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.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Friday, October 29, 2010

Open Letter

To My Fellow Passengers on the VRE Train to Manassas:

Yesterday I, along with everybody else on the train, was fatigued from a long day's work. We were all tired and looking forward to returning to our respective homes. As I boarded the train, I quickly realized that there were no available seats.

I understand that chivalrous acts, such as standing up and offering your seat to a woman, are no longer performed. Children no longer rise to offer their seats to an elder, hats aren't removed inside and we no longer hold doors for our each other. Perhaps I am old-fashioned, but I feel that the demise of these simple acts is a travesty.

Yesterday evening, I stood among you in the aisle, precariously trying to maintain my balance while holding my bag and a large box. This feat would be difficult for any passenger, but was made more difficult by the fact that I am disabled. Yes, you rude men and women stared at my leg and gawked as I tried to balance on my prosthetic while holding boxes on a moving train. You sat with your children and did nothing. Shame on you!

To the man whose headrest I used to maintain my balance: Sir, you are a cad. How dare you complain about my bumping you all while watching me struggle with my balance. Have you no empathy and no compassion? It is no wonder that your girlfriend was sending racy text messages to another man while you rubbed her knee. You are the epitome of all that is wrong with our society. And, Sir, you were quite odoriferous.

Out of a full train car packed with businessmen, I discovered that there was only one true gentleman among us. A man in soldier's fatigues approached from the back of the train. He apologized for his fellow passengers and offered me his seat.

Thank you for your act of chivalry. Our fellow passengers could learn from your simple act of kindness. Instead of trying to avoid looking at me, as if by pretending that they didn't see my struggles absolved them of responsibility, you stepped up. This world would be a better place if more people practiced the antiquated art of manners. Thank you for being a genuine gentleman.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Off To The City

I am a bundle of nerves as I write this blog. This seems to be a frequent state for me lately, but today I think I am justified. At the request of Ossur I am going into "the city" to receive media training.

Traveling using public transportation is not my forte. In order to reach my media coach, I need to take the commuter train which I have only done once before. Somehow, I doubt that my experience riding the "North Pole Express" is going to help me!

I don't know what to expect, which increases my apprehension. As of now, I'm not sure what "media training" entails or why it is necessary. I do know that I have been asked to participate on a media tour in November taking me to New York City to meet with various members from the press. It's exciting, and scary at the same time!

Yesterday I did my best to stay busy and to ignore the nervous energy that was building. Robby and I played around the house and went outside when it wasn't raining. I saw our neighbor, Mr. Bill, and I told him about the plans for today and my reservations about taking the train.

Robby took off sprinting back to the house when I told him it was time to go inside. He stopped in the flower bed, and picked me a bouquet of chrysanthemum flowers. Proudly presenting them to me, he told me that he loved me and that I was pretty like a whale so I shouldn't be scared. Knowing that my little boy believes in me is empowering. I discretely pinched off the roots that were dangling from the stems of my recently planted flowers, gave him a hug and went inside.

Hopefully my questions will be answered during today's meeting. I am confident that once I know more about their expectations, I will feel more comfortable and less anxious. Of course, I have to navigate the train and find my way to the meeting first!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Passing Up a Discount

Tomorrow I am scheduled to be in DC for a day of meetings. Despite only living 30 minutes from the city, we tend to avoid traveling to the area. Between the traffic, confusing signage and one way roads, driving through the Capital can be treacherous.

Luckily we live close enough to both the train station and metro line. I find the color coded metro map nearly as overwhelming as driving myself, so we set out to investigate the train schedule. We discovered that the train will take me within 3 blocks of my destination, so I decided it was my best option.

While inspecting the train schedule I discovered that I am entitled to a reduced fare because of my disability. The discount has caused a bit of a conflict in my house because Scott feels that I should take the disabled fare whereas I want to pay the normal fee.

I do love a bargain, but I just don't feel comfortable accepting a reduced fare simply because I am an amputee. I am taking up the same amount of room as the bi-legged passengers and I am capable of paying for the fare. I see no reason why I should pay less for the same train ride, and accepting the discount would make me uncomfortable.

Although I am insisting on paying the full fare for the train ride, I am not against accepting other perks afforded to me because of my disability status. I will park in handicapped parking and I will utilize the "fast pass" at amusement parks to bypass the lines for rides. One of my favorite benefits of being an amputee is the pre-board status I am when I fly Southwest Airlines .

Every amputee handles accepting discounts and perks differently. Personally, I will accept perks of convenience, but I don't usually accept monetary discounts. Of course, I have been known to play up my limp in an attempt to get a better price from my tree trimmers, but I suppose that is an issue for another blog.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


When I was going through chemotherapy, and again when I had my amputation, Scott and I both were shocked by the number of "friends" who stopped talking to us. I don't believe that they meant to be cruel. In many ways I suppose it is human nature to avoid uncomfortable situations. Not knowing what to do to help or perhaps out of fear of saying something wrong, it was easier to simply avoid us.

When I regained my health and my mobility, many of these people reentered our lives. I would be lying if I didn't admit that my opinion of these individuals hasn't been skewed by their actions. Once you have been abandoned in a time of need, it is difficult to forget what happened. I try to build walls to protect myself from the same pain should something else happen.

As much as I try to protect myself, I am frequently disappointed by my "friends" and family members. My walls never seem to be fortified enough to protect myself from thoughtless and insensitive acts. During the past few weeks I have found myself investing more time than I would like evaluating relationships, and I have come to some conclusions.

I am tired of being hurt. I am weary of one-way friendships where I do all the work and receive little in return. I feel as if I am a little puppy dog being led around and manipulated. I am better than that, and I deserve better friends.

This blog is my declaration that I am no longer going to actively participate in "one-way" relationships. I am realizing that I have a lot to offer. I am releasing the insecurities which kept me bound to dysfunctional relationships. My contact list on my phone may be smaller, but I know that I can call any of those numbers and reach a friend.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Party Fun!

This past Saturday our house was buzzing with excitement. As promised, Scott and I hosted what we dubbed "Robby's Super Big Trick-or-Treat Costume Party." We had almost 30 people attend and everybody had a great time. It was a lot of work preparing for it, but well worth it!

Robby had a weekend of "firsts." Not only did he help host his first party, but he also hosted his first sleepover. His cousin, Tiffany, spent the night on Saturday. She is two years older and Robby idolizes her.

I was a little wary about allowing a sleepover on the night of the party. I spent days cooking and cleaning in preparation for the gathering, so by the time our last guests left, I just wanted to climb into bed. However, the commitment was made and I couldn't disappoint my niece or my little boy.

I was worried that having Tiffany spend the night would mean increased work for me. Little did I know that it would have the opposite affect. The twosome played together all evening. When I tried to peek in on them I was quickly told that "this is a private club and you are not a member." I was able to kick off my leg and relax on the couch. With the exception of seeing them walk in and out of the kitchen a few times I didn't see them much.

At 8:30 I issued the "lights out" command and sent the pair to bed. At 9:00 I heard them giggling. I reminded them that it was time to sleep. At 9:30 I requested that they stop singing Jingle Bells because they were supposed to be asleep. When I found the pair jumping on the bed 10:00 I instructed them to get to sleep, again. At 10:30 I found Robby in the kitchen. I promptly confiscated the bag of candy corn which was considerably lighter than it was a few hours earlier. Finally, the chatty little cousins fell asleep around 11:00.

Sunday morning I made special Halloween pancakes for Robby and Tiffany. To my dismay neither of them was hungry and they picked at their cute ghost shaped pancakes. I was disappointed because I thought that the novel breakfast would be a hit, and it was obviously a dud.

When I was cleaning up the sofa bed in Robby's room in the afternoon, I made an interesting discovery. I found 6 cupcakes which were stripped of their frosting under a throw pillow. Approximately 12 empty M&M treat bags were littering the floor. The clincher was finding the previously unopened bag of Hershey Kisses which was now filled with empty wrappers.

The two kids, in a few hours, managed to pack away a years worth of sugar. I thought that they weren't sleeping out of excitement but I am now convinced that they were on a sucrose induced high. It's no wonder that my cute Halloween pancakes were not appreciated in the morning. In retrospect, the prospect of eating again was probably torturous for the little glutenous cousins!