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, November 18, 2016

Ready to Hibernate

It's the middle of November and so far we have been lucky with mild temperatures. This weekend our luck is supposed to change as more seasonal temperatures are expected to roll into the area. The dropping thermometer means it is time to pull out the flannel sheets and light up the wood stove. I know I will feel differently in February, but right now I'm excited about the colder weather.

In addition to digging out sweaters and cuddly pajamas, it is time to organize my tube sock collection. When it is frigid outside, I can be found by the fireplace with a slipper on my foot and a tube sock on my limb. If I don't keep my limb covered, it becomes cold to the point of being painful. Keeping it covered with a large tube sock helps, but when it is extremely cold I have to pull out the hand warmers.

I now buy hand warmers by the case and use them liberally during the winter. I found that throwing one in the bottom of my socket will keep my limb warm and cozy throughout the day. At night I'll activate another hand warmer and put it between two layers of socks on my limb. It is important to note that I never put the hand warmer directly on my skin. Instead, my limb is always buffered by either my liner or a tube sock.

Yesterday Amazon delivered another case of hand warmers, so I am officially ready for winter. Bring on the snow days, the crisp air and the cold and quiet nights. I'm ready to hibernate for awhile.

**Incidentally, if you plan on shopping on Amazon, please consider using the link on the sidebar of this blog. 

Thursday, November 17, 2016

My New Foot

I have been waiting to write about my new foot until I was able to put it through its paces. I've been an amputee long enough to recognize that I always love a new foot for the first day or two. It is after it is worn consistently that I really develop a feel (and an appreciation or aversion) to the device. I wanted to make sure that my first impression was lasting before I took to my blog.

After wearing my new Pro-Flex with Pivot foot for a few weeks, I continue to be impressed by the device. I am as excited about walking with this foot today as I was three weeks ago when I took my first steps with it. From the smooth roll-over to the swing pick up of the toe, this is by far the most normal feeling foot that I have ever worn.

Keeping up with Timmy is not an easy feat. My little Hamlet is adventurous, quick and into everything. I am constantly running after him, pulling him off of obstacles and physically redirecting him to other (usually safer) activity choices. I was struggling to keep up with him while wearing my other foot. While it was fine for walking and some activity, I never felt confident chasing after him on uneven terrain. I feel much more comfortable knowing that I can run after him, maneuver through environmental obstacles and turn quickly when necessary. As soon as he learns how to talk I'm sure that Timmy will be voicing his displeasure to Ossur for making a foot that allows his Mom to catch him. 

I wore my Pro-Flex when I was taking the Taekwondo class with Robby. I was able not only to keep up with the class but I also managed to impress my not-easily-impressed ten year old.  Lately he is quick to criticize just about everything I do, but even he gave me kudos for completing the class without slacking.

I have always leaned towards function over fashion, but the fact that my new foot comes with a black spectra sock is like the icing rose on a cupcake. (The spectra sock is the sock between the carbon fiber foot and the plastic foot shell.) The black just looks sleeker, it blends in with the ankle components and doesn't show dirt. (Trust me, Timmy and I get into a lot of dirt!)

The wonderful thing about prosthetics is the variety on the market. What works for one individual may not feel comfortable or natural for another. It is all about choices and options. For me, I'm delighted with my Pro-Flex and I feel like a kid at Christmas with a new toy.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Museum Mayhem.

Sigh.  Yesterday was not my best. I woke up optimistic and excited about chaperoning Robby's class field trip.  I went to bed feeling like a deflated failure. The hours between I contended with a tantrum prone, sleep deprived, overstimulated, angry two year old.  If I had known that I was going to be waging war with my toddler I would have worn more battle worthy clothing to the museum. Wearing uncomfortable pants and a scratchy (yet unstained) shirt only added to my frustrations.

Robby loves going to the Air and Space Museum and was eager to share his favorite exhibits with his classmates. I had planned on meandering through the complex with Timmy while Robby was engaged with the class tour. Unfortunately, Timmy had plans of his own and was determined and undeterred.

While I thought that Timmy would enjoy looking at the planes, he was hell bent on boarding them. Whenever possible he tried to crawl over or wiggle under the barricades. He viewed the barriers as obstacles which only added to the challenge of reaching his final destination. I spent the first twenty minutes of our museum experience prying his tight little fingers off of the metal dividers as he frantically tried to penetrate the blockade.

Many of the planes at the museum have endured through air combat and flying through treacherous conditions. Fearful that they would meet their demise at the hands of my naughty little Timmy, I decided to take him away from the exhibits.  He disagreed with that decision and opted instead to participate in a one person protest. He lay prone on the museum floor and screamed.

I tried to pick him up only to be countered by a toddler plank maneuver. I managed to carry my stiff, red faced little tyrant to an isolated corner of the museum where he continued his protest. It took him awhile, but he finally realized that his efforts were not going to be rewarded. He stopped screaming but continued to resist my efforts to keep him from crossing the barriers. 

In retrospect, I think that Timmy's desire to interact with the displays was based on experience.  He has been to several "you touch" museums in the recent months. After being encouraged to physically interact with the exhibits at other museums, it must have been quite frustrating to have his efforts thwarted.  Unfortunately attempts at engaging in a logical explanation with a two-year-old is fruitless, so we are going to avoid traditional museums for the time being. I'm sure that our fellow museum loving patrons will thank us for staying home.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Taekwondo Class

This week is "bring a family member to class" week at Robby's Taekwondo studio. I wasn't terribly thrilled with the idea of abandoning my perch in the spectator row, but Robby seemed excited and and determined that I participate. Last night I dug my work out clothes out of the bottom of my dresser drawer, smoothed out the wrinkles and went to Taekwondo with my ten-year-old.

I love that the fact that I'm an amputee never crossed Robby's mind as a potential excuse for my not participating. Parents were invited so he assumed that I would and that I could participate. He was more concerned with my ability to keep up with the class because of my age, an accusation I interpreted as a gauntlet. Pain and fatigue be damned, I was not going to be out performed by my child. 

I can't say that I enjoyed class, but I know that Robby seemed to love the novelty of my being there. While I was concentrating on staying erect, Robby was giggling and encouraging me to continue. The forms and exercises are certainly more labor intensive than they look from the comfort of the spectator seats. I was prepared for the class to be tiring, but I was caught off guard by the difficulty level.  After actively participating, I have a whole new appreciation for the skills that Robby is mastering.

My moves were clumsy and my punches were off-center and weak, but I never gave up and I kept moving.  At the end of class, Robby congratulated me and told me that I made him proud.  I guess this old woman still has a trick or two up her sleeve.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Water Park Fun

After an emotionally wrought election week, we were delighted to pack our bags and head out of town for a few days. This time we headed into the mountains to check out what has been named one of the top ten water parks in America.  Robby was delighted with our getaway and, although Timmy was too young to realize that where we were going, he seemed to feed off the excitement as we packed to leave. 

Timmy may not have understood where we were heading, but he certainly reacted strongly when he saw the water park for the first time. He jumped up and down, clapped his hands and frantically started saying yes as he pointed to the park through the glass enclosure. We could hardly keep him still enough to slip on his life vest when we entered the park.

Robby loved the big slides, the faster the spins and larger the drops the better. Before Friday I have never been on a water slide that resembled a roller coaster. It turns out that it is entirely possible to become motion sick on a water slide. Of course the inertia twisting slides were Robby's favorite. (On another note, body cork screw slides are not advisable for women. I felt like I had given birth to a water balloon when I finally managed to climb out of the pool.)

Because Robby is only ten, he was supposed to be accompanied by an adult at all times. Of course somebody needed to be with Timmy, who is an ambitious yet inexperienced water bug. The boys have vastly different swimming and physical abilities, which meant that Scott and I needed to go into divide and conquer mode for the weekend.

I spent most of the time with Robby while Scott played with Timmy on the pint sized structures. We saw each other for passing through the sprinklers and slides in the water park, and in the evening before we collapsed from exhaustion.  Thankfully neither of us viewed our getaway as romantic, so we weren't disappointed.

This weekend was about being with the kids and just having fun. Scott and I were able to disconnect enough to forget about the stresses of our jobs which was liberating! Playing in the water, we entered a political void where we just splashed and laughed. Simply put, our weekend was fantastic and just what we needed to recover from the blows of the past few weeks.