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, September 21, 2012

Separation Anxiety

Each morning, nearly as soon as he wakes up, Robby begins complaining and fretting about school. By the time he is getting dressed, he is fighting back tears. During the drive to school I am berated with the looping chorus of, "I really don't want to go to school. I'm going to miss you. I want to stay home." He clings tightly to me and cries when we walk into the classroom.  Needless to say, I am at my wits end and I'm not sure how to proceed!

Going to school is, of course, not optional. He has to go regardless of the pleas to stay home and the tears streaming down his little cheeks. I just wish that he would handle the transition with more grace.

I would be more concerned about the classroom if each of my drop-in visits hadn't revealed my little boy happily playing with his classmates. His teacher reports that he is both popular and doing well with his work. Robby is full of stories and all smiles each afternoon when I pick him up, even remarking that school was fun and claiming to be excited about going back the next day. Of course, by the time we are getting ready for another school day, the tears and drama return.

Robby's issue is not with school but lies with his separating from me. I love that he enjoys spending time with me, but I am beginning to wonder if his attachment is becoming detrimental. I thought I was doing the best thing for him by keeping him home instead of enrolling him in daycare. Now I feel guilty, thinking that I damaged him.

I knew that the transition to full day school would be hard, but I never expected his adjustment to be this difficult. I keep telling myself that it will get better, and hoping that one morning he will simply forget to cry when I drop him off. In the meantime I will continue to downplay our goodbyes and focus on the positive things that he likes about school, like his two recesses, the engineer table, and snack time.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Leg Talk

Twice a day I am inundated with questions about my prosthetic. Each morning and again in the afternoon, Robby's classmates surround and pepper me with observations and questions. After the Pirate Party was derailed when the students were more interested in my foot than the cupcakes I brought, it became obvious that the time was ripe for a prosthetic show and tell.

Robby's teacher is wonderful and seemed relieved when I offered to come in and discuss my leg with the class. In retrospect, she has probably been trying to figure out a politically correct way to ask. I would have offered sooner, but I didn't want to impose.

This morning I'll be returning to classroom teaching! Robby is excited about having me come and spend time in his room. When I told him that I'll be talking with his friends about my leg, he informed me that it was "boring." He suggested I talk about something "really super cool, like how to catch a blue gill at the Animal Park." In his eyes, apparently a fish trumps a prosthetic.

I suspect that his friends will be more impressed with my prosthetic as Robby has been living with my various legs his entire life. For him, having multiple legs around the house is the norm!

I must admit that I'm looking forward to talking with his classmates. I even dug through the back of my closet and uncovered my first prosthetic. I'm going to leave it at school so that the kids can explore and play with it. I'm hoping that my talking as well as  leaving a leg behind will help quell some of the curiosity. While I like talking with his friends, I'd like to move the topic to something beyond my amputation.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A Sleepy Pirate

This was not an easy morning to get out moving. Between the steady cold rain we experienced yesterday and my deciding to "give running on the treadmill a whirl," my leg was been angry by the time I crawled into bed. Sleep last night was nearly impossible due to the relentless nerve stinging, which in turn caused my leg to kick uncontrollably.

After two hours it became clear that I was destined for a long night. Because of my Rockette performance, I moved to the living room so I wouldn't disturb Scott. While moving allowed my husband to sleep, it did nothing to help my cause. I spent most of the night not-so-silently cursing my amputation while watching infomercials touting work-out programs and mineral make-up.

Last night was the first time in months that I have lost sleep due to phantom nerve pain. The Kinesio tape has been working wonders to keep the angry little nerves in check. I suspect that the impact of my running the treadmill was simply too much for the pretty blue tape to handle. Ticked off nerves became another reason for me to avoid running.

At three in the morning, with my leg kicking wildly, it was difficult to remember that I am actually lucky. So many of my amputee friends wage war against phantom pain on a regular basis. I can't imagine living with that misery. Considering that I only experience a handful of sleepless nights a year, I shouldn't complain.

Of course, right now I am complaining. I'm tired and my body is sore. I have meetings scheduled throughout the afternoon, thwarting any dream of taking a nap. I'm going to be keeping my coffee pot within arms reach in order to get through the day.

On top of my meetings, I've promised Robby that I would host a party at school this afternoon. After all, today is "International Talk Like a Pirate Day." The class party seemed like a great idea last week. With an hours sleep, a sore leg and a busy schedule, I'm having second thoughts. Of course, I don't want to disappoint Robby and his friends so I'll be putting on a pirate hat and proudly presenting the little buccaneers with a tray full of cupcakes. On the good side, my limp will go along with my pirate persona!

Monday, September 17, 2012

A Sweaty Solution

An often unspoken issue for amputees who are working out is the sweaty limb. I'm not talking a little perspiration. I'm talking about copious amounts of liquid that pools at the bottom of the liner.
When I'm working out at a high intensity or if it is hot outside, I often have to stop my activity, sit down and remove my liner so that I can quite literally pour out the sweat. Not only is it inconvenient, it is absolutely disgusting! If I don't get rid of the liquid, my leg begins to piston within the liner, compromising my suspension and my ability to walk safely.

Spraying my limb with antiperspirant helped but did not completely resolve the issue. I have been complaining and looking for a solution since I became an amputee 9 years ago. I haven't found a remedy- until now!

When I was in Boston I discovered an antiperspirant spray manufactured by ALPS. Unlike what I have been using, this spray was designed to be used on the residual limb. Four times stronger than commercial antiperspirants, the manufacturer claims it to be powerful enough to tackle the sweatiest situation, including my leg!

Last week I started spraying down my limb before going to the gym. I was initially skeptical, but I was converted to a believer after my first workout. To my delight, my leg stayed dry within my liner while the rest of my body was dripping with sweat!

I was thrilled to discover the product, but frustrated to learn that it has been on the market for some time. I've been working at conferences for almost five years. During all of this time, why didn't I know about this spray? Again, I am left wondering what other solutions I don't know.