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, November 05, 2010

Okay, I'm Venting

I have several amputee friends who are preparing to undergo revision surgeries on their residual limbs in the coming weeks. Since I became an amputee seven years ago, I have had four revision procedures. Unfortunately, the need for surgical repairs is a nasty reality for many of us.

Perhaps I was naive, but I never anticipated the constant monitoring and occasional surgical intervention required because of my amputation. Every night I inspect my limb, checking for blisters, cuts and sores. I am vigilant about keeping my stump as healthy as possible to avoid a potentially serious infection.

Yesterday I spent much of my time on the couch with my leg off. I wish that my relaxation was from choice but, truth be told, it was from necessity. I hurt my leg and was beginning to have some skin breakdown. I knew that, although inconvenient, keeping my leg off as much as possible would avert the need to keep it off for an even longer period of time if the skin condition worsened.

I hate that my friends have to undergo more surgeries. I agree with them when they lament that it just isn't fair! I realize the saying that "life isn't fair" has merit, but sometimes it is little consolation especially when dealing with pain and discomfort.

There is a misconception that once a prosthesis is received and fit, the ramifications of the limb loss evaporate. I wish that simply using a prosthetic would eliminate all of the issues, but that is not the reality. The truth is, that while being an amputee is not the worse thing in the world and I fully acknowledge that others are in a more dire situation than I, being an amputee is not easy!

Thursday, November 04, 2010


Today it is supposed to be cold and rainy all day. An excuse to stay indoors could not have come at a better time. I plan on playing the "Billy the Exterminator" marathon that I have saved on the DVR, kicking off my leg and relaxing for a few hours. After the week I've had I certainly deserve a break, and my leg is in desperate need of a rest.

With the weather turning colder, Scott and I have been relying more heavily upon our fireplace for heat. Because we live in the woods and have a plethora of fallen trees, firewood is readily available. Unfortunately nature only provides the wood in the form of long, heavy trees. Cutting it up into chunks and splitting the logs for burning is a laborious undertaking which somehow has become my responsibility.

Every afternoon this week Robby and I have been in the middle of our woods, splitting logs. Actually, I was the one doing the splitting. Robby was collecting all of the worms that were crawling out from under the bark and placing them in "Wormie Town." He, of course, was the mayor.

It has become glaringly clear that we are ill-equipped to live in a rustic setting. We don't own an axe. I do have a handy log splitting tool that I bought from QVC several years ago. It eventually splits the wood, but it requires a lot of energy and time.

Because of the exertion from playing lumberjack, my stump has seen better days. The constant twisting in my socket has caused both pinch cuts and welts. My bone spur/ bursa, which had been settling down, is again rearing its ugly, painful head!

I was prepared for my upper body to be sore, but I was unprepared for the leg pain that ensued. Sometimes it just stinks being an amputee! I not only feel the soreness in my upper body, which I expected because I am relatively weak, but also I feel pain in my residual limb.

Today I am taking a vacation. I need to rest my leg before the situation becomes worse. Thankfully we have enough firewood cut that I know I'll be warm and toasty watching TV with Robby all day.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Leg Thief

I love staying home and taking care of Robby. I have never regretted my decision to leave teaching to stay home with him during these formative years. That being said, it is not always easy. To be honest, the past few days I've been envious that Scott gets to leave every morning for work while I'm held captive at home trying to tame Robby Rotten.

Yesterday Robby was beyond hyper. He was into everything, leaving a trail of chaos and havoc as he moved onto a new destruction area when he became bored. I would blame the onset of Robby Rotten on his Halloween candy, but he hasn't eaten any. He doesn't like chocolate (I know, that in and of itself is a tad strange) and he hasn't eaten any of the other treats he received.

I think that his bad behavior is simply because he is testing me. For some reason he thinks that he is going to become the decision maker. He is mistaken, but he refuses to go down without a fight.

Robby's little universe came crumbling down around him yesterday when he hid all of my legs in the trunk of his race car bed. He was caught in the act when, after securing all of my other prosthetics, he frantically began pulling at my leg trying to take it off. When I asked him what he was doing, he told me that "I am hiding your legs so you can't stop me from eating chips."

Standing in my robe, reprimanding and lecturing Robby about why stealing Momom's legs is mean and wrong felt surreal. It would have been a funny conversation to overhear, but it wasn't very comical at the moment. I also knew that it was going to be a long day.

Robby lost use of his train table, two trucks, the chance to watch Billy the Exterminator and the privilege of sleeping with his cat, Charlie because of his behavior. He was tucked into bed early and, to my surprise, fell asleep quickly. I am hopeful that a good night's sleep will help to adjust his behavior. He's taken all my energy, leaving my will power low as I'm staring at his heaping bag of Halloween candy. I did not pick a good time to go on a diet!

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

My List

I have a new secret indulgence. I realize that this television program is geared towards the teen population, but I can't help it. I love watching "The Buried Life" on MTV.

If you are not familiar with the show, the premise is simple. Four young adults graduated from college and couldn't find a job. They made a list of the top 100 things that they wanted to do before they die. Each episode they try to cross something off of their "to do" list while helping somebody in the community accomplish something on his/her list.

Watching this show has forced me to think about my own life and what I want to accomplish. In the past I have focused on professional goals and aspirations. Lacking a road map to achieve my professional dreams and feeling stalled often results in my feeling worthless and frustrated.

I have decided to re-frame my thought process. Excluding professional dreams, what do I want to accomplish with my life? This is my list of the top 10, in no particular order.

1. I want to learn how to dance. I have no rhythm and lack any semblance of grace, so this is a lofty goal. I would love to be able to step onto the dance floor and capture an audience by impressing them, not because I knocked them over into the punch bowl.

2. I would love to take professional cooking lessons. I don't want to go to culinary school because I'm not interested in being critiqued and pressured, but the idea of working with a professional, teaching me techniques and tricks, is intriguing.

3. I want to learn how to water ski. Unfortunately I'm not sure how realistic that goal may be, but I'm going to hold onto it.

4. Going on a bike ride with either Lance Armstrong or George Hincapie would be a dream come true. Earlier this year I would have included Floyd Landis in this list. Unfortunately he admitted to cheating and I have lost respect for the man.

5. I want to be in a play. Specifically I would like to be in a production at a Children's Theater. I think it would be such a unique experience to be performing in front of Robby and his peers. I think that I would make a great witch in Hansel and Gretel!

6. I would love to be part of a make-over show. It really doesn't matter who hosts the show as long as the make-over includes hair, make-up and wardrobe. The idea of being transformed under the guidance of a professional is enticing. I have no real sense of style so I am a blank canvas ready to be taught.

7. I want to hike the Appalachian Trail. I grew up along this iconic route and have dreamed of hiking its trails since I was young. I hate camping and try to avoid peeing in the woods (reference the lack of natural grace and make the appropriate inferences) but I would love to do something out of my comfort zone.

8. Being a "schloog" at the Tour de France would be my dream vacation. If you are unfamiliar with the term, a schloog is the name for the intoxicated fans on the side of the road during mountain stages. They often wear outrageous costumes and run alongside the riders as they cycle past. I already have my costume picked out!

9. I want to be on a parade float in the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade. It just sounds like a lot of fun and a great experience.

10. I want to make a impact on the lives of others beyond my immediate family. I have been trying to figure out how to help others through my experiences. Like everybody else, I suppose I just want to know, should anything happen to me, that I mattered. I want to leave some sort of legacy, something that Robby can be proud of someday.

This list was difficult for me to compile. I have been having a hard time allowing myself the luxury of "dreaming" lately. Daily stresses and obligations seem to trump seemingly frivolous thoughts. If I were to add another item to my list, it would be

11. To allow myself the luxury to dream freely and to pursue my passions whenever possible.

What's your list?

Monday, November 01, 2010


First of all, I must give props to my husband. He is a wonderful sport when it comes to wearing costumes. Not only does he wear the outfits without complaint, he also fully assumes the role of the character he is portraying. He was the only man wearing a costume when we went trick-or-treating last night and seemed to enjoy speaking in Pirate and swinging his sword at oncoming traffic.

This year the boys decided to dress as pirates. This was not a surprise considering Robby's recent fascination with everything piratical. I was excited about the idea. After all, I have the perfect pirate leg and was already figuring a way I could make it look like a wooden peg.

Unfortunately Robby did not want me to dress as a pirate. I was asked to dress like a kitty cat. I was disappointed until he explained, "Kitty cats are pretty, and so is Momom." I couldn't argue with that logic and wore my black tail with pride!

I finally agreed to dress him in his costume after dinner, despite his pleas all day. I set the kitchen time for 6:00 and I told him when he heard the timer ring, it was time to leave for trick-or-treat. When he heard the timer he grabbed his bag and headed for the door. He screamed back, "Bye guys. I'm going trick-or-treating." I had to run after him to get his shoes on him!

In addition to scoring a year's supply of candy, Robby managed to collect nearly $20 for UNICEF. Robby proudly carried his little orange box and requested donations from our neighbors, explaining, "Little children can't afford food or candy and need money." I am very proud of my little Pirate!

To my surprise, we stayed out the full two hours. Robby needed to be carried home by the time we were done traversing our neighborhood. He barely moved as we changed him into his pajamas, although he did manage one last "arrrr" as I kissed him goodnight.