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, May 02, 2014

Growing Pains

I suspect that the novelty of being a big brother is beginning to wear thin. Robby, although cordial towards the baby, has made no overtures towards interacting with Timmy. During the past week I have watched my little Koopa become more distant and increasingly melancholy.

Scott and I have both been cognizant about reminding Robby that he is special, lauding him with extra love and attention. Despite our efforts, I sense that he is becoming jealous of our newest addition. I know that jealousy and adjustment pains are normal, but it saddens me to see Robby struggling with his position in the family dynamic. I wish wrapping my arms around him would heal his worries. Unfortunately, it is not so simple. 

Although Robby has been distant, I am still able to cuddle with him on the couch and coax out his anxieties. He confided that he does not really like his little brother, and lamented that his face is not “cute like Timmy’s.” I assured him that he is adorable and handsome, and that I could never love anybody more than I love him. I think it made him feel better, but I suspect that this will be an ongoing issue until he becomes acclimated to the idea of having a sibling.  

Scott and I have been talking about how to help Robby adjust to the change in our family, and we have decided that a few special adventures might be just what he needs. I spent much of yesterday pondering activities that Robby would enjoy, and I decided that he and his Daddy should to go to a “real” baseball game. I went online and began looking for Washington Nationals tickets. 

Wowzers, baseball tickets have become expensive! As if the ticket prices were not cost prohibitive, I find the “convenience fees” charged by ticket brokers to be insulting. What is convenient about my printing the ticket at an additional cost of $9.99 a ticket? I was shocked by the prices, and disheartened that the father/son activity might be sidelined before it started.

 I clicked on one final ticket site before abandoning the plan. Scorebig.com works very much like Priceline, where the   
purchaser proposes the amount he is willing to pay per ticket. A slider indicates the likelihood that the bid would be accepted. As an added bonus, the site does not charge the “convenience fees” which are prolific on most ticket distribution websites.

On a lark, I bid $60 for tickets valued at over $100. I didn’t expect my offer to be accepted, but was delighted when the confirmation landing page loaded. For the price of one ticket, I managed to score two, in a prime location for a little boy’s first “real” baseball game.  I was so excited by the bargain that I almost squealed! 

The baseball game isn’t until June, but hopefully the anticipation will help Robby adjust to the changes in our family. I know that he is going to be a fabulous big brother, but I am not going to push him into the role before he is ready. He will come to terms and accept Timmy into the family on his own time line, and all I can do is make sure he remembers how special he is and how much he is loved. It saddens me that he is doubting his place in our hearts, but I also know that his feelings are normal.  

Now that the Daddy & me date has been set, I need to come up with a special adventure of my own.  Any ideas?

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Rainy Day Cuddles

It has been a long time since we've seen the rain deluge that has occurred during the past 48 hours. The rain was coming down in steady sheets, dumping up to an inch an hour. With the miserable weather came increased phantom pain thus making a yucky day even more difficult.

Thankfully, other than a doctor's appointment, I had no place to go, so I was able to spend the day cuddling with Timmy. He was content spending the afternoon sleeping on my chest under a warm blanket. I was able to keep my leg off, rest and just enjoy my baby. Despite the weather and the phantom pain, I thoroughly enjoyed the day and felt no pangs of guilt about not working or being more productive.  Right now, my job title is official baby warmer and cuddler. I take those responsibilities seriously!

Although the rain leaked through the roof in a few places, it was not as bad as we had anticipated considering the amount which fell. I've abandoned all hope of fixing the skylight in our bedroom and have resigned myself to hiring a professional this summer. We've tried to remedy the leak for two years, and despite our efforts, it only becoming more pronounced. The leak by the fireplace has changed from a steady stream to a slow trickle, so I think that the latest repair attempt might have been in the right direction. Sometimes, being a homeowner is frustrating. Schlepping pots and towels to catch the water leaks is definitely one of those times!

The rain has turned our quaint little stream into a small roaring river.  The swing where Robby and I spent hours sitting and having picnics is now completely submerged. I don't remember the water ever rising so high, and I am concerned that the swing will wash away in the current. I know that there is nothing that I can do about it, so I try to avoid looking out the window because I don't want to deal with the debris. At this rate, I'm doubting that we will ever dry out.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Night Walker

Timmy has been put on a strict, and frequent, feeding schedule in the hopes of plumping him up to a healthier weight. While I don't lament the lack of sleep, after all I fully anticipated newborn sleep deprivation, I have found myself battling a growing resentment with my prosthesis. Having to don my prosthesis so frequently in the middle of the night is quickly becoming old.

I try not to spend a lot of time lamenting my limb loss. In fact, I don't invest a lot of energy thinking about it. Waking up, slipping on my liner and leg has become part of my morning routine. After nearly eleven years, it has become as natural as brushing my teeth and pouring my first cup of coffee.

It is when I feel encumbered because of my prosthesis that I begin to feel resentful. Every ninety minutes in a slumber-deprived haze, I am clumsily putting on my liner and leg. This extra step, although it only takes a few moments, has become a true inconvenience when it comes to caring for Timmy. I wish that I could just pop up and get a bottle without hesitating, but I know that this is not the reality.

I suspect that I won't be nearly as frustrated with the constant putting on and taking off of my leg if it were fitting well. Unfortunately, my limb volume remains in flux which is making a comfortable fit elusive. I have found some solace in the fact that the swelling isn't limited to my residual limb.  I can barely fit into my previously comfortable shoe because my foot is puffy, and I wouldn't recognize my own hands if they weren't attached to my body. 

Hopefully the postpartum swelling will wane soon, making the donning of my leg less cumbersome. In the meantime, my mind is spinning with a new concept for a prosthesis. Wouldn't it be wonderful if a temporary, middle of the night emergency leg were available? Something that required no liners, was easy to slip into (like a slipper) and quasi-comfortable for short distances? I'm not an engineer, but if somebody would like to design this, I would be more than happy to give it a try. I don't foresee my middle of the night sojourns ending anytime soon!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014


Although I thrive on routine, I have come to the conclusion that my coveted schedule will probably remain illusive for the foreseeable future. Between becoming acclimated to living as a family of four, juggling Timmy's and my multiple medical appointments, Robby's activities, and newborn induced sleep deprivation, my new "normal" will be chaos. I am trying to view the situation as "adjustment triage," a temporary condition which will sort itself out. I am also trying to push the worry of "what if this is my new reality" out of my mind!

Yesterday was spent running between medical appointments, Robby's school and hockey practice. While I'm delighted that I did not have to undergo a Cesarean section, Timmy's birth created some trauma in my body. It turns out that I sustained a moderate liver contusion (bruise) when he readjusted his position before I went into labor. I'm assured that the injury will heal, but was also cautioned that I need to take the issue seriously. The liver bruise is classified as an internal injury, and I have no intention of overriding medical recommendations.  Until it heals, I have to avoid bending, lifting or engaging in any behaviors which are not considered mild. In other words, I can only do something if it does not increase my heart beat. 

While I was in the hospital, it was also discovered that I have a strong uterine infection. There is no way that it can be confirmed, but it is the suspected cause of Timmy's pre-term delivery. I'm now on high dose antibiotics and cautioned to avoid the same activities which were listed by the internal medicine doctors. I also discovered that uterine infections are painful, which certainly isn't helping me with the resting directive.

Despite the medical issues, my recover from the delivery has been remarkable. I haven't felt this good since I became pregnant! As soon as little Timmy was born, I felt stronger and healthier. The absence of nagging pain and discomfort is euphoric.  As an added (and surprising) bonus, I'm already back in my pre-baby leg!

All of my issues are minimal when compared to my concern about Timmy. We took him to the doctor yesterday and, to our delight, he is doing surprisingly well. Considering his size, he has very few problems and issues. We need to bulk him up, which will involve increased feedings on a regular schedule, but I know that he'll be bigger before I know it.  With so many health issues hinging on weight, fattening up our little guy has become of paramount importance. 

Living without a concrete schedule is frustrating, but the rewards in this circumstance are amazing. I am hopeful that our revolving medical appoints will slowly wane, allowing us more time to settle into our new lives. In the meantime, I plan on taking full advantage of Scott being home this week. If there is ever an opportunity for me to try to rest, it is certainly now.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Family of Four

It is safe to say that our lives have profoundly changed during the past few days. We went from being a family of three to four. Although we weren't prepared to meet our little miracle baby, I sure am glad that he is here! 

As soon as he was placed in my arms, I fell deeply and unconditionally in love. I know it sounds cliche, but perhaps that is because it is true. He was born a month early and is tiny, but he already has me wrapped around those miniature fingers.

Almost instantly after his birth I began to feel better. I venture to guess that I have only felt well for four or five weeks since September. I've struggled with thyroid issues, near constant pain, nausea and just feeling sick and worn out. The absence of pain is liberating. I haven't felt this well or this happy for a long time. The pregnancy was certainly taxing, but the birth process was the best antidote.

I anticipate some growing pains as Robby learns to live with a sibling, but right now we are all thoroughly enjoying the honeymoon period. Robby has fully embraced his role as big brother, showering the little one with kisses and love. We try to keep our demands on Robby to a minimum as we all adjust to life as a family of four. I don't push him to interact with the baby, but encourage him to help when he demonstrates interest. Above all, I am going out of my way to remind Robby how much I love him. Jealousy is normal, but right now he seems to be accepting and has adjusted well. 

So, with no further ado, I would like to officially introduce the newest member of our family. He has already stolen our hearts and has shown that he is both strong and determined.  Welcome to the world Timothy Scott Chenoweth!

  (Please pardon the watermarks.  I haven't received the hard copy yet but I love this pic!)