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 28, 2012

Hate Filled Email

I was planning on writing about the much anticipated Grey's Anatomy premiere, but that topic will have to wait. Yesterday I opened my email and received a message that infuriated me. I would like to use this forum to respond to the email sent to me on behalf of  the members of a hateful "church" located in Westboro.

Before I retort, this was the text of the email (poor grammar and typos included):


God hates you. This is apparent because he took your leg as His vegence. God only takes the limbs of sinners; so that they may serve, as an example for the devout.

You are an abonimation from God who will deserves to suffer without a limb in the fiery pits of hell. You will reap the wrap of God, until, He finally strikes you down for your evil. Amputees are a example by God for the Sins committed by the nonbelievers.

God will continue to strike down the heratics; until they are exterminated. Repent and follow His ways. God hates you but, as a mother, you are bound to try to save your son. If you do not change your evil ways he will suffer from God, as all nonbelievers will. God did not find you worth to walk his earth. That is why he punishes you by taking your leg.

Preaching the true word of God,


I became so angry after reading this message that I began to shake. In the hopes of sorting out my thoughts, I went for  a walk.  I ended up walking six miles, returning home exhausted but just as perplexed as when I started. I've come to the conclusion that I will simply never understand such vile hatred!

My mind tells me to ignore the email because any response will simply fan the flame. However, letting dogs lie has never been my strong suit. On behalf of all amputees, especially those who are just beginning the journey and may not have the strength yet to confront such venomous speech, I feel compelled to respond.

I don't know any individual who has survived a life altering experience who has not asked, "Why me?"  Although I try not to  dwell on questions that I know will never be answered, in times of grief and pain I admit I let my mind roam. During the days immediately following my amputation when the pain was relentless and I felt the most hopeless, I wondered if I were somehow being punished. 

When the pain lessened and I became adjusted to my new body, I came to realize that everybody has something that is wrong with them. Many suffer with invisible disabilities or keep their stresses and struggles close to their chest. The only difference between me and everybody else is that my disability is more visible, but I have been given the opportunity to help thousands of people.

I have worked tirelessly to turn my disability, something considered negative, into a vehicle that will leave a positive impact in the world.  Between this blog and my various contracted positions, I have more daily interactions with amputees than anybody else in this country, perhaps even the world. I have no doubt that my sharing my story and reaching out to others has made a real difference. I know that members of this "church" cannot say the same!

Spewing hate in my direction will not deter my efforts. I have been fortunate enough to get to know hundreds of individuals within the limb loss community. We all have different struggles and a unique journey, but we also possess similarities. First and foremost, we are strong survivors who will not be bullied or intimidated!

I am a cancer survivor, an amputee, and a mother. You really don't want to mess with me. I am stronger, more determined, and braver than you imagine.  Hateful and illogical slurs cannot stop me from living a life filled with more joys and love than most. I have one foot, but I am blessed.

I have a physical disability. But Ed, you and your church members possess a handicap more severe. You have a disability of the spirit and soul. I am more able, even with one leg, than those with laser vision hate.

Apparently all these "church" members see is the missing limb. If they could look beyond their blinders they would see that I am happy. Yes, it is possible to live a happy and fulfilling life without a leg! It's really sad that individuals can't see beyond the scars.

I was going to write my thoughts and respond to Ed. After some reflection, it became clear that trying to employ logic with an organization that is simply illogical will quickly become an exercise in futility.  The agenda disseminated by this congregation does not deserve a response from me.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Walking Game

I have been trying to get my work done during the day while the boys are at school so that I can offer them my full attention when they are home. With a few exceptions, I have been successful. When Robby comes home from school we work on homework, make dinner and for the past few nights have been going on a walk through the neighborhood. Well, Robby and I walk. Scooter rides his scooter.

Originally started as a way to burn some extra calories while tuckering Robby out, our walks have evolved into much more. Robby has turned our evening strolls into an odd role-playing game which, although I've now played it for hours, I have to admit I don't understand the concept, the rules, or the goal. He seems to have a blast though which is all that is important.

I thought that we were reenacting a video game, but now I'm not quite sure what we are playing. I do know that it involves my carrying a stick (magic wand) and donning various types of invisible armor every few steps. Apparently the armor carries unique powers which are activated at Robby's directive.

One time I tried to lead the game, warning Prince Robby about a low flying dragon and a Yoshi egg bomb.  He stopped walking, looked at me and said, "Momom, there is no dragon over there. Right now we are in a flower house and soon we are going to look for a treasure chest. We aren't even on Yoshi Island" Um... okay. From that point I have assumed my role as passive follower.

Every evening walk throughout the neighborhood playing this game. Robby happily shouts instructions and directives. I follow the instructions, indulging my little boy while providing comic relief the neighbors.  After all, I'm sure seeing a woman with a prosthetic angrily waving a stick in the air (fighting the dragon) while flapping her arms (pretending to fly) after spinning in a circle (creating a tornado), all without missing a beat singing Frosty the Snowman must be a wildly entertaining sight! Who said I wasn't good at multitasking!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Phonic Fun

Although he still laments going to school each morning, there is little doubt that Robby is thriving. Each afternoon when I pick him up he is smiling and busy working with a classmate. I have been told to "sit tight and hang out" on more than one occasion as he finishes an activity or a conversation with a friend.

I love picking him up not only because I miss him during the day but also because I enjoy hearing him recount everything he learned. Unlike last year, he is a chatterbox during the drive home.  I am amazed at the amount of information he absorbs in a few hours!

Ever since his teacher introduced phonics, Robby has taken word dissection to a whole new level. While I love how much he is learning, having him try to spell every single word that is spoken is becoming a tad- well- dare I admit annoying?  Every conversation takes three times as long as he tries to identify the letters in every word.  Sometimes I wish he would just answer a question without having to go through what Scott and I now dub the "phonics dance."

Last night I asked Robby to put the oven mitt on the table. He responded by saying, "Okay Momom. But first, let's spell table. T..t...t... table. The first letter of table is T. The next letter is Tae...tae... tae... the second letter of table is an a. Ta..ble... ta..ble... ta..ble...  I hear a b and an l. Table is spelled tabl. Is that right?" 

After explaining about the silent e, and agreeing that he can be a "pesky little bugger" Robby finally put the oven mitt on the table. Typically I wouldn't have minded the time for the impromptu lesson because I know that he is learning. However, I was holding a 425 degree crock of macaroni and cheese at the time and really just wanted to put it on the oven mitt on the t..a..ble!  I guess I should be glad I didn't tell him to put it on the credenza. We could still be waiting.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


Although it has only occurred a handful of times in my life during times of stress or fatigue, I have been known to sleepwalk. Normally I wander through the house always searching for my shoes until somebody finds me and tells me to go back to bed. I understand that I am compliant with the directive. and when I wake up the next morning I am confused with a vague recollection of my nighttime jaunt.

My sleepwalking incidents are so infrequent that my last one was more than 10 years ago. I had all but forgotten about my nighttime excursions until Sunday night when I had the misfortune of experiencing my first sleepwalking adventure since becoming an amputee. 

Needless to say, but it bears repeating, I am not an amputee when I dream. When I am asleep I am transformed into a beautiful woman twenty pounds thinner, ten years younger and completely bi-legged.  Socket and prosthetic issues along with the other frustrations of being an amputee are kept in my waking reality and are not welcome in dreamland.

Sunday night I went to bed fretting about a variety of issues. Despite being exhausted, I had a difficult time falling asleep. Eventually I must have drifted off because I remember sitting at the edge of the bed and muttering that I wanted to get my boots. In retrospect this declaration was odd considering that I don't own a pair of boots!

Logic never intervened and I was determined to get my non-existent boots. Unfortunately, I failed to remember that I was missing a leg. One step into my boot quest and THUD! Trust me, nothing will wake me up faster than falling straight down in the middle of the night!

After the shocking pain wore off, it took me a few moments to figure out why I was on the floor. I crawled back into bed and eventually fell asleep. I woke up the next morning sore from sleep-falling and a little embarrassed by the mishap. I'm nursing an uncomfortable shoulder and some bruises, but I am no worse for the wear. Except, of course, for my pride.

Monday, September 24, 2012


Saturday I surprised Robby with a trip to the  Big Apple Circus,  a small production that doesn't feature bears wearing a tutu or sad looking lions. We took Robby to a larger circus several years ago and, after seeing the pathetic looking bear peddle a tricycle, I swore we would never go again. However, I jumped at the opportunity to go to this show because I knew that the only animals were a few horses, house cats, and dogs.
One wouldn't think it would be difficult to find a circus tent in the parking lot of a mall. However, I can promise that it isn't as easy as it sounds. Robby and I drove for 35 minutes, nearly the entire circumference of the mall, before spotting the Big Top tent. Apparently had I turned left instead of right when I first entered the complex, as directed by the sign I didn't see, I would have saved 34 minutes of driving!

Delighted finally to be in the tent and relieved that we didn't miss the beginning of the show, Robby proudly handed the usher our tickets. The gentleman took one look at me, walked away to talk with another usher and then returned. I was worried that there was a problem with our tickets (especially since I bought them off the Internet) and becoming frustrated by yet another delay. Although I can't say for certain because of the language barrier, his pointing to my leg and patting me on the shoulder made me think that I was benefiting from an unspoken amputee courtesy.  Never one to turn down a better experience, I smiled, thanked the man and took our new seats. We were seated two rows back from ringside despite our tickets that clearly stated we should be two levels up.

To say that Robby enjoyed the circus would be an understatement. He was in absolute awe by the performers and their "totally amazing and epic" feats. He was particularly mesmerized by the acrobats, providing a running commentary of his fears as the men flew, spun and twisted through the air. Hiding his eyes but peeking through his fingers, he had a huge smile on his face throughout the act.

He was amazed by the acrobats, but came away inspired by the house cats doing tricks. He chattered away throughout intermission about his need for a hoop and a stool.  He was disappointed but eventually accepted the explanation that he cannot have a fire hoop because he has to be 16 years old. Undeterred by his cat training mission, Poor Charlie Cat has begrudgingly been pushed through a hula hoop by ring master Robby ever since we got home!

I am not sure why I was afforded better seats because of my prosthetic use, but I am grateful for the perk. The ringside view allowed Robby to become fully engrossed with the performance, something which would have been more difficult from the seats I purchased. I wasn't expecting to be upgraded, but we are happy the way it worked out. (Of course, Charlie Cat might have a different view on the matter!)