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, October 18, 2013


Thursday night I did something totally outside of my normal routine. Leaving Robby and Scott to fend for themselves, I went out with a friend for dinner. I realize that the simple act of sharing a meal with a friend is commonplace for many, but it has become a treat for me. Although I was tired, I was looking forward to seeing my friend Dave. I was also excited about participating in an adult conversation without constantly trying to keep a little boy entertained. 

Thanks to my GPS, I located his hotel quickly and without the frantic u-turns that often plague my driving when I am navigating in unfamiliar areas. Unfortunately, that was the only time I didn't become lost. I have to admit that Dave demonstrated extreme patience while I looped through the airport, down two separate toll roads, and around several confusing turns before finding The Cheesecake Factory. It wasn't the Cheesecake Factory I was looking for which was only three miles from his hotel. I had managed to find one on the other side of town, a mere 28 miles away in the opposite direction.

Despite the unintentional scenic drive, we managed to relax once we were at the restaurant. We were able to catch up and even began planning some future projects. Before I knew it, we were back in the car as I tried desperately to navigate our way back to his hotel. Somehow I managed to return him without revisiting  toll roads and the airport.

I had a wonderful evening out, but I returned home exhausted and ready to collapse in bed. I'm just not used to going out at night! I kissed Robby good night and fell asleep as soon as I hit the pillow. 

Morning seemed to come quickly and, despite wanting to sleep longer, I managed to pull myself out from under the covers. Nothing I did helped to waken my senses; I felt like I was operating on autopilot as I got Robby fed and dressed for school. Of course the fact that I have had to give up coffee did not help the situation!

As we were walking to the car I suddenly remembered that I needed to find my other leg because I needed to take it to Elliot for a socket change in preparation for the video shoot this weekend. Robby and I ended up spending the next 20 minutes frantically rummaging through the house and car for my leg.  We found it, but he was going to be late for school.

Robby has never been late for school, and I felt horrible that he was tardy because of me. I wrote him a note to give to his teacher. It didn't occur to me until later that it might have sounded odd.  "Please excuse Robby for being late. I couldn't find my leg this morning and he was helping me look for it." 

After getting the sockets switched, I drove home and sat in my rocker to do some work. I woke up two hours later. I guess I'm going to have to limit my evening adventures until the pregnancy is over and I can resume my coffee consumption. I'm too scattered when I'm tired!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

No Room for Debate

Lately I've been feeling overwhelmed by the negativity and judgment which seems to be pervasive. I know that both of these attributes have always existed to some degree, but they seem to be gaining momentum with the  government shutdown. I can't turn on the news without being inundated with nasty debates and fear mongering predictions. Regardless of which side of the aisle your allegiances lie, the situation is frustrating and is bringing out the worst in people. 

I used to enjoy debating with my friends about political issues. I now find that I shun these discussions because they rarely end amicably. Basic civility when discussing opposite view points has been lost, and so many people only feel satisfied when they have "won" the debate by going for the jugular and beating their friends views to the dust. What ever happened to a spirited discussion where both parties left satisfied that they have been heard but have maintained their dignity? 

Although the nasty rhetoric certainly dominates my Facebook news feed and television, there have been some glimpses of humanity shining to help those affected during the government shutdown.  Robby's school has sent out an email to every parent, informing everybody that the school is willing to wait for tuition payments for those who have been impacted by the shutdown. Students will remain enrolled allowing them to maintain at least one aspect of stability.  Local food banks in my area, which has been heavily impacted by the shutdown, have reported record donations. A car mechanic who mentors some of my husband's students is offering deferred payment options for repairs. The Animal Park has announced that it is waiving admission fees for everybody impacted by the shutdown. The list of good deeds keeps growing, yet it is receiving no press. I guess broadcasting yelling and blame throwing garners better ratings than kindness and compassion.

It is nice to know that in difficult times neighbors are still stepping up to help each other. My hands are tied when it comes to the government, but I control my interactions. I won't participate in political debates because the issues are too volatile and discussions often lead to hurt feelings and misunderstandings. Veiled jabs on Facebook are simply unseemly, unprofessional and immature and I won't engage in these exchanges. I want my social media interactions to be uplifting and pleasant.

I am going to concentrate on the heartwarming outreach that is occurring everyday in unassuming ways. There are legions of people doing good things everyday. These acts of kindness are where I will be putting my energies. 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

A Work In Progress

Referring to the past few days as hectic certainly does not do justice. Between my work responsibilities, assorted doctors appointments (for both me and Robby), and household stress, I've been in constant motion. I have been looking forward to a brief reprieve from running around when I got my hair cut yesterday.  Driving to the salon I envisioned myself lounging with a magazine, sipping on lemon infused water and being doted upon by my stylist. In reality, I was stuck sitting in an uncomfortable chair drinking tepid water from a paper cup.

I want to be one of those women who thoroughly enjoy the salon experience so I'm always hopeful that I'll relax and relish being pampered. Unfortunately, it doesn't  pan out that way. Instead of feeling spoiled as my hair is being colored and cut, I feel ugly. I can find little attractive when seeing myself with piece of tin foil folded around smelly locks of hair. From the odors to the itchy scalp, I have come to accept that getting my hair done is a necessary evil. I am happy with the end product, but I detest the journey!

I felt a lot of pressure during this salon visit because I'm traveling to New York City this weekend to participate in a music video. I'm still reeling from the invitation, and I am truly honored and excited to participate. Of course the invitation has caused me to become frantic about my appearance. The last image I want to portray is the  frumpy amputee. I'm finding it difficult to feel good about my appearance when I'm fighting near constant nausea. I feel ugly and swollen, but I am doing my best to morph the ugly duckling into a swan. 

Although I failed to reach the zen-inspired relaxation I sought, I did emerge from the salon with a brand new style. It's amazing how changing my hair can transform my whole attitude. Despite being exhausted nearly all the time, I look energized and young. I am glad that I listened to my stylist and let her transform my look. For the first time in several weeks, I actually feel vibrant.

With my hair situation settled, I am moving my attention towards my wardrobe. I'm beginning to show but not enough to warrant maternity clothes. Of course I am not going to let that stop me. It is much easier to mask my figure when wearing a stylish new Mommy-to-be outfit. 

I'm looking forward to this weekend, but I don't have time to relax. In addition to my work meetings and reports, I still need to find the perfect hip concealing, bust accentuating outfit that will complement my new hair. I have a feeling that this shopping trip could take awhile

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Heart Stopping Call...

Both my "advanced maternal age" coupled with my cancer history have contributed to this pregnancy being classified as high risk. I don't mind the designation because it simply means that I have quicker access to the doctors and nurses. However, I do resent the diagnosis of "advanced maternal age." I just don't feel that old!

Because of my age, I have to go through a series of what I have dubbed to be "old lady tests." I am still in my first trimester, yet we've already had two sonograms. This baby is going to have quite a few pages filled in his or her scrapbook by the time of delivery.

Last week during my routine check-up the doctor discovered a small polyp on my cervix. Flashing back to my nightmare with cervical cancer, I immediately began to conjure worst case scenarios. My doctor remained calm and explained that these growths are not uncommon, especially during pregnancy. She took a small section of the polyp, in addition to my regular pap test, and advised me to relax, assuring me that there is no cause for alarm.

I am a worrier by nature, but I did a fairly good job of keeping perspective over the weekend. By the time Monday rolled around, I was busy with work and had managed to push the growth completely out of my mind. A message left on my cell phone created a tidal wave of panic. 

I was dumbfounded, quickly followed by petrified, when I listened to the message asking me to call my doctor immediately to discuss some test results. The nurse ended by stating that they needed to talk to me because "it is an emergency." My heart began to race as I melted into a full-fledged meltdown.

Trying to keep my voice steady and calm, I called my doctor. It turns that the polyp which was biopsied contained a cluster of abnormal cells. The fact that the rest of my pap was normal is a good sign, but the doctor wanted me to now that they will be keeping a close eye on the situation throughout the pregnancy. The news took my breathe away. 

After logging onto my Hotspot Shield VPN (after all, I'm sure that "pregnant amputee" would garner all sorts of unsavory attention) I set about researching for several hours, I began to calm down and put the situation into perspective. Although they discovered a cluster of abnormal cells, they are not cancer.  I have to keep reminding myself of this because it is easy for me to jump to the worst case scenario. Finding abnormal cells is better than having them remain undetected, and I am receiving great medical care.

The fact that the doctors are aware and vigilant is a good thing. While I'm not thrilled about undergoing more tests during the pregnancy, I will happily endure them if they will contribute to my and the baby's general health and well-being. In the meantime, I am going to try to put the pesky little cells out of my mind and concentrate on the positive. Hopefully I won't receive anymore "emergency" calls, because I'm fairly certain my "advanced maternal-aged heart" can't handle this roller coaster of emotions.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Rainy Day Blues

The weather for the past five days has been absolutely miserable.  At first I was thankful for the rain, happy for the excuse to curl up under the electric blanket with a good book. After a few days of hibernating, the grey skies paired with a steady cold rain simply became depressing.

Unable to play outside, Robby split his time between playing XBox games, watching cartoons and working with his Legos. After a few days even he became bored and depressed! I've learned that Robby becoming bored often becomes an invitation for his alter ego, Robby Rotten, to visit. Wanting to avoid seeing his arch nemesis, I knew that I had to come up with a fun indoor activity. 

Hoping to break the dreary day blues, I decided it was the perfect occasion to completely spookify our house for Halloween.  Robby and I went into the storage garage and dug out our boxes of Halloween decorations. (I realized when we were making the third trip up the stairs that we have an obscene amount of decorations!) Needless to say, Robby was in his element surrounded by glitter covered pumpkins and ghosts. Charlie cat, who sat in the middle of the glitter ghost box, was not nearly as delighted. I'm fairly certain that he is going to have glitter stuck to his tail until Valentine's Day.

Wanting to set the holiday mood, I started streaming Nightmare Before Christmas. This was Robby's first exposure to the movie, and I have to say that he was mesmerized. I thought we would decorate during the movie, but Robby had other ideas. He sat spell-bound on the sofa and attentively watched the entire movie. We didn't begin to decorate after the credits rolled.

Robby had a great time hanging the pumpkins, ghosts and skeletons. Opting to utilize every decoration in the boxes, our house is now festive from four feet high and below.  He worked diligently for three hours, transforming our living room and dining room into a creepy haunted house. The cobwebs, which have accumulated in just about every corner, now actually fit a theme and aren't a reminder of my lapse in housekeeping.  Although I'm sure that he won't want to invest nearly as much energy when it is time for the decorations to be removed, he was happy for the activity and I was glad to see him engaged and giggling.

Hopefully the sun will begin to peak through the clouds today and break our moods. Even if the weather doesn't cooperate, our moods have been bolstered. After all, it is hard to be surrounded by happy ghosts and pumpkins and not smile!