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, October 09, 2009


I was downstairs on the bicycle, sweating and hurting during my daily ride. My leg was throbbing, primarily because of the sore on my stump. But there I found myself, still riding, still pushing myself. I had an epiphany.

I should not have been riding. I should have been, if not relaxing, at least taking some pressure off of my stump so that it could heal. I know better! Why then, was I suffering on the bicycle?

After I finished my ride (because I won't stop in the middle of a workout), I took some time to reflect. I started my weight loss journey for a multitude of reasons. Most importantly, I wanted to be healthy--healthy for me and healthy for my family. My vanity also played a role because I wanted to be attractive again. I wanted to be desired. Quite simply, I wanted to be a MILF (google it if you don't know what it means).

I dedicated myself to working out and eating healthy. To say that I made a lifestyle change would be an understatement. Scott is probably the only person who truly understands the pain and sacrifices I have made in my battle against the scale. To date, I have lost over 100 pounds.

Lately, I have found my focus shifting from my weight to my limp. I have become sensitive about my walking style. I purchased a treadmill, and I have attacked my gait irregularities with the same venom that I used to battle the bulge.


Why is it that I simply cannot be happy with who I am? I am always trying to improve myself, to make another aspect of myself "perfect." After all, I know that perfection is an unattainable goal.

I have an amputation and I walk on a prosthetic. My gait, although slightly off form, is functional and does not contribute to any pain or discomfort. My quest for the complete elimination of my limp is purely vanity driven. I want to be perceived as 100% normal.

Maybe, instead of striving for perfection, I need to accept that my gimpy limp is just part me. It isn't a bad thing, merely a descriptor. I think I need to cut myself a break.

I need to halt my epic quest for perfection. If I eliminate my limp, I am sure that I will simply move on to another "imperfection." I need to work on accepting myself, imperfections and limp included. Why must I always try to change and improve?

I am hoping that I am not the only person to find themselves in this struggle. I feel both empowered and isolated by my epiphany. I think I am taking a first step, but I am unsure of the path to follow.

I am going to be less critical of myself. I would say that I won't be critical at all, but that would be a tall order, and I'm not sure it would be attainable right now. I need to stop putting myself down in casual conversation and through jokes. I will continue to watch my weight and to monitor my limp. I am going to try to relieve some of the pressure I put on myself and just enjoy who I am and where I am at this moment in time.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Meet the Friend...

I was all set to take it easy yesterday in an attempt to let the sore on my leg heal a bit. I had just hung up a load of laundry when the phone rang. It was Scott. His college roommate, whom he hasn't seen in nearly 20 years, was in town on business and was stopping by for dinner.

My first reaction to the news was excitement for Scott. I have heard "Mick" stories since we met, but I had yet to meet the infamous roommate. I was eager to put a face to the tales.

I started to survey the house before I hung up the phone. The upstairs was clean. Cluttered with Robby's toys and art projects, but relatively clean. I knew it would only take an hour or two to whip it into "company condition."

I knew that the downstairs was going to be a completely different story. I also knew that I was going to have to clean it because I assumed that Scott and Mick would want to play pool. Our downstairs area has become somewhat of a pit, and it was starting to smell.

After putting The Rescuers on television, I grabbed a handful of trash bags and headed into the pit. The dust was so thick it necessitated scrubbing. After three hours and five bulging trash bags, I was finally finished. The downstairs was transformed from a pit into a livable area. I also located all of the pool balls so I was confident that Scott and Mick would be able to play pool.

When the cleaning downstairs was complete, I scurried upstairs and went to work. I did all the prep work for dinner (chicken cordon bleu and red skin mashed potatoes) and cleaned the kitchen. Robby helped put his toys away, and only ended up in time-out twice!

I had just finished cleaning when Scott came home. All of my work and sweat was rewarded with a casual, "Hey, the place looks nice." He failed to observe all of the details, but this is not unusual. No worry, I thought. The place is clean, and he'll be able to entertain his friend downstairs.

As the time approached for Mick to arrive, I found myself growing nervous. Perhaps it was because of the myriad of stories I have heard over the years. Scott keeps in touch with only a few friends, and Mick is among the select group. I have spoken with him on the phone, but face to face is different.

I suppose I worried that I would be an embarrassment to Scott. I began to worry about my limp, which was growing increasingly more prominent. The sore on my leg certainly didn't benefit from a day of rest, and the activity aggravated the situation further. I was starting to hurt. No matter, I put on a happy face and tried to walk as normal as possible.

Mick was very nice. More importantly, Scott had a good time reconnecting with his friend. Robby enjoyed meeting Daddy's friend. For some strange reason, Robby insisted on calling Mick "Uncle Daddy." Despite our efforts to relabel Mick, the name stuck. "Uncle Daddy, come here." was bellowed by our three year old all evening.

I had images of Scott and Mick playing pool, telling stories and reliving their college years. Truth be told, they never made it downstairs. A few stories were told, and plans were made for a more "appropriate" reunion at a bar in the future. (One away from wives and kids.) Time and age has tempered the party animals. I was expecting a late night. Instead, they ate dinner, drank one beer and discussed issues involving acid reflux.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Ready, Set, Jean Shopping!

I managed to survive swimsuit season and escaped reasonably unscathed. I suppose that is because I spent most of the time playing in the water with Robby versus sunning myself pool side. Robby is very easy to impress and has no physical expectations. If only adults could be so forgiving!

Now that the weather is cooling, I realized that I needed to clean my closet. I discovered that my jeans, which I thought were in good condition from last year, are in poor shape. I am not sure how the condition of my clothes and shoes can deteriorate while in storage, but it always seems to happen.

I can put my summer sandals away thinking that they will be fine for the next year. After a few months in the abyss known as my closet, the shoes will reemerge dirty and worn. Somehow the shoes never look as bad when I am putting them away. This has been the case with my jeans.

Yes, I will need to go jean shopping. I hate jean shopping. Not as much as swim suit shopping, but it is a close second. In reality, the only article of clothing I enjoy shopping for are shirts.

Jeans are a difficult fit for me. I have "fertile" hips. (I think this is a flattering way of saying that I have wide hips.) I also have a small waist. It is nearly impossible to find a pair of jeans that fits my curves. Jeans that fit over my hips often gap at the waist. If I find pants that fit at the waist, they are often too tight and uncomfortable in the hips.

My frustrations continue as I must also consider the leg style of the jeans. I need pants with a flair. I usually opt for the "boot cut" leg because I need room to slide my leg on and off. Many leg cuts don't provide the slack needed to accommodate my prosthetic. There is nothing more impractical than having to take off my jeans in order to remove my leg!

I am annoyed by the crease that develops between the jean material and my prosthetic because the denim frequently gets pinched between my prosthetic and my knee. It is unsightly, but I also know that it is unavoidable so I try to ignore the crease when I look in the mirror.

Perhaps one of the reasons I detest jean shopping is because I am forced to constantly remove my leg. I can't simply step into the jeans. I have to sit down, pop my leg off, slide the jeans over my stump and then step into my prosthetic. Granted, it probably doesn't seem like a big issue, but it is an annoyance.

As if merely finding the perfect jeans isn't difficult enough, I am going to have to contend with Robby Rotten. He seems to only enjoy shopping in the bakery. I am still reeling from him running out of the dressing room with all of my clothes, forcing me to chase him in my bra. This was the last time I took him into a dressing room, so the prospect of exposing myself again puts me on edge.

I am trying to build up my self-esteem in preparation for the inevitable blow it will sustain this weekend in the dressing-room. It is going to be difficult, but I am determined to find the perfect pair of jeans, a pair that will cover my bum adequately and will still allow me to breathe. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, October 06, 2009


Ouch! It's going to be a bad day. I woke up this morning, put on my liner and leg, and walked the short distance for my coveted and much needed cup of morning coffee. With my very first prosthetic step, I felt a sharp pain on the outside of my stump, just below the knee.

This pain emerges occasionally. Typically it is the result of one of two culprits. Sometimes my leg is not on correctly and the socket is pinching. (Yes, it is possible to put your prosthetic on incorrectly!) Usually I can take my leg off, put it back on, and continue walking. The absence of the pain indicates that the leg was initially twisted, causing the pain.

I tried to readjust my prosthetic, but the pain persisted. This points to my other hypothesis for the stump pain. An examination of my stump confirmed my "diagnosis." I am developing a sore.

I've taken the proactive step of lathering on with Neosporin. Unfortunately, the cream leaves my stump slick and greasy which makes it difficult to keep the liner in place. I know my limb will be sliding up and down all day because of the lubrication, and my liner is going to be difficult to clean tonight.

Keeping the leg off completely is just not feasible. Robby is too active. Between the leaves and the nuts on the ground, using crutches outside borders on dangerous. I'll have to wear my leg today, but hopefully I will be able to encourage some quiet activities for Robby.

I have discovered that Robby cannot be trusted when I take my leg off, even if he is "seemingly" engaged in an activity. He is only three, but he already knows that Mommy is slower without her leg, giving him the advantage.

Robby's cunning and speed never ceases to amaze me. The last time I had my leg off in front of him was memorable. He was actively watching Diego on TV. I say "actively" because Diego is an interactive show, asking children to answer questions and act out scenes to "help" the characters. My legs were tired, and I sat on the bed and popped my leg off.

Seemingly without missing a beat, Robby grabbed my leg and ran into his room, giggling almost as quickly as his little legs were moving. After I realized that he was not planning on returning my leg, I hopped and crawled to his bedroom. I finally found the prosthetic in the trunk of his race car bed. I found Robby under the kitchen table, buried fist deep in the ice cream.

I've learned my lesson. Now when I take my leg off, I keep it within reach at all times. Robby may continue to eye the prosthetic, but he no longer has the opportunity to enact his plan. I am hoping that his attention can be held by his marble run and Little Bear, at least until the Tylenol kicks in.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Are You Ready for Some Football? NO!!!

The smell of chili is wafting throughout my house. The testosterone is running high. This can mean only one thing: football season.

I enjoy football. I have been known to cheer enthusiastically for "our team," and I have been known to make a great spread of football food. I dutifully dress Robby in his Ohio State football shirt every Saturday, and I am cognisant of the Buckeye's schedule when making weekend plans.

Scott is a steadfast Ohio State Buckeye fan. I have adopted this team because, to be honest, I really don't care. It is obviously more fun when "our team" wins, and I learned early in our relationship that the upcoming week is lousy when the Buckeye's lose.

I was raised by Penn State fans, and I experience a modicum of inner turmoil when the Buckeyes play the Nittany Lions. I try to make the rivalry an event. We usually host a great party for that game. This is the only occasion I root against Ohio State, but I usually spend most of my time in the kitchen cooking so I don't watch most of the game.

The last few years Penn State beat Ohio State. One would think the victory would make me happy, but Scott is NOT a good sport when he loses. I am bombarded with a torrent of "Congratulations to you... I bet your happy... all hail the Lions..." for the upcoming weeks and sometimes months after a Penn State victory over OSU. It is both annoying and borders on obnoxious.

Although I enjoy football, I never forget that it is a game. Men seem to blur the line between "the game" and "life." I don't understand how a loss on Saturday or Sunday translates so strongly into a horrible weekend and week.

I admit that I am spirited when I watch a game, but nothing comes close to the animation demonstrated by my husband. He usually doesn't sit but opts to stand and pace. When the yards are close, he crouches down, as if willing the ball to move.

When Robby was an infant Scott was banned from holding him during football games. I quickly discovered that a swaddled newborn resembles the size and feel of a football. I was afraid that Robby was going to be spiked when the Buckeye's scored against their arch nemesis, University of Michigan!

Robby is much bigger now, and I am no longer worried for his physical safety during games. He loves munching on chips and dip, and cheering on Daddy's team. When I try to divert his attention, or encourage him to use the potty, he protests saying, "I watch football with Daddy."

Robby loves spending time with his Daddy, and wants to do everything just like him. This includes repeating the cheers, and jeers, that he hears. I came back into room when the game was on. Ohio State obviously made a big play, because Scott was cheering. I saw the pillow from the bed get spiked onto the ground, indicating a touchdown. The "victory dance" was then performed on top of the pillow (for good luck of course).

To my shock, I then heard my sweet little boy scream out, "Take that you son of a bi$#@." Not having a pillow handy, he spiked the only thing he had in his hand, his ice cream cone, covered with rainbow sprinkles. And then, just like his Daddy, Robby started doing the dance on top of the splattered ice cream.

Ohio State won this week, which means that Scott will be in a good mood. I will be in a better mood as soon as I can get my carpet cleaner working properly so I can get the sticky and rainbow colored "victory dance" cleaned off of our white carpet. When I hear the familiar anthem, "Are you ready for some football" I can't help but think, "Uh, not really."