About Me

My photo
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, March 02, 2012

My Wonderful Day

A few days ago it was pouring down rain and I was miserable. My roof was leaking (again) and the phantom pain in my leg was overwhelming. I begrudgingly accepted the fact that I was relegated to the couch watching Tom and Jerry reruns with Robby all afternoon. According to Robby, and I hate to admit that he might have been correct, I had a bad case of the grumpies.

Yesterday morning I woke up feeling happy, refreshed, and pain free. My leg felt fantastic and my gait returned to normal. The sun was shining, the sky was blue, and the thermometer was pushing 70 degrees. What a difference 24 hours, and the change in the weather, can make on my mood and pain level!

Robby and I took full advantage of the unseasonably springlike weather and stayed outside all afternoon soaking up every moment. We played a rousing game of laser tag (he won) and had boat races in the stream (he cheated). After "falling" into the stream on two separate occasions, I insisted that he change into dry clothes.

Putting on dry pants and swapping his soggy cowboy boots for his green froggy boots (in retrospect we should have done the boot swap before we went to the stream, not after) he grabbed a cookie and headed back outside. Robby hopped in his new battery powered yellow convertible car and took off. I climbed onto my bike, took a deep breath, and pedaled after him. I was petrified about falling, but I knew I wouldn't be able to keep up with him on foot.

Before I knew it we were traversing the neighborhood. Robby was having a blast driving up and down the quiet streets, waving to the neighbors and their dogs. To my surprise, I began to relax. I was having fun and talking with Robby and was no longer constantly worried about falling. The nearly paralyzing fear of riding my bike outside lifted. I felt like any other person riding a bike; it was a liberating moment.

Robby and I finished our adventure as Scott came home from work. Apparently my little driver was tuckered out because he actually asked to go to bed early. I'm hoping that he slept well because we have a big day today. I am going into his class to make green eggs and ham with his classmates in honor of Dr. Seuss's birthday. After school, if it doesn't rain, I predict another bike ride in my future. After all, I'm no longer scared!

Thursday, March 01, 2012


Living with a limb loss would be a lot easier if I didn't have to contend with aggressive devotees. I find myself constantly looking over my shoulder when I am out alone, worried that I am being followed or stalked by somebody attracted to what is perceived as my weakness: my amputation. Over the years I've had several experiences of being trailed through stores, verbally compromised, and photographed without my permission. I have to say, not much surprises me anymore when dealing with this seedy population!

A few nights ago while I was trying to get Robby wound down and ready for bed, our home phone rang. Instinctively I looked at the caller ID and, not recognizing the number, proceeded to answer the phone. That was my first mistake of the evening.

The caller, a deep voiced man, asked to speak with Peggy. He claimed to working on a project surveying amputees across the country. Immediately my suspicions were aroused. Where did he receive my name, and how did he know if I were an amputee?

When I asked these questions, the man began to stammer. He finally said that he was a telemarketer who was just given the list, and that it probably came from the white pages. I knew he was lying. I am not that naive!

My second mistake of the evening was not hanging up the phone immediately. At first the inquiries were basic and did not seem extraordinary. I began to relax, thinking that I was being a worrywart.

My comfort did not last long. The caller began to pepper me with a series of highly inappropriate questions. After asking me to take my leg off (I did not comply) he asked me to describe what my "tender sexy stump" felt like. I heard him say, "I sure would love to smell and lick that beautiful bony stump" as I hung up. The one downside of cordless phones- slamming down the receiver loses its impact!

The confrontation shook me, and I was uneasy for the rest of the night. This man, this perverted and pathetic person, knew that I was an amputee and he knew my phone number. Thoughts of him coming to the house kept me awake. I finally drifted off to sleep after I found my crutch and put it next to the bed- just in case I needed a weapon. In the morning I stopped by the police station, providing them with a detailed account of the call and the number that was displayed on the caller ID.

Living with a limb loss has left me with a vulnerability that I detest. Statistically, I have a higher chance of being assaulted because I am an easier target. I know that I can't run away as quickly if I am confronted. This experience has forced me to reflect on increasing my own levels of defense. I'm going to make some phone calls this morning and sign up for a self-defense class. I hope that I never need the skills, but I will rest better knowing that I am competent protecting myself. I can't live "hoping" that nothing bad happens anymore.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Scientific Exploration

Robby has had his scientific exploration fuse lit. He received several science activity kits for Christmas, and since then, it has been all science all the time. He pulls out his microscope several times a day to examine just about everything, from a blade of grass to a squished stink bug. I love watching his curiosity!

I have no doubt that his school curriculum was the impetus for this burgeoning curiosity. His classwork has a strong science foundation where the students are encouraged to ask questions and formulate and then test their theories. Some of the activities that he has done in Kindergarten amaze me!

Last week Robby came home from school chomping at the bit to do his homework. Armed with a kit, he was asked to build a robot. I immediately determined that this assignment was a "Daddy Job," and we anxiously waited for him to come home from work. As soon as Scott walked up the stairs, Robby handed him the kit, a screwdriver and insisted that they "get to work building that robot." Scott barely had a chance to take off his coat before he was immersed in a pile of screws, nuts and assorted plastic pieces.

Working together and following the picture directions, the boys built their robot in about 90 minutes. It would have taken less time had Charlie not slid across the table, sending a pile of small screws scattering across the dining room floor. Cat mishap aside, they seemed to enjoy the assignment, and I heard both boys squeal when they turned on the robot and it actually worked!

With the success of the robot under his belt, Robby has begun to delve deeper into all things science. Yesterday I found him standing in his learning tower while toiling in the kitchen sink. He looked serious and explained that he was "working as a science man on an important experiment discovery." When I asked him what he was inventing, he told me that he was trying to figure out how to turn water into a frog.

In case you are curious, mixing water, hamburger grease, soap, food color, sugar, flour and salt only creates a mess, not a frog. Robby wasn't discouraged when he didn't invent a frog; he merely shrugged and said, "Well, now I know that doesn't work."

Between his microscope and building the robot, Robby's scientific curiosity has been in overdrive. Last night over dinner he proudly announced that he is going to be a scientist when he grows up. When we asked him what his first experiment will be, he didn't hesitate before offering his idea. "Momom, when I grow up and become a scientist, I'm going to build you a new foot. I'm going to build you a prosthetic so that you can wiggle your toes like me." I think that the future for amputees looks bright if Robby is on the case!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Boogity Boogity Boogity

Last night Scott was practically giddy with excitement. He could barely eat his dinner, and sitting still was nearly impossible. The palpable energy could only mean one thing: Nascar season is starting.

Due to a rain delay on Sunday, the Daytona 500 (Nascar's inaugural race) was rescheduled for Monday night. I know this not only because it was playing loudly through the surround sound all night, but also because I received countless texts from my race fan husband throughout the day counting down to the big event. Yes, a Monday night Daytona 500 was apparently one of the most exciting things ever (insert my sarcasm here)!

Finally, after spending miles walking between the living room to the kitchen to check the clock, it was time for the checkered flag to drop. Robby came running out in his Spongebob footie pajamas and hopped on his Daddy's lap when he heard that the race was getting ready to commence. On cue, both boys screamed those iconic words that race widows like myself have learned to dread: "Boogity boogity boogity let's go racing!"

As soon as the race began, there was a massive wreck. I am not sure who was more animated, my five year old or my forty five year old. Both boys screamed at the TV as the pile up ensued. In disgust, Scott threw the remote onto the couch. Robby hopped off his Daddy's lap and ran to his bedroom, returning with Black Bear. Throwing his bear on top of the remote, Robby emphatically repeated "Momom, that god damn woman driver (referring to Danica Patrick) already put cars into the f*#ing wall. Right Daddy?" Another proud father/ son bonding moment!

With the Nascar season resuming, I have returned to my position of racing widow. Scott, and now Robby, will be glued to the television every Sunday (and occasionally Saturday night) watching cars make left hand turns for several hours. While I don't understand the sport, I have learned to accept that Scott loves it. Perhaps this year I'll look into race tickets for a possible Father's Day gift. After all, I think both boys would love seeing the race in person, and Momom would enjoy a quiet Sunday afternoon at home!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Rock Climbing!

I am always up for a new adventure. That being said, I don't consider myself to be exceptionally adventurous. I have never been a thrill seeking adrenaline junkie. I like my feet firmly on the ground, the absence of vertigo, and the security of knowing that my accidental death is not looming. Feeling out of control or unsure makes me feel scared, not exhilarated.

Despite my aversion to risky activities, I sometimes find myself in a situation where my participation is expected. In December my hand was forced, and I found myself sitting behind the wheel of a go-cart. I didn't relish my time racing, but I survived unscathed and was proud that I managed to complete the race without crashing--and without crying!

Last week I was invited to go rock climbing. I immediately knew that I had no desire even to try to climb a fabricated rock wall and desperately tried to finagle a way out. My amputation, which has been a godsend in getting me out of a variety of unfavorable activities, was not going to be a valid excuse because my instructor was also an amputee. In a last ditch effort to get out of the climb, I tried to explain that I was retaining water and had cramps. My ramblings were quickly dismissed, and before I knew it, I found myself sporting a harness and facing an imposingly tall rock wall. To my chagrin, and against my better judgment, I approached and prepared myself for what I foresaw as a painful--and probably disfiguring--fall.

I was trembling as I took the first few tentative steps up the rock wall. I learned that my body strength resembles that of a kangaroo. I have strong legs but virtually no arm strength. My arms quickly turned to jelly and were relegated to assisting only with balance. I really need to work on developing some upper body strength. I was forced to rely upon my foot and prosthetic in order to conquer the wall.

In spite of my spaghetti arms, I reached my goal of touching the rock wall ledge. As an added bonus and to the delight of my instructor, I didn't vomit, faint, or fall. I came home exhausted but managed to write down "go rock climbing" on my Bucket List simply because I wanted to cross it off!

Scott, as always, filmed the entire experience. I wasn't graceful or pretty, but I made it!