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, July 19, 2013

A Wonderful Day!

We had a wonderful day yesterday playing in the pools, splashing in the ocean and exploring the resort. The sun was shining bright against the bluest skies I have ever seen, but the constant gentle breeze kept the temperatures bearable.  To be succinct, it was a perfect day!

After swimming for a few hours in the morning, we ducked out of the pool to make it to the Turtle Lagoon in time for the feeding. Robby was in his element feeding the turtles. We stayed for nearly an hour watching them munch nasty looking cabbage. I never would have imagined I would spend an hour watching turtles eat, but Robby was so excited that it was a highlight of my day.

I probably climbed at least 500 stairs with all of the water slides that Robby and I rode. We also walked at least two miles (round trip) to feed the turtles. Because we began our day in the pool, I was wearing my water leg which is not designed for walking. The leg is comprised of a Sach foot,  a molded rubber foot which offers no energy return. All of the effort to ambulate must be generated in my knee and hip which after several hours becomes laborious and exhausting. It is great for playing in the water but is barely functional for walking on land. Needless to say, by the time we climbed out of the pool for the final time, I could barely hobble to our hotel room.

Today we will continue the fun with another day of swimming and wave jumping. We're also going to feed the turtles (again) and visit some baby turtles who just hatched. Robby doesn't know about this adventure, and I can hardly wait until we reveal the surprise!  It's hard to believe that our vacation is coming to an end, but I can honestly say that we've had a great time.

Thursday, July 18, 2013


Yesterday morning we woke up to dreary weather, and I began to wonder if our snorkeling adventure was going to materialize. Trying to put the weather worries aside, we went to breakfast. My boys have an affinity for the all-you-can-eat gorging, and by the time we were done (90 minutes later), the skies had cleared.

Robby was ecstatic about going snorkeling in the ocean whereas I was a tad more cautious. I was worried about his safety and my losing my leg. This is the first time I have been snorkeling since becoming an amputee, and I wasn't sure how to proceed. My water leg doesn't really help me swim, and it actually becomes more cumbersome than helpful in deep water. However after much debate, Scott and I decided it would be best to wear my water leg simply because it would be easier (and less embarrassing) climbing onto and out of the boat.

Once it was decided that I would wear the leg, I began preparations for tethering the prosthesis to my body. I know too many amputees who have lost their prosthetics to the waves and current. Knowing that I was going to be floating around in the deep ocean, I didn't want to risk losing suction. Having my prosthesis stolen by the waves would certainly hinder on our vacation!

With the help of a family friend before the trip, we refurbished a boogie board tether to create a makeshift prosthetic leash. Yesterday I wrapped the Velcro strap around the ankle and provided extra security with a safety pin. I then put the handle of the tether through a belt appropriated from an old pair of shorts and strapped it around my waist. I am sure that my contraption looked odd, especially the beige belt, but the extra security that it provided outweighed the stares and second glances.

With my prosthesis tethered and Robby and Scott finned up and ready to go, we all hopped into the ocean. Robby was initially nervous, clinging to me with a look of sheer panic on his face. We finally convinced him just to relax and to float. Within a few minutes he was gently paddling through the reef, reaching to pet the fish (which managed to stay safely out of reach) and following creature he found interesting. Eventually I began to relax, trusting that Robby was safe and happy.

We had a great afternoon snorkeling, and thankfully my leg never lost suction. While my prosthesis did not help me swim, it was easy for me to climb back onto the boat. The fact that I didn't have to be hoisted by the crew was worth the effort of donning the odd looking tether!

Today will be spent playing in the pools and in the ocean. We are scheduled to help the aquarium staff feed the giant turtles this afternoon, an event that Robby has been eagerly anticipating since we arrived. The weather is supposed to be beautiful, and I'm sure we are going to have a great day!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Rain Delay

Yesterday was spent dodging the raindrops and trying to take advantage of the brief breaks between storms. This resort is wonderful when the weather is nice, but indoor activities are limited especially if you want to keep room charges to a minimum.  Thankfully Robby is content looking through the aquariums in the lobby, and he didn't seem the mind standing in the torrential downpours to look at the turtles in the lagoons in front of the hotel.

We took full advantage of the time between thunderstorms by hitting the Lazy River and the pools. A light rain was not enough of a deterrent to keep us from the water, but we headed for cover each time we felt the winds pick up and heard the thunder rumbling towards us. I wish we had been able to spend hours splashing, but mother nature did not cooperate.

Because we were stuck inside today, we spent a lot of time walking through the various hotel lobbies in the resort. I was struck by the fact I haven't seen anybody else with a disability. I'm accustomed to being the only amputee, but it is rare to encounter another person with some sort of handicap. I am used to seeing people on crutches, in wheelchairs or reliant upon a walker or cane. I haven't seen anybody reliant on anything other than their biological limbs. It is a strange feeling to be the only one with a disability, but I am not letting that stop me.  We have been having a great time!

The weather is supposed to be clear today which is good news because we are going on a snorkeling excursion. Robby is hoping to see some colorful fish. I'm hoping to survive the boat trip without becoming sea sick. Let's hope we both get our wishes!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


We arrived in Atlantis! Thankfully the travel was uneventful and everything ran on schedule (including us). We landed in the Bahamas in the late morning leaving us the remainder of the day to play in the sun and sand.

If I had any doubts about Robby's excitement they were laid to rest when I saw his reaction to seeing the resort. Sitting next to me in the van, he began to cry when he recognized the iconic towers on the horizon. He buried his head in my shoulder and wept as he repeated, "I can't believe we're in Atlantis, Momom. We're really here. I'm so happy." I don't think I'll ever forget his heartfelt and honest display of emotions.

We had a wonderful day playing in the pool, trying some of the water attractions and just getting the lay of the resort. This property is huge! We were all exhausted by the time we came back to our room, but I'm sure that we'll be refreshed and ready for more fun today.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Packed and Ready

Between visiting my Mom, gathering up everything we needed for our Atlantis adventure, and cleaning my house in advance of my house sitter, I was busy every moment. It's a good thing that I'm going on vacation because I certainly need a rest after all of the work to prepare! After months of planning and a weekend of preparations, it is hard to imagine that we will board the plane and start our much anticipated adventure.

Robby has had a difficult time containing his enthusiasm. He hasn't been bad, but he has certainly been animated. In order to focus his energies, I gave him an empty laundry basket and asked him to fill it with everything he wanted to take on the trip. I should have been more specific with the directive. After 45 minutes he pushed the overflowing basket down the hallway, filled with all of his games and science kits, including only his bathing suit and a pair of pajamas to wear for clothing.  It took us 30 minutes to put all of his treasures back and replace them with (according to Robby)  "boring dumb clothes that are no fun at all."

With all of the "boring dumb clothes" packed, I turned my attention to the other various items that we needed to include. I made a lengthy list, left both boys in front of the XBox and went out to tackle the mall. It is amazing how many sundries are necessary when going to a beach vacation. I was just about to congratulate myself for sticking to my list when something caught my eye. I stood for several minutes, debating whether or not I should try it on. The logical side told me to leave it alone, justifying that it wasn't necessary. The fun side of me wanted to give it a whirl.  I broke down and went into the dressing room.

Although part of me has always wanted to, I have never worn a bikini. I have struggled with body image issues for as long as I remember. While I know that my body is far from ideal, I am finally at a place where I am willing to accept my flaws. I am never going to have the perfect figure, but I am realizing that the level of perfection which inundates us on a regular basis is attainable for few. Instead of always striving to be perfect, I'm trying to embrace where I am now and to be comfortable in my skin. The bikini seemed like the perfect test of my new resolve. 

I slipped on the two pieces, took a deep breath and looked in the mirror. I was surprised by my reaction. I was expecting to be revolted by the image, but instead I smiled. I don't look like a model, but I don't look foolish either. I looked confident and happy. This week I am going to step outside my comfort zone and sport my new bikini at the pool! After all, if I can sport a carbon fiber leg without giving it a second thought, I should be able to wear a bikini.

I insisted that all of our bags be packed and stowed in the car before we went to bed. I wanted everything ready to go so that we could avoid the last minute stress that often accompanies a vacation. This morning we are leaving early, too early if you ask the boys. Our plane leaves at 9, putting our arrival in the Bahamas at 11:30. I know that they will appreciate the early departure time when they are enjoying the pools and beach this afternoon, but that will be little solace in the interim.

I need to wake them up soon and I know that it will not be a pleasant.  In the meantime, I'm going to enjoy the solitude of the quiet house and sip my coffee. As soon as the boys are awake, we will be jumping in the car and our vacation begins.  (Can you tell I'm excited?)

In addition to my regular blog posts, I will be posting photos frequently, so check back throughout the week.  Robby's Nana gave him a waterproof digital camera which has transformed him into a want-to-be photographer. He has asked me to share some of his photos on my blog, so you can see what Atlantis looks like through his eyes.