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, June 13, 2014

P. A. I. N.

I can say with certainty that last night was the most painful of my life. The unrelenting throbbing, burning and cramping rendered me utterly helpless. At one point, during a particularly bad cramp which radiated from my stump to my hip, I ended up involuntarily screaming. Shortly after that I fainted.

I was surprised that this surgery has brought more pain than the amputation. Then I remembered that the surgeon removed one and a half inches of bone from the tip of my limb. Essentially, I underwent a re-amputation of my leg. Only this time I was not afforded the relief of hospital administered pain killers.

Right now I am miserable. I would probably break down crying if my leg pain would ease so that I can move. I have never experienced anything like this, and I hope I don't have to again.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Surgery Day

Today is the day I have been dreading for three years, ever since the surgeon first recommended a major revision surgery on my limb. I have managed to delay and postpone the inevitable, but the pain has simply become too much to bear. Motivated to be able to care for Timmy and Robby, I have decided to proceed with the surgery.

I am dreading the nightmarish pain that I will endure later today and tonight. I know that it will wane and that I will be more comfortable in the long run, but in the short term things are going to be rough. I am going to try to go into survival mode, just trying to get through the hours until the pain begins to dissipate.

My Mom is here to help take care of Timmy (Robby is fairly self-supporting) which is a huge relief. I know that I will still fuss and worry, but having her take the lead during the next few days will be a godsend.  I know that he is in good hands!

I hate surgery, and I resent the fact that I have to undergo yet another procedure. In a few hours I can start to concentrate on healing and recovery. Hopefully neither will take as long as I fear.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Getting Prepared

This past weekend was spent getting ready for my impending leg revision. While I am still frustrated that I will be without my leg for the majority of the summer, I know that this surgery is both necessary and long overdue.  Instead of moping, which in all honesty was my initial inclination, I decided to be proactive and prepare. I am hoping to minimize my aggravation during the recovery process.

Although I love our house (with the exception of the black widow spiders, snakes in the attic and leaky roof), it is not handicapped accessible. Between the steep steps, narrow doorways and uneven parquet floor panels, getting around is going to be difficult. Preparing for life with my knee scooter for the next few weeks, I worked all day Saturday trying to create clear pathways between the rooms. It wasn't particularly fun, but it was absolutely necessary.

Timmy is a small baby, but his equipment is disproportionately large. His swing cradle (which he sleeps in because it is a better fit at the moment), bouncy chairs, and changing table are all cluttering up the living room. Because the room is the center of our home, it makes sense to keep the equipment in place. I know that Martha Stewart would certainly never offer her aesthetic seal of approval, but I doubt she would appreciate the ten pound bag of tater tots that are monopolizing my freezer either. I tend to opt for function over form especially when mobility is a concern. I wasn't able to remove the baby clutter, but I did manage to create a clear pathway through the room.

I'm not looking forward to surgery tomorrow, and I am absolutely dreading the recovery. However, I have found some solace knowing that I am prepared for my non-ambulatory life. I keep reminding myself that this is just a temporary setback, and that I can soon return to my cluttered life. 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014


Yesterday was not my best showing in the mom department. Both boys were extremely needy, and by the end of the day I felt as if I had no more to give. They both exhausted my already limited reserves, and it took all my internal strength not to barricade myself in the treehouse with a box of Ho Ho's!

I don't know what was wrong with Timmy, but he was inconsolable all day. He spent the majority of the day fussing and screaming. I desperately tried to calm him down only to be reminded that my mothering abilities were wholly inadequate. I am amazed that a little baby could go so long without sleeping. A few times I thought I had lulled Timmy to sleep only to fall for his "I'm not really asleep and when you put me down I'm going to scream" ploy. Apparently I'm a slow learner, because I fell for his little trick more times than I can count!

The only moments Timmy was calm and comfortable were when I was walking with him. According to my Fitbit, I logged over 13,000 steps trying to soothe my little cranky cherub. Perhaps it was the fatigue meshing with my limb pain, but I began to wonder if my sweet little baby has a sadistic streak. Demanding that I walk constantly felt like cruel and unusual punishment. 

Fueled by the distress of his baby brother, Robby took the opportunity to become a never ending pit of need. I love my little Koopa. I really do. However, yesterday he pushed me to my limits. He picked a heck of a time to reintroduce Robby Rotten! 

The highlight of my day was overhearing a phone conversation between Robby and my Mom. After a particularly long screaming fit in which Timmy was red faced and sounded like an wild chimpanzee, Robby picked up the phone and called his Nana. I overheard him ask why his baby brother hated his Mom, and then he proceeded to tell her in great detail about Timmy being difficult. I would like to believe that he was venting, but I am more inclined to think that he was trying to get his little brother into trouble.

My prosthetist called yesterday and between Timmy wailing and Robby interrupting our conversation was cut short.  Being a parent himself he was able to laugh off the situation, and offered a sarcastic beacon of hope. "Just think, in a few days you'll be in the hospital. It sucks, but you will be able to sleep for several hours without being disturbed."  Unfortunately, he is correct. I am dreading the surgery, but the prospect of nobody wanting or needing anything from me for an afternoon is semi-appealing!

Monday, June 09, 2014

Releasing Guilt

I spent yesterday toiling around the house trying to keep busy. I felt an ominous sense of stress all day, as if I were forgetting something important. I chalked the emotions up to nerves about the impending surgery and tried to keep my mind occupied. It wasn't until I was holding Timmy in the late afternoon that the memories came flooding back to me. 

Twenty-one years ago yesterday I was on my college break, working as a nanny when I was changed forever. A neighborhood child, a 3 year old little girl who had chubby cheeks and a devilish grin, was playing with my little charges in the pool. Her Mom was chatting with me poolside when we noticed something awry. The child had laid down on the side of the pool and wasn't moving. Although I didn't know it at the time, she had a congenital heart defect and had already undergone two cardiac surgeries. 

I'll spare the details and just state that the mom was of no help during the crisis. I tried to block out her screams and called 911 before starting CPR. In the midst of my breaths into her cold little mouth I remember yelling at the other children I was watching to leave the room. In the middle of all of the chaos, and over the frantic screams of the mom, I didn't want them to witness their little friend dying. I can still feel the flickering of her little pulse on my fingertips when I handed over care to the paramedics.

Later that evening I received the news that she didn't make it. In an afternoon my entire world had been turned upside down.  It was the first time I felt a devastating. earth shattering grief. It was on this date that I learned sometimes life isn't fair, and that bad things happen to good people. I was changed forever.

Unlike other years, yesterday I did not second guess my every move on that horrific afternoon. Looking into little Timmy's eyes as I began to relive the memories, I felt a sense of peace wafting over me. I finally accepted that her death wasn't my fault.

I was able to look at that afternoon with an objectivity which has been eluding me. Instead of feeling guilty and ashamed about her death, I felt a sense of pride over the composure I was able to muster during the crisis. Where the other adults were frozen with fear and worry, I was able to act. I was 19 years old and terrified, but I performed CPR correctly and managed to spare the other children the haunting images of their friend lying on their kitchen table.

Time and maturity are a marvelous and powerful combination. I will always mourn her death, but I will no longer blame myself. Releasing the guilt and shame I have been feeling for 21 years is liberating. I've always known that I did everything right, and that she didn't die because of me. Yesterday was the first time I actually believed it.