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 11, 2011

Walking Day!!!

Eight years ago today my life changed forever. I entered my prosthetist's office on crutches, feeling both scared and insecure. After enduring five long years of pain, more surgeries than I care to count, and an amputation, I took my first steps on my prosthetic. Today is my Walking Day.

Walking Day is a concept that developed out of my need to celebrate my accomplishments rather than bemoan my losses. While I'll never forget March 11 (the date of my injury) or July 3 (my ampu-versary), I choose to celebrate the day I took my first steps. After all, it is the date that I began to rebuild my life. In my eyes, it is worthy of celebration!

I am so thankful that my husband (at the time my boyfriend) recorded my Walking Day appointment. It is a video that I have grown to cherish over the years. I have certainly come a long way since I took those first angst and fear-filled steps.

Robby has never known me without a prosthetic. I hope that someday he will watch the video and appreciate my journey and the work that it has taken for me to become the mom he knows. I want him to be proud of me when he grows up.

I will never forget the fear, depression, and hopeless despair that I felt when I first became an amputee. It is terribly isolating to wake up and feel like a stranger to yourself. Remembering those feelings makes me a stronger and better person.

Getting my prosthetic and walking were literally and figuratively my first steps into my new life. I have re-learned to love myself and to accept my limb loss. I have become more active and more outgoing since I became an amputee. I have learned to embrace what makes me different.

Today is a day for happy reflection. I have come so far in eight years. I have learned not only to walk, but to skip, to jump and to run. This is definitely a cake-worthy holiday! Happy Walking Day to me!

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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Get a Melissa & Doug 25% Off Coupon When You Take the North "Poll"

Wow- I can't believe that we only have 44 days until Santa makes his magical appearance. Christmas is so much more fun since I became a Mom! The elves have already been busy at our house, putting up decorations and leaving small surprises while I am picking Robby up from school. No matter how much we try, we just can't seem to catch one in action!

Robby loves Melissa & Doug toys. If your little one likes the toys as well, you don't want to miss this offer. Melissa & Doug want you to tell them which of their educational toys you think is the best! Just click on the image below to place your vote in the North "Poll!" You'll Get a Melissa & Doug 25% Off Coupon** to use at MelissaAndDoug.com just for voting!

Show and Share

Yesterday morning Robby could hardly wait to go to school. He loves Wednesdays because it is "Show and Share" day. Each week the students are asked to bring in an item related to an assigned topic. This week his class is exploring careers, so each classmate was instructed to bring an item that represents what they want to be when they grow up.

Whenever Scott and I ask Robby what he wants to be when he grows up, he coyly responds, "It's a secret." We tried to pin him down on his item Tuesday night. He finally looked at us and said, "Don't worry. I have everything under control." Not having any answers and tired of asking, I finally gave up. I figured that if he didn't have something for Show and Share, he would be disappointed perhaps learning a very real lesson.

It turns out that Robby knew exactly what he was taking to school. After getting dressed in the morning, he went into my bedroom and emerged carrying my old leg. "Momom, is it okay if I borrow this for today?" He attempted to stuff my prosthetic into his little CARS backpack, but it didn't fit. I had to smile looking at him wearing his little backpack with my plastic foot shell protruding from the side!

All of the cubbies in his classroom were overflowing with plastic fireman hats, baseball bats, stuffed dogs and toy chalkboards. My child's cubby had a leg jutting out. After kissing me goodbye he whispered, "Did you guess my secret Momom? I am going to be like Mr. Elliot (my prosthetist) when I get big. I will make you all the legs that you want."

Robby's presentation earned raves from his classmates and teachers. I learned that he sat in front of his peers, holding my leg, and explained that he was going to build prosthetics to help people walk and run. He described the "really cool robot hand" that he saw in Las Vegas and how he is going to build those arms someday. I was told that he talked for nearly 10 minutes about his ambitions!

I love Robby's unique perspective on the world. He didn't choose to be a fireman or a veterinarian. He wants to be a prosthetist when he grows up. I can't think of anything that would make me prouder!

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Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Stopping Time

Yesterday morning I vowed to put the thoughts of my impending surgery out of my mind. After all, there will be plenty of time to deal with that reality. I decided that I don't want to spend too much time fretting or becoming angry about something that is inevitable. Perhaps it is a form of denial--wanting to ignore thinking about something because it makes me sad. If it is denial, I've decided that I'm okay with that!

After dropping off Robby at school, I returned home excited to begin decorating for Christmas. I realize that it is a little early to be putting out the decorations. I need to somehow lift my spirits and colorful lights and glittery ornaments always seem to do the trick. (Besides, I figure I can put out as many decorations as I want this year. Chances are I'll be recovering from surgery in January when it is time for them to be put away and somebody else will have to do it!)

I quickly became sidetracked. I ended up spending the morning buried waist high in piles of clothes and toys that Robby has outgrown. It was not the best day for me to sort through his things. I always end up crying when I realize how quickly he is growing, and yesterday was no exception.

My little boy isn't so little anymore, and it makes me sad. I am so proud of the person he is becoming. He is growing into a compassionate, smart and curious individual, but I just wish he wouldn't grow so quickly!

Despite my emotions, I stayed on task and I had four bags and six boxes packed full of outgrown clothes and toys by the end of the morning. I was also a puddle of tears. Envisioning the happiness that another child will feel while playing with the toys and wearing the clothes made it a little easier.

I dried my tears, put the boxes and bags in the corner, and went to pick up Robby. I found him crying, sitting on the little green carpet in his classroom. He came running to me, literally jumping into my arms. When I asked him why he was crying, he explained, "I missed you Momom. I wanted you to come and pick me up because you make me smile."

In that moment I realized that I am okay that he has outgrown his toddler clothes and toys. I've decided to keep him this size, and this age, forever. Now if I could just figure out a way to stop time...
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Tuesday, November 08, 2011

This Stinks!

I used to wake up every morning and instinctively curse both my amputation and my reliance on a prosthetic. As time went on and I learned to adjust, my lamenting slowly went away. Most days I don't even think about my amputation because it has become such an engrained part of my life.

That being said, there are times when I simply hate being an amputee. Yesterday morning I woke up happy and refreshed after my successful trip to San Antonio. I went to bed with a tear stained face, frustrated with the obstacles that arise for many amputees. Sometimes, being an amputee who is reliant upon a prosthetic simply stinks!

I have been having trouble with the skin flap over my residual limb for almost a year. To my chagrin, I was prepared to have surgery this past summer to correct the issue. I was delighted when a new socket and liner seemed to fix the issue, at least buying me more time before the inevitable revision surgery.

Yesterday I learned that not only do I need to have the revision surgery on my limb, but also I have to have 1/2 to 1 inch of bone amputated as well. Re-amputation. I felt like I was being kicked in the chest when I heard the news.

I wanted to scream and cry simultaneously. Why me? I've already lost my foot and ankle. Why now do I have to undergo another extremely painful surgery? I'm a good person. It simply isn't fair. What makes it worse is that I'm angry but I'm not sure who to direct these feelings towards. I can't be mad at any person in particular, just the situation in general. It would be easier if I could blame somebody!

During the next few weeks I'll learn the specifics about the procedure. Right now, I simply don't want to think about it. I wish that being an amputee was easier or that life was somehow fair. I know that I will eventually come to terms with the situation and that I will be okay. But for this moment, I really hate being an amputee!


Monday, November 07, 2011

San Antonio

I am home from a successful trip to San Antonio. The weather was delightful and, to my surprise, I actually had the opportunity to leave the confines of my hotel to enjoy the local attractions. Contrary to the results of most of my business trips, I came home feeling both relaxed and refreshed!

I was able to spend Thursday evening walking along RiverWalk and enjoying a scrumptious dinner with some colleagues. I retreated back to my hotel room early where I cuddled in bed to enjoy free reign with the remote control. Strange how being able to watch the television programs of my choosing has become a treat!

Friday morning I attended the ribbon cutting ceremony for Bulow BioTech Prosthetic's newest office. Getting ready for the event, I noticed that my pants were a tad tight. I figure that either the fabric shrunk in the dryer or my bum grew from the Halloween candy. Personally, I'm blaming the dryer!

Five minutes before I was expected to leave, I decided to stretch the pants out a little. Even as I was doing it I knew that it wasn't a good idea. I really should learn to listen to my instincts! Almost on cue I heard a heart stopping ripping sound. I had managed to rip a 6 inch slash in seat of the only pants I packed. I began to panic.

I frantically searched my suitcase, hoping that I had packed something else. Of course it was this trip that I decided to pack only what I needed! My only options consisted of a pair of shorts or my Hello Kitty flannel pajama bottoms. I ironed the shorts, although I probably would have been more comfortable in the flannel pajamas.

After the ribbon cutting, the rest of Friday was spent playing tourist. I visited the Alamo and meandered through local shops. It isn't often that I get to shop without the company of my chatty five year old. I shouldn't admit this, but I thoroughly enjoyed every moment.

Donning the same shorts, Saturday morning was spent greeting participants at the Diabetes Walk for a Cure. I am always terrified speaking to crowds and Saturday was no exception. Feigning confidence and channeling thoughts of my best friend whose son has just been diagnosed with diabetes got me through without passing out or throwing up. I don't think I'll ever get over my nerves regardless of how many times I speak in front of people.

I then joined the thousands of walkers who were participating in the 5K. I have to admit that I was impressed with my ability to keep up with the pace of my fellow walkers. I had visions of me crossing the finish line long after the celebration had ended and the tents had been packed up!

There was a time, not so long ago, where walking in a 5K felt like an insurmountable feat. I was delighted and felt proud of myself when I finished. Instead of feeling exhaustion, I felt like I had just gone for a walk in the park with some friends.

Perhaps my favorite part of the trip occurred on Saturday evening. Upon seeing me across the terminal, Robby broke into a full sprint to reach me. He jumped into my arms, nearly knocking me over, and proceeded to cover me with kisses. He gave me a bouquet of flowers and happily skipped out of the airport holding my hand. Although it is nice to get away and exercise my professional skills, it is always wonderful to come home!

*Oh, in case you have been curious about Friday's daycare schedule. Scott sent me a text at about 11:00 on Friday, informing me that he had submitted his leave form for the afternoon. He reached Robby's school before the dreaded nap time, rescuing him from having to sleep on the floor (which would have been a cot). The boys spent the afternoon at Chick-Fil-A and the park.

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