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 18, 2014

I'm Going To...

Okay, yesterday was not my best. My leg was so swollen and painful that the only thing I could feel was anger and frustration. I keep reminding myself that I needed the surgery, but I am also struggling with huge feelings of regret as I try to process the setback. My surgeon promised that I could do no damage if I tried to walk at the four week mark; obviously he was wrong. If I didn't think it was a bad idea to alienate the man in control of my pain management, I'd have a few choice words for him right now! Instead, I find myself biting my lip and nodding attentively.

I should be enjoying summer with my family but I've been relegated to sitting on the couch and watching the fun unfold for everybody else. I so badly want to be the one on the trampoline or zipline with Robby that being forced to simply watch has been heart wrenching. I love being an involved and active mom; being forced to assume the role of passive observer has not been an easy transition.

My work, a source of both pride and great satisfaction, has been impacted by my surgery and recovery. I have been forced to slow down and adjust my schedule. I'm not earning as much because I'm not working at the same capacity. My mind is swirling with projects and ideas, all of which are on hold until I can ambulate. Perhaps this is another reason that I am chomping at the bit to start walking again. 

I keep reminding myself that the surgery was only five weeks ago and that I need to give my body time to heal. This weekend I am going to hold Timmy while sitting on the swing outside, watching Robby play and climb. I'm going to soak up the sunshine and try to accept my temporary new normal. I'm going to let my leg rest and hopefully heal. More than anything, I'm going to try to rediscover and channel my happy place.  Wish me luck!

Thursday, July 17, 2014


Every morning for the past week I have been pushing past the pain to don my liner. Yesterday it took four attempts, and I was in tears by the time it was rolled into place.  It would be easy to avoid wearing the liner and leg, but I fear avoidance will only delay my walking again. At this point I am feeling desperate to regain my independence!

I know it has only been five weeks, but I am shocked at the persistent pain. Straightening my leg, putting on my liner and trying to wear the prosthesis all result in a sharp soreness which stops me in my tracks. In the past I have been able to push beyond the pain, but this time it is more intense. I feel stymied, and frustrated.

The problems donning my liner led to my decision to keep my leg off for the day. I figured that my limb was angry and needed time to calm down. I kept the liner on because I wanted the compression, and also because I knew that it was going to hurt trying to peel it off. According to Robby I activated my "suck it up" mode and kept the liner in place. 

Late in the afternoon my limb pain intensified, motivating me to remove the liner and ice everything down. I was shocked when I looked at my bare leg. It was grotesquely swollen and discolored in places. Pressing on the tissue left deep dimples from the tip up to the bottom of my knee cap.  Obviously, something was wrong! I snapped a picture and sent it to Elliot for his input.

I spent the remainder of the day and evening icing down my leg and hoping that the swelling would leave. Elliot, who is friends with my surgeon, shared my photo and called me a few hours later. The pair suspects that I tore part of the muscle flap. During the surgery the surgeon drilled several small holes in the tip of my bone. He then threaded the muscle tissue through the drill holes, creating a secure distal tip. They think that part of the muscle tore away from the bone, probably when I was trying to wear the prosthesis.  No wonder it hurt so much!

At this point we don't know the extent of the damage, and we probably won't for a few days. I have been ordered to stay away from the liner and leg, to rest, to elevate and to ice the limb. I am officially declaring this a setback. My only hope is that it is minor, and that I'll be healed and returned to "normal" soon.   

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Injection Woes

Yesterday morning I squeezed into my leg, still a painful,feat, and took both boys to the pediatrician. My leg felt squished and sore and I knew I would not be able to wear it for long. Activating my "suck it up mode," I was determined to keep it on for as long as possible.

Although necessary, I knew that the pediatrician visit would be anything but relaxing. Robby was scheduled for his yearly physical and, unbeknownst to him, an injection. Timmy was scheduled to receive yet another one of the seemingly endless vaccinations recommended (and many times required) for babies.  Knowing that both boys were going to be receiving shots, I prepared myself for a stressful morning by indulging in an extra cup of coffee while wishing I had a cupcake. 

Robby’s physical went well although the pediatrician did notice a problem with his right ear.  My little guy has been complaining about pain and unexplained noises coming from this ear, so I wasn’t surprised to learn that there was an issue.  The tube, which was placed in October, was being pushed out of place by scar tissue. I don’t know the treatment for this issue, but I do know that I am again in the all-too-familiar position of waiting for the specialist’s office to return my call so that I can schedule an appointment.  When did doctors’ offices stop actually answering their phones?

After the examination, Robby begrudgingly sat on my lap in preparation for his shot. The past few months he has taken a slightly sadistic pleasure in watching Timmy receive a myriad of injections. Now the tables were turned, and the needle was intended for him. I braced myself for the worst, fully expecting to become reacquainted with Robby Rotten.

My brave little Koopa didn’t even flinch. After the band-aid was applied, he hopped off my lap and proclaimed that it was “easy peasy.”Apparently the finger puppet he earned from the doctor made the needle worth it.

Timmy received his injections without much fuss, and before I knew it, we were on our way home. I was proud of my two boys, and was looking forward to a relaxing afternoon. Unfortunately I breathed my sigh of relief prematurely. It turns out that the needle was the least of the issues with Timmy’s injections.

Timmy was nearly inconsolable by mid-afternoon. He was running a fever, refusing to eat, and agitated. I spent the entire day, and much of the night, holding and repetitively rocking him. The cause of his distress was different, but the outcome was the same. My little baby was miserable!

I was up rocking him until 4:00 AM, at which point I woke Scott to take over. By that point Timmy was finally asleep and I knew that if I didn’t get some rest, I would be useless today. I’m hoping that the worst of the reaction is over and that my pleasant and happy baby will return today. If not, it is going to be a long day (again)!

BTW-- This is what you look like after staying up ALL NIGHT long with a fussy infant.  Perhaps the best birth control warning ever?

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Too Quickly

Yesterday morning Robby woke up, took one look out the window at the dreary weather, and asked if he could go to school.  What a change from past summers where he would duck and hide each time we drove past the school building. I was delighted that he wanted to go because it is certainly another confirmation that we made the right decision when we switched schools. From a purely selfish perspective, the prospect of a mommy break (although I love him dearly) delighted me. 

With Robby tucked away at school with his friends, I was able to catch up on some much needed sleep. Timmy has greatly improved since we switched bottles, but he wakes up frequently. I hear claims of babies sleeping for four hours at a stretch, and even through the night. I've come to believe that those tales are simply urban legends!  Robby didn't sleep through the night until he was nine months old, and judging from our current schedule, I don't expect Timmy to surpass his brother.

His favorite sleeping position continues to be in my arms, and although it becomes draining at times, I don't really mind. I highly doubt that he will be crawling into my arms willingly in a few years. I have to practically bribe Robby for the privilege of rocking him. I'm exhausted and my arms become sore, but I love holding and rocking my little Timmy.

I know that it sounds cliche, but I have come to accept that children really do grow up quickly. I am still licking my wounds over the fact that Robby no longer loves baking cookies with me. We used to spend hours in the kitchen, whipping up a variety of treats. Now he quickly cracks the eggs, asks for me to save some batter and leaves the room, leaving me to bake alone.  I miss my little baking assistant! 

Robby spent a few hours at school, and according to all accounts he had a great time playing with his friends. He was quick to point out that school was a lot of fun because they didn't do any learning. (The academic portion is shut down for summer so that the facility can enroll for summer camps.) "Momom. I had so much fun. Sometimes learning and work really gets in the way of having fun with my friends."  If he only knew how right he is with that observation!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Suck It Up Mode

Becoming a bi-ped again is not progressing as quickly as I would prefer, but I am seeing small improvements every day. Last week I yelped and became dizzy when trying to don my liner. Now I can put it on with minimal cussing and no loss of consciousness. I will consider that a move in the right direction.

I would prefer that I was void of all pain, but I also realize that is a lofty wish. The surgery was only four weeks ago, and although it feels like a lifetime I know that my body is still healing. Realistically, I don't expect to be walking unassisted for another month, and it will take longer for the pain to stop reminding me of my surgery with every step. 

I was concerned that Robby had his expectations for my walking set too high. He was so excited when we went to Mr. Elliot's, convinced that I would leave the office walking. I tried to prepare him for the reality of a long recovery, but he was certain that I would be able to do it. 

Obviously, I was not able to walk out of the office unassisted. Undeterred by my crutch use, Robby has been nothing but supportive. My heart melted when he hugged me after my first steps down the hallway. On the drive home, he mentioned that he was a lucky boy.  When I asked him why, he explained that "I'm the only kid on my whole school who gets to help teach their Mom how to walk. That's an important job for me." I don't know what I did to raise a child who has such an optimistic and enthusiastic outlook about life. So many other kids would be frustrated by my limited mobility, but mine sees the situation through an unexpected perspective.

Yesterday morning I slipped into my leg (no easy feat considering both the swelling and soreness of the limb) and joined the boys in going out for breakfast. Using both crutches and putting minimum weight through the leg, I slowly inched my way into the restaurant.  Exhausted and a little embarrassed by my slow walking, I gave a faint smile to the server before slinking into the seat. Robby felt compelled to inform the nice lady about my status.  "Momom just had her leg re-amputated. She is starting to walk with a new leg that Mr. Elliot made her. It is really hard to learn to walk again, and I'll tell you it hurts like hell. Don't worry though, Momom is in suck it up mode. She is in that mode a lot."  The poor teenager didn't know how to respond.  I'm thinking that we need to talk with Robby about providing too much information to people whom we do not know, but I do appreciate his open nature and desire to share.

Despite his verbosity, Robby has become quite a little cheerleader, encouraging me to walk and showering me with praise through every step. I am quite thankful for his encouragement, at times it is the only thing keeping me from throwing the leg out the window. His constant banter when I'm walking, or trying to walk, has made pushing through the pain easier. With his help and encouragement, I am feeling confident that I will be walking again soon.  After all, it is hard to slow down when you have a little boy constantly reminding you to suck it up.