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 08, 2019

Return after a Tragedy

Yesterday was Scott's birthday. I think he had a nice day even though most of it was spent at work. The boys decorated a card for him and helped me bake a cake. We had a nice dinner and just relaxed in the evening. (Gift wrapping was a bit subdued because I already bought him NightRanger tickets for May.)

Earlier this week I had to break some horrific news to Robby. The janitor at his school, along with her daughter, were brutally murdered last weekend. I can tell that my Koopa is still reeling from the news and trying to process the pure evil that exists. This is one of those occasions where Mom can't figure out a way to put a good spin on a situation. 

Today is the first time he will be returning to the school since the tragedy. I think it will be good for him to spend time with his friends, but I'm sure that Miss Flora's absence will be profound. I am hoping that the school will offer ways for the kids to honor her memory. I know that Robby will be better equipped to process and heal if he is actively engaged towards a concrete goal. 

I'm sure that today will be difficult for him. Please send him good thoughts as he continues to process this horror. (If you have any suggestions on how I can help him process and heal, I'm open!)

Thursday, March 07, 2019

We Did It!

Dave and I have been working on Amp'd since 2012. Our initial few podcasts were wildly wonky and incredibly disjointed, but we both knew that we were creating something unique. Although neither of us quite knew how Amp'd would develop, we both committed to the project.

Over the past decade and a half Amp'd matured into a go-to organization for patient advocacy and for information and resources for the lifespan of the amputee. Throughout the years, Dave and I have created the type of resources that we would want to utilize.  When we started our podcast, I never imagined that we were laying the groundwork for a unique, vibrant and reliable resource for the vast and highly diverse limb loss/ limb difference community.

A few days ago we received notice of a dream realized. Amp'd is now an official 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.  Don't worry, I'm not asking for donations.  I just wanted to share our news!

Wednesday, March 06, 2019

Rest Day

Yesterday I was optimistic that Timmy was recovering. He had more energy than I have seen in two weeks, and he was smiling from ear to ear for much of the day. By the time we tucked him into bed he had only had a few coughing spells, and I was confident that we were finally on the mend.

He woke us up with a violent coughing fit in the middle of the night. After touching his forehead I knew that his fever had returned. My healthy day optimism was too early; my little guy is still sick.  

We will spend another day on the couch, watching Grinch and Polar Express. I hate seeing him sick, but I'm happy to relax today. With Timmy feeling better yesterday, I took the opportunity to declutter and clean the bedroom. Hours of moving furniture, bagging trash and boxing items for donation took their toll.

Last night my leg started to ache, prompting me to remove my prosthesis to obtain relief. As soon as I slipped off the liner I saw a golf ball size bump on the side of my limb. Ice and ibuprofen helped with the swelling, but my leg would benefit from a day of rest and healing. I just wish that the rest was self-imposed rather than dictated by Timmy's poor health.

Tuesday, March 05, 2019

Self-Acceptance and Advocacy

When I first became an amputee, my goal was to live my life in the shadows. If I met somebody and they didn't know that I was wearing a prosthesis, I considered the exchange a success. I found the constant stress of trying to conceal my limb amputation both exhausting and depressing. 

Eventually, as I learned to accept my new body, I began to embrace my differences. I vividly remember the afternoon I spent ripping off my cosmesis. I don't know what 'clicked' that morning, but suddenly I was ready to become my authentic self. I am an amputee who uses a prosthesis. My leg doesn't look like a biological leg, but it no longer needed to be hidden in the shadows.  

Just to be clear, and before the emails start being sent, I don't condemn or judge those who opt for a cosmesis. Everybody has a unique perspective and needs. Just because I opt to go 'full robot'does not mean that the look feels right for everybody. I want every individual with a disability to feel comfortable being authentic, regardless of what looks like.

As time has passed, what began as self-acceptance has morphed into a desire to help the greater community. Advocacy has become my passion, whether it be helping the individual speak up for themselves, writing appeals for a needed device or lobbying elected officials. Advocacy comes with small victories in many forms, but collectively they make a huge impact.

I was delighted to be among those interviewed for this fantastic article projecting advocacy issues after the mid-term elections. The pedigree of interviewees within this article is outstanding, and it is an honor to be included with them.  

Monday, March 04, 2019

Sick Week #2

With Timmy's cough and fever lingering, the weekend was lowkey.  He and I spent the majority of our time cuddled on the couch, sitting in front of the fire and alternating our attention between The Polar Express and The Grinch movies. I tried to introduce other movies, including Hop because of Easter, but apparently the Christmas spirit is alive in his heart all year.

We are entering the second week of flu-monia, and I think everybody is starting to feel drained. Scott and I struggled to keep our frustrations in check over the weekend. Both of us were snappy, probably because we are sleep deprived and worried.  Robby spent his time working on the computer and playing online games with friends.

I was supposed to go to Orlando tonight for a meeting tomorrow. It has become glaringly clear that I am going to have to cancel the trip. Timmy is still sick and he needs me. I can't leave him when he is still dealing with a high fever, still reliant upon breathing treatments and feeling miserable. If his fever were lower and his cough less violent, I would consider having my Mom watch him so that I could attend. However, he is too sick to put in the care of somebody else, and I certainly want to avoid exposing any outsiders to his germs.  

It is a horrible feeling, knowing that I am letting people down.