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 08, 2010


I have been feeling out of sorts since returning from the conference. Perhaps the fact that I haven't had a restful sleep is beginning to take its toll. I feel like I'm frantically doggy paddling merely to stay afloat and to keep from drowning in my mounting list of obligations.

Robby hasn't made my job easy. He has chosen this week to jitterbug all over my last remaining nerve. He is needy, whiny and demanding. He has also developed a love of being naked and has turned into a four year old streaker.

Yesterday he was buckled into his car seat as I drove to the grocery store. He took the five minute drive as an opportunity to strip down. I have to hand it to him though, he did manage to remove his underwear without unbuckling his seat belt. It took me almost 15 minutes to get him dressed because he was cold and squirmy. Of course he was cold, he was naked! Apparently he doesn't yet grasp the concept or the purpose of clothing.

There has been a definite chill in the air during the past few days. The house is cold, but an epic battle between Scott and me has kept the heat turned off. Of course, it is easy for him to insist on keeping the heat off since he is at work most of the day, feeling warm and cozy. I'm cold and cranky.

With the house being so chilly, I'm surprised that Robby has not complained of being cold as he runs around naked. As he is body slamming into the pillows on my bed for probably the hundredth time today , I think I discovered my answer. His is not cold because he is in constant motion. I really wish I had his energy!

I love being a Mommy, but I need a vacation- or at least a nap. This weekend is supposed to be warmer, which will take the chill out of the house. Unfortunately, it won't do anything to convince my little streaker to wear clothes. Trying to look on the positive, at least I don't have a lot of laundry to do.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Happy World Smile Day!

Hope this little smiley helps you smile today!

OH vs. PA

My husband has a slew of wonderful attributes. Being a good sport is not one of them. His unsportsmanlike demeanor is especially prominent whenever an Ohio (his home state) team plays a Pennsylvania team (my home state).

Luckily for me (insert sarcastic eye roll and audible sigh) the Philadelphia Phillies are playing the Cincinnati Reds. I haven't lived in Pennsylvania for 14 years, but that seems to be irrelevant. Scott also disregards the fact that I have been rooting for the Washington Nationals since the team came to town, a team that seems to epitomize the losing streak.

When an Ohio team plays a Pennsylvania team, I am berated with snide remarks and sneers of disdain for the days preceding the event. I have come to despise when a team from Pennsylvania wins. I am then subjected to weeks of the annoying greeting of, "Congratulations to you. All hail, Pennsylvania" instead of merely saying hi when I call.

If you watched the game you already know that the Phillies won. In fact, the pitcher threw a no hitter, which is impressive regardless of your team allegiance. The game was on at our house, and I watched most of it. My viewing was only sporadically interrupted by an angry Reds fan standing up and gesturing with his finger followed by an odd humping motion towards the television on two occasions.

It should be a fun week in this house. The best of seven is going to feel like an eternity. I am already preparing myself for the moping, lamenting and cursing against all things Pennsylvania. I don't know, I think tonight I'll make some Philly cheese steaks for dinner...

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

The Biggest Loser

I have been presented with an opportunity to represent Ossur on a media tour in New York City next month. Although I am not sure about what I have to contribute to any discussion, I am flattered and excited about the adventure. I have suddenly been immersed in layers of insecurity, especially concerning my appearance.

As soon as I was asked to NYC, I phoned my Mom to relay the news. Instead of telling her how excited I was, or how flabbergasted I felt being chosen, I focused on the negative. I'm embarrassed to admit that I actually said, "I am going to go on such a crash diet that it will cause a 5 mile pile-up on Route 95."

My weight has been a recurring issue in my life since childhood. After my amputation, a sedentary lifestyle mixed with depression caused my weight to balloon to the "morbidly obese" category. As I regained control of my emotions I began to shed the pounds. The journey has not been easy!

Amputees have the ideal excuse for being overweight. I had only one leg after all, the perfect reason for not working up a sweat. I wasn't expected to be active because I was "disabled." I hated being an amputee, but I loved the excuse.

In addition to having a socially acceptable excuse for being sedentary, the amputee population is missing role models in popular culture. The Biggest Loser, although I enjoy the show, has yet to feature a contestant with a non-obesity related disability. With all of the "diet themed" reality shows, I have yet to see an amputee or an individual exercising in a wheelchair .

Stories of amputee athletes abound, but I am a realist. I was not a sprinter before my amputation. I certainly knew that getting a "super cool" Cheetah leg was not going to suddenly spur a love for running nor increase my abilities. For me, the athletes are impressive but their feats are so unattainable that I couldn't relate. Besides, none of the athletes I have seen on television were ever fat, but I was.

Statistics show us that approximately 31% of the population is obese. After hours of digging around on the Internet, I found a Senate report from 2007 which stated that 69% of amputees are either overweight or obese. Wow -not only are we missing a limb (or two or three) but we are fatter than everybody else too!

In preparation of my media tour I am back on the diet bandwagon. While no longer obese, I have 10 pounds I would like to shed before the middle of November. I love myself too much to go on a crash diet, so I am going to be sensible. I won't be stick thin if and when you see me on television, but I will be healthy!

So perhaps it is true that misery loves company, or maybe I am naive by thinking that maybe I can change the world. In either case, I don't want to do this alone. If popular culture won't provide the amputee community with healthy and attainable role models for weight loss, let's do it ourselves! I am hereby starting a "Biggest Loser-AmputeeMommy Edition." Anybody want to join?

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Back in Charge

Like all children, Robby has learned the strengths and weaknesses of each parent. He knows that Mommy expects him to surrender his beloved Binkie first thing in the morning, and I insist that he eats his meals at the table instead of in front of the television. Although he cannot yet verbalize the specifics, he knows that I am dependent upon my prosthetic and that I sometimes have "bad leg days" which impact my mobility.

His daddy, Robby has discovered, is more lax when it comes to the family rules- especially when I am away. Robby and his daddy's ideal afternoon consists of peeing off the side of the deck and then eating chips and dip in their underwear in bed while watching sports . Scott and Robby had run of the house for two days when I was in Florida, and I am still trying to undo the Daddy damage!

Every time I return from a trip, I am faced with a messy house but no dirty laundry. It occurred to me that the absence of dirty clothes is more proof that neither one of my boys gets dressed when I am away. I know that Robby did wear underwear at one point because Scott called me, in the middle of the conference, to ask me where it was kept.

Yesterday Robby was refusing to wear clothes. As soon as he was dressed, he quickly emerged from the bathroom naked. When I asked him why he took off his clothes, he in a matter-of-fact statement informed me that "his penis wanted to play with him and that his clothes got in the way." Although I can't argue with his logic, I did wrestle some clothing onto him before we left for the grocery store.

Robby loves his Binkie. I have grown to hate this unsightly oral obstruction. He is four years old and looks strange sucking on a pacifier. When Scott returned to school last month I enforced the "no Binkie out of bed" rule. After two hard fought days, I was deemed victorious until, of course, I left Robby alone with the weakest link in the Binkie Command.

Now Robby is running around the house in his Thomas the Train underwear while sucking on his Binkie. I turn my back for a moment only to find him standing on the deck, triumphantly peeing outside. I suppose I should be thankful that he isn't back to wearing diapers! This is going to be a long week as I reign in my little naked Binkie sucking terror.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Calm After the Storm

I am home from a successful conference in Orlando. Although I didn't get to see any of the local attractions, I did enjoy seeing a group of small children excitedly sporting their Mickey Mouse ears in the hotel lobby. I met some interesting people, spent time with work friends and reveled in adult conversation for three days.

Although I was only a few hundred miles from home, Friday night I felt as if I was a world away. Blindsided by an unforeseen family crisis, I suddenly went from feeling excited and empowered to hopeless and lost. I needed to be home, yet I was only able to offer advice over the phone.

Because of lousy cellular reception, I was forced to sit in the hotel lobby for most of the evening. Scared and anxious, I was unable to shield my emotions from the patrons walking by. I was surprised how many strangers paused their activities to offer a warm word of encouragement or a hug. With everything feeling as if it was spiraling out of control, the kindness of these strangers was heartwarming.

I was able to rest easier when I was able to get in touch with my cousin Dan. He lives locally and I knew he would be able to help. Thankfully he didn't ask any questions when I told him that he was needed. He simply put on his shoes and headed out the door. I found out later that he was home because he had the flu. Dan is my hero.

We are out of crisis mode and moving towards recovery. Addiction is a horrible disease which cannot be "cured" easily. I repeatedly hear that the addict has to "hit bottom" before recovery can truly begin. I am hoping that my loved one "hit bottom" on Friday night so that our family can begin to heal together.

So many of my Facebook friends responded when I wrote that I was scared and alone. I had friends whom I have only met through this blog and Facebook offer to drive hours to sit with me while I waited. I have learned that I am never really alone. Thank you to everyone who reached out to me. Your words of love and encouragement meant more to me than I can put into words.