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, March 16, 2012

The Old Lady

Mr. Bill, who lives across the street, has adopted Robby. The two friends have spent countless hours toiling in the dirt, building and fixing things, and talking. Their bond is strong, and I think that they fill a void in each other.

Unfortunately, an elderly woman who has obviously lost touch with reality lives next to Mr. Bill. In many ways she is the polar opposite of Mr. Bill. I've tried to be nice only to have her call Child Protective services to report me for having a dirty little boy. Yes, he is often dirty when he plays outside; he's a boy and he loves digging in the dirt!

Ever since that encounter I have remained cordial whenever we cross paths simply because I can't bring myself to be rude to a woman in her 90's. The reality remains that "the old lady" should not be living in that house by herself. Her children, for whatever reason, have limited contact with her and as far as I can see do not provide for her care. Pleas with various social service and aging agencies have gone unanswered. It goes against every instinct not to bring her meals, drive her to the doctor, and help with her yard work. However, all of those good deeds have been returned in kind by her calling the authorities on whoever extended the kindness.

Last summer Mr. Bill mowed her yard. She lodged at least 22 complaints against him, each one necessitating a visit by the police. There were days when the police were at his house two or three times. I teased him by saying that they simply wanted the lemonade and Oreos that he offers each guest.

"The Old Lady" seems to go on sprees when choosing which neighbor she is going to vilify. Predicting which driveway the police cruiser will turn down has become a bit of a game for the residents of our street. For awhile she professed her pity for the "sweet young girl without a leg." I was rarely in target of her accusations simply because I had a prosthetic. I was okay with that and never went out of my way to prove my abilities or to change her perceptions. Unfortunately, lately the cruiser has been turning down our driveway.

The complaints range from the deranged to the idiotic. I have been accused of playing my "blasted rock and roll" too loud. Both Robby and I have been accused of urinating in her yard. When Bill was in New York visiting his daughter, I was accused of poisoning him and hiding his body in my shed. I guess it didn't matter that I don't have a shed.

Yesterday afternoon the police cruiser, a fixture in our quiet neighborhood, pulled into mydriveway again. I no longer wait to hear their explanation for the visit. I simply opened the door and said, "What did she say I did this time?" He chuckled, and then proceeded to fill me in on the complaint.

Apparently my son was spotted driving, and she knows that he does not have a driver's license. I invited the officer inside to meet Robby. Robby, upon hearing the charge, proceeded to tell his new police friend all about his super cool new car. He even took him into the garage to show it to him and proudly demonstrated how well he drives.

Obviously the police officers realize that this lady is not in the right frame of mind. They contend that their hands are tied because she does not call 911 but rather she calls the direct line to the station. They are obliged to follow up on each complaint. I was encouraged to swear out a "no trespassing" warrant against her. Other neighbors have taken this approach and the harassing police accusations have ceased.

Going to the courthouse and swearing out a no trespassing warrant against my 90 year old neighbor goes against every instinct. Since adult protective services, the police, the home owners association, social services and her own children won't intervene, I am left with no choice. I am tired of Robby going to school and telling his teachers all about the police who keep visiting him at home! I wish we had a better option because the situation is sad for everybody involved.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Robby's Procedure

Robby had his surgery yesterday and I have to brag for a moment--I really do have a brave little boy. He walked into the hospital to meet the doctors, went through with the examination without complaint, and allowed a throat culture with only a little cough. I was much more nervous than he, of course I knew what was coming and he was blissfully unaware.

To my delight the surgeon felt that the abscess was "ripe," indicating that it would be easy to drain. Because he was well-behaved and still, the surgeon was able to do the procedure without anesthesia. Robby gagged once and let out a little yelp when the abscess was punctured. A little numbing spray, a Popsicle and two stickers later we were allowed to go home.

By the time he was strapped into his booster seat, Robby was yapping about wanting an ice cream cone from McDonald's. "Remember Momom, the doctor that stuck that knife down my throat said that ice cream will help me feel better. You want me to feel better, right?" I couldn't argue with his logic! We both got an ice cream cone to celebrate his first successful surgical procedure. I wasn't the least bit surprised when Scott was a little late coming home because he had to go to Best Buy to pick up a coveted DS game for the brave little patient.

By evening the numbing gel was wearing off, and Robby was starting to hurt. A dose of ibuprofen and a milkshake served out of a SpongeBob cup made him feel a lot better. Of course, cuddling with Daddy and watching a Scooby Doo marathon held great medicinal value. It took him awhile to become comfortable and for the pain to wane, but Robby finally drifted off to sleep. We didn't want to risk waking him, so I was relegated to the race car bed again while Robby slept in my bed with his Daddy.

So far this week has certainly not turned out as I expected. The sun has been shining, the skies have been a crisp blue, and the temperatures have been unseasonably warm. Instead of being outside playing, we've been housebound by Robby's throat issues. I'm hoping that he wakes up feeling better so that we can venture outside. So far, the only way I know that it is spring is by my allergies!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

He Needs Surgery... :(

Yesterday the weather was forecast to be utterly gorgeous, and I was excited about spending the day working in the yard and playing with Robby. I was looking forward to a day of warm temperatures and sunshine. Unfortunately, my little guy's immune system had a different idea.

Although Robby is still on antibiotics from his most recent bout with strep, he woke up sweaty, with a fever, and complaining of a sore throat. I took one look at his tonsils and knew that he was sick--again. I didn't know it was possible to come down with an infection recurrence while being treated for the initial ailment.

Confused, I called Robby's pediatrician to explain the situation. She listened to the details and indicated that Robby might have a throat abscess. An appointment was scheduled with a specialist later in the morning to confirm the diagnosis.

It turns out that the pediatrician's hunch was correct; Robby has a throat abscess. In essence, he has a strep and puss filled blister growing on his tonsil. His recurrent infection will not go away without removing the infectious balloon. My heart sank when he was scheduled for surgery.

We have tried to be upfront with Robby about the procedure, but have been cautious about not scaring him with too many details. He knows that he has a small balloon growing on his tonsil that is full of bad germs. The doctors are going to go and pop the balloon, so the germs come out and the army (his medicine) can kill them. This morning I'll figure out a way to let him know that he will be asleep during the procedure.

Today I'll pack him up and drive him to the surgical center. I am glad that I'll be with him when he is dozing off for the surgery. You can bet I will do my best to be the first face he sees when he wakes up!

I realize that in the realm of childhood medical issues, this is minuscule. Despite knowing that it is a minor surgery, it's hard when it will be my little boy on the gurney. I have no doubt that he'll recovery quickly and be back to his old mischievous self in no time. Until then, I'll be smothering him with a lot of extra cuddle time, milkshakes and ice cream-- all doctor's orders.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Not My Proudest Mommy Moment...

Robby loves going to the birthday parties which is good because he seems to be invited to a lot of them! This past weekend Robby hopped into the car and we drove to Jumping Jimmy's, which apparently is the place du jour for Kindergartners to have their celebrations. He was looking forward to hopping with his friends and, of course, enjoying a slice of cake. After all, he is definitely his mom's son!

We arrived at the inflatable Mecca only to realize that the party count was going to be low. I suspect that the time (6:30 to 8:45 pm) influenced a lot of parents' decision not to attend. Regardless of not having a lot of playmates to choose from, Robby quickly began running around and hopping. I took a seat and began to read a book.

After about 20 minutes Robby came running up to me with a school chum in tow. "Momom, Jake won't play with me anymore. He told me to just go away." I hugged my sweaty little guy and asked his friend, "Jake, you don't want to play with Robby anymore? I thought you two were friends." Jake replied, "No, I don't want him to play with me. I don't want to be friends with him."

I was surprised at the brazen response of this little boy. In an attempt to soothe Robby's sore feelings, I tried to find the right words to comfort him. "It's okay Robby. You don't want to play with him anyways. Remember, he eats his boogies."

As soon as those words came out of my mouth, I heard an audible huff coming from the woman in the chair next to me. She picked up her purse, magazine and soda, and proceeded to move to the other side of the lounge, but not before saying, "Why, I never."

D'oh! At least I know who Jake's mom is now!

Robby seemed satisfied with the explanation and quickly joined another group of friends. I spent the remainder of the party avoiding the scowls from the boogie eater's mom. I also scolded myself for not holding my tongue. I really need to do a better job, especially in public and around Roby. I was delighted when it was finally time to enter the party room, signaling the near end of the party.

After singing Happy Birthday, devouring his cake, collecting his goodie bag, and kissing the birthday girl's mom goodbye, Robby was ready to leave. He was a sweaty, tired, sticky mess. I was fairly sure that he was going to fall asleep on the way home.

I entered a line of SUV's leaving the parking lot. As we were creeping forward, the red sedan behind us began angrily honking its horn. I couldn't see the driver and had no idea why they were honking. Robby decided to take matters into his own hands. "It's okay Momom. I've got this." Before I knew it, he rolled down his window and screamed, "Don't beep at us bit#@!" Yikes- that was certainly not my best Mommy moment.

I talked with Robby about his language, explaining that he should not repeat everything he hears. Apparently Scott and I both need to do a better job of watching our language around Robby! I begrudgingly admit that we have become lax about cursing and need to do a better job of using more child friendly expressions.

Monday morning was hectic and, because of the time change, we were running late for school. I whipped into the parking lot about 10 minutes after 9, fully aware that Robby was missing part of circle time. I tried to hurry him into the school when we walked passed Jake's mom leaving the building. Her ice cold expression let me know that she was still upset by the "boogie eater" remark.

I saw her walk to her car through the classroom window. I went flush when I realized that she drives a red sedan. I guess that is one birthday party Robby won't be invited to...

Monday, March 12, 2012

14 Years...

Most of the time I consider myself to be a well-adjusted amputee. I have taken an unfortunate situation and strive to use what I've learned to make the adjustment to limb loss easier for others. Although I don't sit around wallowing, I do admit to having the occasional bad day. Yesterday was one of those days.

Yesterday marked the 14th anniversary of the accident which ultimately resulted in the amputation of my left foot and ankle. I woke up in a grumpy mood. My irritability quickly changed into sadness. I was sad thinking about my younger self during that exciting time in my life when I had so much optimism- so much potential in my chosen career. The course of my life changed the moment that computer monitor began to fall.

I realize that saying, "It isn't fair" is stating the obvious and provides no true benefit. However, every once in awhile, thankfully only a few times a year, I find myself wanting to scream, "Why me" at the top of my lungs. I was doing all the "right" things 14 years ago. I was in a helping profession providing rehabilitation to newly blinded adults. I was self-sufficient and making it on my own. I was taking karate classes, not doing drugs. In short, I was an eager, happy, optimistic young woman who wasn't causing waves. I did not deserve to have my foot crushed!

Fourteen years ago my life was pushed onto a different track. I was in my mid-20's and single with few responsibilities. I should have been having the time of my life. Instead, I was faced with relentless pain and a seemingly endless revolving door to the operating room. I was robbed of that carefree time because of the accident.

Yesterday, while I was reflecting upon the last 14 years, I found myself becoming increasingly angry. I wasn't angry at God or at the Universe; I have come to accept that sometimes things happen, and we don't know why and may never understand the reasons. Instead, I focused my ire and became furious with the careless individual who dropped the monitor!

That half-witted, idiotic fool tooled around a crowded exhibition hall with a monitor on a cart without using the tie down strap. It was precariously teetering on the edge as it was pushed around the hall. I know this because I can still see it vividly when I close my eyes- even 14 years later. The cart became stuck and, rather than take the time to secure the load, brute force was applied. The monitor began to slip and instead of attempting to steady the heavy machine, this careless schmuck chose to reach for his falling briefcase, letting the monitor continue in free-fall. The wide edge of the monitor landed squarely on the top of my foot.

I live with the ramifications of this careless mistake every single day. I doubt that the salesperson even remembers the incident and, if he does, I doubt that he knows the consequences of the mistakes that were perpetrated. I certainly never received an apology or even a get well card from the dim-witted cart pusher!

I tried to put the events of 14 years ago out of my mind, but I'd be lying if I said that it was easy. Sometimes anniversaries come and knock the wind out of my sails. I spent the afternoon stewing and feeling a lot of anger. Today I'm ready to put the past behind me and move forward. I never expected to live my life as an amputee. I miss my foot every day, but I am also happier, personally and professionally, than I ever dreamed. I still have the occasional bad day, but that's okay. Deep down, I like my life and I know that it would be drastically different if my foot hadn't been injured.