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, November 10, 2017

Walking Day Celebration

Scott and I are not big on anniversary celebrations. Typically our wedding anniversary is acknowledged with a hug and nice dinner at home, but never with presents or grandiose displays. It has just never been important to either of us to make a big deal out of the day we exchanged vows. It isn't that our wedding isn't a special memory, but setting yearly expectations for remembering the occasion has never been our style.

While we may downplay our wedding anniversary, there is one occasion that we both opt to celebrate each year because this date changed both of our lives in a more profound way than simply our exchanging vows. On November 11, 2013, I took my first steps as an amputee. It was an event that redefined our lives and marked the beginning of a new and wonderful chapter of our lives.

It is hard to believe that it has been 14 years since I took those first tentative steps. I remember the day with such clarity that it feels like it could have happened last week. I felt an overwhelming pressure that the prosthetic fitting had to be successful. I had fought so hard, and endured so much, that the possibility of another obstacle felt insurmountable. Slipping into the socket I remember hoping and wishing that the leg would fit and that I would be able to walk.

The first steps felt foreign, but I was encouraged by both Scott and Elliot (my prosthetist) to continue.  Within minutes I was tooling around the office without crutches. It was liberating to have my arms untethered from the metal poles that had been my mobility for the past five years. Looking at the video it is obvious that my gait was awkward, but at the time I felt like I was strutting on a runway.

Tomorrow Scott and I will celebrate my Walking Day. We will watch the video and reminisce about our journey. I may even break my diet and indulge in a celebratory cupcake.  After all, it is my Walking Day!

Thursday, November 09, 2017

Icky again

I really should know better than to make family plans. Yesterday we intended to carry on our tradition by celebrating my Dad's birthday with dinner at Chili's.  Timmy woke up coughing and with a fever, sidelining our dinner plans. So much for tradition!

Instead of going out to eat we opted for leftovers at home. It turns out that I was okay staying home and forgoing a celebration. I don't know, but I'm beginning to feel that maybe it is time for some new traditions. Perhaps enough time has passed and I no longer need to plan to honor my Dad on special occasions. Changing our plans did not bother me as much as I anticipated, but maybe that is because I was extraordinarily busy taking care of a sick and persnickety toddler.

Timmy felt icky all day. He wasn't sick enough to stay still, but was uncomfortable enough to be irritable and miserable. He tried to play but quickly became frustrated. I spent the majority of my day consoling and distracting. I'm hoping that he is feeling better today; I hate seeing him feeling bad.

I always worry when I hear the all-too-familiar cough coming from Timmy's bedroom. He was so sick last winter and I worry that his autoimmune issues are kicking up. I just want him to be as healthy as he is mischievous. Unfortunately he just isn't as physically strong as he projects and is quickly knocked down by relatively mundane viruses. Hopefully this time he is strong enough to kick this cold out of his system for good!  

In the meantime I'll be making more chicken soup and battening down the hatches for another difficult day. I am in "prepare for the worst and hope for the best" mode. His beloved trains are arranged, Polar Express is geared up and all of his comfort toys are within reach. I'm hoping that he is feeling better and won't be struggling today, but if he is, I'll be ready to cuddle and love on him until he is stronger. I'll do my best to not take his grumpy demeanor personally. 

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Wave of Grief

Today is my Dad's birthday. The day feels uncomfortable because I'm still not sure how I am supposed to act or think. If my Dad were still living, he would be probably be in Texas with his wife. I would call and text him to wish him a Happy Birthday but that is typically as far as the celebration extended. Logically I don't think I should miss my Dad any more or any less today because I wouldn't traditionally be spending a lot of time with him to celebrate his birthday. Yet the fact that I can't call him on his special day, even if it was usually only a short conversation, reminds me of his absence.  

I've tried to fight the emotions, but it is probably healthier if I just surrender to the fact that I miss my Dad today. I wish that I could call him and sing Happy Birthday. I wish that I could text him photos of the boys so that he could see their adventures as they grow and learn. I wish that I could talk to him about my professional crossroads and seek his guidance. I wish I could hear him laugh one more time. Today my wishes are hurting more than normal, and I blame it on the date on the calendar.  

I'm going to do my best to stay busy. I really don't want to break down in front of Timmy, and I don't know that crying will help me feel better. Grief wafts and wanes, and today hurts a little more than normal. I have learned that today I just need to hold on and ride the wave of emotions. 

It has become a tradition for our little family to eat at Chili's on my Dad's birthday. He frequently took Robby there when he lived in the area, and he developed a strong association between Candy Papaw and the restaurant. When Scott comes home from work we will go out to eat, share stories about my Dad and toast to a life well lived and deeply missed. 

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Rolling the Dice

Scott and I rolled the dice by not adding rental coverage to our car insurance policy. We figured that we hadn't been in an accident in years, and that if we needed a rental car we would simply pay out of pocket. We figured it out and we are still financially ahead by refusing the coverage, but that fact is doing little to take the sting out of the bill for the rental car. At this point I just want our SUV to be repaired so I can put the accident completely behind us. Driving a rental is a daily reminder that everything has not yet returned to normal.

Yesterday morning I dropped Robby at school, and Timmy and I headed to Fairfax for an appointment. Everything was going well and despite missing the HOV plates from the SUV, I was making great time. All of a sudden the dash started to light up and alarms started to ding. Having an auto malfunction in a car in which you are familiar is upsetting at best. When it happens in a vehicle which still feels foreign, it is nothing short of frightening.  After determining that I was being alerted to a low pressure in a back tire, I slowed my speed and opted to monitor the situation. 

Apparently that was a mistake. The tire pressure began to lower quicker than I anticipated. Within minutes nearly all of the air had been leaked and I was forced to pull over on the side of RT 66, a congested thoroughfare in the metro DC area.  I am proud of my calm demeanor as I quickly called AAA to request roadside assistance. After I called for help, my panic began to set.

I can easily count the number of friends whose journey to limb loss started by being stranded on the side of an interstate. I knew enough to stay in the car until help arrived, but the wait felt like it took an eternity. The cars were whizzing by, shaking the car as they passed. Timmy, frightened by the sounds and upset by the fact that we were no longer moving, began to fret and cry. I did my best to soothe him by passing back lollipops and singing songs.  

Even though it felt like much longer, AAA arrived fairly quickly. The tire was changed and I was escorted back to the rental agency. It was at the counter that I my roadside malfunction turned into a double whammy of insults. I was informed that I am obligated to pay for a new tire for the rental car. Apparently it was spelled out in the minuscule print of the contract that I  signed when I secured the rental.

I'm frustrated, but I don't think I have any recourse. We will have to pay for a new tire and chalk this up to another lesson learned.  This minor accident is quickly becoming a major expense. 

Monday, November 06, 2017

No Pant Weekend

Another week is starting with news of a mass shooting. Each time I hear of another incident, my heart breaks. I am so fearful about the future that lies ahead for my boys. Our society has to get a handle on all of this raw emotion and the all too commonplace action of violence. When does it stop?

After each shooting I console myself with the affirmation that now things will finally begin to change. I declare that this will be the last time so many people needlessly die simply because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. I am coming to accept that I am only placating myself, and that change is not imminent. Because I don't know what to do to spark a societal change, I'm just going to continue hugging my boys a little tighter and trying to make the world a little better each day.  

This weekend was relaxing and calm. The weather was dreary so we weren't able to play outside. Instead Timmy entertained himself playing with his trains with The Polar Express playing on a loop on our living room television. Robby played video games with friends (via internet) and Scott watched sports. As I predicted, neither Scott or Robby felt compelled to put on pants until last night when they went out for a "Bro dinner." 

My ear still hurts but the pain is lessening. I'm worried because my current course of antibiotics will be over soon, and I'm worried the infection has not been eradicated. I suspect that I am in for a recurrence and another round of medicine, and I'm not thrilled about either! 

At this point I just want to be healthy. This ear infection has been going on for over a month now, and I'm done with it! Hopefully I'm wrong and the final few days of antibiotics will work magic, completely annihilating this pesky infection. Fingers crossed!