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, April 22, 2016

Long Week

The adventures of the week have caught up with me. My leg is ouchy and and tired. Typically I don't have limb fatigue, but walking so much in a new socket and suspension system has taken its toll. I knew that I was supposed to take it easy to allow time for my limb and body to adjust, but I just couldn't seem to fit it into my schedule until today. 

Today I have nothing on my schedule except for a few conference calls. I'm looking forward to a day at home, just playing and relaxing. Timmy's schedule has been disrupted because of my meetings, causing him to forgo naps and to become irritable and grumpy. Hopefully a quiet day at home will help to restore some normalcy into his little routine.

On a side note, it is hard to believe that my little Hamlet will turn two on Sunday. We don't have huge plans for a celebration, but I'm sure that we will do something special for him. Regardless of what we end up doing, rest assured that there will be cake.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

#NotALuxury Meetings

I had a wonderful time on Capitol Hill yesterday.  I woke up at 4 and was busy with meetings throughout the day, yet I felt energized and excited when I went to bed last night. It feels wonderful knowing that I am taking lobbying for access to prosthetic devices into my own hands. Because I live so close to DC and my device is paramount to my ability to live the mobile life I have come to expect,  I feel compelled to add my own voice to the efforts.

I expected to be nervous and to feel out of my element, yet I felt confident in my ability to relay not only my struggle but those that have been shared with me through readers of this blog.  I spoke about so many of my readers and friends that I felt empowered by the sheer number of individuals supporting my efforts. Walking into each meeting, I knew that I was not alone.

I felt fortunate to be able to speak on behalf of so many of my friends and colleagues. I live a short train ride from DC, which makes my undertaking this task feasible. Scott was supportive of my accepting the invitation to lobby and immediately took off work so that he could stay home with Timmy.  Although I had the adventure, he was the one who was utterly frazzled and exhausted when I came home.  (Maybe now he will appreciate why I am so tired by the end of the day?)

A photo posted by Peggy Friedman Chenoweth (@amputeemommy) on

A photo posted by Peggy Friedman Chenoweth (@amputeemommy) on

A photo posted by Peggy Friedman Chenoweth (@amputeemommy) on

A photo posted by Peggy Friedman Chenoweth (@amputeemommy) on

A photo posted by Peggy Friedman Chenoweth (@amputeemommy) on

A photo posted by Peggy Friedman Chenoweth (@amputeemommy) on

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

TV Talk Show

Yesterday's adventure was definitely one for the memory album. I was interviewed on a local talk show about limb loss issues. Although the time frame was short, I did my best to bring #NotALuxury and insurance fairness issues to light for the viewing audience. 

Today I'm heading to Capitol Hill to speak with various legislators about access to prosthetics. Wish me luck as I try to make somebody listen!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Access to Care

Yesterday was the third running of the Boston Marathon since the tragic bombings. I know this not because I am a particular fan of marathon running, but because my Twitter feed provided me with nonstop updates about various amputees partaking in the event. Inspirational stories featuring the bombing victims triumphantly running the same roads that took their limb just three years earlier were especially popular in my little Twitter universe.

I get it. Humans are drawn to comeback stories. The marathon victims reclaiming their lives by running the  marathon, only this time utilizing state of the art prosthetics, is as feel good as it gets. I applaud their efforts and their tenacity. Running 26.1 miles is an admirable feat for able bodied individuals. Accomplishing the task while utilizing a prosthetic takes difficult to a new realm.

Without taking away from the accomplishment of the Boston Victim runners, their journey is not representative of the average amputee in this country. Because their limb loss occurred during a terrorist attack, the country and the prosthetic industry responded quickly and generously. These individuals were provided with the best rehabilitation specialists and fitted with state-of-the-art prosthetic limbs. Thanks to the donations from millions of American's, the Boston Bombing victims are free to pursue their mobility ambitions without worrying about the confines of private insurance. 

Juxtaposed against the Marathon Victim runners were a group of amputees representing the Challenged Athlete Foundation. Perhaps the irony was lost on most, but I couldn't help but reflect upon the fact that this organization exists to provide the adapted sporting equipment that insurance typically denies. For the vast majority of amputees who want to return to sport, a grant from the Challenged Athletes Foundation is often the only avenue for a running leg.  The one commonality between both groups of amputee runners is the fact that their sport limbs were provided through donations. 

Amputees running marathons and participating in sports is always lauded by society and the mainstream media.  Yet the true struggle, the one that is battled before the carbon fiber blade ever touches the pavement, is never explored. Amputees are disabled more by the confines of their own finances and insurance policies than by the physical loss of a limb. In order for all amputees to reach the potential of our marathon peers, we need to remove the barriers preventing access to quality prosthetic devices.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Circus Fun

Friday evening I took Robby and his friend to the circus. I was delighted when I won the tickets, thrilled with the prospect of an evening of circus fun at no charge. Of course, nothing is ever really free and it turns out that Barnum and Bailey still turned a considerable profit on our business despite the complimentary tickets.

With popcorn running $12 a bag and cotton candy costing a whopping $14, I was flabbergasted by the price gouging. I expected it to be pricey, but I was floored by the price tags. Perhaps offering free tickets to lure unsuspecting families into the big top is part of their sinister marketing strategy. Either way, it worked because I have a half eaten bag of the most expensive cotton candy ever sold on my kitchen counter. 

Despite the shocking food prices, we had a great time. Robby was absolutely enthralled by the performers. I was a tinge uncomfortable when he bent over and whispered "Momom, I bet a lot of men want to make sex with that woman" as the contortionist was performing. I didn't really know what to say, so I just nodded and shoved a $5 fistful of cotton candy into his mouth.  Sigh. My little Koopa is definitely growing up.

I am glad that I was able to spend some time with Robby on Friday, because I really didn't see him much for the remainder of the weekend. He and his friends were running around the neighborhood and between houses, playing, jumping on the trampoline and riding bikes. I may have been demoted from preferred playmate to ATM and chauffeur, but Timmy was more than happy to play.  At first I was concerned about the spread between the boys ages, but now I am finding myself grateful.  They are clearly in two distinct stages of life, and I have the benefit of enjoying both simultaneously.