About Me

My photo
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, August 01, 2014

Full Circle Fairing

Fairings are extremely popular right now with amputees. The time of hiding the prosthesis is over; increasingly amputees are opting not only to show but also to flaunt what makes them unique. I investigated a fairing several years ago but immediately dismissed the option. At that time the leg cover was in the range of $10,000.  That's the price of a KIA! Although I realize that I have ample room in my trunk, I don't come close to getting the mileage to make the fairing purchase worthwhile.  I put the fairing idea on my "when I win the lottery" list and moved on. 

Every once in awhile the stars seem to align, creating a circle that leads me to believe that something is meant to be. A few weeks ago I was contacted by the Marketing Director for UNYQ, a new fairing company. He was asking for some insight into navigating social media with the amputee community, and after looking at the website, I knew I had to help. These fairings were 1/10 of the price of the other companies, allowing so many more amputees a fashionable option. 

I mentioned the conversation and the company to Elliot, who was intrigued. He did his own research and realized that he had professional relationships with several of UNYQ's employees. Since he was going to California on business, he scheduled a meeting to investigate collaborating with them

Yesterday morning I woke up, booted up my computer and opened an exciting email from Elliot. I am delighted to announce that Orthotic Prosthetic Center (OPC) and UNYQ have struck a partnership. Our prosthetic facility is now a hub for the company on the East Coast. As an added bonus, and to my delight and surprise, I was instructed to pick the fairing that I liked best. After looking at the website, I think I found the perfect design.  What do you think?

Thursday, July 31, 2014


Yesterday morning, on a whim, I packed up both boys and headed to Pennsylvania. I was feeling blue and knew that  spending a few days with my Mom would be the mood lifter I needed.  It wasn't until I was buckled in that I realized that I haven't driven in nearly 7 weeks. Although I'm not walking with ease, being mobile and independent again is absolutely wonderful!

I met my Mom at an activity resort near her house which touts rope courses, various climbing activities, OGO balls and bumper boats. Because she lives so close, and because my sister's three children live with her, she surprised us in the Spring by buying a membership for everybody. Unfortunately I haven't been able to utilize my membership because of my surgery.

Robby has been to Mountain Adventures several times already and always has a great time. He and his cousins run around in the fresh mountain air for hours while my Mom (aka Nana) sits on the shaded porch and relaxes. It is the perfect set up for everybody involved!

This is the first time I've been able to go and, although I couldn't do any of the activities, it was nice to feel involved and included. Sitting in the sunshine, holding Timmy and watching Robby run around with his friends, I felt all of the medical stresses melting away. For a few hours, I didn't worry about recovering from leg surgery or preparing for the next one. I just felt happy, which is something I haven't truly felt in seven weeks.

I am not going to be able to participate in the activities this year, but next summer will be a different story. I'll be healed, healthy and ready to go. In the meantime, I'll spend the next few days getting stronger in preparation for my next surgery. Thankfully I'm able to walk, which has done wonders for my mood. Everything is a little easier when you're happy.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A Long Process

Despite being a milestone, yesterday was an extremely laid-back celebration. After surprising Robby with cinnamon buns for breakfast, we packed up and headed back to Elliot's for another adjustment. I never realized how many socket adjustments and tweaks were necessary when crafting a prosthesis. I probably put 500 miles on the car in the past three weeks as we build a new leg. 

Building a good prosthesis is not a quick and simple venture. Whenever we undertake the building of a new leg I am so thankful that I work from home. I can easily manipulate my schedule to accommodate the frequent appointments, eliminating a stress of missed work time from the equation. During the past 10 days we have spent at least 15 hours being fitted and traveling to and from the office. Needless to say, Robby (and Timmy) have made themselves quite comfortable in the waiting room.

The process of building a new leg can be as frustrating as it is time consuming. I felt myself becoming irritated by the pain and feeling as if I was somehow weak because it was holding me back. I have never been very good at being patient with myself!

After multiple changes and tweaks as well as time for surgical healing to occur, I am finally feeling optimistic. I can walk, albeit gingerly and with a horrible gait, unassisted for short distances. With each step I am reminded of the recent surgery, but being upright again is a wonderful feeling! I wish I had a video camera rolling when Robby saw me walk into the bedroom without crutches. Hearing him cheer and seeing the pride on his face is a memory I will always cherish.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

A Decade

Ten years ago today I was waking up in a beach cabana on the beautiful island of Anguilla. My Mom was with me, desperately trying to provide shelter for every stray dog on the beach (she even had invited one to spend the night in our room), as I frantically made lists to prepare for the day ahead. I knew it was going to be busy:  it was my wedding day!

Readying myself for the big event, I pulled Scott's carefully selected wedding outfit from the suitcase. Unfortunately the odor announced the clothes before they were unfolded. Sophie, our cat who recently passed away, was not adjusting well to the pre-wedding stress at our house. She had apparently hopped into the suitcase and peed all over the silk shirt and shorts. Needless to say, smelling her thoughtless "gift" the morning of our wedding was not a pleasant discovery.  I frantically called Scott with the news, hoping that he would use his last few hours as a bachelor to go shopping.

Knowing that there was nothing I could do about the soiled outfit, my Mom and I made our way to the other side of the island for an afternoon at the spa. We were ushered into the posh establishment feeling that we were desperately out of place. The fact that their "one size fits all" robes would not wrap completely around our American sized bums did not help our case! Thankfully I was with my Mom, and we quickly began giggling at our awkward situation.

After getting massages by the beach, our nails polished and our hair coiffed, we were wedding ready.  (As a side note, getting a manicure at the beach is akin to throwing money into the ocean. Ten minutes after leaving the salon my polish was already chipping from the blowing sand.) We headed back to our little beach house and I put on my wedding dress. 

All of the activity and stress made me thirsty, so I took full advantage of the champagne provided.  This is probably my
favorite wedding photo because it reminds me of the fun time I had with my Mom as we prepared for the ceremony. Every time I see this picture I smile.

Walking down the sand aisle, I saw Scott smiling at me from the alter. I then noticed that he was wearing the pee-covered clothes.  So much for going shopping on his last day of freedom!

The ceremony did not go as planned. In the midst of our ceremony, the minister took it upon himself to dishonor our directive to remain non-denominational. Thinking we were going to exchange vows, I was stunned to be actively quizzed on the Bible. Even more frustrating than the questions was the fact that we didn't know the answer, resulting in a long, and in my opinion, highly inappropriate rant, from the minister. 

It has been ten years, but the uncomfortably religious ceremony remains high on our "Do Not Talk About" list. Time heals so many wounds, but apparently it hasn't touched my memories of that day. I have come to accept that I will always harbor some resentment about being made uncomfortable during our wedding.  I have learned that the best way to deal with my sour memories is simply to avoid the topic.

Regardless of the ceremony mishaps, today we are celebrating ten years together. It is hard to believe that we have been married for a decade! Lacking a babysitter, this evening we will be celebrating with an intimate dinner for four, probably at Chick Fil-A or IHOP if we listen to Robby's pleas.  Although not terribly romantic, somehow it feels like the perfect date. 

Monday, July 28, 2014

Re-Framing My Thoughts

My Facebook news feed is reminding me that another laid back weekend has drawn to a close. Between healing from the surgery and caring for Timmy, the day of the week has little consequence. Scott and Robby are home for summer vacation, so I have no obligation to keep track of the date or the days of the week. I have to say that we are doing a great job at living without a schedule!

With the exception of doctor's appointments, my schedule is unaffected by the day of the week.  Timmy wakes up every few hours to be fed, entertained, or held. Much of my day I am confined to my rocking chair where I have diapers, bottles, binkies, spit clothes and the baby within reach. I am almost beginning to forget what it feels like to socialize!

Staying inside and not being involved in a few projects is a foreign feeling for me.  I am accustomed to being busy, keeping a packed schedule. Having no where to go, and lacking the ability to do anything physical, I have been forced to slow down. Right now my job is to heal and to care for Timmy. Both are necessary, but the monotony is beginning to wear thin. I can't wait until I can put him in his stroller and work outside, go to the park or work on the growing list of projects that I have been planning. Too much idle time watching HGTV almost always equates to a strong desire to jump into home improvement.  Unfortunately, both Scott and I lack the tools and knowledge to complete the majority of my "great ideas."

Being sedentary is not something that is comfortable for me, but I am doing my best to adapt. In order to maintain some sanity, I'm trying to change my perspective on the entire situation. Rather than "sitting around doing nothing all summer," I'm actively reminding myself that I am taking care of Timmy.  The little guy needs a lot of extra care, and in a way I am fortunate to be in a position where I can devote myself to helping him. Maybe re-framing my situation will make the second half of the summer more pleasant.