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 17, 2017

Pre-Thanksgiving Weekend Adventure

I have been looking forward to this weekend for months. I'm so excited that the weekend circled in red is finally here! I feel like a little kid on Christmas eve, just giddy with anticipation and excitement. Only this time I am not expecting toys; instead I'm looking forward to an epic family adventure with all my boys.

It has been a long time since our family went on an adventure. With our Pumpkinville outing sidelined by a car accident a few weeks ago, we are long overdue for some family fun time.  Thankfully Momom did some research and planning in the summer, and we have an awesome adventure planned for this weekend.  

Tomorrow we are packing up and heading to Baltimore.  Robby is excited about going to the aquarium (and The Cheesecake Factory.)  I know that Timmy will be amazed by the beautiful and unusual fish swimming all around him. He is at an age where everything is magical and I can't wait to see his reactions as he experiences the aquarium for the first time.  

While at the aquarium we are going to see the 4-D version of Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer.  Robby and I experienced a 4-D movie a few years ago, and I have to admit it was the coolest movie experience of my life. I'm looking forward to everybody's reaction to being fully immersed in the show. Hopefully Timmy will be enthralled and not terrified.

We're staying overnight in Baltimore because Sunday morning we have tickets to the North Pole (Well, as Robby points out we aren't really going to the North Pole but we are pretending because it is more fun.) While the destination may be pretend, the fact that we are going on the Polar Express is an experience that is sure to impress.  With Timmy's enthusiasm for the movie (it is streaming non-stop in our living room) I can't wait to see his face when we board the train and the movie comes to life before his eyes.  

Stay tuned for photos of our pre-Thanksgiving Family Adventure!

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Removing the Individual Mandate

I have reached the point of political saturation, but when an issue arises that would be detrimental to the limb loss community, taking a break is not an option.  The Senate has slipped a change to healthcare into the tax bill. If passed, the individual mandate would be eliminated from the Affordable Care Act.

The CBO has already rated the implications of removing the individual mandate.  Individuals, usually those who are healthy and young, will forgo health coverage to save money. Removing the low risk individuals from the insurance pools causes a drastic shift and increases the insurance risk. The CBO estimates that premiums will rise another 10% over the next 10 years if the individual mandate is removed. An estimated 13 million people will join the ranks of the uninsured.

I am among the first to agree that the Affordable Care Act is flawed. The premiums are outrageously expensive, and people are struggling to pay for purely mediocre coverage. But I also feel that it not appropriate to slip a change into a tax bill.  The public deserves fair and transparent debates on all issues related to our health. Our healthcare and access to insurance is simply too important to shield transparency.

Late last night Dave and I recorded a podcast dissecting the implications of removing the individual mandate on the limb loss community.  Please listen, and act if you are so inclined.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Broken Knuckle

Robby has been proud of the fact that he has never broken a bone.  While his cousins and friends have all sported casts, his bones have remained intact. Unfortunately his eleven year no broken bone streak has come to a screeching halt. Monday night he broke his knuckle.

What my little Koopa lacks in athletic prowess he makes up for with wit and enthusiasm. Sports has never been his forte. Even as a toddler he was studious instead of adventurous. He isn't out of shape, but he just doesn't particularly enjoy sports. In an effort to encourage socialization and out of a desire to broaden his horizons, I signed him up for an after school class at a local gym. The class is geared for tweens who "spend more time gaming than they do playing outside." 

The non-competitive gym class transforms the video games that the kids love into physical activities and Robby loves every moment. He looks forward to going to the gym twice a week to reenact games and to play with his new friends. He comes out of the gym covered with sweat and grinning from ear-to-ear. I have to admit, I'm surprised (and delighted) that he has taken to it so strongly. 

When he came out of the gym on Monday I immediately knew that something was wrong. He was grimacing instead of smiling and holding his hand in an awkward position. He was passing a medicine ball to a teammate when intercepted and thrown back to him. Instead of hitting his hands the weighted ball slammed into his finger tips on his right hand. His fingers were swollen and starting to turn purple.

Assuming that his fingers were just stubbed, we iced his hand and gave him some Tylenol. He complained about the pain, but in all honesty we didn't heavily weight his lamenting. He doesn't have a lot of experience with injuries, so Scott and I just figured that he was unfamiliar with the pain severity scale. 

Dismissing his complaints has definitely removed us from contention for parents of the year! Yesterday morning his hand was purple and his knuckle was deformed. I packed him up and took him to Urgent Care for an x-ray. It turns out that his Mom diagnosed "stubbed finger" was actually a completely broken knuckle. He is in a splint for at least four weeks and today we have an appointment with a hand specialist.  

Robby is still hurting and is upset that he has to wear a splint. He is worried about not being able to work on his art and is fretting over how he is going to wipe his bum. (Apparently the fact that he also writes with the hand is completely inconsequential and irrelevant.) Please send him good thoughts for a quick recovery!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Nighttime Stirrings

Despite the occasional uninvited slithering intruder and the destructive falling nuts, we love our little house in the woods. After stressful days of dealing with people and traffic, we enjoy hibernating from the world. Although we have experienced frustrations with some neighbors, we have always felt safe in our home.  Yesterday my false sense of security was shattered.

Sunday night the home behind us was burglarized. Two individuals broke a window and ransacked the living quarters while the family was sleeping upstairs. The brazen action of robbing a home while occupied is difficult to fathom. The family, which includes small children, were incredibly lucky that they were not physically harmed by the intruders. I cannot even imagine the horror they experienced when they woke to discover the violation that occurred overnight. 

The police came to our house last night to inform us about the break in and to see if we had seen anything unusual. We were encouraged to keep our doors locked and our window shades drawn until the burglars are apprehended. Sitting in the living room last night I felt incredibly vulnerable and scared. Suddenly the tranquility and quiet that we had previously enjoyed feels like a lure for danger. I resent feeling scared in my own home!

While trying to sleep last night I was astounded by all of the suspicious sounding noises that naturally occur in and around our house. Between the nocturnal parties hosted by our wildlife friends and the wind, our leaves were constantly rattling outside. The cats apparently transform our hallway into a feline sized track when we turn out the lights for the night. They took turns running laps, vaulting over toys like Olympians clearing hurdles.

Scott's snoring sounds like somebody trying to turn a doorknob.  Timmy's nightlight aquarium sounds like somebody tapping on glass. Robby whispers in his sleep.

Apparently the saying "not a creature was stirring" does not apply to our family.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Slowing Down

This weekend was quiet and calm, which was precisely what I needed to fully recover from the persistent ear infections. I am starting this week feeling better and stronger than I have in over a month. My ear is healed and my body is recovering from the strong antibiotics that were needed to knock out the infections. For the first time in a long time, I feel like myself again.

With the exception of running a few errands, we spent the weekend at home. The wood stove was going nonstop, keeping the living room toasty warm. We streamed Polar Express (seemingly nonstop) while Timmy happily played with his trains and army men. Robby worked on assorted art projects and played computer games. Scott watched movies and football games while I was able to get some work done, relax and take a few much needed naps.  

Even though I have a mountain of housework I only made a minimal effort to maintain. Typically my relaxation efforts are thwarted by my worrying and fretting about everything that I should be doing. For some reason, this weekend my self-imposed guilt was not an issue. I was able to relax with the boys and never gave a thought to using my time for more productive purposes. 

It isn't easy for me to slow down, but I'm glad that I spent the weekend just lounging and relaxing. The next few weeks are going to be busy and this was probably my last opportunity to completely unwind. Soon we will be completely in holiday mode, and our schedule will become seasonally chaotic. At least now I'm starting the chaos season feeling up to par and ready for the challenge.