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, April 23, 2011

Friday, April 22, 2011

Daddy surprised Robby with a trip to the Easter Bunny this morning! (Like every year, Scott is standing right next to him but they were able to crop him out... there is something imposing about a giant rabbit!)

Limping Down the Bunny Trail

Here comes Peggy Cottontail, limping down the Bunny Trail... Ready or not, Easter is on its way! I love Easter. Actually, I love any holiday that involves receiving copious amounts of chocolate. Whether delivered by a man with a long white beard, a little half-naked winged boy garnishing a weapon, or an overgrown rabbit who plays with eggs, as long as chocolate is involved, I will celebrate!

Unfortunately, I am woefully unprepared for the Easter Bunny this year. Yesterday, instead of making bunny baskets and butter lambs as anticipated, I spent the morning dealing with a broken water heater and a sore leg. After cleaning up gallons of hot water that leaked from the heater's electric panel, (including getting shocked no fewer than two times before I realized that I should cut the electricity) I was frustrated and wanted to cry. Thankfully I held onto my tears- until I was told the cost of a replacement.

To increase my frustrations, I was also having problems with my leg which was not fitting properly. I was continually taking it off to adjust the position. Nothing seemed to help. I was either pushing in the front or pinching in the back. I know that occasional prosthetic fit issues are commonplace for amputees, but knowing that is little solace when I am having a "bad prosthetic day."

I wish I knew what factors lead to having a "bad prosthetic day." Nothing in my routine changed. I wasn't swollen, the socket just wasn't fitting. The impact from walking only increased the burning sensation in the front of my stump or pinched me behind my knee. I was woefully aware of each step. My gait was compromised and I was walking with a pronounced limp for much of the day. The last thing on my mind was preparing for the Easter Bunny (although I do admit to raiding his basket of goodies.)

Last night Robby's fever finally broke. We went outside for a few minutes because he wanted to see the flowers that were blooming. He grabbed a dandelion fluff flower and closed his eyes to make a wish. With all his youthful sincerity he said, "I wish that Momom and Robby will be best buddies forever and ever." Talk about a mood lifter!

Hopefully my prosthetic will fit perfectly today because this Easter Bunny helper has a lot of work to do! Scott will have to go "hopping" to Toys R Us (and the candy store if he wants a happy wife) at some point in the next few days. Robby and I need to get busy baking bunny cars and hanging eggs outside.

*** Incidentally, I also learned that if you plant jelly beans, they grow into lollipops when the Easter Bunny hops past them. (Robby immediately grabbed his little shovel and begged to "start planting those beans" when I told him.) I'll post on Sunday and let you know what happens! ***

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Play-Off Hockey Widow

At the risk of offending NHL fans across the continent, I have to confess that I hate play-off hockey season. Actually, hate is probably too kind. I despise the season.

Scott is an avid Washington Capitals fan. He plans his evening activities around the hockey schedule during the regular season. I have become accustomed to inquiring about the schedule at the beginning of each week so that I can plan accordingly. During the play-offs, everything literally shuts down as he eats, drinks and breathes hockey.

Yesterday was gorgeous outside. I spent nearly five hours seeding, weeding and chopping. I finally came inside tired, hungry and a little grumpy. The blisters on my residual limb have healed but the area is still tender. I know that I'm stubborn and that I should take it easy. However, I am determined to have a nice yard this summer!

I sat down on the sofa next to Scott, slipped off my leg and mentioned that my stump hurt. I peeled off the liner and examined the tender skin that has formed over the blisters. I complained to Scott for several minutes about the rotation I feel within my socket when I'm doing yard work. I even mentioned perhaps investigating a rotation prosthetic if I am going to be doing increasing amounts of work outside.

Finally, after about five minutes of my talking I realized that Scott hasn't responded. I became silent and simply looked at him, waiting for a reaction or at least acknowledgment that he heard me. His gaze was glued on the television. I should have known better than to try to talk during a Capitals play-off game. Finally he looked at me and said "Yes, I like strawberry ice cream too."

I mentioned that my leg hurt, and he heard strawberry ice cream. I tried to find the connection, but I already knew the answer. I have become a hockey widow.

I am growing to resent that the mood of this household becomes dependent upon the drop of a stupid little puck on ice. When the Caps win, he is thrilled. When they lose, he turns into an inconsolable grump. I don't understand how an entire day can be ruined because a team--of which you are not a member--loses a game. Have I mentioned that I hate play-off hockey season?

**In case you are curious, the CAPS won last night, in double overtime. I normally would have been sound asleep at the time, but I was awake to hear the win. Unfortunately, I wasn't watching the game because I was busy dealing with our water heater, which apparently imploded. Robby was up all night coughing (again) and I'm feeling the lack of sleep. It's now only 7:30 but it has been a crummy day. **

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Sore, But Not As Sore As Scott!

Poor Robby woke up sick on Tuesday morning. He was coughing and had a fever. I debated about whether or not I should call the pediatrician, finally opting that the only thing I had to lose was a co-pay. I am so glad I decided to trust my gut and call!

My little guy has "crackles" in both lungs. He is on antibiotics and Tylenol to control the fever. Yesterday between the fever and coughing, he was miserable. Thankfully Daddy was home because all Robby wanted to do was "cuddle with Daddy and watch cartoons." I am good for everything else, but when Robby is sick, all he wants is his Daddy! (To be honest I'm a tad jealous that he doesn't want to snuggle with me when he is sick.)

Because Robby was sick and it was raining all day, I spent a lot of time cleaning the house. It is always so nice to sit back and look at a clean room! Unfortunately, I know that it won't stay this tidy for long--probably only until the antibiotics start working.

I hate that Robby is sick, but I was thankful for a calm day at home. The Zoo trip was fun but both Scott and I were happy for a respite. My bone spur/bursa was aggravated when I had to walk down the steep broken escalator at the Metro station on the way home. My body was pitched back at an odd angle, forcing my stump to rub against the socket with each step. With each step my limb felt like it was being burned. In case you are curious, there were over 200 steep, but shallow steps on that staircase. (Counting was the only way I could keep my focus away from the increasing socket pain I was experiencing.)

Although my bone spur/ bursa was irritated by the escalator malfunction, Scott is fairing far worse. Between his calf and thigh muscles, yesterday he was so sore he could hardly walk. He certainly didn't complain about lying in bed all day with Robby. My stump hurt, but I wasn't sore or fatigued. I guess all of my bike riding has paid off!

Robby had another fitful night sleeping. I'm hoping that the medicine begins to work and that he begins to feel better. After all, we have to get ready for the Easter Egg Roll at the White House on Monday! In the meantime, I suspect that Daddy will be more than happy to cuddle for another day.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Zoo Fun!

Yesterday morning I woke up in a fantastic mood. The sky was a brilliant shade of blue, the birds were chirping and Robby was happily munching on a breakfast cupcake courtesy of his Daddy. It was going to be a perfect day to tackle the looming yard work! I brought out my "to do" notebook and began to talk about my plans for the day.

Half way into going over my list, Scott asked me to leave the room because he and Robby needed to chat. Realizing that they were plotting, I left the boys alone. A few minutes later they emerged from the bedroom, both wearing huge grins. Robby quickly giggled that we were going to the zoo in the "big city."

So, my plans of working in the yard and around the house were squashed for an impromptu trip to the zoo in DC. I decided to put down my list and just go with the flow. Scott went to the store to secure picnic supplies while Robby and I researched the animals that we would be visiting. Both boys were so excited I couldn't be frustrated that my work plans were thwarted!

We dressed in our summer duds, lathered on sunscreen and headed to the zoo. On the metro we talked with Robby about the animals that he wanted to see. After all, the National Zoo has a huge variety of animals, ranging from Chinese Giant Pandas to elephants and snakes. With so many options, what did Robby want to see most? His destinations included the sting rays, fish and, of course the goats.

Halfway through the zoo we ended up renting a stroller for Robby. (Okay, he thinks we rented a "super big boy push cart" because we weren't in the mood for a meltdown.) The park is built on a series of hills and Scott and I were growing tired of carrying him. FYI, the sting rays are in the furthest corner of the grounds!

I suppose I'm so used to my leg showing that I fail to notice how much attention I get simply walking, especially in crowded venues. I would have missed the stares altogether but two women made their gawking entirely too obvious. They actually craned their necks and turned to watch me walk, meanwhile they walked directly into a series of cement trash cans.

After a wonderfully exhausting day looking at sting rays, goats and an elephant (which happened to be en route to said sting rays) we were eager to get onto the metro and head home. Unfortunately the train was packed, forcing us to stand for much of the ride. Thankfully we found seats- just in time for Robby to fall asleep!

Despite the metro ride experience, we had a wonderful day at the zoo. I am glad that my plans for working around the yard were sidelined for the afternoon. After all, we can always work today!

I also want to wish a Happy Birthday to my Mom. You are the best mother and Nana in the world. Thank you doesn't seem enough sometimes, but I appreciate everything you do for us. We love you!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Spring Break Plans

The time our family has been anticipating for months has finally arrived. Scott is home for Spring Break. This has been a difficult school year; the break is well deserved and long overdue!

Scott has been looking forward to sleeping in, lounging around the house and not showering for days. Robby has been counting on curling up with his Daddy to eat pancakes in bed while watching cartoons, playing with his Criss Cross Crash toy, and eating ice cream for lunch. I, on the other hand, have been planning a lengthy to-do list comprised of yard work and heavy indoor cleaning. (Guess who isn't very popular in her house right now?)

Ideally, I would like to bring in a few truck loads of stone to fortify our slope. I would also like to lay mulch in all of the flower beds because last year we only did the beds in the front of the house. I want to plant bushes in front of our house and update our flowerbeds.

Our yard needs to be re-seeded, trees need to be cut down and cleared and our driveway needs to be patched. Our garage is a mess and is desperate need of being de-cluttered, cleaned, and organized. The plow needs to be taken off the lawn mower so that it can be used for grass should we ever successfully grow a yard!

I have been slowed down by blisters on the side of my stump. I have too many events in the coming weeks to risk being sidelined further. If we are going to get our yard ready for summer, I am going to need some help!

Experience has taught me not to set my expectations too high. Although I would love to get everything on my list completed during the coming week, I will be happy if I can get three solid days of work out of my boys. In reality, I will probably have to settle for two days. Hopefully they will work fast!

** Robby brought cupcakes into bed this morning for breakfast because "Daddy is home so he can have cupcakes for breakfast." I spoke with the boys about the list of things to do. They spoke privately and then added another item to my list: Go to the zoo. Should be a fun day!**