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, June 07, 2013


Last night I had a wonderful dream: I was in college, surrounded by my friends and just having a good time. I was bi-legged, didn't have a husband and child, and didn't have any financial worries. I was just happy and laughing. Although I love my life, I have to admit that I was disappointed when I woke up!

The dream left me feeling both euphoric and deflated. I loved reliving the youthful and carefree emotions I experienced while in college. Like most things, I didn't appreciate that special time in my life until it was over.

It amazes me that I have been out of college for more than 15 years, yet I can still relive those days so vividly in my dreams. I miss those times, when my only responsibilities were making good grades and forming friendships. Of course, at the time it felt stressful, but I've come to learn that stress is relative to the situation. 

Ever since my dream, I have been feeling oddly homesick but not for my childhood home; after all I am lucky enough to visit my Mom on a regular basis. Instead, I'm longing for those late night pizza parties with my friends, midnight jaunts to the diner for pie and spur of the moment road trips to visit the beach. I miss the camaraderie of my college friends.

Although I'm still in contact with my friends from college, there is a closeness that has evaporated since we don't see each other daily. Instead of just opening up my dorm room and walking across the hall, now we must try to schedule phone calls and email messages. I hate that I am at a point in my life where my interactions need to be scheduled!

I live an active and involved life, so I was taken aback when I realized how isolated I am feeling. I think I need to schedule a girls' weekend. At this point, the sooner the better!

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Luncheon Prep

The school year is rapidly closing, and that translates into one thing in our house: my kitchen has been transformed into a factory as I cook and bake for the traditional luncheon. Each year I swear that I am not doing it again, yet each June I find myself frantic and toiling in the kitchen, cooking a feast for 100 hungry teenagers and their mentors.

Because Scott teaches Special Education and Disadvantaged students, his classes are small and many of his students have been with him throughout their high school career. The first luncheon was hosted on a whim, as a means of saying goodbye to a particularly special group of students. We both quickly realized that the modest celebration was the only acknowledgment that many of these students received for earning their diploma. Scott and I both decided that all graduates deserve to have the milestone celebrated, and since that time, Graduation Luncheon has become an unintentional tradition.

I would love to have the luncheon catered, but it is cost prohibitive since we fund the event ourselves. Instead, we scour sales circulars throughout May, trying to device a special, yet economically sound, menu. Scott always promises to help, and although he means well by this offer, I always end up kicking him out of the kitchen. Having his novice hands in the mix creates more frustrations, and he quickly becomes underfoot. Instead his talents are utilized during clean-up when I pop off my leg and relax with a wine cooler.

Yesterday I spent nearly 4 hours prepping and assembling over 70 pounds of lasagna. It may sound like a lot, but the appetites of these teenagers always astounds me. Today I need to make the yeast rolls (the menu changes each year, but the rolls are a much-anticipated staple) and bake the chocolate chip cookies. I wish it was a little cooler outside because my ovens will be on all day.

It's a lot of work, but it will be worth it on Friday. I know that the kids, along with their mentors, appreciate the celebration. Friday night I plan on curling up to watch a movie on the couch and devour all the cupcakes that are left over from the party!

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Walk On

The warmer weather coupled with my healed limb and perfectly fitting prosthesis have allowed me to resume my daily walks. Although I originally started walking as a means to become fit and to lose weight, I've come to realize that the daily jaunts are more beneficial for my psyche than my waistline. I enjoy the solitude of quietly strolling through my neighborhood, listening to music and escaping my own worries and thoughts for awhile. I'm a much happier person, and a better Mom, when I allow myself time to decompress.

As I was walking yesterday I began to think about my friends. So many people whom I care about are dealing with constant infections and pain. It is a helpless feeling when there is nothing that can be done to ease pain and frustrations of my friends, and I feel inadequate when all I can do is offer a sympathetic ear and a shoulder to cry on.

When it comes to secondary health issues, I have been blessed. I'm living without my foot, but I am not in a constant battle with infections, sores and relentless pain. When I am without my leg, I'm miserable primarily because it happens so rarely I have become accustomed to a bi-legged life. Too many of my amputee friends have been unable to utilize their prosthesis for years, and when they are able to wear it, they can use it only sporadically. I cannot fathom the frustrations that they feel.

Yesterday, between my dedicated walk and my normal ambulation throughout the day, I logged over 9 miles. I am so incredibly lucky that I am physically able to be as active as I am, and I realize that my status can change at any time. Thankfully, I've never had infection issues, but I am prone to limb breakdown which can sideline my activities. Hopefully my paranoid vigilance about limb health will help thwart any issues from developing, but I also realize that luck plays a part.

My friends are not battling issues because they were negligent. For whatever reason, they have been dealt a bad hand and are trying to make the best of it. At times I become frustrated with the inconveniences of living with a limb loss, but I try to never take my mobility for granted. I live with the reality that I can be rendered immobile at anytime, so I am going to keep trying to soak in every moment of my daily walks.

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Snake Charmer

I have come to the conclusion that I have few fears. This probably seems odd since I habitually lose sleep due to fretting. However, I've come to realize that fretting and worrying are different than experiencing true fears. Other than something happening to Robby or other members of my family, I am only truly afraid of two things: mice and snakes.  Unfortunately the two seem to always be paired together!

I do not live in a home conducive to avoiding these two critters. Living in the woods in a house riddled with cracks and small holes, the only thing that is missing is a formal welcome mat to make these vermin more comfortable. We've tried to make our home less rodent and serpent friendly, but we are fighting a losing battle.

Sunday afternoon, one of my worst fears was realized. There was a snake- a big snake- in our attic. As if knowing that the slithery foe was in the house wasn't enough, we could lay eyes on him, but he was virtually unreachable. He was perched in our attic, lying on top of the plastic sheeting that was covering a hole in our ceiling. We could see his entire chubby, and extremely long, body above our heads and the only thing separating us was the plastic.

I wanted to turn and run, but I knew that wasn't a viable option. Robby was upset, worried that the snake was going to fall on our heads. Scott was spinning in circles and wringing his hands, mumbling the same phrase, "We're screwed." With both of my boys frozen and nobody to call for help, I had to formulate a plan.

Allowing the snake to live in our attic was not an acceptable option. If I was going to continue calling this house home, he needed to go! Thankfully the snake stayed still as I formulated a plan and gathered the courage to continue. 

I grabbed my crutch and taped my sharpest steak knife to the tip, creating a spear. Reminding myself that I only needed to be brave for 10 seconds and with the personal promise of a cupcake when the deed was over, I finally gathered the gumption to proceed. I'll spare the details of how the snake was removed, but know that after the deed was committed, I ran out of the room, shrieking and weeping like a little girl. 

Scott cleaned up the mess and we reapplied new plastic sheeting over the hole. I'm glad I was able to garner the courage to act, but I still get the willies when I think about the snake living just above our heads in our house. Needless to say, I haven't slept well. Every time I hear a noise I wonder if it is the cicadas outside or another slithery intruder above my head.  I think I need to pull my sound machine out of the closet for awhile, or perhaps I'll just loop my IPOD to play "I Am Woman."

Monday, June 03, 2013

Microwave Mishap

Friday morning I woke Robby up early. Although typically quite an ordeal, waking him early was surprisingly easy, and all I had to do was remind him that we needed to go film his commercial. Hearing those words caused him to hop out of bed and get dressed in record time.

Unfortunately Robby's boots were still soaking wet, the collateral damage of his birthday water gun fight from the previous night. In my zeal to get onto the road and lacking any other alternatives, I popped them into the microwave.  Alternating boots every 30 seconds, they were steaming (but nearly dry) within 5 minutes.  With his boots drying, Robby ran to the car in his socks, and we were on the road and headed towards the rink, only 15 minutes past my planned departure time.

Thankfully traffic, although congested, was not terrible. The fact that I could utilize the HOV lanes certainly aided our trip, cutting at least 40 minutes off the trip. We arrived at the rink an hour early. Eager to decompress, grab a cup of coffee and some breakfast, I pulled into a Denny's parking lot.

I handed Robby his boots and asked him to slip them on. By the time I walked to open his car door, I could tell that we had an issue. He couldn't get his boots onto his feet. Apparently popping them into the microwave not only dried the leather, but significantly shrunk it as well!

After 5 minutes of pushing and contorting, we finally managed to squeeze the right boot onto his foot. I was anticipating similar struggles trying to don the left boot. No matter what we tried, I just couldn't get it onto his foot.

We stood in the Denny's parking lot, struggling with the boot for the next 30 minutes. I'm sure we were quite the sight as I lifted Robby up 3 feet, holding onto only the sides of his boot. No matter what we tried,  nothing was working.

I dug through the back of our car, hoping to find a shoe horn but only managing to locate a hockey stick. I jammed the hockey stick into the boot, hoping to stretch it enough to allow his foot to enter. That desperate idea didn't work.

With only 5 minutes to spare and with both of us close to tears, we finally managed to work his little foot into the even smaller boot. I was worked into a full sweat, my dress wrinkled from the aerobic foot donning aerobics I had just endured. Robby was upset that his favorite boots weren't fitting, and angry that I shrunk them in the microwave. The euphoria from the stress-free drive had become a distant memory as we were both frazzled and high strung entering the rink.

After a few minutes of wearing and walking in his beloved boots, Robby proclaimed that they were no longer tight. He gave me a hug and apologized for being mad. I gave him a kiss and apologized for shrinking them in the microwave. With the boot catastrophe dealt with, Robby was able to become excited about meeting the hockey player and filming the commercial.

I must say that Mike Green, the Washington Capitals player whom we met, could not have been nicer. He took time to talk with Robby and to answer his questions. He posed for pictures, signed Robby's jersey and helmet, and seemed genuinely interested when Robby spoke. I overheard Robby proudly confide that he now has to wear a "private protector" when he plays hockey. I wanted to shrink into a hole at this "too much information" disclosure, but Mike just chuckled and told him that was a good thing because "you definitely want to keep that protected."

Robby did a great job with the commercial shoot. He listened to the director and followed the instructions perfectly. It took us almost 90 minutes to get there and 45 minutes to put on his boots, but the filming only took 40 minutes once we got started. 

We are going to be shooting the second portion of the commercial next week, at which time Robby will actually be on the ice. After meeting his new hockey idol, it is safe to say that Robby is beyond excited. This time, I'll try to save us from sweat and tears by keeping his boots out of the microwave.