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, December 09, 2011

Vroom Vroom

I am happy to report that I survived my go-cart experience unscathed. Not only did I not meet a fiery demise, but I also stepped out of my little car without any broken bones! Considering the scenarios that I was conjuring during my drive to the track, I was delighted.

Go-carting is not as easy as one might believe. It's not simply a matter of sitting in a car and driving fast. For starters, I had to figure out how to get into the car.

The car was small and extremely low to the ground. My fellow racers seemed to have no problem hopping behind the wheel. I, however, was anything but graceful as I clumsily maneuvered around the assorted bar, pedals and fuel tank to assume my seat. Surveying the car from the driver's seat, I immediately realized that I was going to have a disadvantage.

The brake and gas pedals were on opposite sides of the car. I typically drive with only my right foot. In this fast little car, I was going to have to use my prosthetic to brake. Experimenting before the race, I discovered that I couldn't push my prosthetic against the brake if my leg was positioned "correctly" on the pedal. Apparently the designers assumed that the drivers would have active ankle control. I was going to have to improvise.

I managed to position my foot against the bar adjacent to the brake pedal. If I pushed hard, the brake engaged. Now all I had to do was just make sure that my leg didn't slip off the narrow bar when I was driving! I opted to maintain mild pressure through my socket so that I wouldn't lose contact with my brake bar. It turns out that by doing this, I was keeping the brake engaged throughout the race. Perhaps this was the reason I kept getting lapped.

I had a good time go-carting, but I don't think I'll be chomping at the bit to do it again. I don't like feeling out of control and unsafe. My competitive nature did come out though and I was thrilled that I didn't finish last. I finished next to last, only 5 laps behind the leader. Imagine how fast I might have gone had I not had the brake engaged the entire race!

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Go-Cart Racing

Today I am doing something that I have never imagined I would be doing. To be honest I've never had a great desire to engage in this activity, and the prospect has me nervous. I'm going to race go-carts.

I can assure you that racing go-carts was not my brainchild. I was invited to attend a Christmas party which is being held at an indoor track, and apparently my agreeing to race was implied when I sent the RSVP.

Scott is admittedly jealous that I'm going to be behind the wheel as he loves all things race related. If it has wheels and goes fast, he'll watch it on TV. A few years ago I surprised him with a racing experience. He was able to get behind the wheel of a little Indy car and zoom around the track for a few hours. He says that it was one of the most exhilarating days of his life, speeding around corners and passing other participants.

During a break, Scott's instructor took my Mom and me around in a souped-up Volvo. He whizzed us around the track, taking corners at what felt like break neck speed. My Mom walked out of the car smiling. I slumped out crying, dizzy, and nauseous. While I like adventures, I am most definitely not a thrill seeker!

Since I've never been to a go-cart track, I decided to alleviate my anxiety by doing some research. I figured if I knew more about what to expect, I would feel better. After all, I don't like feeling unprepared. I started by searching YouTube for go-cart videos. Most of the videos end with a multi-cart pile up and a lot of smoke. I decided to abandon my research and adopt the "hope and a prayer" approach.

I really don't want to wreck my go-cart, but I also don't want to putz around the track at an embarrassingly slow and cautious pace. I am hoping to achieve a fun, yet safe, middle ground. Although I want to be cool- if push comes to shove, I will hit the brake before the wall! Wish me luck when the flag drops...

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

The Waiting Game

Well, it's now Wednesday, and I have no more answers than I did on Friday. I have spent the last two days playing the most aggravating form of phone tag---where I am the only one making the calls! Not only is it next to impossible to speak with an actual person, it is even more of a monumental feat to receive a return call.

I have spent the past two days staying close to home, dutifully carrying the phone so that I wouldn't miss a call. I have taken my phone with me everywhere, including the garage and the bathroom so I would not miss my two important calls: t he first from my physician and the second from my attorney. My heart jumps every time the phone rings and then sinks when I look on the caller ID. In spite of leaving several messages, neither "professional" has called me back.

Finally, after no fewer than seven attempts, I was able to speak with an actual human at my doctor's office. My test is scheduled for Friday morning. Fantastic (sarcasm intended)-- I get to wait through another weekend for answers! I am still waiting to hear back from my attorney. At this point I expect he will return my call sometime between now and when hell freezes over.

The past week has been difficult. I've tried to concentrate on all things festive and jolly. Inside I've been wanting to take refuge and hide from the world. I was hoping that I would have more information by now. I do have a date for the test, which I suppose is progress towards getting resolution. In the meantime, I guess I will continue to decorate, play with Robby, and bake cookies.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Coats and Comforters

I hate it when I can't find things in my house! This past weekend Robby's winter coat was AWOL. I asked him where it was to which he simply replied, "Well, I had it before, but now I don't know where it is." Needless to say he was not terribly helpful.

I cleaned out the car, the laundry room, and scoured every closet searching for the garment. Through my search I located 5 gloves, two scarves, Scott's missing summer sandals, a half a dozen screw drivers, and unfortunately one old and soiled baby diaper. Despite hours of focused and mildly obsessive searching, I never found the coat.

Trying to put the missing coat behind me, I changed my focus to concentrate on Christmas decorating. I decided to start in our bedroom by putting on our Christmas flannel sheets and matching Snowman comforter. It didn't take me long to located the sheets-- they were on the top of the pile that fell on my head when I opened the linen closet door. My angst began to rise when I couldn't find the comforter.

I proceeded to spend the next hour revisiting all of the same closets that were searched earlier for the coat. Frustrated and bordering on fuming, I sat on the sofa downstairs to develop a new search plan. Where could I have put the comforter? Surely I was the one who had put it away because I remember washing it. I tipped my head back to rub my temple out of frustration.

Voila! I spotted my Christmas comforter. Only now it didn't look nearly as clean.
Apparently it had been stuffed up one of the many holes in our ceiling to keep the cat from exploring the rafters.

I also managed to solve the case of the missing coat. It turns out that a donation box was placed in the main hallway of Robby's school. All of the students were invited to bring in coats and hats that they don't want anymore so that another child can stay warm. Robby deposited his coat in the box on his way back from recess on Friday. The fact that his coat still fit seemed to be inconsequential to him.

As my luck would have it, the coat donation box is picked up every Friday afternoon. Robby's winter coat will now be keeping another child snug and warm. I guess I'm going shopping for a new coat--and comforter!

Monday, December 05, 2011

Trying to be Jolly

This past weekend I threw myself full-force into Christmas preparation. Robby and I worked on various crafts, resulting in us both being covered from head to toe in colored glitter. We watched holiday movies and roasted homemade marshmallows over the fire. I even took him for a visit Santa! His excitement for Christmas has been worked into a flurry.

Despite my efforts, I find myself feigning holiday enthusiasm this year. Typically I love Christmas time. A few years ago I even invested in a countdown clock. Every September I bring it out we eagerly watch it count backwards from 99 until the big day! (Incidentally, this year I must have miscounted because my clock says that I only have 18 days until Christmas.) This year just feels different.

I suppose that my impending leg surgery and my fears about the growth on my ovary have thwarted any Christmas spirit that was developing. I am just not feeling festive! I keep trying to ignite my jolly disposition, but it isn't working.

I don't feel depressed. Rather, I think I am simply overwhelmed. I don't like uncertainty, and there seems to be only unknown variables right now. When will my leg operation be scheduled? How will we take care of Robby while I'm recovering? What is growing on my ovary? Will I require surgery for the growth as well? Am I going to be facing cancer again? How am I going to take care of everything when I'm recovering? I don't like not knowing these answers!

Many of these answers should be revealed this week. I know that I can deal with just about anything and that I have a strong support system. I would simply like to know what I am up against! Maybe when I have some answers I will start feeling more festive. Until then, I will continue to bake cookies while wearing my Elf apron, decorate the house with anything glittery and don my Rudolph antler headband whenever I go out. All of these things make Robby happy and seeing him excited makes me feel better.