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, June 05, 2015

Veggie Rut

A few months ago our storage freezer broke, forcing us to clean it out and buy a new one. As the bags of frozen vegetables were strewn on my garage floor during the freezer transfer, I had a revelation.  We were in a veggie rut.

Although I try to prepare healthy meals, which almost always include a vegetable, the variety has been limited to green beans, peas, and corn. I know that there is a whole world of veggies that we ignore, more out of habit than anything else. In order to break us out of our veggie isolation, we have joined a farm CSA.

Each week we drive to the farm where we pick up our box of freshly grown, in season produce. Because the selection of fruits and vegetables depends upon what is ripe, we are forced to expand our culinary repertoire. Soon, we will be non-discriminatory vegetable lovers. At least, that was the grand plan.

This week we picked up our first box of produce which included large bunches of kale. Undeterred but a bit weary, I scoured the internet for family friendly recipes featuring the vegetable I had always seen as a garnish. Selecting the least offensive, I headed to the kitchen to whip up our first in what will be a summer of vegetable trials.

I am proud of everybody for trying the dish, but despite the effort even I have to admit that it was not good. I think that the recipe would have been far more successful had I substituted spinach for the kale. Kale, it turns out, kind of tastes like muddy paper regardless of how it is prepared. 

While I was hoping for a home run, I suspect that we are going to experience a lot of culinary misses during our summer of vegetable exploration. Hopefully, we will find a few more to add to our rotation through our efforts. Even if we don't, it won't be from lack of trying.

Thursday, June 04, 2015

Shocking Leg

Between the skin sore and the constantly falling cold rain, my phantom pains were through the roof last night. I am trying to remind myself that I am actually lucky because my phantom pain nights are rare. So many of my amputee friends suffer daily because of angry missing limbs. Compared to their experiences, I almost feel guilty complaining about my sporadic occurrences.  Of course, with my leg doing the jitterbug and wailing up and down due to electrical shocks all night, I struggled to remind myself about my luck.

Phantom pains are simply miserable.  My big toe (missing of course) feels like the toe nail is being twisted off in a counter clockwise direction. Although uncomfortable, I can sometimes rationalize that the toe is not really there and talk my way through the pain. But when the electrical shocks start, I have learned to accept that the only thing I can do is try to find a comfortable position and ride out the night.

Last night my leg felt like it was being zapped by an electric fence a few times a minute. Each shock results in my leg quickly and involuntarily kicking, essentially forcing me to dance while I'm trying to sleep. Around midnight I finally surrendered and went to the couch so that Scott could sleep. He was sweet and never complained, but I knew that my constant kicking was keeping him awake.

My phantom pain episodes are highly predictable in that they occur almost exclusively at night. As the sun was rising, my leg began to calm down. I am now utterly exhausted, but in no pain.

Hopefully Hamlet will cooperate and allow me to take a nap today. If not, I am going to be keeping my coffee pot busy!

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

I Knew Better

I have a sore on my leg, and I have nobody else to blame but myself. It isn't too big, and hopefully I'll be able to manage with some blister band-aids and modifying my activities for a few days. Even though it isn't at the crisis point, I am alarmed that it is there and plan on taking care of it. After all, it is completely my fault that it developed.

Over the weekend we went to the pool.  Last summer I wasn't able to enjoy the pool, or summer for that matter, because of my multiple surgeries.  In my zeal to jump right into the fun, I disregarded the fact that I don't yet have a properly fitting prosthesis.  I managed to squeeze (quite literally) my leg into the least ill-fitting socket I had and vowed just to "suck it up."

Sometimes sucking it up isn't the best approach. I knew the leg hurt, but once I jumped in the water it didn't bother me as much.  At that moment, the discomfort was worth the benefits of playing with my boys and resuming "normalcy."

 I didn't feel the sore developing because my circulation was compromised, and my limb was numb. It wasn't until the second night that I noticed blood on my liner. I knew that I should have rested yesterday, but hosting the luncheon thwarted those plans. 

It's raining today which equates to a perfect day to play quietly inside with Timmy.  Hopefully some TLC and time will help my leg heal.  I'm still angry that this happened.  I've been an amputee for more than a decade, and I certainly know better!

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Luncheon Day!

Today is a big day as Scott and I host his annual end-of-the-year luncheon for his students. The luncheon began almost a decade ago as a way to thank the community internship sponsors who worked with his students throughout the year. Over time, it has become an opportunity to celebrate the end of a year and to honor the graduating students. 

A few years ago we toyed with the idea of ending the luncheon primarily because it is both extremely labor intensive and expensive to host. When we learned that our hosted lunch is the only celebration some of his students receive when they graduate, we decided to carry on the tradition. (Between being categorized special education and living in the foster care system, many of his students have rarely experienced the family celebrations that we take for granted.) 

Yesterday I woke up early and worked on a report and other paperwork while everybody else was sleeping. Although it was painful pulling myself out of bed at 4 AM, I knew that it was necessary because I needed to knock out my work commitments early. I was going to be spending the afternoon cooking for 35 hungry teenagers.

After everybody left for school and my reports were done, Timmy and I began to work in the kitchen.  Wearing him on my chest for much of the time, we managed to knock out seven lasagnas and 3 trays of Alfredo casserole. I set the trays on the kitchen table, unstrapped Timmy so that he could toddle around (and I could stretch my back) and prepared to make the rolls. 

I should have known better than to trust a one year old! Almost as soon as I walked into the kitchen I heard a crashing sound, followed by Timmy shrieking. He had managed to pull one of the lasagnas off of the table and onto his head. He was dripping with red sauce, cheese and noodles!  If I hadn't been exhausted, and he hadn't been upset, I am fairly certain it would have been funny. I do wish that I had taken a photo, but at that point I just wanted to clean up the mess before he spread the red sauce through the house.

After taking an unscheduled break for a bath and change of clothes, I strapped Hamlet back onto my chest (he lost roaming privileges) and finished working on the rolls.  By the time Scott came home from work my kitchen looked like it had been hit by a tornado. Thankfully he is a well-trained husband and immediately began to help with the dishes.

The luncheon is today, and I hope that all of his students have a great time. Per tradition, I'm picking up Robby early from school so that he can attend. He is so excited to go help at his Daddy's school that he requested to wear his "fancy clothes" to the event. I'm sure that the students will smile seeing Robby serving food in his suit and tie. 

I enjoy the luncheon, but it is a lot of work. I'll be glad when it is over and I can relax. Or, at least relax as much as my little cherubs will allow.

Monday, June 01, 2015

Birthday Wrap-Up

The weekend flew by and I have to say, I don't think I am ready for it to be over. Between rescheduled meetings, two big reports that are due, Scott's internship luncheon on Tuesday and Robby's school performance on Friday, my days are packed full.  I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, but I know that my days are going to remain hectic until the school year is over.  (Of course, when everybody is home for vacation a whole new batch of issues tends to arise, but I'll remain optimistic and hope that this year will be different.)

Robby had his school birthday party on Friday, which was a rousing success.  After the party I took him and his friend to Chuck E. Cheese for an afternoon of game playing fun.  Scott was able to sneak out of work a few hours early so that he could retrieve Timmy and take him home.  Although he enjoyed being with the big kids and watching all of the lights and action around him, I knew he really needed to be home. I think Robby thoroughly enjoyed the Timmy-free afternoon. He was even permitted to go into the Ticket Blaster, something that he repeatedly claimed to be "waiting his whole life" to try.

Saturday was Robby's birthday and we tried to fill the hours with as much doting as possible.  My Mom came down to help us celebrate and ended up babysitting Timmy so that we could all go to the pool.  After we were done swimming we went to a steakhouse for dinner, which was Robby's request. (His decision was based solely on his desire to sit on the "birthday saddle" and have all of the people in the restaurant scream a collective "yee haw" in honor of his birthday.)

Yesterday the temperatures were creeping into the 90's again, prompting us to return to the pool. This was Timmy's first swimming experience, and neither Scott nor I knew quite what to expect. It turns out that our worrying was for naught because he is a little water bug. He wasn't as nervous as I anticipated, but I'm sure that having his big brother splashing and playing around him was motivation to get into the water. We spent about 2 hours floating and playing in both the regular and baby pool.  After that time he was exhausted and ready to go home.  (This summer I think we Scott and I will end up driving separately to the pool so that somebody can take Timmy home when he gets tired.)

I loved being back in the pool, but I did find myself frustrated without a properly fitting swim leg. I have had to keep rescheduling the fitting for my swim leg because Timmy kept getting sick. I am going to make a concerted effort to get fitted this week, because trying to squeeze into an old leg was not fun. I was fine as long as my leg was completely submerged, but walking into and out of the pool was painful. Hopefully Elliot will be able to work some magic and I'll have a new swim leg before the next heat wave hits!