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 31, 2017

Anxiety Mantra

My doctors tweaked my medicine last week. As he was walking out of the exam room, the doctor casually mentioned that I might feel some side effects as my body adjusts. He failed to mention that the medication change would throw my entire emotional equilibrium into a blender. Knowing the cause is organic and fleeting, I've been struggling to remain centered and happy.

Yesterday I woke up in the middle of a panic attack and, unfortunately my day failed to improve. No matter how hard I tried, I just couldn't get into the groove of the day. I smiled, played with Timmy and cuddled with him on the couch throughout the day, but I still felt off somehow.

I honestly don't know how my fellow anxiety suffers cope with regular occurrences. I felt like I was walking on egg shells, waiting for an atomic bomb to drop all day long. Logically I knew that I was safe and that everything was fine, but knowing and feeling are sometimes different things.

To add insult to my already frustrating day, I dropped my cell phone and cracked the screen. I became angry knowing my anxiety jitters contributed to my phone clumsiness. At that point I just locked myself in the bathroom and cried.

Reminding myself that the medication adjustment is temporary has been both my mantra and my lifeline. I'm hoping that the adjustment is short. I am grateful that my anxiety days are not frequent, and I'm hoping that they will soon be behind me.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Red Wagon Adventures

With the weather improving and spring fully in bloom, we've been able to spend more time outside. Timmy is delighted playing on his swing set, looking at bugs and exploring the woods. I've tried to keep him out of the stream (with less than stellar results). Odd, Hamlet hates bathtubs but gravitates towards any other form of water.  Maybe if I threw a few sticks and small frogs in the tub he would hop in without squawking like a pig being taken to slaughter.
There is no doubt that being outside makes both of us happier people. Over the past few days I've logged miles pulling him up and down the street in his little red wagon. We've seen squirrels, bird nests and of course, Mr. Bill.

There is no doubt he was most excited about seeing Mr. Bill. I love watching the bond form between the two of them. It is different than what he has forged with Robby, but no less strong and just as needed. Both of their faces light up when they see each other. I'm reminded again how very lucky we are to have him in our lives. 

With all of miles I've spent pulling Timmy in his wagon, I haven't been worried about adding extra exercise to my routine. It turns out that pulling toddler and toy filled wagon around the neighborhood is a complete full body workout.  Maybe I could rent him out and start the next fitness trend?  

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

ABCMouse Mom

Yesterday was rainy and dreary, forcing us to stay inside most of the time. After my whimsically decorated and artfully laid out playroom was utterly destroyed, a task that hurricane Timmy managed to complete in mere minutes, my little destroyer moved his attention upstairs. Desperate to keep further destruction at bay, I logged onto the computer.
Timmy, like most little kids, is fascinated with computers. He was more than willing to cuddle up next to me to play on his favorite website. While I'm not sure he fully understands all of the educational games on ABCMouse, he does enjoy watching the computer chickens cluck around the farm. At that point in time, I was just happy that he was still and quiet for awhile. If it took computerized cluckers to achieve that zen moment, I was more than happy to boot up the laptop for him. 

Before I became a Mom I had a lot of opinions concerning the use of computer games and television with children. I was judgemental and quick to lay blame on lazy parenting. Then I experienced my first rainy day with a toddler and my perspective completely changed. I have become the "lazy Mom" I had previously scorned and so ignorantly judged.

Oh, irony will never cease to amaze me!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Defining My Rights

A few weeks ago Dave (my podcast partner and friend) and I were approached with an interesting challenge: to develop an Amputee Bill of Rights. At first the task felt overwhelming, but we decided that the process would be fascinating. Without conferring with each other, we each developed ten core principles that we believed every amputee deserved to expect. Only after we each completed our list did we share our ideas and thoughts.
This exercise forced me to reflect upon what I really valued and believed. What do I want for the limb loss community? What do I expect as a right versus something that might be negotiable? In the end I carefully chose those principles for which I would fight and advocate.

This exercise was cathartic as I was forced to become retrospective. While I was evaluating every aspect of my life, questioning what was a true entitlement, I uncovered clarity. I now have a concrete list that will become my springboard for future work.

As expected, Dave and I had several core principles that were nearly identical. About half of our principles were vastly different and unique to our life experiences and perspective. Dave focused more on insurance and access to devices whereas I tended towards addressing issues that were more personal in nature.
After much back and forth, we managed to merge both lists into one document. Our Bill of Rights is still in its infancy and we are seeking input from the community. What would you add to the list, or what would you take away? I would love and appreciate feedback.

Monday, March 27, 2017

On Trend

Being trendy has never been one of my hallmark traits. My fashion leans towards the comfortable, my taste in music is narrowly defined and I don't understand (nor do I particularly care about) references to reality show stars or the majority of television dramas. I wouldn't go so far to say that I exist in a vacuum, but I am definitely not one to change because of the latest issue of Vogue or because of a new celebrity trend.

Although I tend to be stagnant against cultural trends, I try to stay contemporary with political issues. This is especially true when an issue may impact the limb loss community. Last Thursday, as it became clear that Essential Health Benefits were in jeopardy with the revised AHCA, I had two distinct thoughts.  At first I was horrified with the prospect of the community suffering such a significant blow to quality prosthetic care. Almost simultaneously, I felt an unexpected sense of vindication because something that I had been warning might become a battle had quickly materialized. For once, I was actually ahead of the curve!

Of course, having Essential Health Benefits in peril was not a prediction I wanted to see realized. Friday was tense as I waited anxiously awaiting for tidbits of news. When it was confirmed that the entire bill was pulled, I nearly cried from relief.

At this time prosthetics will continue to receive EHB status. I'm delighted, but I am realize that the fight will continue. With so much at stake, I really wish I hadn't been on trend with this issue.