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, April 13, 2012

My Bad Mood

Yesterday was not my best day. I woke up and instantly wanted to hide and become a recluse for the day. Unfortunately my obligations kept me interacting with people from sun up to sun down. I was fatigued by the time I went to bed simply because it was so hard keeping myself from screaming.

I'm not sure the cause of my bad mood. I suspect that a culmination of events and hormones created a perfect emotional storm. It was one of those days when it felt like the cosmos was conspiring against me.

Robby was in full whine mode. He has resorted to whining whenever he doesn't have his whim du jour satisfied. Hearing the horrible sing-songy laments sounds like nails across a chalkboard. I wanted to lock myself in the bathroom, put my hands over my ears and start singing just to block it out. I have discovered that my whining in response is quite effective to stop the behavior. Unfortunately, I find making the whiny sounds almost as annoying as hearing them.

My legs and back were killing me from my work-out and the cats were fighting. Somehow the Bengay on my back and legs kept getting transferred into my eyes, causing burning pain followed by watering. The dishwasher stopped cleaning our dishes forcing me to rewash everything by hand. The outdoor rotary clothes dryer again caught flight in the wind, landing upside down in the woods with all of my previously clean undergarments lodged into a mud pile. (Obviously I need to fashion a better system to tether it to my deck since this is the second time this has happened.)

I was annoyed with people not following through with their promises. I was frustrated by people being pushy and not thinking of others. I was angry about people not doing their jobs and disregarding deadlines and obligations. I was aggravated by having to take care of everything myself. I probably would have felt better had I allowed myself to break down and cry.

By the time Scott came home from work, I knew that I was not good company. I spent the evening stewing and pouting, trying not to socialize too much for fear of irrationally lashing out. Part of me wanted to spend time with my family but another part knew that I would be better off alone.
Being that it is Friday the 13th, I shudder to think of the turns my bad mood day could have taken had it happened today instead of yesterday. I slept well last night and I'm hoping for a better day. I don't like the person that I was yesterday.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Speaking UP

Contrary to the impression many hold about me, I am not comfortable standing up for myself. I have difficulty expressing a dissenting opinion, especially when it contradicts somebody whom I feel is an authority. I have been nervous about talking with my trainer, but I finally worked up my gumption and confronted some issues.

My frustrations came to the boiling point when, at my weekly weigh-in, I had only lost 8/10 of a pound. This dismal loss was, in my opinion, completely unacceptable considering the amount of work I have been investing. I knew the culprit which made the weigh-in failure even more infuriating.

My trainer had insisted that I consume between 1900 and 2400 calories a day. I trusted their expertise, even though all of my research proved their math incorrect. My goal is to lose one to two pounds a week, working towards the higher side of two. Eating their caloric recommendations I would only lose between 1/2 to 3/4 pound a week. I knew that I should be staying between 1400 to 1600 calories per day, but I was a "good girl" and followed their instructions.

After the weigh-in, my trainer tried to give me a pep talk, but I wasn't in the mood to be uplifted. I wasn't disappointed; I was downright angry. I knew that the calorie recommendation was too high, and I began to wonder if it was set that way on purpose. If my weight loss was less than one pound per week, I would lose 10 pounds by the time my commitment expired with the facility. Do they try to keep the weight loss slowed in order to keep dieters "on the hook" for their services? I don't know if it is a deliberate corporate decision, but I do know that, at that moment, my blind trust was broken.

Fuming and trying to maintain my composure, we proceeded to the gym to work-out. After hearing the instructions for my first exercise, I called a time-out and requested a meeting. In a surprisingly calm voice I explained that I do not have a left ankle, so calf-lift exercises were simply ludicrous. I do not have a problem balancing on my prosthetic, but I do have an issue with movements that require active ankle flexion because I don't have an ankle.

Making no headway with my discussion, I encouraged the trainer to stand on one foot, hold the medicine ball over her head and concentrate on how her body is balancing. In a cocky demeanor she quickly grabbed the ball and assumed the position. Within 10 seconds she dropped the ball, stood on both feet and apologized.

By the end of my session I felt better about the training I had received. The exercises made sense and, although difficult, were manageable and not dangerous with my prosthetic. My caloric intake was reevaluated and, low and behold, it was reduced to 1400-1600.

For the first time since I began, I left the gym feeling optimistic. I'm glad that I spoke up and insisted that I was heard. With such a positive outcome, I hope it doesn't take me this long to speak my mind in the future.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Hatching a Plan

Monday night we bundled up Robby and took him for his ice skating lesson. He has learned to love his lessons and, I have to brag, he is doing quite well steadying himself on two thin blades on top of ice. With the exception of the first class where we arrived late and woefully unprepared, Robby has always smiled throughout his class.

Until, of course, Monday night. He was happily practicing when Scott and I both saw a little girl come up to talk to him. As soon as she skated away I saw Robby's face and I knew that he was upset. Although he stayed on the ice, we both knew that he was struggling to hold back his emotions. As soon as he got off the ice he pleaded to go home and immediately dissolved in front of my eyes.

To our frustration Robby absolutely refused to tell us what the little girl said to upset him. He was insistent that he was not going to talk to us about it and, although we tried, we could elicit few details about the incident. I don't like him holding back information, especially when he is upset, but I decided not to push the issue. I just gave him a hug and reminded him that I will always love him and vowed not to mention it again.

Yesterday morning Robby asked if he could stop by and see Mr. Bill, explaining that he needed a "man to man" talk. I agreed and after school I drove directly into Bill's driveway. He had the cheese and crackers ready and invited Robby inside to talk things out.

Robby came out of Bill's house about 20 minutes later with cracker crumbs and cheese bits stuck to his chin and cheeks. He was also grinning from ear to ear. He gave me a huge hug and said, "Momom, you are beautiful. I don't care what that mean little girl says" before skipping through the yard to gather sticks to start a bonfire.

When Robby was out of earshot Mr. Bill filled me in on the details. Apparently the little girl told Robby that his Mommy had "an ugly leg and walks like a monster." According to this little girl, I also have a "fat butt" (she is correct although it is shrinking daily) and a "super duper ugly face" (a point I will take issue with).

Robby is used to stares, questions and second glances. He is accustomed to hearing hushed whispers and direct (and sometimes personal) questions about my leg. He is not used to hearing me be insulted, and my little guy didn't know how to handle the situation and didn't want to tell me for fear of hurting my feelings.

In addition to uncovering the information, the pair talked about how to handle the little girl in the future. I understand that Robby briefly toyed with the idea of pushing her on the ice but decided against it because he didn't want to her to break a bone. Instead he devised another plan. He confided in Mr. Bill that next Monday he plans on standing in front of this girl in the skate line and "toot" through the entire class, forcing the little girl to skate in the stench. Mr. Bill, of course, offered a suggestions. "Buddy, be sure to eat yourself a lot of beans."

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Summer Space

Spring break is officially over with Scott returning to work and Robby going back to school this morning. The house will be quiet for the first time in over a week. Both boys were sad last night as they set out their clothes for this morning, and I did my best to maintain my solemn composure and to refrain from breaking out into a jig of happiness!

I love having both of them home with me, but I have to admit that I'm delighted to be returning to my routine. I have so many work projects going on right now, I feel like I am in a delicate juggling act to keep all of my responsibilities fulfilled while honoring deadlines and producing quality work. I need time to think, to work, and to write my reports so that I can stay on schedule. None of these come easily when I am constantly interrupted by my 46 and my soon to be 6 year old.

I suppose it is difficult for both of them to fully grasp the concept of "working at home." After all, my flexible schedule allows me to keep up with the household responsibilities without much disruption to their lives. Perhaps my efforts to seamlessly incorporate my work into the family routine is backfiring. I suspect it is time for me to abandon my SuperMommy aspirations because, to be honest, I'm running on empty.

During the past week I've been waking up at 4 AM so that I could get some work completed before the boys woke up. After spending the day cleaning, cooking, working out, playing and being a referee, I'd find myself staying up late just to finish the professional projects I started 15 hours earlier. While I'm glad that Robby and Scott had a relaxing week away from their respective schools, this week has provided me a sneak peak at what my summer might become if I don't make some changes.

This coming weekend I am hoping to set up a dedicated office space although I haven't yet figured out where. I am going to carve out a work schedule for summer months and vacation times so that I don't have to get up before dawn to start working. Perhaps if Scott and Robby see me "going to work" -even if it is just going to a different room- they will realize that I need to be undisturbed. At least, that's the plan for now. If it doesn't work, I may just put locks on the door and wear noise canceling headphones.

Monday, April 09, 2012

Easter Fun and Fatigue

Yesterday was a blur of Easter excitement and fun. Robby is at the perfect age; he is old enough to have conversations yet youthful enough to fully believe the lore of the Easter Bunny. I wish that this innocence would last forever, but in reality I know that I only have another few years (if I'm lucky) before he begins to doubt the magic. I try to make the most of every holiday while he still believes!

Saturday morning Robby woke up and discovered a small velvet bag full of "magic beans." The attached card, written by the Easter Bunny herself, told him to plant the beans in the evening and await for Easter Magic to make them grow. He was chomping at the bit all day to go out and plant the beans, carefully marking each little hole with a stick. I think the Easter Bunny was a tinge overzealous giving him 30 beans- we ended up a virtual forest of little sticks in the front of our yard.

Sunday I woke up early (4:00 AM) because I was fretting about oversleeping and not getting all of the Easter magic ready in time. Scouring the yard in the dark wearing my pajamas, using my cell phone as a flashlight and armed with a basket full of lollipops and a shovel, I must have been quite a sight. Thankfully my neighbors were sound asleep so I didn't have to offer any explanations. It took me nearly 45 minutes to dig up all the beans and plant the lollipops in their place, scatter the eggs, and hide his two surprises.

With a few hours of free time before Robby and Scott woke up, I took the rare quiet time to get some work done. By the time Robby came scampering out to the living room I had finished one report and written two papers. Apparently I can be quite productive when I wake up at an obscene hour and have steady access to strong coffee!

Robby was thrilled by the lollipops that "grew" from the magic beans. He quickly scooped them out of the ground while Scott kicked over the sticks marking the beans that I missed in the dark. Finding the eggs, unfortunately, took a little longer. I had absolutely no idea where I placed them all. Robby enjoyed the hunt, Scott was a tad irritated that I didn't remember where I put them, and I was jittery from all of the coffee I had consumed. Finally we found all the eggs and, to his delight, the Easter Bunny apparently included "slug pets" on several of them. I now understand why they sell plastic eggs.

After an afternoon of cooking, playing, and hosting my family for dinner, I was exhausted. Of course, it isn't a holiday on our street until the police show up. The "Old Lady" that lives down the street called and reported me--again. (She has a history of making erroneous and outlandish accusations against everyone on the street.) Apparently this time I had threatened her (I make a point to not communicate with her) and told her that I was going to turn her into a mummy. She also claimed I was sneaking around our neighbors yard with a flashlight that changed colors (our neighbor just installed new color changing solar lights).

The Officers were very nice, and acknowledged that she has a history of off-the-wall reports and that they are only talking to me to appease her. Still, what an inconvenience and a waste of time and resources. I I'm glad she was asleep earlier in the morning when I was in the front yard digging up jelly beans in my jammies--that would have been difficult to explain!

I finally fell into bed about 10 minutes after I put Robby down for the night, a mere 17 hours after I woke up. My leg was killing me and the bone spur/bursa was angry. I'm glad that Scott is off work again today because I'm fairly certain I won't be able to wear my leg a lot. I hate that my stump hurts, but I figure I have earned a day.