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 22, 2010

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Halloween Party

Yesterday I threw myself into Halloween preparation mode. Robby has been begging to have a party and Scott and I finally acquiesced. This Saturday he is throwing what has become known as "Robby's Super Big Trick-or-Treat Costume Party."

Our house has been transformed into a pumpkin paradise. We painted paper plates orange and gave them glitter faces. Our front window has been transformed into a large smiling Jack-O-Lantern. We made 4 foot spider which is now perched on the fence post at the end of our driveway. Of course, no Halloween celebration would be complete without the giant inflatable pumpkin in the front yard.

Robby had a great time decorating the house for Halloween, but his interest waned as soon as the "fun" was done. He absconded when I began to sing the clean up song. Typical male behavior I guess!

The house is ready, and the menu has been planned. Today is dedicated to baking treats and finishing the party preparation. Robby has requested mashed potatoes, chicken nuggets from Chick-Fil-A and lots of cookies and candy. We tried to encourage a more balanced menu but quickly surrendered to a day of gorging on junk. After all, it's a Halloween Party!

Robby and Scott's costumes are complete. Both boys are going to be dressed as pirates. I was thrilled the concept of a pirate family. After all, I have the perfect peg-leg! Robby then threw me a curve ball when he insisted that I dress like a kitty cat.

I've tried to change his mind, but he has his heart set on me wearing a cat costume. He told me that "Kitty cats are pretty, and so is Momom. I love kitty cats and I love you." I guess you can't argue with that logic. Meow!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Letting Go

Yesterday afternoon, desperate to escape the dreary rain and wanting to burn extra energy, I packed up Robby and headed to House of Bounce. He was thrilled to be returning to one of his favorite places. Truth be told, I was excited to be going as well--it's been awhile since I've bounced with my little guy. I even made sure to wear my "super slippy" pants to help me gain speed down the slides!

Being the only Bouncers when the doors opened, we began tackling the giant inflatables in earnest. We had slide races (he won), ran through the obstacle course and played a spirited game of tag in the birthday cake moon bounce. I was working up a sweat and having a wonderful time playing with my little boy.

After about 30 minutes another family arrived with a boy about Robby's age. I was hoping that Robby would play with the little boy, so I took a step back. Within minutes Robby looked at me and in a matter-of-fact manner said, "Momom, I don't need you anymore. I have a kid to bounce with. You can go sit over there (pointing to the coffee lounge)."

I realize that every parent's goal is for their child to become independent, social beings. I want Robby to make friends and play with his peers. Still, being ditched for the first time took me by surprise. Robby and I have always been bouncing buddies. I never sat in the coffee lounge. After all, I'm the fun Mommy, the one that the kids love to play with! My heart sank as I accepted my fate and sat on the couch.

Sitting on the couch, sipping coffee I realized that my little buddy was changing. He is growing up and no longer wants or needs me to be his playmate. He is flourishing in his new found independence. I am afraid that I am floundering.

Robby had a blast bouncing with his new friend, and that is what is important. I will figure out a way to let him grow up, but right now I want to bundle him up and keep him this age. I am dreading the day he tells me that I am not his "best buddy" and I hope that I'll be able to accept my demotion gracefully. In the meantime, I am trying to soak up every minute with him because, as he demonstrated today, he is starting to mature. I hate change!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The "Best Ever"

Prosthetic components are as various as the amputee population. When an amputee finds a prosthetic that suits his individual needs and feels comfortable, an allegiance to that device often develops. It is not uncommon to hear amputees urging other prosthetic users to try the components that they utilize because they are "the best ever."

Before I started walking on the Proprio foot I was using a Low Profile (LP) Veri-flex. I immediately started walking and, with time, had established a comfortable gait. If somebody had questioned me concerning the energy return or the responsiveness of the foot, I would have been confused. Since the LP Veri-Flex was my first foot, I had no basis of comparison. I was doing well and freely shared my positive opinion about the foot with others.

I began wearing the Proprio and immediately noted the differences. The foot was more responsive and eliminated the "mental fatigue" that I had been experiencing by walking. I no longer had to think about going up and down ramps, nor did I have to worry about catching the toe and tripping. I felt liberated.

I still love my Proprio foot, but I am also wearing a Mod III. The Proprio is not viable for high impact activities. I have discovered that, while playing outside with Robby, most activities are high impact! The Mod III provides me with a "bouncy" response that I had never before experienced with a prosthetic. I now alternate between the two legs, depending upon the activities for the day.

My experiences have been so positive with my prosthetics that I have been asked, on occasion, to represent the company at conferences and events. I am happy to share my opinions and provide feedback about my experiences, but I am always careful not to devalue other prosthetics. I respect that, just as my prosthetics have changed my life, other amputees feel just as strongly about what they are using.

Although I am thrilled with my Proprio and my Mod III, I am not adverse to trying other devices. The true value of a prosthetic cannot be understood until it is tried. Experience has taught me that many times the amputees do not realize how they are settling or what they are missing until they use a prosthetic that fills that void.

A wonderful aspect of prosthetics lies with the plethora of options that are available. What works for one amputee may not feel comfortable for another. We all have varying needs and preferences for prosthetics. Although we may feel strongly that our prosthetic is "the best ever" I think it is important to remember that the hallmarks for prosthetic needs are not identical.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Yesterday was not my best day. Robby was full of energy and exceptionally needy. He required constant entertainment and he never stopped moving. We spent four hours playing outside, but it only seemed to energize him. By the time Scott came home from work, I was utterly drained.

I suppose that if I had slept well the night before I might have had more energy to keep up with Robby Rotten. I was worried that I would be dreaming about spiders when I went to sleep. Thankfully, the spiders stayed away from dreaming mind, but I did dream that I was drowning in a huge vat of brownie batter. Yummy, delicious and thick chocolate gooey goodness was surrounding me, and I had no choice but to eat myself free. Can you tell that I went to bed hungry?

I woke up tired and craving chocolate like a woman possessed. I remained strong and stuck to my diet, but depriving myself made me cranky. Scott coming home and requesting that I "whip up" a chocolate cake or a tray of brownies for a student certainly didn't help!

With Robby jitterbugging all over my last nerve and the tempting odor of brownies wafting through the house, I knew I had to get away. I wanted to be alone, if only for a few minutes. After all, everybody deserves some alone time during the day, even a stay at home mom! I grabbed my keys and told Scott that I needed to run to the grocery store.

He rose off the couch (where he had been lounging since he came home from work) and offered to go in my stead. Wanting to be alone and in an environment that did not smell like heavenly baked goods, I thought quickly.

Okay, I lied. But I was desperate and needed some breathing room. I told Scott that I needed some feminine ointments and suppositories. He began to lay back down on the couch as soon as the words "yeast infection" crossed my lips. I felt almost giddy as I walked into the garage by myself!

By the time I returned home, the house still smelled good, but the urge to gorge had passed. The brownies made it to Scott's student intact, and Robby Rotten went to bed early. I know that lying is not admirable, but sometimes it is needed out of self-preservation! I figure I would either feel guilty because I ate an entire tray of chocolate brownies, or I would feel bad for lying to my husband. Scott will get over it a lot quicker than it would have taken me to burn the calories had I eaten the brownies.

Monday, October 18, 2010


I had another great weekend. My muscle soreness from my tumble last Thursday has been easing and is now only an occasional reminder of the incident. Feeling better and energized, we decided that Sunday was the perfect occasion for another family adventure.

We packed up Robby and headed to the apple orchard. Unfortunately we failed to realize that apple picking season is nearing the end. The only apples remaining were on high branches and necessitated using a pole. Even with the extension grabber, many of the apples were out of reach.

Undeterred by the apples dangling out of reach, Robby had a blast. He loved trying to pull down the apples with the "super long pole" and was occasionally successful. We left the orchard with a half full bag of yummy ripe apples and, more importantly, huge grins on all of our faces.
After driving home and putting away the apples and hanging another load of laundry, I succumbed to the pleading and walked up the street with Robby. He took off sprinting when he saw his friend and her older brother playing outside. I was happy to see her Mom because I enjoy chatting with her and catching up on the neighborhood gossip.

The kids were playing well, and I was enjoying some adult conversation. It was a wonderful afternoon. Then I heard, "Look, Momom. This big black buggy spider just bit my leg." Let me assure you, those are words that will grab your attention. When the older boy exclaimed, "Wow, Robby! That is a Black Widow Spider. Cool!" everybody's conversation stopped.

Yes, Robby indeed was bitten by a Black Widow Spider. The spider has met a chilly demise as it is being stored in my neighbor's freezer in case we need it for a doctor. I am proud of myself because I remained composed during the "spider crisis."

After looking at Robby's bite mark, I decided that I should call poison control for directions on how to proceed. Since Robby was not panicked and did not seem to be in distress, I was fairly confident that he was going to be fine. Still, I thought it would be prudent to check into it.

I learned that Black Widow spiders are rarely deadly, at least not to humans. Since Robby didn't exhibit any vomiting, pain or seizures, he would probably be fine. I circled the bite mark on his leg so that I can gauge any changes. My heart began to beat normally.

With the situation in hand, I decided it was time to leave. I tried to figure out how to break the news to Scott as we walked home. I knew that he was going to freak out. I was right. He finally agreed that we didn't need to rush our little Spiderman to the hospital since Robby was busy riding his bike around the driveway and was singing "On Top of Spaghetti" at the top of his lungs. He was going to be fine.

As typical, we have been more affected by the bite than Robby. Our little guy seems unfazed by the event. Scott and I have spent hours researching Black Widow Spiders. I now know the life cycle, their preferred habitat and how the venom works. I think Robby will be dreaming of apple picking tonight. Scott and I, on the other hand, will be dreaming of spiders. I hate spiders!