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 04, 2016

Phantom Paw Pain

A few days ago we were basking in 70 degree temperatures. My mind was already planning for the garden and the planting of spring flowers. Today everybody is home because of a snowstorm.  Welcome to winter in Virginia!

Kitty (name still to be determined) and I accurately predicted this snowfall. When the sun began to set I could tell that she was uncomfortable. Considering that she is less than two weeks post amputation, she is doing remarkably well. Yesterday was the first time I sensed any discomfort, affirming my worry that she was also going to experience phantom pain.

While Kitty and I settled into warm blankets to sooth our phantom leg/ paw issues, the boys hoped for one more snow day. Their wish was granted, and they will be able to enjoy a long weekend. I would bet that this is the last one for the year, but with this crazy winter you can't be sure. 

Thursday, March 03, 2016

New Friendships

Ever since the new neighbors moved in, Robby has been scarce.  I can hear his squeals and giggles through the neighborhood, but he is never home. He and Jack have become inseparable. From the moment they come home from school until one of them is called home for dinner, they are always busy playing, exploring, and crafting. 

I knew that a true friendship had been solidified when they began to jointly decorate the tree house. Dubbed the "Bro Fort," the walls are now adorn with various signs, license plates and pictures. My old lawn furniture has been rescued and re-purposed for the Bro Fort, providing the boys the opportunity to "relax like men." 

While I barely see my little Koopa, he is still present and active in Mr. Bill's life.  Only now instead of just one curious 9 year old visiting, Mr. Bill must contend with two. I think he enjoys answering his door to greet two freckle faced boys who pepper him with questions and requests for stories about his "pioneer days." 

Robby isn't the only one reaping the friendship benefits from our new neighbors.  I have enjoyed visiting with the Mom and while I'm guarded about calling her a friend yet, we have definitely developed a comfortable rapport. Scott has enjoyed more than one Friday night with the Dad, playing video games and drinking beer.

Even Timmy has garnered a new friend.  Daisy, Jack's younger sister who is only three years old, met Timmy a few days ago when we were playing in the yard.  Before I knew it, the pair were running around together.  She must have had a good time because yesterday afternoon Daisy showed up at my front door saying, "I play with Timmy."  (I texted her parents who were frantic that she was missing.)

With new friendships budding, I have a feeling that this is going to be a great spring and summer!

Wednesday, March 02, 2016


I knew that yesterday was going to be busy. Because schools were closed for voting, I decided to take full advantage of Scott being home by scheduling meetings. I was looking forward to focusing and knocking a lot of work off my to do list without worrying about the boys. 

Unfortunately all of my plans went out the window when Scott suddenly became sick in the middle of the night. After helping to clean up the vomit (ick) and settling him back into bed, I began to fret about my meetings. Rescheduling was not an option, so I was thrown back to the planning board to secure daycare for Timmy.

After worrying myself into a full blown panic attack, I was finally able to recenter myself and think rationally. After a few texts, I received a lifeline. I am fortunate that Robby's teacher is a wonderful woman who graciously agreed to watch Timmy on her day off. We are so lucky to have her in our lives!

Between juggling the boys, taking care of Scott and preparing for my meetings, my morning was beyond hectic. I felt relieved when I sat down in the car to drive to my meetings because it felt so wonderful to be off my feet. (I love my husband dearly, but he is an extremely high maintenance and non-compliant patient.)

In the end, it all worked out. By the end of the day I was frazzled, overwhelmed, and had logged over 16,000 steps on my pedometer. I take the fact that I was still standing as a victory. Hopefully Scott is feeling better today and will be ready to resume at least some activity because I am certainly not cut out to be a single Mom.

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

3d Printed Prosthetics

It seems that almost every day I see another story featuring the wonders of 3d printed prosthetics. The stories all follow a similar script: an upper extremity amputee (typically a child) who was otherwise unable to afford a device was provided one thanks to a 3d printer and a group of students. While I acknowledge that the stories are uplifting, which is refreshing in today's world, they often fail to disclose the limitations of this "groundbreaking" technology.

The overwhelming limitations of 3d printed devices, durability and strength, need to be rectified in order to be feasible for the majority of the amputee community. At this time only upper extremity devices are being manufactured because the plastic is simply not strong enough for legs and feet. (With the exception of one water leg company that is commercially utilizing a 3d printed process, but I personally find the devices clunky and cumbersome.)

Don't get me wrong, I have no doubt that 3d printed prosthetics will be a part of my life during the next decade. But I don't believe that my receiving a new leg will be as simple as uploading a design and printing one out. The technology is exciting, but we are still in its infancy.  In this week's podcast, Dave and I discuss the benefits, drawbacks and possible future for 3d printing in the field of prosthetics.

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Monday, February 29, 2016

Our Tripod Kitty

My sweet Sophie Cat passed away almost two years ago, yet I still feel her loss. She was my lap kitty, loving to curl up on my lap and content to purr the night away. Sophie was so special and it has only been recently that I have felt ready to bring another cat into our family. 

Yesterday, after much planning and hoping, we added a new member to our family. Only a year old, yet this dear kitty has already spent at least three of her nine lives.  She was shot three times, which resulted in the amputation of her back leg. She was rescued by a friend and reader of this blog, and when I learned about her plight I knew that she needed to be loved. 

Fully recovered from her amputation and ready to fly, she was able to make the trip from Louisiana to her new home in Virginia. I felt like a child on Christmas Eve as we drove to the airport to pick her up. Scared and hiding under her blankets, she popped her little head out and began to meow when I began to talk to her. She hasn't stopped meowing and purring since!

Robby and Timmy are infatuated and head over heels in love with her. Robby spent a long time last night singing and petting her. Listening through the door, I heard him carefully explain that he knows that she is afraid of him because she was shot by a boy. He promised that he would never hurt her and that he would "kick the privates" of anybody who tried to hurt her now.   Timmy keeps petting and trying to head butt his new friend. He happily hops around after her as she meanders around the bedroom. (We have her penned in one room until Charlie Cat calms down and accepts his new playmate.)

We haven't yet decided on a name. We feel as if we need to get to know kitty's personality before we figure out what to call her. In the meantime, she is being showered with love and kisses. She may only have three legs, but I know that she is going to live a very full and happy life.