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, November 16, 2012

In Atlanta

Yesterday my travel to Atlanta was non-eventful, an attribute I don't take for granted. I arrived at the hotel in time to drop off my bag, change into my conference uniform and schlep the two miles to the exhibit hall. Literally, the conference center is 2 miles from the hotel. Planning an event for amputees which requires two miles of walking was an ill-conceived idea.

Thankfully I am comfortable walking and, aside from the inconvenience and the extra time required, the distance is not a problem for me. Of course after standing and entertaining all day in the exhibition hall, the walk back to the hotel could be more painful tonight.  At least I won't feel guilty about missing the gym while I'm away from home.

Today will be an interesting experience as I speak to a new audience. I'm looking forward to the challenge, but I have to admit that I'm a tinge nervous. I keep trying to remind myself that I'm only telling my story, and that since I know the ending, there are never any surprises. Wish me luck!

Thursday, November 15, 2012


This afternoon I'm hopping onto a plane and heading to Atlanta where I've been invited to share my story and experiences at a physician's conference. This is my first foray into this avenue and I must admit that I'm excited. I don't know what to expect, if they will be interested or what questions will be posed, but I am embracing the novelty aspects of this adventure.  In addition to meeting with a new audience, I am looking forward to room service, control of the television, and sleeping diagonal in bed!

This will be a short trip, with my leaving today and returning Saturday afternoon. The brevity of the trip has eased my typical pre-travel anxiety. I don't feel compelled to prepare meals, write exhaustive lists or finish every piece of laundry before I leave. If I know my two boys, they will visit Best Buy to buy a new Wii game, swing by Sheetz for "man food" and neither will really notice that I'm gone. I've concluded that my occasionally traveling for work is beneficial for all three of us, for unique and varied reasons.

I've come to believe that occasionally being the temporary sole parent is good for Scott. He is forced into my realm, and always seems more appreciative of my efforts when I return home. Robby enjoys spending one on one time with his Daddy, and the two bond in my absence. When I'm around, Robby naturally gravitates towards me for resolution to problems or when he wants to play. Having to rely on his Daddy in this role not only solidifies their bond, but demonstrates the being a father incorporates all skills, not just those deemed masculine. It's good for Robby to see that a man can fold laundry, do the dishes and kiss boo-boos!

I always experience a boost in self-esteem after flexing my professional muscles. It's refreshing to be valued for skills other than cooking dinner, washing clothes and chauffeuring between activities. Although I miss my boys when I'm away, I thoroughly enjoy being on my own.

By telling my story and sharing my experiences, I am hopeful that other amputees will benefit. If just one physician gains insight into amputee care because of me, then the time away from my family is a worthwhile venture. I have never been to this conference, so I am unnerved by the unknown. I'm just hoping that I will be able to read the situation and communicate effectively with this unique audience!

I'm looking forward to the next few days. Hopefully I'll make some new friends and reconnect with old ones. Wish me luck as I try to reach a new audience!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Best Kiss Ever

A few weeks ago, Robby rebuffed my goodbye kiss and hug when I dropped him off at school. I wish I could say that I wasn't impacted, but that would be a lie. Mr. Bill enjoys telling anybody who will listen the story about the morning I showed up at his door, sobbing uncontrollably because my little boy wouldn't kiss me anymore. I am glad that he was amused by the situation because I found it anything but funny!

Because I had no other options, I adjusted to our new goodbye protocol. I kiss and hug Robby as he hops into the car for the drive to school. I'm allowed to give him a high five as I leave the classroom, and if nobody is looking, he'll blow me a kiss. Thankfully, I still get a hug when I pick him up at the end of the school day!

I have never made an issue of Robby's request because although it stings, I know that it is a normal part of growing up. My lamenting his growing up will not do anything productive for his psyche. Instead, I've silently accommodated his requests while taking full advantage of every cuddle opportunity presented.

Last week, when dropping Robby off at school, everything changed again. After our traditional, and apparently socially accepted, high five, I turned to leave the classroom. Robby stopped me and asked me to wait. He walked over to a little boy, whose name I will change to protect his identity, and brought him over to me.

"Joe, this is my Momom and I love her. She's very nice and pretty and does super fun things with me. I'm going to give her a hug and a kiss because I love her and we're buddies. If you don't hug and kiss your Mom, maybe she just isn't as nice as my Momom." He then proceeded to wrap his little arms around my neck and plant a wonderful kiss on my cheek. Joe never said a word, watched our exchange and returned to playing with his blocks. Robby has been kissing and hugging me every morning since he took this stand.

I left his classroom delighted not only because he gave me a kiss, but more importantly because he stood up for his desire to show affection. He didn't allow the pressure of friends stop him from doing something that he wanted to do. He thought it out and devised his own plan on how to handle the situation. I am so proud of him. That was, and probably always will be, the best kiss of my life!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Sick Leave

At 2 AM I was awoken by the foreboding sensation of my stomach turning. I tried to lie as still as possible, hoping the nausea would pass. Experience has taught me that my reliance upon my prosthetic significantly impacts the timing of my "I'd better get to the bathroom because I'm going to vomit" decision. After all, there is no running to the bathroom when a prosthesis must be donned first! When it became clear that my stomach issues were not going to be wished or ignored away, I put on my leg and surrendered to the illness.

Of course, a combination of panic and the dark caused me to fumble with my liner and leg. Silently cursing my amputation (because I knew opening my mouth at this moment would likely result in a messy affair), I barely made it to the bathroom in time.  Being an amputee in the middle of the night when a stomach bug hits simply stinks!

To spare the unseemly and repulsive details, I'll simply declare that it was a long night. This morning I will attempt to gather my composure long enough to drop Robby off at school. I plan on coming home, climbing into bed and sleeping until I feel better, or it is time to pick him up. This is my first sick day since Robby started school full time. I have to admit, I'm happy for the reprieve and solitude today.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Robby Rotten Returned

This past weekend has left both Scott and me exhausted. We had planned on taking full advantage of the beautiful weather by finishing our yard work. Instead we were contending with a cantankerous six year old. Every parenting skill we possess was put to the test, and I'm fairly certainly that we failed.

The weekend started out pleasantly as I surprised Robby by taking him to a movie Friday afternoon after school. We had a great time and he could not have been better behaved in the theater. Unfortunately that was the last time I saw my sweet little boy. Early Saturday morning it became clear that my well behaved child was gone and Robby Rotten was there to wreak havoc in his stead.

With the exception of a few brief moments of calm, our weekend was a blur of tantrums and time-out. I am not sure what triggered Robby Rotten to appear, but I suspect that being tired and battling a cold contributed. No matter what concessions were made, he was both high maintenance and miserable!

I consider myself to be laid back, but I do not tolerate being yelled at by a six year old. I don't raise my voice, and I will not allow my child to scream at me. At one point, Scott and I thought he was going to take up permanent residence in the time-out corner, and I was seriously considering wearing noise cancelling headphones.

The impetus for the final showdown was the letter 'k.' We were working on his alphabet worksheets and he seemed to be enjoying the one-on-one attention. We made it through the first 10 letters without incident, but apparently practicing the 11th was too optimistic. As if a switch had been flipped, he began to scream and told me that I was "the worst Momom in the whole wide world and a really bad letter writer." When he finally stopped screaming, he resorted to throwing and cursing.

With each outburst over the weekend, the consequences became more severe. By the time he went to bed Sunday night, he was sobbing in the time-out corner, lamenting that he was "definitely on the naughty list this time." In the meantime, his bedroom door was removed from its hinges (to thwart the door slamming), all of his Legos and Lincoln Logs were put away until they are earned back, his board games were put out of reach and he lost his DS indefinitely.

I'm hoping that my nice little boy returns today. He fell asleep early and did not wake up in the middle of the night, so I'm optimistic that Robby Rotten left. I figure that today one of two things will happen: either he'll start earning back his toys or I'll get a phone call from his teacher about a behavior issue. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it isn't the latter!