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, September 13, 2019

Waning Pain

The bout with phantom pain made managing my Thursday difficult. I was tired, and my leg was extremely sore from the nonstop kicking. I was happy when Timmy went to bed because I knew that I wouldn't be far behind him. 

As anticipated, I experienced a little phantom pain after I took off my leg and settled into bed. Given the severity of Wednesday night, it would have been unusual to be pain-free Thursday night. For me, phantom pain tends to linger for a few days, wreaking havoc at night when my prosthesis is off.  

Even though my leg felt electric shocks and pain, it was not nearly as severe as what I experienced on Wednesday. Thankfully my tricks worked and I was able to both contain the shocking and manage the twisting sensations. Wrapping my limb tightly and pulling my knee up to my chest quieted the nerves. I was grateful to be able to fall asleep, and I slept soundly throughout the night.

Hopefully last night was the final stand of the phantom pain for awhile. I feel for my friends who experience episodes daily. I am fairly certain I would be nonfunctional if that were my reality!

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Phantom Pain

I think I jinxed myself by writing about the comfort I have been feeling lately with my prosthesis. Last night, from out of nowhere and seemingly without cause, phantom pain decided to visit. It has been a long time since I struggled with pure phantom pain, and it was utterly miserable.  

My limb kicked uncontrollably with each electrical shock. The shocks were both powerful and frequent, creating a Rockettes-like experience as I tried to rest. I wish I had been wearing my pedometer at the time, because I'm certain my involuntary kicking logged miles throughout the night.

I tried all of my tricks to calm the nerves, but nothing worked. I finally surrendered to a night of misery and accepted my sleepless fate. At about 3:30 the nerves began the calm, allowing me to (finally) fall asleep.  

I don't know why the phantom pain decided to visit last night. The weather was stable, I haven't had a prosthetic change and my limb was healthy.  All of the normal culprits were eliminated, I'm done trying to figure out a cause.  I find it both exhausting and depressing to be reminded that I am susceptible to phantom pain without notice nor cause. Instead of grappling for a reason, I'm going to just hope that it doesn't happen again tonight.

This morning my leg is swollen, undoubtedly from the repeated kicking and the angry nerves. I'm going to take it as easy as I can to allow the limb to rest and to heal. Phantom pain is a miserable experience.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Spreading Kindness

Today remains somber for so many in this country. For anybody who was alive on September 11, 2001, the images and emotions remained engrained in our memories. The tragedy left an indelible scar on our psyche, leaving us to view the world through a new lense.  

For those born after 2001, the tragedy has become a mere footnote in history. The images of the planes crashing and towers falling are familiar video clips, but the emotions involved will never be fully comprehended by those who did not experience the collective emotional quagmire of fear, anxiety, anger and grief. When Robby was born, it became important for us to teach him about 9/11 without instilling fear. Kids today were born into a more fearful, terrorist prone world. Scott and I didn't want to add to the fear, but instead we wanted to provide a way to honor the memories of everybody who perished.

After much contemplation, our cookie delivery tradition was born. Every year on September 11 we visit our local firehouse with a tray of cookies. Robby, and now Timmy, present the cookies and explain that they wanted to honor all heroes because of the events of September 11.  The boys have come to love our tradition, and look forward to it every year. I know that the firehouse also enjoys receiving the cookies because they have remarked that our visit has become an annual highlight in an otherwise difficult day.  

Of all days, I hope that today we can all unite to embrace the good in humanity. I cannot and will not spend the day watching recaps of September 11, listening to commentators breakdown the timeline or hear people argue over whether or not another attack is imminent.  Instead, I want to try to spread a little joy to honor the lives that were lost. I hope that you'll join me by doing something nice for somebody else.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Nut Season

Every season presents its own issues for my prosthesis. In the winter I deal with increased phantom pain and intense cold in my limb. In the summer, my limb sweats and swells, leaving me prone to skin sores and cuts. In the fall, my yard becomes a minefield of wet leaves and slippery nuts, which can easily cause me to lose my footing and tumble.

Several years ago I slipped on a nut walking to the car and I ended up in the ER with a cracked ankle.  Ever since then, I have become paranoid about falling again. It took me several weeks to recover physically, but the experience has never left me. I am now terrified of slipping and falling again!

We try our best to keep the driveway and walkways clear, but the sheer number of falling nuts makes the task impossible. Our driveway is covered with so many nuts that we are now using a snowshovel to clear the path.  Squirrels love our yard in the fall, but I'm not a fan. 

Over the next few months I am going to be more cautious when walking. I will be calculating and evaluating each step, ensuring that I will remain both upright and safe. I know all too well how quickly I can lose my balance if my prosthesis catches the top of a hickory nut. 

Sometimes it stinks not having the proprioception in my foot to accommodate and maintain balance over these small environmental obstacles, but I try to remind myself that I am very lucky to live in such a beautiful home in the woods. Nut season is exhausting, but the views and tranquility that our home offers is worth the obstacle.

Monday, September 09, 2019

I HATE Football Season

I realize that my opinion is not a popular one, but I hate football season. The strange thing is that, on occasion, I actually enjoy watching games. My ill-feelings towards the sport have nothing to do with the games but instead has everything to do with how it monopolizes our weekends.  

Scott adores football season. College or NFL, it really doesn't matter. If it is on the television or streaming on the computer, he is watching. I learned a long time ago to not interrupt him while he is watching a game. Now that he can also stream games on the computer, his weekend has become increasingly monopolized.

We are only the second week into the season and I'm already starting to feel resentful. During weekends in the fall, I feel like a single mother. Even though I'm busy with the kids, I feel very lonely over football weekends.

While Scott was busy watching football, I played outside with Timmy. Each day I logged over 20,000 steps accompanying him on explorations into the woods and through the neighborhood. I love spending time with him, but a reprieve would have been appreciated.