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, July 07, 2017

Toddler Dance Party

The weather this week has been horrible. I know that our garden will be happy for the rain, but my two boys have not been nearly as pleased. Both Robby and Timmy have been going stir crazy being stuck inside for the past few days. Trust me, Timmy being bored with pent up energy always equals destruction! I would be a wealthy lady if I received a dollar for each time I said "no" over the past 48 hours.

In an effort to break up the day and allow our little guy to release some energy, we decided to take him to his favorite indoor toddler playground. As soon as we drove into the parking lot I realized that we were not the only parents with the brilliant solution to curing a bored toddler. The place was packed and toys were at a premium. I ended up saying no and redirecting behavior more than at home. So much for that great idea!

With the indoor playground packed, we made our visit short and headed home. I cranked up the toddler songs and Timmy and I had a dance party in the living room. He was thrilled hopping and swinging around wearing only his diaper. I'm sure that we were quite the sight through the window, but for the first time in days he was happy and active. I have to admit, I even had fun letting go and being silly.  I think we'll be having toddler dance parties more often.

Thursday, July 06, 2017

Dinosaurs LIVE

I try to shy away from pointing out the errors or mistakes of others because I find that, although probably well-meaning, the correction is often perceived as arrogant or condescending. I also don't like to embarrass people when they make a mistake because heaven knows I make enough of my own. Unless I am in a professional setting or debating with friends, I typically just ignore the gaff in an effort to allow the conversation to flow. 

Yesterday I found myself in a situation that put my ability to overlook to the true test.  I had a lengthy conversation (albeit one way) with a young lady (early 20's) who excitedly jabbered about going to the zoo to see the "real live dinosaurs."  According to her report, the National Zoo in DC had just acquired a real live dinosaurs (because they need to be in pairs) which is rare because you have to jump through a lot of hoops to develop the correct habitat for the animals. She continued by justifying her excitement because she had only seen the bones so she was eager to see them alive with skin.

Um, okay. At first I thought that she was kidding, or that perhaps I misunderstood her story. By the time I processed that she was legitimately excited about the dinosaurs moving into the zoo it felt awkward to interject reality.  Who am I to point out the pesky inconvenience of extinction in her plans. I have to admit, the evil part of me is excited to see her again in a few weeks so I can learn about her visit to the zoo. 

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Flying Koopa

We had a laid back and happy Fourth of July celebration. This year we decided to forgo community parades and parties, opting instead to grill steaks and corn at home. Instead of wrangling with crowds at our typically quiet pool we decided to go indoor skydiving. Robby was giddy crossing the activity off of his summer bucket list.

Scott and Robby were the two flyers in the family while Timmy and I assumed the role of cheerleader. To be honest, I have no desire to experience indoor skydiving. Although I am normally chomping at the bit to participate, this time I was happy to sit on the sidelines and watch.

The entire activity took considerably longer than I estimated. I thought we would only be there for 30-45 minutes. It turns out that between suiting up, the training class and waiting patiently for your turn to fly, we were there for two hours. Typically a two hour wait with Hamlet would equal disaster but it turns out that Timmy was more than happy to watch everybody float in front of him. I was surprised that he was so thoroughly entertained watching strangers venture into the vertical wind tunnel, but I embraced the byproduct of his being content and happy! Lately I haven't been fortunate enough to spend time with a well behaved toddler; it was nice to have a glimmer of hope that he will return for good one day soon. 

Although he was nervous, Robby did a great job "flying." I could tell that he was scared, but once he learned to trust the instructor, he started to relax and have fun. Scott, on the other hand, had no problem immediately jumping into the experience. He was smiling from ear to ear from the beginning to the end of the flight. Both novice flyers proclaimed that they can't wait to do it again.

All in all, it was a great holiday. The Summer of Awesome 2017 continues!

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Happy Facade

I was surprised by my emotional fluctuations yesterday. Some years my ampuversary barely registers a blip on my radar while other years it hits me over the head like a lead weight.  I can't say that yesterday was a lead weight day, but I was more melancholy than I would care to admit. I prefer the years when the date evokes little emotional response.

I spent much of the day struggling to stay in the moment when my mind kept wandering back to 14 years ago. I probably would have been better off if I had allowed myself to break down and cry in the morning when the mood struck, but for some reason I felt the need to be stoic. I really should know by now that not being true to my emotions always ends up hurting me more in the long run!

Instead of permitting myself to cry and reflect, I tried to force a happy demeanor throughout the day. By the time I put Timmy to bed I was fatigued from putting up a jovial facade all day. I was happy to retreat to bed, to cry and to put another year between me and that difficult day.

Today is July 4th, and we have a fun family day planned.  Robby and Scott are going indoor skydiving (thanks Groupon) and then we are all going to head to the pool. With the ampuversary behind me, I'm optimistic that my smile won't be fake today!

Monday, July 03, 2017

14 years

July 3, 2003. It's hard to believe that it has been 14 years since that transformative day. In so many ways the memories remain so fresh and vivid that I would swear it was recent.  But the pile of used legs in my closet and the wrinkles on my face remind me that it has been 14 years since I last saw my biological foot.  Today is my ampuversary.

My amputation was not traumatic. Unlike many of my friends, I was fortunate enough to have a clean surgical procedure to remove my broken limb. My surgeon didn't need to worry about cleaning out debris, nor was he rushed to close gushing wounds. He was able to make clean cuts and carefully reroute the nerves and blood vessels. I am convinced that his skill is the reason why I do not suffer with phantom pain like so many of my amputee friends. 

I am not haunted by memories of a violent event shattering my limb. Instead I remember the years, months and days leading up to my amputation. I rode an emotional roller coaster I would not wish on my worst enemy. The night before the amputation I broke down, yet the sounds that were coming from my mouth were not familiar. I was wailing instead of crying, which I have later learned is a primal sound of true fear. I have never before, or thankfully after, felt so terrified or out of control.

Fourteen years ago I remember driving to the hospital with Scott, feeling an overwhelming and paralyzing fear. I was so afraid I couldn't even cry, and I could barely breath. Life felt surreal, yet I was aware of how drastically everything was going to change. I knew I was making the right decision, but the reality of waking up without my foot tested and strained every ounce of my strength and resolve.

Hindsight is invaluable. I took a leap of faith that my life would be improved without the pain of my broken down biological foot. My hopes of living a happy and full life as an amputee have exceeded the wildest dreams of that terrified young woman so many years ago. Today is a day for me to reflect and remember my journey. To honor what I endured while counting my blessings and accomplishments. Happy Ampuversary to me!