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 19, 2016

Hawaiian Punch

I traveled to Pennsylvania with the best of intentions. I wanted to support my friend and pay my respects at the funeral of her mother. Despite my efforts and intentions, I failed miserably.

After checking into the hotel, I met up with her family for dinner. We had a wonderful time, and afterwards Tammy and I decided to go to my hotel for a drink. Being a lightweight when it comes to alcohol, I asked the bartender for something sweet. He came back with a concoction called "Hawaiian Punch Me In the Face." Unfortunately for everybody, I love Hawaiian punch. 

I haven't had a man hit on me for a really long time. Don't get me wrong, I'm happily married and not looking for any "extracurricular activities." That being understood, it is still nice to be reminded that somebody other than my husband finds me desirable.  Last night, sitting in the hotel bar, we had three different men approach and buy us drinks. 

Tammy was good (and smart) by drinking only coke after her first cocktail. Caught up in the moment, and knowing that I wasn't driving, I indulged in more Hawaiian punch than typically flows at a child's birthday party. Let me tell you, the name of the drink was apt. 

A friend will sit with you at a hotel bar and enjoy the attention of random men. A good friend will help you back to your hotel room when you enjoy one (or two or three) too many Hawaiian Punch Me in the Faces. A true friend, the kind of friend whom you know you will have in your life forever, is rare.  She will bag up your clothes, clean the vomit off the hotel room floor, take off your leg and tuck you into bed. 

Tammy is a true friend.

I am so embarrassed that I lost control last night. I am not a drinker, and to be honest I'm not quite sure what got into me. I would think about it more to try to decipher my actions, but to be honest my head is really hurting.

I don't think I'll ever drink Hawaiian Punch again.

Thursday, February 18, 2016


When I was in college, I went to 12 funerals in 18 months. Some of the deaths were expected, while others were unfathomable tragedies. It was a difficult time as it felt like every time my life was starting to get back on track, I was pulling out my black dress for another memorial service. Finally the spree ended and my dress was able to resume its position in the back of my closet.

It is now twenty years later, but I am beginning to feel like I am reliving those sad months. I suppose that everything has a season, including deaths. As families grow and people get older, tragedies occur and the older generation slowly starts to pass away. I am afraid that we are entering one of those phases.

In the past year, I have gone to three funerals. The spree began with my Dad, continued with my Uncle George and last week we buried our niece Monica. Today I'm packing up and heading to Pennsylvania so that I can attend the funeral for my dear friend's mother. Although her mom has been ill for quite some time, the loss is still overwhelming. I'm looking forward to seeing my friend because we don't get together nearly as much as I would like, but I hate the circumstances of our reunion. 

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Competitive Bidding

President Obama recently released his budget proposal for 2017. While  normally this wouldn't be a topic for this blog, this budget proposal contained an issue of concern for access to lower limb prosthetics. Tucked inside the reams of numerical mumbo-jumbo lies a dictate which would change the lives of millions of amputees in this country. The 2017 Presidential Budget proposes opening up lower limb prosthetics provided through Medicare for competitive bidding.

Competitive bidding is a hallmark program within the Medicare system. This cost saving initiative has been highly successful for off the shelf commodities (diabetic test strips, needles, gauze, etc.) Having suppliers actively bid to provide the lowest price for Medicare customers has saved the system millions of dollars.  

While competitive bidding has proven successful for "drugstore" commodities, grave concerns arise when trying to transfer this program to prosthetics.  First and foremost, prosthetics are not off the shelf devices. They are highly individualized devices custom crafted to meet the unique needs of the patient. Treating prosthetics like generic medical products is a dangerous precedent.

All experts tend to agree that the budget will not be passed and that competitive bidding is not an imminent threat for lower limb prosthetics. However, the fact that it was proposed is cause enough to be concerned. I am not in panic mode, but I am certainly going to stay on top of this issue.  

Dave and I recorded a podcast yesterday concerning competitive bidding. I thought it may be best to have the expert explain the process.

powered by podcast garden

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Phantom Pain Part 2

To the delight of all my boys, school has been cancelled again today. Thankfully the school administrators made the decision last night, allowing us to relax on our bedtime routines. I always appreciate going to bed knowing that I don't need to worry about icy roads in the morning.

My leg is still experiencing more phantom pain than I prefer, but the discomfort is manageable. My daily life hasn't really been impacted except that after a few hours on my feet I am forced to sit and try to massage the phantom cramps away. Remembering the days when I couldn't wear my leg due to the phantom pain, I am trying to remind myself that this is mild and that I am fortunate. Although the discomfort could be classified as more of a nuisance, I am frustrated with the constant reminder that I am an amputee. 

The weather patterns are supposed to shift today, bringing drier air and warmer temperatures.  Hopefully the phantom pain will travel away with the unsavory jet streams, and I will again be comfortable. While I know that I am lucky, the constant nagging is starting to drag me down.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Snow Pain

Happy President's Day!  Or, as I am calling it in our house, Happy Yet Another Snow Day. Everybody is home (again) today, not because of the federal holiday but because of a snow and ice event.

Even though I have given up watching the news due to the constant barrage of frustrating political news and commentary, this storm did not take me by surprise. Late yesterday afternoon my bones and joints started to feel achy and sore, heralding the impending flurries. By the time the sun set, I was reaching for the ibuprofen bottle and warning that the storm was going to be impressive.

I had a difficult time sleeping because of the pain in my joints and phantom foot. I hate those painful nights, but I have come to accept that they are part of living as an amputee. I find myself just lying in bed and reminding myself that the pain won't last forever. Eventually I was able to find a comfortable position and fall asleep, although Timmy ended my efforts prematurely by waking up ready to play.

Unfortunately, my sleeping poorly has no impact on his eagerness to run, hop, play and cause mischief. Thankfully Scott is also home due to the snow, so I am going to tag him into Timmy duty soon so that I can take a nap. Hopefully my pain will lessen as the snowfall intensifies, otherwise it will be a long day.