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, December 16, 2016

Stubborn Twos

I can't believe next week is the last week before Christmas. My goodness I am behind this year. I've been keeping up with my baking duties, but I have definitely fallen behind on a few others. Shopping, cleaning, cooking, wrapping, sending cards and decorating to name a few.  Can you tell I'm feeling overwhelmed? 

Timmy has been less than helpful with our holiday preparations and the threat of Santa Claus leaving coal has no power this year. In reality, the promise of Santa not visiting is probably more motivation than deterrent. I'm looking forward to those wonderful years where I can keep him in line with the idle threat of a jolly all-knowing elf withholding toys due to misbehavior.  In the meantime, I'm pretty sure that his first full sentence will be "Timmy, get off of the counter/couch/desk/table and stop spitting water on the cat/tree/toy/wood pile/ Daddy's clothes."

I am trying my best to embrace every stage, but my goodness this particular one is driving me quickly to the brink of insanity. If I had a quarter each time I said "no" "don't do it" or "put it down" I would be able to hire a nanny. This child has a stubborn streak and is asserting all of his burgeoning two year old independence.  I'm hoping that we survive the terrible twos intact and that we can thoroughly enjoy the terrific threes in 2017.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Hibernation Happiness

We are at the beginning of our first cold blast of the season. While we don't have snow (yet), the arctic air leaves little doubt that winter is upon us. Oddly, I find myself feeling increasingly festive as the temperatures continue to plunge.   Cuddling up by the fireplace with my boys and eating Christmas cookies in front of our brightly lit (albeit unadorned tree) has been helping my spirits rebound.

Timmy and I have been baking cookies every day and I am delighted to report that he is turning into quite an adept helper. While he still lacks the culinary skills his brother possessed at the same age, Timmy has a flare for adorning the cookies with lots of colorful sugar that I appreciate. Of course whenever he thinks I'm not looking I see him shaking the bottle into his mouth as well, but I never said he was perfect. If nothing else, he keeps me on my toes.

I am fully aware that our excitement for the frigid air and baking season will be short lived. In a few weeks I will probably be lamenting for warm days by the pool and the feel of the sun on my shoulders. But right now, being holed up under blankets enjoying the hibernation with my family feels perfect. Maybe I just needed permission to hide for awhile in order to regain my festive perspective.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Faking It

The past few days I have been in "fake it til you're festive" mode. Usually bursting with holiday spirit, I'm just not feeling overwhelmingly jolly this year. I suspect that waiting for test results for Timmy's autoimmune issues is beginning to wear on my spirits. I jump every time the phone rings, anxious for the doctor to call with information. I find myself looking at the calendar with more annoyance that doctors offices will be closed than with joy that the holidays are upon us. Living in diagnosis limbo is draining!
I am also fairly certain that Robby no longer believes in Santa Claus. The fact that he now refers to him with air quotes was a strong indicator, but he is such a sweet kid that he will probably never verbalize his discovery. I fully anticipate his playing along indefinitely for fear of hurting my feelings. Knowing that he no longer fully believes in the magic of Santa saddens me because it is another hallmark of growing up.

Timmy is too young to appreciate Santa. Right now he grabs me with a death clutch and buries his face whenever he hears jingle bells and "ho ho ho-ing." I think that next year he'll fully embrace the magic, but this year he will probably have nightmares thinking about the scary man in red slithering down the chimney in the middle of the night. 

Decorations this year are kept to a minimum, partly because I just haven't been motivated to schlep up the boxes and put them out but also because I know that many of my treasures would be ruined by my little toddler tornado. Right now, everything is safer packed away in boxes in the garage. We have our short chubby tree, brightly adorned with 1500 little lights but no ornaments. Since nobody in the house has noticed the undecorated tree,  I'm not going to the effort of digging through the boxes for our unbreakable ornaments. This year we are having a minimalist Christmas, and this year I'm embracing that it is enough.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Mall Meltdown

Whenever possible, we have avoided taking Timmy into crowded situations. He is at an age where we cannot control his vocal outbursts, and his two year old stubborn mentality lends itself to tantrums when his mischief efforts are stymied. Out of respect for the general public, Scott and I have been careful about where and when we venture.

This past weekend, in an attempt to soak up some holiday spirit without actually having to do any work ourselves, we packed up and headed to the mall. I knew that Timmy would enjoy the lights, music and excitement of holiday shopping. We also hoped that browsing through the stores might provide some elf inspiration for Robby. (He is at such a difficult age, too old for toys but too young for clothes and other electronics.)

With Timmy happily wearing his harness (i.e. leash backpack) he happily hopped along through the mall corridors. (I was relieved that he refrained from barking, which is his frequent mode of communication when wearing his puppy backpack harness.)  We were proud of Timmy's admirable behavior as we walked and window shopped. Scott and I even began to plan other family community outings with our well-behaved little Hamlet.

I was delighted when Robby took the bait and ushered his Daddy into the hobby shop. While Scott was gathering elf intel, Timmy and I meandered through the mall and ended up in front of the escalators. Hamlet was absolutely mesmerized by the moving stairs, nervously clutching my finger as he tentatively took a stop onto the platform. After the first ride all nerves were erased by my little escalator riding thrill seeker. 

We spent the next forty minutes going up and down the same escalators. He never tired and his smile seemed to grow with each ride. After Scott and Robby emerged from the store Timmy insisted that they go for a few rides as well.  Robby obliged, but after three more rounds we decided it was time to move on. Timmy disagreed with our decision.

Our happy little cheerful escalator surfer morphed into an angry red faced tyrant in the middle of the mall. He threw himself down, refusing to move by wrapping his arms around the kiosk signs. After a brief attempt at coaxing him to leave, we pulled his leash in order to break his grasp. We quickly decided it was time to just remove ourselves from the situation. Scott managed to carry our planking little toddler, who was wailing at the top of his lungs, through the mall and into the car. Robby and I followed, dutifully apologizing to everybody who glanced at the scene our little cherub was creating. 

After we strapped him into his car seat and escaped the scene of the meltdown, Scott declared that he was not returning to another mall or escalator with Timmy for a year.  With a self-imposed restaurant ban still in effect for several months, our opportunities for community socializing are becoming scant.

Monday, December 12, 2016

NY One Limb Per Life Update

One of the battles the limb loss community fought in the past few years was centered in New York state. With the passing and implementation of the Affordable Care Act, amputees in New York who were reliant upon the exchange for medical insurance were dumbfounded to discover that policies were limited to one prosthetic device per limb per lifetime. As archaic as it appears, amputees were being systematically denied replacement prosthetic devices because of this unrealistic lifetime cap.  ;

Using the momentum from the successful LCD repeal, the community set its sights on the state of New York. Petitions were started and heavy lobbying began in DC and in Albany.  After the dedicated efforts of a handful of individuals, the insurance commission announced that all policies going forward would include provisions for repair and replacement of prosthetic devices. While it wasn't a complete victory, this band-aid compromise provided a satisfactory compromise for the limb loss community.  ;

It has been nearly a year since the "repair and replacement" provision was set to be enacted. Where does the One Limb Per Lifetime movement stand now?  In this episode of Amp'd, Dave and I reviewed the history of the New York insurance exchange and examined the state of prosthetic care for residents in New York.

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