company asking me to demonstrate their new prosthetic foot.  Although I was flattered by the offer, I immediately knew that I was not the right person for this opportunity.  When I politely declined the offer, the individual took me aback when she replied, "That's okay. There is nothing remarkable about you anyway."

My logical side can rationalize the "nothing remarkable" comment. She was frustrated that I said no and, although I was both polite and professional, nobody likes to be rejected. Regardless of whether her retort was nothing more than a defense mechanism, her words stung.

I have never purported to be anything but who I am. I'm not a super athlete, nor am I a beautiful and glamorous model. I'm not an actress, a singer (although I do love karaoke), or a celebrity. If those are the markers of defining "remarkable," I would have to agree that I do not qualify.

I am tired of the celebrity standards that are held by our culture. Although I appreciate the feats of our amputee athletes and the barriers that have been broken by other celebrities, I do not look to them for motivation. There is something unattainable by those who are held up as icons. After some thought, I am okay with not being deemed "remarkable" by a marketing executive.

I'm a woman who spent more time than I would like to admit struggling to accept my amputation. I try to help others and I'm willing to lend an ear or a helping hand. I may not transform the world, but I am always true to myself. I'm happy with my life, and despite the struggles and obstacles, I can no longer envision living any other way. I may not be remarkable, but I am content and excited about my future no matter how mundane it may seem compared to others.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Walk On

Yesterday for the first time in a week, the sun was shining bright against a beautiful blue sky. The frigid temperatures have eased giving way to a warm weather reprieve. Wanting to make the most of the opportunity, I decided to try something I have been hesitant to attempt: I went for a walk through my neighborhood.

In the autumn I rediscovered walking around the development. I found myself looking forward to grabbing my cell phone, tuning into Pandora and going on an afternoon stroll. I quickly realized that they were not only good for my body but also were perhaps more beneficial for my mind and spirit. Each day I finished my walk feeling better, more energized, and happier than when I started.

It is amazing how quickly everything can be turned awry. When I fell in November, my daily routine changed. The injuries to both of my legs kept me in constant pain, and I was left with no choice but to relax and hope for a quick recovery. During this time, I not only had to physically heal but also had to learn new ways to deal with my stress. Exercise and walking, which had been my outlet, were suddenly not feasible.

Needless to say, the past few months have been difficult but my legs are finally feeling better. I can't say that I am 100% healed, but I am walking without pain and the only reminders of my fall occur when I am walking on steps or when I am tired at night. Although I didn't attempt to walk my entire route, it felt great to return to my pre-injury routine. Slowly but surely I am finally beginning to see the light at the end of this tunnel!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Toothless Koopa

Last night, in addition to his beloved Black Bear, Robby slept with his pocket pillow. After all, it was important that he keep the pillow close because tucked inside was a tiny little treasure. He lost his left front tooth and he was anxiously awaiting the arrival of the tooth fairy!

Robby is missing all four of his front teeth and now resembles a hockey player. He thought it was really "epic cool" until he realized that eating a fried chicken leg was going to be difficult and messy without the front chompers. Thankfully a few cups of vanilla pudding snacks softened the chicken blow.

His two bottom teeth fell out during the throws of Dengue Fever. Apparently it is not uncommon for teeth to fall out prematurely during extended periods of a high temperature. Who knew! Although they will eventually grow in, he is rendered toothless until it happens. My meal planning has been significantly impacted as I try to come up with dinners that are soft enough to be eaten with minimal chewing. I see a lot of pasta and rice in the coming days.

My little snaggletooth koopa is growing up! I realize that losing teeth is a rite of childhood and an exciting event in a six-year-old's life, but I never appreciated the milestone from a parental perspective. I remember nursing my little baby through the teething pain. We were all so excited when each tooth finally cut through the gum signaling the end of his discomfort. Now those same little teeth are sitting in a ladybug box tucked in the back of my dresser drawer, and my infant is now a school aged child.

When I reflect upon Robby growing up, I continue to get a lump in the back of my throat and a heavy heart. I love watching him learn and change, but something about looking back always makes me sad. Therefore, I try to avoid reflection at all costs and stay in the moment as much as possible.  I don't like feeling sad!

Most of the time I am successful at avoiding the growing up heartache. The feelings only pop up when milestones occur such as losing his front teeth. I wish I could keep him young for just a little longer. Unfortunately, I know that before I realize it, he'll be grown up and gone and I'll be left with a container full of teeth and a lot of memories.

Monday, January 28, 2013


While sitting in a hotel conference room in the fall of 2010, a collaborative idea was born.  If you ask the people who were present, it was a moment of inspired brilliance the result of which was certainly going to change the perspective of thousands of amputees. My friend Dave and I were going to join forces to create a podcast where pertinent issues were going to be explored and debated.

Dave and I are both bloggers, both amputees, and both genuinely respect each other. Many times it seems that this is where our similarities end. It is amazing how two intelligent individuals can hold such opposite views on a myriad of topics! Our experiences since becoming amputees are many times bipolar, forcing us to view issues through different perspectives. Since the first moment our podcast was conceived, we were both excited about sharing our diverse experiences on a designated issue.

Unfortunately life intervenes and enthusiasm wanes. Dave and I have seen each other numerous times over the past year and half and our excitement about the podcast was always reignited. We leave every meeting with the promise of creating the podcast and the vow to make it a priority. After a few email exchanges, scheduling conflicts have always forced our great idea onto the back burner.

Finally,  Dave and I had managed to make good on our podcast promise. Utilizing Skype last March, we recorded what would become our first podcast. It took me another six months to upload and edit the recording. (Thank you Dave for being patient with my procrastination!)

Perhaps one of the reasons for the delay is the fact that I absolutely hate the sound of my voice. With the absence of facial expressions and body language, I sound uptight and high strung. I am hoping that as I become more comfortable with the format I will sound more relaxed and (to quote my mother) less "bitchy."

Regardless of my feelings towards my voice, our first podcast has finally been uploaded. I am excited to announce that the first installment of "Amped" is now live. We chose to discuss a polarizing issue that has been the source of great debate between Dave and myself: TSA. I hope that you enjoy it- after all it took us three years to make!  Please keep in mind that this to-be-continued project is a work in progress.