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 27, 2013

Weekend Plans

I have a lot of balls juggling right now and, although I'm adept at keeping everything moving and on schedule, sometimes it becomes overwhelming.  There are days I just want to scream, eat a cupcake and hide under the covers. This is one of those days. 

Although I cannot point to one particular thing, I feel as if I am being pulled in so many directions that I risk breaking into pieces. I want to be there for everybody, do everything and shine professionally while still being the best Mom possible for Robby. Somewhere in my quest to satisfy everybody, I've forgotten to care for myself. 

Luckily I abandoned any aspirations of perfection years ago. I now aim for above average. Even with that lowered standard, I'm struggling. I hate disappointing people, but I am becoming frazzled and my reserves are growing low. I need time to recharge my batteries and my ambitions.

I am hoping to spend this weekend doing as little as possible. I promised Robby that we would go see Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs Two. He has been talking about the movie since viewing the first preview months ago. I won't disappoint him and break my promise, So this evening I will be sitting in a theater, munching on popcorn while wearing 3D glasses so I can watch a giant taco try to take over the world.

Other than the movie, I have no plans. I am not going to host a firepit party because I don't want to spend that much time with people. Call me selfish, but I need a few days to just relax. For the next two days, I hope to do absolutely nothing!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Sick Day?

To put it mildly, the past few days have been hectic. It seems like I have spent every waking moment with a phone to my ear or a keyboard on my lap. Many times, I'm doing both simultaneously! I've been working on a running clinic for my prosthetic facility. Between dealing with the sponsor, securing media coverage and making sure we have participants, I am experiencing event saturation. Thankfully, all of the work will come to fruition on Friday afternoon, and I can put this (dare I hope successful) event behind me.

Yesterday I worked from the time I dropped off Robby until I picked him up, breaking only to clear my head by visiting briefly with Mr. Bill. I have a full schedule again today, but unfortunately it may have to be significantly adjusted. Robby came home from school complaining of a sore throat and headache. I hate seeing him sick.

I am fairly certain that I lack the "Mom gene" that indicates the appropriate time to seek medical intervention. I looked in his throat  because I felt like that was something I was supposed to do. After all, my Mom always looked in my throat when I was ill. Of course, she probably had an idea of what to look for whereas I am utterly clueless. Unless the tonsils are dripping with puss, I can never tell if he is developing strep.

I took his temperature and it was slightly elevated but not high enough to be alarming. He curled up on the couch and watched cartoons all night. He didn't attempt to play which is a true indication of his lethargy. Scott and I debated throughout the evening if we should take him to the doctor. Because he wasn't running a high fever, we decided to wait until this morning to evaluate.  I hope we made the right decision and he feels better this morning.

Working from home affords me the opportunity to stay with Robby today, assuming he is not well enough to go to school. I'm thankful that we don't have to scrounge to provide care for him, nor does one of us have to take the day off work. I've become adept at tuning out cartoons when I'm concentrating, so I should still be able to tackle the remaining items on my to-do list. I just hope my little Koopa feels better!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Wishing Bad

I have several friends who are struggling with various physical ailments, and it is utterly heartbreaking. I wish I could sweep in and take away their pain, their worries and their suffering. Unfortunately, I find myself in the helpless position of not being able to provide a solution, only able to offer support and love. Although I know that having a strong support system is important, sometimes it feels wholly inadequate considering the obstacles that are being faced.

My friend lost her leg above the knee to a replacement gone awry. She faced this adversity with a cheerful smile and a brave demeanor. Resolved to live her best life and knowing that her sound knee was failing, she made the choice to undergo a knee replacement on her remaining leg. This medical procedure tossed her into the throes of infection hell. She has been battling MRSA, as well as a myriad of other strains, for the past two years. She has been sick, in pain, and unable to walk. Despite these complications, she never lost her sense of humor or her fighting spirit. 

She is now in a position where the knee replacement must be removed for several weeks to allow the antibiotics a chance to tackle the infections. This procedure will afford her a 60% opportunity to keep her remaining leg. When she quoted me the statistic, my heart sank and all I processed was "there is a 40% chance she'll lose her only leg." The thought of her becoming a bilateral above-knee amputee is incomprehensible.

I immediately logged onto my computer to search for information about removing a knee replacement. Anytime I search anything medical I make sure I log onto my Hotspot VPN. If I forget, my searches are spammed with an array of medical websites, spas and purported cures for everything from blisters to penis size.

When we were speaking the other day, she mentioned said that she wouldn't wish this on her worst enemy. She is most certainly a better person than I because I admittedly know a handful of individuals whom I feel would be worthy of her suffering. While I wish that nobody had to endure physical pain, the truth is that there will always be somebody struggling. If there has to be suffering in the world, it should be endured by those who are nasty and mean-spirited instead of those who are loving and generous. I am tired of my friends, who are good people, dealing with such tragic events while those who idle away their days hurting others seem to survive unscathed.

I am sure that physical obstacles are not limited to those with kind hearts but it certainly feels that way. There is no rhyme or reason why my friends, who would go to the ends of the earth to help somebody in need, should be suffering through such profound journeys. They are good people, and don't deserve this pain! In an odd twist, perhaps their obstacles have helped them forge an appreciation for compassion, a trait which seems to be lacking in so many people these days. 

I know that saying, "It's not fair" is of little consequence, yet sometimes I feel like screaming it with all my strength. I want my friends to be healthy and for them to be able to live without pain and fear. Unfortunately, wishes are of little consequences, so all I can do is offer support and unconditional friendship.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Ice Rink Protocol

We are back in the swing of the school year, and Robby's beloved activity, hockey, has finally resumed. After an all-too-brief hiatus at the end of the summer, I am resuming my role as hockey mom. Shivering on the side of the ice is not my idea of fun, but seeing Robby so happy and engaged makes my discomfort worth the sacrifice.

I am amazed at how quickly he has advanced since first suiting up. His skating now appears effortless as he glides around the rink. He looks like such a little man when he is wearing all of his gear, but hearing him giggle when he practices his penguin slides (belly flopping across the ice) reminds me that he is still a little boy. He is so happy skating that I can see his smile through the face guard from across the ice!

Over the past 18 months I have learned that there is an unspoken hierarchy among spectators at the ice rink. Figure skater parents have dominion, with their claiming the spots on the bleachers (which are too sparse in my opinion). These parents spread out their gear, bundle up in blankets, log onto their computers and do not move, even to pull in their feet so somebody can walk past. They reign supreme at the rink, and they seem to know it.

Parents of the children on the elite travel team assume their positions within the player's boxes. Their accommodations are not nearly as roomy and comfortable, but at least they have a place to sit. Unlike the figure skating parents, hockey parents do not generally bring electronics to the rink. Instead, they provide "supplemental coaching" to their young players, yelling out directions and admonishing bad plays. Robby does not have enough experience for us to sit in this area, but I doubt I would feel comfortable with that type of "support."

Although we've been taking skating lessons for almost two years, we are still relegated to standing along the side of the rink. Despite the time we have invested, we are still standing with the "learn to skate" and "Snowplow Sam" parents. The ice, just beneath the plywood floors, creeps up and makes my entire body cold. It wasn't terribly uncomfortable in the summertime, but in the winter it becomes downright painful.

My amputation, which is highly visible, is of no consideration when it comes to claiming a seat at the rink. I have never had a parent offer to surrender their place on the bench. Instead, I am constantly shuffling and shifting my weight in an attempt to stay comfortable. It feels as if the cold is shooting up the metal pylon in my prosthetic, making the bottom of my limb frigid. 

Of course, I never ask for an exception from the hierarchy. I've learned to bundle up and make the best of it. Seeing Robby so happy makes ever shiver worth while. But if I ever do make it to the bleachers, rest assured that I will always give up my seat to somebody in need!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Cooper the Koopa

Saturday was overcast and rainy all day, but that didn't deter Robby from embarking on outdoor adventures. He and his friend Rowan put on raincoats and boots and headed into the "mysterious woods," also known as our backyard. The friends were carrying walkie talkies in case they became lost in "the wilderness," canteens full of CapriSun and cookies, just in case they became hungry. With me maintaining possession of one of the walkie talkies, I was able to keep tabs on the pair while staying warm and dry.

The dreary weather did not impede the progress of the two little explorers. The walkie talkies were busy all afternoon as they excitedly relayed what they were doing and seeing. I quickly realized that my hopes for a nap were dashed because of the constant ringing on the walkie talkies, but I thoroughly enjoyed being part of their adventure from the comfort of the living room.

At one point the kids began frantically screaming into the walkie talkie, but I couldn't understand what they were saying. Just as I was about to ask them to repeat the message I heard the front door open and slam shut. Robby was bouncing up the stairs and grabbing my hand for me to follow. He led me outside, where he revealed "the bestest discovery in entire planet earth."  He had found a box turtle.

Robby and Rowan were so enthusiastic about finding the Koopa (their name for turtles) that neither could speak. Their faces beamed with pride and excitement as they took turns holding their newest shelled friend. Before I knew it, I was fetching a box from inside and Robby was pulling carrots out of the garden. We made a nice little outdoor home for Cooper the Koopa (yes, they gave him a name) and, although I told Robby it was temporary, he spent hours planning a deluxe habitat for him. 

I haven't seen Robby this excited in a long time. He woke up early on Sunday and immediately went to check on Cooper. (To my chagrin my husband taught him how to unlock the front door. Until now I had found it reassuring that Robby did not know how to operate the locks.) Robby was delighted that Cooper ate the homegrown carrots. Seeing him so happy buffered the frustrations that the organically grown carrot, which I had watered and nurtured throughout the summer, were munched by a reptile.

Robby spent all day Sunday playing with Cooper. He carefully relocated all of the landscaping rocks, which I had painstakingly placed around my flower bed, in order to create a play area for the koopa. He dug a deep hole which he filled with water so his new friend could go for a swim.  A large section of my front yard has been turned into a turtle refuge, but at least the little guy will be safe and happy.

Personally, the shelled critter doesn't seem like a compatible playmate, but I'm sure that Robby would disagree.  He had a blast creating a new environment for his turtle friend. Cooper will not be a longtime member of our family, but rest assured he will be very loved, well fed and protected during his visit.