The Journey Called Life

The Journey Called Life

Have Grace With Yourself Through Life’s Ups and Downs

The valleys in life allow us to see the beauty of the mountain tops

 

Moving has been the focus of my every moment this past 3-4 weeks and it has been exhausting. I have pushed myself to the max to get things unpacked and to make our new house look like a home. I have rubbed my residual limb raw, created some serious pains that have taken my breathe away, and made my “good leg” ache with all the work it has done to compensate for the lack of not having another limb. With all the craziness of life I have ignored the fit of my socket, until now. I am finally getting fit for a new socket and am excited with the idea of a closer fit, but anxious with having to cope with a new fit that will inevitably cause pains as I adapt to it.

With the good comes the bad. With the highs come the lows, and life is a journey. We must always remember that life isn’t a sprint but a marathon. I need to remember that. I can get impatient at times, and frustrated by the problems and set backs I encounter on a day to day/week to week basis.

I need to remember to stop and smell the roses( or in my case, today, sunflowers), and enjoy the journey. Today was one of those days when everything just came to a head for me, emotionally, and I got so angry and frustrated. You know, the kind of emotion that makes you want to give up and take a nap…. or stress eat!

I’m proud of myself, I did neither! Instead I went through with recording my podcast. Take a listen to hear what happened today that put me in a tail spin. As I spoke to you all about it, I realized that I am truly blessed with my life and that “this too, shall pass”.  I must learn to have grace with the world, the people around me, and myself.  I believe we have these moments to remind ourselves of all the good that is in our life. Without the valleys how can we appreciate the mountain tops? I sometimes forget how good my life is and how blessed I am. I need to remind myself to be grateful, even through the problems.

I hope you can see how blessed you are with who and what you have in your life, even when things aren’t so perfect. If we can just see the positives we can eliminate stressors that can harm our health.  Our attitude and outlook on our life can create a healthy life or make us sick.  Being unhappy, grouchy, and angry can really harm our health and  destroy our recovery from sickness or surgery. Try positivity. You might be surprised on how great you’ll start feeling AND you’ll also see the world change, for the better, all around you, all because of how you carry yourself. I don’t see myself as disabled or handicapped. I like to smile at people who look at me, staring at my leg. When I smile and they smile back then I know they see me for ME, then a chain  reaction occurs, of happy vibes…. at least in my life and at my house.  Try it!! The world needs more positive vibes- why not be the person who starts it? Be the change!

 

 

Today’s Call to Action:
Write down 5 things that you are grateful for. Maybe it’s people in your life, or your pet. Maybe its the health you DO enjoy, or a memory. Maybe it’s simply that cup of coffee with a friend or that moment you had to watch the sunset. Just be thankful! Then post your list somewhere that you can see it everyday. Maybe on your mirror in your bathroom, or next to your bed at night.

Better yet, can you write 5 things for which you are grateful for 7 days in a row?

Send me a message and tell me what you are grateful for. Our gratefulness is contagious!

I am grateful for each of you!! Thank you for reading, listening, and following my journey!

 

And as always:

Be Healthy,

Be Happy,

Be YOU!!!

 

A little bit of sunshine to make me smile

 

Much love and admiration,

Angie

 

I’m Back and All Moved In!

I’m Back and All Moved In!

Moving is Tough Work!

Even my dog is exhausted!!

 

I am BACK!!! I have missed being here and recording my podcast. So sorry for the temporary interruption in the broadcast but my family has been in the midst of a big move! I never thought we’d leave the amazing house we had but times change and new chapters begin.

Our old house held so many memories for me and my family with family visiting, college students spending weekends, our Chocolate lab passing away during the pandemic, to years of homeschooling. So many good (and hard) memories to let go of but change is inevitable.  The perfect house caught our attention, and then WHAM! we were in the middle of 4 weeks of purging, packing, showing, closing, and unpacking. To say that June was a blur and a whirlwind is an understatement!

While we did all that we also had a trip to Chicago planned…not knowing we were going to be buying a house. Chicago was amazing, we celebrated my husband’s birthday with all of our family and went downtown to watch our Cubbies play and enjoy the sights and sounds of the city we grew up in. Oh how I had missed that this past year and a half.

Downtown Chicago, Michigan Avenue😍

 

Cubbies for the win!!!

 

As an amputee I have had concerns about a big move, after all, I am a packrat and 12 years in a home means there was a LOT of stuff to go through that wasn’t needed. Also, I have to say that unpacking was so very hard on my good leg, especially my hip. There was a lot of bending over to get stuff off the ground or out of boxes. After a while my hip would just ache as I laid in bed every night.  My suggestion for anyone moving, who is an amputee, get some help. Even if a few friends can come over and pull stuff out of boxes and place them up on a counter, it’ll save you from overworking your good joints.  I say this but I didn’t elicit any help that was offered….I’m stubborn that way, and I paid the price. I’m still unpacking and making this place “home”, and my hip is sore.

 

My Podcast/Craft room: Before

 

My Podcast/Craft room: After
(And Bella, my shadow, hanging out with me)

 

As you can see, I’ve come a long way. It’s not complete but getting there. So grateful that I’m totally unboxed.

Moving is hard to do, physically and emotionally.  We closed on our home yesterday so the night before we headed over one last time.  It’s so hard to say good-bye to a place you’ve raised your family and made amazing memories in, but as my friends have said, there are new memories to be made, and thankfully you can take memories wherever you go. I loved our home. It served us well, and it will be missed.

Our final good-bye to our home

I hope you know that finding a home that will suit your life and your journey is very important, I mean, that’s why we moved after all. A ranch home will allow me to preserve my good knee and hip for many more years. A new chapter has begun for The Heusers.  If you are thinking of moving or need a change due to your circumstance make sure you do your due diligence and find the right home for you and your family. I know for a fact that I don’t ever want to move again.

And on that note…..

I’m so sorry that I forgot to do a Call to Action 2 weeks ago. It was crazy and I was recording in an empty house while I should’ve been prepping it for move in. This week, however, I have something for you to do.

This week I want you to stop and take time for YOU!  Recharge your battery, do something for yourself, maybe that means doing nothing at all. Give yourself a break and let go. Enjoy some downtime. Go do something you love or do nothing at all. Watch a good movie, enjoy a glass of wine, take a dip in a pool, read a good book. Whatever you need to do to rest your body. I know I have needed some downtime. My body was quitting on me. I literally couldn’t pick up any more boxes, or unwrap any more glassware. I ended up taking about four days off for myself and my mental health.  I started to feel guilty about it then realized that if I didn’t rest I would be no good for anybody in my family.

Don’t forget to take care of you! You count! You are amazing! But everyone has a breaking point. I give you permission to take care of you!

Let me know what you end up doing for yourself. How do you take care of YOU? I’d love to hear, so send me a message and share with me how you recharge your battery.

 

And as always:

Be Healthy,

Be Happy,

Be YOU!

 

Much love,

Angie

To Move or Not To Move

To Move or Not To Move

Changing Our Environment To Aid in Self-Preservation

We’re moving!!

It’s so real now!!! No turning back!

 

The end of another chapter. 😢

 

Well, this is it! I have been not been able to discuss this until now. As of 2 days ago we are officially new home owners, and of a ranch home. No more stairs for this amputee!! Laundry on the same level as my bedroom! Woo hoo!  I am not writing a lot here this week as I am currently standing in my new home, no furniture and people working around the house to get it ready for our official move next Tuesday, but I will tell you that moving as an amputee has been on our minds for 2 years (plus the years prior to amputation while I was dealing with multiple knee surgeries) but we just never felt it was the right time. Then out of nowhere, BAM! we found this beautiful home, perfect for all of us. The pieces all fell where they needed to and now a dream has become a reality. I am so blessed with a husband always working so hard and watching out for my needs. Our hope is that this will be the home we can retire in, have family visit, and watch grandbabies (a long ways off😉) grow up and play.

Below are some sneak peeks of the new home.

Also, check out my You Tube channel  

I made a video of my podcast in our new home. Please forgive my lack of editing and the echo as all of my office equipment has been packed-I’m in limbo!

 

Enjoy and as always:

Be Healthy,

Be Happy,

Be YOU!!!

 

Much love,

Angie

The new kitchen!

 

Long hallways in ranch homes! I’ll probably make my steps just by going back and forth in here!

 

 

My new and improved podcasting and crafting space!! Soooo excited!!

 

 

Out backyard is truly a desert oasis!🥰
Rise To The Challenge

Rise To The Challenge

Run The Race Set Before You

 

It’s time to get off that couch and put your leg on. Let’s do this! If not today, then when?

I will tell you that the amputation wasn’t the end of a journey but the very beginning of another. Life is a journey so I don’t know why I thought any different with amputation. Now the real work comes in. You need to heal, and then get your socket fitted and THEN learn to walk all over again!  No one can truly prepare you for what’s to come with amputation but I will tell you that no matter what you are facing with yours, you CAN do anything! You just need to press on and learn to adapt.

For me it was about perseverance, distraction and goal setting. You will have good days and bad days, and knowing this will allow you to “bounce back” when the going gets tough. I didn’t realize this, at first, and when I began to struggle I thought it was going to be down, down, down, with no recovery…. that’s how my last 7 years had gone with surgeries, so why would this be any different? But then over the course of these past two years I realized that my residual limb changes size and shape and that will dictate how my socket fits, which, in turn, dictated some of my struggles and pains. But those bad moments, or struggles, were short lived and then good times would return. NOW that I know this I can take those “bad” days in stride, and not lose sleep over them (although, sometimes I do because of  the phantom pain 😉 Haha! Humor is good medicine, by the way.

Humor helps get through hard days. Don’t be afraid to laugh at yourself.

 

I started my journey, back to walking, by deciding to give virtual races a try. I am highly competitive with myself so when I set a goal, I will succeed. My 1st race was 175 miles in 3 months. I started this one just a couple months after getting my prosthetic! I figured, what’s the best way to get use to your new leg- use it, and use it A LOT! I would need to put in 2 miles everyday to catch up since I registered a little late. You know what? It was hard! But I stuck with it, logged all my miles and made the goal of 175 miles! And the pure joy of receiving my finisher’s medal stuck with me…so I registered for the next one, which was 150 miles! and then the next one- 150 miles! I finished all of those and then began smaller more condensed goals of completing 5k walks/runs, virtually.  The idea of doing a race within a day put more pressure on me to compete at my highest level. I had to complete 3.1 miles all at once and some days that was really hard. Some of them I raced for better and faster times, other times I had to be content with just finishing.  You need to know your body well enough not to do harm but also to know when and how hard to push.

My first medal as an amputee! I’m very proud of this one!

 

 

These are all that I have completed since July 2019!! Each one of them I picked with purpose.

 

I have enjoyed all the races I’ve completed. There’s a sense of pride and accomplishment seeing all of my medals I’ve earned over the past 2 years as an amputee. These races have given me a purpose, goals, and independence as an amputee. I look and feel better then I have in a long time, and my mental health is at its peak. Listen  in to my podcast to hear more about how to get moving and what hurdles I overcame to finish all those medals these past 2 years.

Now it’s YOUR turn!

 

Check out these virtual races and register for one of them. Take baby steps to get there but get there! Challenge yourself to do and be something more. You’ll be surprised what you can accomplish when you set a goal and get moving. I guarantee you will feel better about yourself, and you’ll start making strides in your physical, mental and emotional state, plus you and your prosthetic will become friends! 😉

Check these out:

Virtual Strides

Virtual Pace Series

Gone For A Run

Will Run For Bling and Charity

This last one is where I met some amazing people and did my first 3 BIG long distance races (175, 150, and 150 mile races over a few months) If you want a challenge, check this site out!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Each one of these holds meaning to me and I love every single one of my medals! They show me, when times get hard, that I can do it, I can succeed, and that my amputation doesn’t define or inhibit me!

 

Your Call to Action is to register to do a virtual race and do it by the end of June or if you need to, register now and build up to finishing by the end of July. Just don’t open that package until you’ve earned it. That’s how I did it because then I had something pushing me to finish. You’ve got this!!

You know I’m here for you! Send me a message, let me know how it’s going.

And as always:

Be Healthy,

Be Happy,

Be YOU!!

 

Cheers,

Angie

 

Enjoy the Journey

Enjoy the Journey

Traveling Home Once Again

Me and Dad traveling back to Chicago after his stay with us.

 

Coming in for a landing, Chitown.
City lights, oh how I’ve missed you!

 

 

O’Hare Airport doing it up right! Love this airport.
God Bless America and the Veterans who fought for our freedom.

 

I am HOME!  Chicago will always be my home, no matter how long we may be apart. Every year my family travels back to Chicago, where most of our family lives, for visits; one in the summertime, and one near Christmas. The pandemic made other plans for us this past year. We were very overdue for this trip.

Since I haven’t traveled much for almost 2 years- no flights, at least, I was a little rusty on packing. I hate packing for trips as it is, but when you are an amputee or have other medical issues, then packing becomes a bit more time consuming and anxiety building. There are so many things to remember to bring, then having to make sure it all fits. Whew! What a task.

This podcast is very unique as it is the first one I have done away from my home setup. This one may sound a bit different because I used different equipment and actually recorded outside on the deck at my parent’s house-you may hear cars and wind in the background. But keeping with my “keeping it real” vibe, this shouldn’t surprise you, and actually I am pretty impressed with the quality of this episode, all things considered.

I hope you can feel the love I put into this one, as I was recording in a place my Mom and I use to sit and chat when I’d come visit. I recorded on the deck that holds many memories of BBQ’s with my whole family over, moments where my mom was standing and smiling down at me while I played with my boys in the grass below (grass was always fun to play in since we have none in Arizona!), watching her watch her hummingbirds flit in and out of the deck’s feeders, and so many more. I have laughed, listened, cried, and hugged the people I love on this very deck, it only seems fitting to have an episode done here, too, to add to the memories.

Being here in Chicago has been such a blessing, even through the pains I have been feeling in my residual limb. As I discuss in this episode, though, we need to see past these painful moments and live for the positive things going on around us, or we will miss the good in life. What I feel today, may be gone tomorrow and I don’t want to miss any more moments with my family, so I resolve to buck up and push through, knowing less painful moments are on the horizon. I pray you do the same. We are all on a journey, and this journey will be filled with endless ups and downs. We need to take the good with the bad and know that with every hard episode we go through, a better, more joyful one will be right behind it.

Don’t fret. Don’t think negative thoughts. Chin up, Warrior, life will get better.

Find the positive when it seems like it’s not there. Surround yourself with positive people and keep your chin up in the hard moments, realizing that this will pass and it’s just one moment in your life.  Your attitude will dictate your outcomes, so stay positive, happy, upbeat. Even when you’re hurting, find the strength to smile. You’ve got this, Warrior, you’ve got this!!!

 

As always:

Be Healthy,

Be Happy,

Be YOU!!

Chitown 2021- We Are BACK!!

 

Cubs win! Cubs win! Cubs win!!

 

Water Tower- Michigan Avenue

 

Much love,

Angie

Traveling Once Again-Tips and Tricks for Traveling

Traveling Once Again-Tips and Tricks for Traveling

…and ROMP: Helping Others Gain Freedom of Mobility One Prosthetic at a Time

This is me, July 2020 climbing Mt. Humphreys in Flagstaff, AZ. My highest and most challenging terrain thus far.
I did this for ROMP’s #We Still Climb campaign.

 

OK all, I am here to tell you that if you haven’t heard of ROMP: Range of Motion Project Global yet you need to check them out!! Do you feel the need to give back, or help others? Do you want to get in shape for yourself but need motivation? Then this is the group for you to get involved with. ROMP is a non-profit group that helps get prosthetics to underserved communities here in the U.S. and abroad. Since their creation in 2005 they have been able to deliver 3,345 devices and visited 9, 249 patients! I became involved last year through Living With Amplitude magazine’s team for the We Still Climb initiative. We raised money as a team and went out and climbed our own mountains (usually they have teams go to Cotopaxi, in Ecuador, to climb the highest glacier covered volcano there to bring awareness and raise funds-but even though a pandemic stopped that travel it didn’t stop them from recreating the challenge to fit the times).

Today, I am now a team leader for the 2021 Challenge AND Mobility May.  I have an amazing team working with me to raise funds but also to log miles, anyway they can and want to, to bring awareness to the lack of mobility that some people have in the world. Everyone deserves to have the freedom that comes from mobility, and shouldn’t be stopped from having that opportunity just because of where they live.

If you’d like to join my team (No, it’s not too late!) or donate to my team: Romping Warriors, please click HERE

We will be charging forward to raise $2021 and log 2021 miles, as a team, by December 31, 2021.  Join us!!

 

This Friday I am traveling back home to Chicago!!! I can’t wait. I miss my family and my husband’s family, and it’s been too long! However, if you’re an amputee, you know that traveling can produce stress and anxiety. Trying to remember all the things you’ll need, and what you MIGHT need, if case of an emergency, can make traveling hard.

Listen in as I discuss the things I bring with me, how I get through security at the airport and make everything run smoothly so I can enjoy the trip. I sometimes need to remind myself that I need to enjoy the journey not just the destination, but that can be hard when there is so much to remember to bring. Don’t fret the small stuff, and know that you’ll be fine no matter what.

Enjoying my hike up one of our Arizona mountains. My happy place!

 

 

Today’s Call to Action is a simple one:

Check out ROMP’s website, Instagram and/or Facebook Page!

Range of Motion Project Global

IG: @ROMPGLOBAL

Facebook: Range of Motion Project

 

Get involved if you feel led. Join my team, donate. I promise you, that helping others gain their freedom of mobility and their independence will fill your bucket, making you feel great and wanting to do more. You can also take on the challenges, like joining my team, and getting out and active for yourself (which will produce endorphins-that will make you happy), and you’ll be a better person for it. It’s a Win-Win, in my book.

 

Join me! Take on a challenge! Change someone’s life for the better.

Mobility is not to be taken for granted.

Mobility means freedom

Mobility means independence.

 

As always:

Be Healthy,

Be Happy,

Be YOU!

 

Much love,

Angie

Kauai beaches and my first time snorkeling as an amputee…
..actually the first time to get in the ocean since my injury 8 years ago!!!
FREEDOM!!!
I Am Who You Say I Am

I Am Who You Say I Am

How My Faith Saved Me and Made Me Who I Am Today…..

HIS!

Faith: the assurance of what is hoped for, with the conviction of what is unseen.

 

This podcast goes deep as I share the other half of my story, the side of my story that I have only just recently shared with people outside my circle.  This story that gives you a glimpse into my Faith and belief system that has been in place all my life but really grounded me the most the past several years…. especially the months right before my amputation.

 

I don’t want to go into much detail here as I hope you listen because the raw emotion that spilled out during my recording I don’t share lightly, and am sort of embarrassed by as I don’t lose it like that when I record my episodes.

This side of my journey is special and a sacred part of my journey that I have decided was time to tell, in hopes it may help someone else.  Please listen, please share, please subscribe to my emails so you don’t miss an episode.

 

This past week I was blessed to go speak to a women’s Bible study group and share my faith journey. This stirred in me that people want and need to hear these type of stories, if only to build hope in this world we are living in.

Thank you to my good friend, Laurie Porter, for inviting me to speak, and to the ladies of the Fountain Hills Presbyterian Church, here in Arizona, for allowing me the time to speak and share my story with you. I am truly blessed to have met each of you and call you friends.


Grateful to these ladies for opening up their study group to me so I could share my story
and to my Dad who is in visiting from Illinois. What a trooper being surrounded by all these women!

 

 

My first socket-I chose a saying that helped me get through those hard firsts of prosthetic wearing.

 

Today’s is simple;

If you believe then really BELIEVE. God has got you no matter the circumstance, no matter the fight or battle you are in. Let go and stop trying to control the situation. Listen, be quiet, see what He is trying to say to you.

If you aren’t a believer then ask questions. If you are intrigued by my story and the words I spoke then please reach out to me. I’d love to share more with you and answer your questions. You are never too late to find this unique relationship I spoke of.

 

And as Always:

Be Healthy,

Be Happy,

Be YOU!!

 

Much love,

Angie

Support is a 2-Way Street

Support is a 2-Way Street

My support team through it all

 

My Support group
This family!! I have been so blessed by each one of them!

 

The people you surround yourself with is a very important component to your success, I’d say it’s number 2 just behind your ATTITTUDE and MINDSET.

Surround yourself with people who know you, can support you physically and emotionally,  and know when to give and when to step back. Communicate with them, let them know exactly what you need so help is relevant and helpful.

Likewise, if you are someone’s support person, make sure you listen and hear what they need. Sometimes you’ll see struggles, but they need to have that to become stronger. It’s ok to have to fight to make change happen, just know when the fight becomes too hard or the battle is being lost, that you step in before defeat is felt.

This podcast I am dedicating to those 3 amazing people you see in the photo above, my husband and best friend for 32 years-Erik, and my two sons-Colby and Peyton. Without them by my side I don’t think I would’ve gotten this far. Between making meals, going to PT sessions with me, picking up the house and doing laundry, to motivating me (without even knowing it) to be better, to heal, and to get back on my feet at all costs was a priceless gift these past 8 years.  But I’m a lucky one, my support came from within my home, I had access to it everyday, all day. Some people aren’t so lucky.  Do you know someone in your neighborhood, or in your friend circle who is living life alone and in need of support? A lot of times they won’t ask for help, you just have to take the first step and go talk to them. Bring them a coffee, bake cookies or bread, maybe run to the store and bring them something cheerful like a bouquet of flowers. These steps will open doors to allowing them to ask for help.  I promise you, that filling someone’s bucket will also fill yours, two-fold!

 

Today, there are 2 separate call to actions:

If you have been GETTING SUPPORT from someone as you heal or get through whatever it is that you’ve been dealing with, here’s what I have for you today:

**Say thank you! Let them know you see them and appreciate those who have been helping you. Send them a quick note, email, or phone call. Maybe send them flowers or better yet, take them flowers, if you’re able to do so. These small gestures will make them feel amazing and loved and seen for all they’ve done for you and “fill their bucket”.

A simple Thank You goes a long ways.

If you have been SUPPORTING someone:

**Take time for yourself! Yep, you heard me right, stop helping for a little while and escape! If you like to read go spend quality “you” time reading a magazine or a book you’ve been wanting to read, dedicate a little time everyday to rest and recharge yourself. You’ll be a better caretaker if you do. If you like to get out and grab a coffee with a friend, go do it! If you can, go get a massage, a facial, or get your nails done. If you feel recharged and beautiful you’ll be a better person and ready for anything thrown your way. But you need “YOU” time, without a doubt.

Don’t feel guilty. Don’t ignore your own wants and needs. If you are in a really needy situation with the person who you are helping, then you need to be at your best, and you can’t be at your best if you get burnt out.

Please check in with me, tell me how your Call to Action is going this week and what you did for the person helping you, or for yourself if you are a helper.

And as always, until next time:

Be Healthy,

Be Happy,

Be YOU!

 

Much Love,

Angie

Me and my guy doing what we love. Grateful to be here after the journey I’ve been on.
Couldn’t have done it without him.

 

 

A little R & R for the one who has helped me through all this “stuff”.
Starting Point

Starting Point

Again, and Again, and Again…..

Starting Line to my 1st race as an amputee, and as a St Jude Hero.

 

If someone asked you where your life began, or where you started out, you might answer, when you were born. Others may answer where they started their career or life as an adult, when they had to be responsible for themselves and maybe a spouse or significant other.

For me, my starting point is always changing, and comes around…OFTEN!

Of course we all start life at birth, then we grow, move out and start our own life.

If we get married and have kids, those are all new points, starting once again.

At 40 something years old, I thought most of my starting points were behind me but in December 2018 my life shifted greatly. I elected to amputate my left leg above the knee, and start over. This was a huge discussion and was quite tough to make. Many questions came to me, like- Would I die during surgery? Would I get an infection? Will I really learn to walk again, or hike or ski, for that matter? Did I have the energy and strength to begin again and learn to do everything I knew how to do (with 2 legs) now with just one?

When I woke after surgery I started over. A clean slate. A new beginning. As scary as that was, it was also a moment of new hope. I could dictate the outcome of my decision, to some degree, with my attitude, mindset, and fight. And that’s just what I did!

In this podcast I discuss what it’s like starting over. And how as an amputee we “start over” A LOT! Every new socket, the change in weather, a new pair of shoes, a change in prosthetics, from walking leg to running blade, etc.

Another new socket fitting by Randy West 5/3/2021

 

Stop and rest now and then. Life is a marathon NOT a sprint!

 

All of that feels new, and changes our perspective and outcomes of that moment, day or week.

This was my 3rd ski trip as an amputee-the first one without instructors!

 

Starting over isn’t for the weak or faint of heart.❤

And sometimes we succumb to the constant newness of our circumstance. I discuss options you have on how, as an amputee, you deal with these obstacles, and how your support system can help you navigate day to day living.

Remember, it’s all about your mindset, but even the most optimistic people hit roadblocks they struggle to get around. Give yourself a break. Have grace with yourself and don’t hold on to those struggles. They are inevitable, and we all deal with them. Take a step back, breathe, then move forward-head held high!

Roadblocks are a part of life. Embrace the challenge and ATTACK!
Smiling’s my favorite! 😁

 

You are a warrior! Press on, good and faithful soldier, press on.⚔

 

This week, I want you to look in the mirror, and look deep within yourself.  Praise yourself for how far you’ve come. Recognize your successes, let go of fears. Press onward. If you haven’t made a vision board yet, give that a go this week. Check out my own vision board HERE  for an example.

If you have a vision board already made, then maybe now is a good time to refresh and renew your dreams, goals, thoughts and mantras.  Good big!! Aim for the stars and realize that you can achieve what you put your mind and heart in to.

As always, I would love to hear how you are doing. Reach out to me. Follow me on Instagram at @angie_heuser and/or @bawarrior360. DM me our email me. Leave a comment here and let me know how your goals are coming along, if you need help, or if your are struggling.

I’m here for you!

And as always:

Be Healthy,

Be Happy,

Be YOU!!!

 

Much love,

Angie

The Nerve of Some People

The Nerve of Some People

Plastic Surgeons and TMR Surgery:
Tackling Phantom Limb Pain

 

Everyone deals with pain at some point in their life, but when you have an amputation you know that there is a possibility of living with a pain you can’t even touch! When the missing limb is burning, itching, throbbing, or sending sharp pains with every movement it can be unnerving -pun intended- and hard to get past.

I, like so many other amputees, have dealt with phantom limb pain since day one. Most of the time I can handle it, sometimes in the quiet of night it can be hard to fall asleep, but I have been able to deal with it.  The point when I could no longer take the pain was when I couldn’t even walk into my kitchen without the pain being so sharp and unpredictable that I stopped moving!  It takes A LOT to stop me! I have a high tolerance for pain, and this was just too much for me. I have to say, this freaked me out and made me worry that maybe this was going to be like this for the rest of my life…. and then I stepped back and gave myself a pep talk. I cannot allow myself to participate in defeatist talk. Negativity cannot reside in me, I won’t allow it. So, what did I do? I had an appointment with my prosthetist and my surgeon who performed my amputation.

I was scheduled for an MRI to see if there was a neuroma, sure enough, there was one, exactly where I felt the pain. Symptomatic, great!

Next step? My orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Judd Cummings, told me that I needed to see a plastic surgeon, and the one he suggested, who knows how to perform a surgery called TMR (Targeted Muscle Reinnervation), Dr. Roni Prucz.  He put his confidence, and my future, into this doctor’s hands… and I believed in him, so I went.

Dr. Roni Prucz
Phoenix Plastic Surgery

 

Now, I didn’t have ANY desire for yet another surgery, but I promised I’d go talk to him.  What harm could that do?

….And before I knew it, I was scheduled for surgery! Dang it!

Dr. Prucz seemed confident that he could successfully help me with the pain on the back of my residual limb, where the neuroma was, but the sharp pain that I felt ripping down my non-existent shin, he couldn’t promise that. I couldn’t pinpoint where the pain was originating from and so he would just have to do exploratory surgery in that area, and hope for the best.

Without the neuroma, my gait has become so much better, there was no more pain there. However, the sharp pain, in the other area of my limb, returned about 6 weeks after surgery, not as often and not as intense, but it reared its ugly head and my fears of life-long pain returned.

No matter what, I will rise!

 

This is where I needed to advocate for myself and not just say, “Oh well, we tried.” That wasn’t good enough for me. I needed answers and I needed this to be fixed, or at least feel better. I saw my prosthetist, then Dr. Prucz, and then over to Dr. Cummings, just trying to figure this out, gain perspective, and to see if anyone had any ideas. I would NOT rest until I had direction.

Yesterday I took my next step in helping myself, I tried a sympathetic nerve block in my L3 and….. so far, so good!!!

I needed something that didn’t require another surgery and this was a good next step, and quick. If it works then I may be looking at having that nerve bundle ablated. I’ve been moving around for 24 hours now and not feeling that pain. This is a good sign, but I hesitate to get too excited, too soon. I will do my thing, I will beat on my leg through my high level of activities, like hiking, and really push the limits of my leg and socket. For me that’s the best way to really test out what I’ve had done.

I really test my leg and socket whenever something new has been done to either of them

 

I hope this podcast gives you some insight to TMR surgery, if you’re a candidate, and how to go about finding the right person to perform this on you. As always, I’m here for you! Send me an email or leave a comment. I’d love to chat and answer any questions you might have about what I went through. Talking to people who’ve been through something will help give you perspective and  maybe even curb fears you might have.

 

 

This week I want you to let go of the past, start looking to future. We cannot move forward if all we are doing is wishing we had back what we use to have. If you’ve lost a limb, it’s gone, there’s nothing you can do about it. The choice is up to you how you’ll view this difference. The choice is yours on how you will pursue your future. You can have a pity party, or you can decide to set new goals, change direction from the course you use to be on BEFORE losing your limb, and rise up!

The time is now! Dream big! Set new goals.  Adapt and move on with your life. I know there will be setbacks, I know there will be moments of pain, but they do not define you. Your attitude and what you do with your circumstance DOES!  What are you going to do? I want to see you thrive! I want to see you challenge yourself! I want you to rise up and conquer, because YOU are a warrior!  Now go out and crush it!

 

Until next time:

Be Healthy,

Be Happy,

Be YOU!!!

 

Much love,

Angie