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, March 20, 2015


Yesterday was incredibly difficult.  Saying goodbye to my Dad, for perhaps the final time during his life, was one of the hardest things I've ever done. I feel emotionally drained and I have no doubt it will take me several days to process the events of the past two weeks.  I am sure I will write about it again, but to be honest right now I am not in the proper frame of mind to relive the goodbye. 

I must admit though that it was wonderful to see my boys again.  Robby came running to meet me at the metro station.  He jumped into my arms, nearly knocking me off my feet. He hasn't given me a running hug in quite some time. I nearly forgot how to brace myself!

I was worried about Timmy's reaction, concerned that the two weeks away might have faded his memories of me. All of my worrying was for naught because it took him approximately 2.4 seconds to process who I was before a smile quickly enveloped his little face. My little Hamlet wouldn't let me out of his sight last night, happily crawling around after me wherever I went in the house.

It is wonderful to be home. I know that both my Mom and Scott made sacrifices so that I could spend the past two weeks caring for my Dad.  Scott really picked up the reigns at home, taking care of Robby.  My Mom took Timmy to her house and I know that he was well loved!  She went above and beyond yesterday, not only driving five hours round trip to return him to me, but she also prepared a full roast dinner for us to enjoy when I came home from the airport.

Despite the heartache, I went to sleep in my own home knowing that I was loved and supported.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Going Home

Today is one of mixed emotions. I am eager to return home. The thought of wrapping my arms around Robby and Scott and picking up and snuggling Timmy brings me to a near giddy state. As eager as I am to be reunited with my boys, I am fully aware that I may be seeing my Dad for the final time. It is a thought that I simply cannot fathom, but in my heart I dread that it is a reality.

I am so thankful that I was able to spend the past two weeks with him. Transitioning into a care taking role for a parent has been enlightening. During the course the day I would occasionally be struck by the gravity of our role reversal. He used to care for me when I was young; and now I am was returning the favor.  I'm sure that it will take time to process all of my thoughts and emotions, but for now I'm just happy that I was able to help.

I'm going to have a difficult time kissing my Dad goodbye for perhaps the last time, but I know that it's time for me to go home. Instead of thinking about the grief,  I'm looking ahead, probably because contemplating the reality is too overwhelming and would cause me to break down. So instead of crying I'm going to try to smile. After all, today I get to see my boys again.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

It's Okay

The past 36 hours have been heart wrenching. My Dad took a sudden, albeit anticipated, turn for the worst. He is sleeping nearly constantly, but it doesn't appear to be a comfortable slumber. He twitches and vocalizes, which I worry may be pain. When he is awake he reports that his pain is being controlled, so I don't press the issue. I think that this is just part of the process.

Yesterday I sat quietly on the couch next to him. Although he was sleeping I wanted to make sure that he wasn't alone during those brief moments of being alert. Despite his bloated abdomen, swollen and purple limbs and overwhelming weakness, he has not complained. I don't know if he is truly at peace, if he is being stoic or if he is simply too exhausted to explore those draining emotions.

I, on the other hand, feel like I am hanging onto a fraying thread. My heart is breaking as I watch my Dad slowly slip away. I don't want him to suffer, and although I am dreading his death, I want to make sure that he knows that it is okay. When he becomes too tired, when he no longer wants to keep fighting, or when he is weary of the pain, he can let go. We will miss him dearly, but we will be okay. We will grieve, but we will smile, laugh and continue to live. Even his beloved wife, although she will be heartbroken, will forge forward.

Today is my last full day with him. I've been gone from my family for two weeks, and they are eager for me to come home. It is going to tear me apart leaving, but I will contend with those emotions later. (Again, denial is my go-to coping mechanism.) For right now, I am going to continue to sit by my Dad and help him with whatever he asks. I love him and right now, his knowing that is my absolute priority.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Guest Blogger

Last month I was approached about being a guest blogger for the disability.gov site. I was honored by the offer and jumped (well, not literally) at the opportunity.  Yesterday the blog I authored was published on their site. 

As I was sitting next to my Dad, watching him struggle with pain and slowly slipping away, the email announcing the publication was a spark of happiness during a gloomy situation.

I hope you enjoy the blog!


Monday, March 16, 2015

Unspoken Rules

I anticipated a considerable amount of emotional fluctuations during this trip.  Trying to provide comfort to my Dad through the dying process is utterly heartbreaking. Instead of considering the end result of these efforts, I found I am only able to cope if I live in the moment. The ultimate reality is too much to comprehend, and grieving now will do nothing to thwart the emotions when the time occurs.  Again, avoidance is my go-to coping mechanism.

While I knew that the trip would be difficult, I was unprepared about my need to carefully navigate through the treacherous family dynamics. Everybody is stressed which has exacerbated already tender relationships. I have struggled to find my role in his care taking team, but after trial and error I think I have finally figured it out.

I help my dad when requested, but only when his primary caretaker is unavailable.  Helping when the primary is present seems to result in a conflict.  I have taken to asking questions about care to the primary, not the patient. Offers of assistance are misinterpreted as criticism of the care being rendered.

While I have to admit that I am disheartened by the never verbalized rules, at this point I don't have the energy to contest. I wouldn't say that I don't care, nor would I deny being extremely hurt by the situation. I spent much of yesterday crying tears of frustration. After all, being pushed away and rejected never feels good!

 However, at this juncture, I will do anything to avoid conflict because it puts undo stress on my Dad.  I am accepting the rules because I am a guest to a very personal journey.  My voicing my feelings aloud at this time, although it might be feel cathartic in the moment, would not be constructive given the situation.

I will sort through the emotions of rejection and disrespect later because right now I need my energy to focus on my Dad. (Thank goodness I have a blog!) His time is short and I want it to be drama-free.