Tag: advocate

Unleash Your Inner Warrior

Unleash Your Inner Warrior

The time is now! Let’s find the warrior within you. Let’s dig deep and create the life you have always wanted to have.

After all that I went through these past several years with all the “down time” I had while I was healing from surgery after surgery, I realized that my life was shifting and changing, and I felt that God was giving me a new path and my future had so many possibilities.

My family had been there for me through so much, I learned a lot about myself through my trials, and I saw my relationship with my husband grow as I saw a man who supported me and my drive even in the midst of huge trials.

 

In this podcast I talk to you about what was happening to me, internally, as I struggled through 5 years of failed knee surgeries and the past 3 years after my choice to amputate my leg above the knee.

 

Today, I am a certified personal trainer with a specialization in corrective exercise and fitness nutrition. My goal is to help those who wish to live a healthier and more active lifestyle, no matter where they are at in their journey called life.

Take a listen to this week’s podcast to hear where my journey has led me, what my thinking was behind the years of trials I endured, and how I can help you in the next step of your journey. I get it. I know what it is to rise from the ashes and reinvent myself.

 

 

 

Life is a journey:

  • Reach out to me if you need or want a change in your life and need someone who will guide and motivate you.
  • Share this post and podcast with someone you know could use the help. Maybe you have a friend or a parent struggling with a medical issue, or finding a healthy lifestyle and you want the best for them. I’m here and ready to help.

I hope you are having an amazing start to 2022 and remember, no need for new year’s resolutions, or feeling like it’s already too late to start anew. Now is the time to start. No more excuses!

 

Let’s get at it and unleash the warrior that I know is inside of you waiting to come out and attack life.

You owe it to yourself and your family to live your best, most healthy life…NOW!

 

Before my transformation anmd right after amputation

 

Warrior unleashed with me!

 

 

As always,

Be Healthy,

Be Happy,

Be YOU!!!

 

much love,

Angie

 

Gratefulness

Gratefulness

A Grateful Heart Leads to a Happy Heart

It really has to be said that where our minds go, our hearts go, too.  If you are stuck in a bad way, and can’t seem to find happiness or joy in your life then check your thoughts.  How do you speak to yourself? How do you speak to others?

Everyone goes through trials, that’s just life.  The way each of us deals with those trials, those valleys in our lives, determines how we come through them.  I chose to amputate, and I choose to make the most of my life now.  I try and choose happiness, joy, and a grateful heart everyday I wake up.  Somedays it is harder than others, I get that, I have been there, but those moments do NOT dictate my overall mental state that day.  Sometimes I need to practice speaking more positively towards myself, and giving myself some grace, on those days.  Sometimes it’s easy to see the positive, and sometimes it’s the hardest thing EVER!

The point is, when you practice being grateful, and seeing all the good things in your life, in your circumstance, you will radiate joy, you will see the health benefits of a happy heart and mind.  And they do go hand in hand.

Try it!

What are you happy about? What are you grateful for in your life?

In this podcast I share with you the people, and things, I am grateful for. I choose to practice gratefulness.

As you head into this Thanksgiving week, pay attention to the people and moments that are happening around you. Be grateful for even the smallest things.  I guarantee you will feel so much better about yourself.

I am Grateful for:

 

My Guys                                                                                                                                                                    My Hubby
My Pup, Bella
Our New Home

My Family❤

 
     

                                                                                                                    

This week write down the things you are thankful for and place them where you can see them everyday.

 

*Use a smooth, fabric table cloth and permanent markers and begin a new tradition of writing something you are thankful for over the past year. Do this as a Thanksgiving tradition and each year add something to it with your friends and family.  Then each year that you pull it out you’ll have a constant reminder of the things you’ve been thankful for over the years.

*Start a Thankfulness Jar.  Have a big open jar or bowl sitting out for the holiday season with slips of paper, then each night have everyone write something they are thankful for that day, and then date them. On New Year’s Day have everyone take turns pulling them out and reading them.

*Begin a journal that is simply: I am thankful for:…..

  Write in it every night, going to bed with a full heart of gratitude.

 

Have a very special, wonderful, and blessed Thanksgiving. Safe travels!

As always,

Be Healthy,

Be Happy,

Be YOU!

 

Much love and gratefulness,

Angie

Rock Bottom Isn’t Really Rock Bottom

Rock Bottom Isn’t Really Rock Bottom

Finding Joy in the Hard Moments

My joy and why I do what I do.

So not everyday is roses.  It may seem like that if you check out some people’s social media.  Don’t buy it!  We all struggle, and we all go through valleys.  I’m smiling in the photo above because I am surrounded by the people I love, doing something we love- together.  Today, however, as I put on my prosthetic, I realized it didn’t feel right.  As I started walking on it I was noticing that I was already hitting the bone at the end of my residual limb on the inside of my socket.  I tried to “walk it off” by literally grabbing my backpack and heading out for a walk, only to realize I just couldn’t make it to the end of my block!

DEFEAT!

That’s what was going through my head.  Then, “what if I never get back the level of activity I had last year!?”

ENOUGH! This talk was helping no one.  That’s when I decided to share my journey with you.  To put it all out there and show that even when it appears all is going well, that sometimes it’s just not.  And for me to give up on an activity is really saying something….especially me sharing that I gave up.

It has to be known, that all of us fall victim to self-doubt, or giving up, or fears.  We are all human, after all.  What makes each one of us different is what we do after we fall.  Do you sit and wallow in self-pity, looking for external things and people to give you strength and value? Or do you pick yourself back up and try again when you’re ready?

How we approach the hard times will inevitably be what helps us succeed on our journey called life, or fall short and make us struggle every time things don’t go our way.

I want to see you all rise up, challenge yourself, and succeed!  You need to believe in yourself. Believe you ARE strong enough, and make life what you want it to be.

You can do it! Rise up!  Here I am on a great day.
This is where I want to be, this is my goal!

 

 

 

This week stay positive! I know, easier said than done at times. Find something that you CAN do and go do it. Be outside, let the sunshine and Fall weather bring you joy, energy, and some inner peace.  Do something that makes you laugh, and release those positive chemicals in your body.  Don’t sit back and ponder all the negatives, that won’t do you, or anyone around you, any good.  You deserve more! You deserve better!!

 

I’m here for you!  Let me know how you’re doing.

 

And remember, as always:

Be Healthy,

Be Happy,

Be YOU!!!

 

Much love,

Angie

Sometimes how I feel about my leg!🤣

 

 

What is Your Why?

What is Your Why?

What drives you forward when you hit hard times?

 

 

When days get hard we look to find purpose, I think that’s human nature. Somedays we fall short of finding what gets us up and motivated.  Today, after a very hard hike in the heat and my prosthetic rubbing my leg raw, I pushed myself to a point that I wasn’t sure I’d make it back to the car but when I did, I sat there and looked at my husband and right then, in midst of my pain and exhaustion, I saw my purpose very clearly.

 

My husband, and my ‘Why’, up at Young Life camp serving with me.

 

For me, I need to see my purpose, daily.  I know that it is what drives me forward, to work through the pain, to try new things- even if I fail.  My two sons, they are my purpose, as well.  They have seen me go through hard times, seen me struggle, and seen my victories.  They were there for it all and were 2 amazing supports, even at a young age.  They kept me going and striving for more.

My ‘Why’
My boys, supporting one another, as well.

Life is better when you figure out your purpose.  And when hard times come, and they will, knowing your purpose, the “why” in your life, then you’ll be prepared and ready to fight the battles.  You are not alone, you are loved. Find your ‘why’ and watch your circumstances and attitude shift.

 

 

Simply put: your call to action this week is to soul search and figure out what you’re living for, what you get up in the morning for, what puts a smile on your face and a spring in your step.

Spend time in a quiet location and really search your heart.  Once you figure out what your purpose is, write it down and place it somewhere you can see it everyday.  If it’s someone in your life, put a picture near your bedside and remember what you’re doing this all for.  When I decided to amputate, I made a vision board to show me things I wanted to get back to or do again after I healed. I also had pictures of my boys, my husband and my siblings on my board… my why’s were there watching me and helping remember why I chose to go through this.

It’s motivating to find your purpose.  You can do this and you will figure it out.  Do it now! Don’t wait until you are searching and feel like you’re drowning in pain and turmoil.  Have your ‘Why’ ready for when those moments strike. You’ll be prepared and ready to tackle the valleys when they arise.

 

This is what I live for!

 

He is my future.

 

What is YOUR ‘Why’?

 

As always;

Be Healthy,

Be Happy,

Be YOU!!

 

Much love,

Angie

 

Get a Grip

Get a Grip

Dealing with Phantom Pains, Part 2

As a continuation to last week’s podcast on Phantom Pain, and how my faith has helped me through, I thought I would add in other ways you can try to deal with these inevitable pains we go through, as amputees.

If you experience phantom pains you know how unpleasant and downright horrible they can be. They can mess with your head, bring you down, and keep you from sleep.  They don’t discriminate, and if you’ve never had them, be forewarned, you could still have them rear up even years down the road.  My prosthetist, who is also an above knee amputee, has been an amputee for 20+ years, and just last week experienced them for the first time, and the full blown kind.  It amazes me that no one is safe from experiencing them, in one form or another, and at any given time in their amputee life.

Which brings me to the point I tried to make in the last podcast, and will, again, reiterate it here:

You need to learn to deal with these pains, realizing that they come and go, no one is safe from them, and your mindset about them will ultimately determine how you push through (or not), to rise up and continue on with your life.  They may knock you down, but they don’t have to destroy you.

In this podcast I discuss many different ways you can help yourself deal with them, but ultimately, I believe you need to become really strong, mentally and emotionally, to win each battle, when they come.

 

Listen in to this week’s podcast and see what might be able help you the next time phantom pains strike.  And they will….. will you be ready to take on the battle?

 

 

Do some research. Understand your options. Research neurotransmitters.  Understand that what works for one person may not work for you so be open to that possibility and don’t be afraid to keep trying different options.  And remember, the more you understand that phantom pains are a part of your journey, the more capable you will be with overcoming them, and not being defeated by them, when they do arise.

Put on your big girl boots and push through!
I’m a “Mind over Matter” kinda girl.

 

I believe being outside and staying active helps me push through bouts of phantom pain. How about you?

 

Remember, you are not alone. and you CAN and WILL make it through it.

 

As always:

Be Healthy,

Be Happy,

Be YOU!!!

 

Much love,

Angie

 

Shop Talk with Randy West

Shop Talk with Randy West

How about that fit, though?

Randy, my prosthetist, with the cast of my residual limb

 

This is the first step, for some prosthetists, when it comes to making their patient’s next socket. There are many steps, and it can be frustrating with how long it can take, only to realize you may need to make a bunch of corrections to the final socket over the course of the following weeks of receiving it.  It is a process, like everything in life, and can test your resolve and patience.  But  stay the course, my friend!  If you have an amazing prosthetist, like I do, then let them work their magic and make the adjustments.  It’ll be a better fit in the long run and you’ll be a better, well-adjusted person conquering the world once again.

Adjustments need to be made, over and over again! Thanks, Randy!

 

But what if you don’t feel like you’re being heard or, better yet, being blamed for the fit not working for you?  That’s when you may need to seek outside help and opinions….and NOT from strangers on social media but from practicing professionals.  It may take some time and effort on your part but it’s ok to shop around and talk with other prosthetists. Having a new set of eyes on the issues you may be having with your fitting is your prerogative and your right.  This is YOUR life after all.

Teamwork makes the dream work!
And even professionals will ask for a new set of eyes to help them make it right for you…or at least they should-It’s called humility.

 

Communication and listening are two qualities you should look for in a prosthetist. they should be willing to take the time that is needed, not allotted, to talk with you and understand your pains, concerns and issues with your fit.  If they can’t do that, listen to your gut and find someplace else to go.

Listen in to today’s podcast where I talk with my prosthetist about the types of sockets, how to handle office visits and reassuring you that it’s ok to move on if the relationship isn’t working out. We also jump into what you can do to help yourself and getting out of your own way when working with your professional.

He makes some really good points that you really should hear especially if you’re struggling right now with your fit and/or your prosthetist.

 

You can also find the interview on my YouTube channel: Angie Heuser-BAWarrior360

 

Time to get real.

I believe there are 3 components to your success with fitting and then succeeding as an amputee:

Physical, Emotional, Mental

First, get past the amputation-or with whatever you are struggling. This is the mental component and it might be taking you in the wrong direction. If you are still struggling with being an amputee then you need to figure out how to right this or you won’t be able to move on. Stop looking into the past, at what you had, or how you were wronged. To be successful at anything, not just being an amputee, you need to embrace where you are NOW.  Find someone to talk to, create a journal, add to your vision board, do something to get you to look forward and not in the past.

Make time for you and embrace the journey YOU are on.

 

 

Second, it’s ok to be sad, angry, disappointed at where you are. Express that emotion and then move on. It’s not ok to dwell in that negativity, it will only lead to other issues such as health issues. Your body isn’t designed to stay in a stressed, angry phase for long periods of time and it will eventually start to react to the negativity. You don’t need more issues on top of what you are already dealing with, so deal with your emotions- now!  Use the above ideas to help you get started.

Finally, the physical aspect. As amputees we need to get a great fitting socket or life can get harder than it already is. You need to be in the right office, with the right prosthetist, who listens to you and takes your scenario to heart. But you are responsible for communicating well,  and giving him/her your best. if the above two aspects are a struggle for you then this physical aspect is going to be tough. Your mind has to be in the right place because the physical side of amputation is demanding. We must be strong, courageous, willing to push through some hard stuff, just to get exactly what we need to live a full and healthy life.

It is an uphill battle some days, but the view from the top is amazing! Get after it!

 

You can do this!

Don’t give up. Ask questions, get help, talk it out with people who love you and listen.

You will get through this, and when you do, you’ll be all the more stronger and badass for it!!

 

As always,

Be Healthy,

Be Happy,

Be YOU!!!

 

Much love,

Angie

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

 

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!🥰
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!!!