Tag: amputee life

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask

Some people might tell you it’s impolite to ask amputees questions, or rude to allow your kiddos to stare or question why an amputee is the way they are but I will tell you that I love sharing my story and informing people about “life as an amputee”.  If we can inform, then we are educating. When people are educated about something they can have compassion, sympathy/empathy, and be better able to help in ways they never could if they didn’t understand.
I know not all amputees feel the same way I do, and that’s ok. We all have our journey to travel and for some it’s been tragic and hard to cope with the circumstance.
Life of an amputee. Getting the right fit. The never-ending battle!

 

I’d tell you, don’t be afraid to politely ask those who invite you in with eye contact and a smile. For some amputees healing takes place the more they talk about it. For others, it’s just too hard to relive. Read the person, be polite in your approach. Not all amputees are dealing well with being an amputee and talking to strangers feels like an invasion of a private, mentally exhausting battle that rages within.
On the whole, though, I believe most people who you’d see out an about as amputees are more than willing to share.
Also, if your child points and stares it’s ok, they are curious and innocent. They shouldn’t be afraid to ask, and I will usually smile and ask if they think I look like a robot or superhero. Some even like to touch my prosthetic, and I oblige.  Start them young on showing care and curiosity, allow them a chance to understand and sympathize with someone else’s plight. They’ll be better off for that and that may lead them into becoming future inventors of better prosthesis or interested in becoming a prosthetist.
Don’t be afraid to ask, you never know what you might learn and how you could help someone by allowing them to open up.
For those of you who:
*May have an amputation in the future,
*May know someone who is going through amputation, or
*Are just curious,
If you see someone who is an amputee, don’t be afraid to ask questions.  You may be surprised at their attitude on sharing. I’d say more of us don’t mind answering curious, polite questions about being an amputee. Just remember to be polite and not aggressive. For some people, their circumstance can be a very horrific memory, be kind and show compassion for what they might have gone through.
Reach out to other amputees, if you are on the verge of going through it yourself, talk to prosthetists, and also see if they have people willing to do peer to peer meetups so you can get comfortable with your impending situation.
Questions lead to understanding and bridge the gap for us amputees, to being more mainstream and “normal” in society.  There is so much we can do now that technology has advanced so much.  Educate yourself, be kind, and go ahead and ask.
As always,
Be Healthy,
Be Happy,
Be YOU!!
Much love,
Angie
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Healing From the Inside Out Part 2

Healing From the Inside Out Part 2

Forgiveness and Grace

 

No one knows what our future holds, and for sure, I never expected to become an amputee, but here I am. And quite frankly I am a better person for it, have met amazing people through it, and grown in ways I never would have if I never went through it.

I found acceptance of my circumstance BEFORE going under the knife, and that has helped me embrace, love, and move forward as an amputee, even through neurological pains, physical healing, and never-ending phantom sensations.  Not everyone gets that chance though, and I get that. Some of you went through horrific accidents, war, and illnesses like cancer or diabetes. Some of you have anger at the person or circumstances that surround you, and put you where you are today. That is understandable, but are you holding onto that anger, bitterness and resentment? If so, you are also not allowing yourself to truly heal and move on…and there is so much more out there for you. A better life, and happier place to be, healing!

Don’t let anger destroy what could be a beautiful life

 

I know that I can’t speak to your situation, but I’ve had smaller issues in my life, times when people have wronged me, and I couldn’t let it go. I held on to the anger, the frustration, and couldn’t stop grumbling about how rude and wrong the other person was. I have had to let that go, walk away, both physically and mentally from that person and that wrongdoing, for the sake of my happiness and my family.  It’s not easy, and still, to this day, I can still allow myself to go back there and remember how angry I was. But what does that accomplish? NOTHING!! It just wastes my time and energy, that’s all.

Forgiveness is hard, and it takes practice. You can feel like you are over it one day, and the next day be just as angry. Allow yourself time to heal and practice forgiveness. Just don’t give up, it is well worth the time and energy to forgive someone or your situation in the long run. You will find your happiness return, and an ability to live a more peaceful, centered, and happy life. When you do heal from that situation you will find that you can then begin to heal on the outside as well, and move forward in life, instead of being stuck in the past, and in anger and resentment.

 

Once you have decided to move forward and let go of the past, then you can truly heal. You may find that the pains you are physically or neurologically experiencing will lessen or even dissipate over time, or at least become manageable.

Trust me when I say that forgiveness and letting go of negativity is the cornerstone to feeling better and getting your life back on track. What have you got to lose? At worst, you’ll stop being overcome by anger and hate, at best you can heal and start living your life again, truly living your life again, not just surviving.

Are you just surviving? It’s time to start living and healing! Don’t waste another moment on those negative things. Bring closure and forgiveness into your life so you can begin to heal, from the inside out!

 

This week’s call to action will be hard for some of you. It will definitely take more than a week, but today is a stepping stone in the right direction for your well-being and happiness.

Today you begin to forgive the person, circumstance, or yourself for where you are right now. I know it’s hard, but if you are listening to my podcast then I believe you want to live a better life…and this is the first step in doing that. You cannot expect to find happiness and peace amidst anger and resentment. Let it go!

Find a mantra to repeat whenever you feel the anger taking over. Even a simple: ” I forgive you” that you can repeat out loud or to yourself, everytime your mind goes back to that negative space.

Don’t stop! Keep repeating until you live it! Remember, our brains are powerful and will believe whatever you feed them. If you speak positive, then your brain will follow your lead.  Keep at it. Reach out to me to let me know how it’s going.

It won’t be easy, but good things take hard work. Your spoils await you on the other side of forgiveness.  Keep at it, I know you can do it!

It’ll be well worth your time and energy now. Believe in yourself, believe in a better tomorrow! Start TODAY!!!

 

As always,

Be Healthy,

Be Happy,

Be YOU!!!

 

Much love,

Angie

A little puppy humor for you🐶
Making a Difference- ROMP Global

Making a Difference- ROMP Global

Range of Motion Project Global

What an amazing group of people creating opportunities for amputees who might never had the chance to enjoy freedom and independence that mobility brings.

Range of Motion Project Global is changing lives, one prosthetic at a time. I have had the honor of helping them fundraise and getting mobile for their cause the past 2 years as an amputee, because I know how my prosthetic has changed my life for the better.

I feel complete and know that I can do anything I put my mind to now that I have a leg to stand on (pun intended). I don’t take this lightly or for granted because even with amazing insurance coverage we had as a family, I almost didn’t receive a leg! There are so many people in the world that may never get one and that’s tragic.

What you may not understand is that losing a limb and then experiencing the fear of not receiving a prosthetic not only effects the physical nature of a person, it also impacts their emotional and mental health as well! We need to change this. We, as a world and one family, need to reach out and help those who don’t have a way of helping themselves.

This is what ROMP Global is all about. This is their mission. You can help!

Donate old parts from yours or your clients prosthetics.

Donate time and volunteer.

Get moving and participate in their events, like Mobility May, to bring awareness to this issue.

Donate money, any and all amounts are welcome!

We can all do something to help others feel the freedom that mobility brings. What can YOU do?

Check this podcast out, and make sure to listen until the end. The stories of the people they have helped will move you.

LP and David climbing their mountain

 

Want to get moving and help bring awareness to this project?  Join my team today and get yourself moving for the month of May, bring awareness to this amazing cause, and really appreciate your ability to move how and when you want. It’s a freedom we all take for granted, each and everyday.

Thank you for supporting ROMP Global and myself this Mobility May and all year long!

Join my team HERE

Donate to my team and ROMP HERE

ROMP Website

 

 

And as always:

Be Healthy,

Be Happy,

Be YOU!!!

 

Much love,

Angie

What’s your mountain?

 

Fluid, Flexible, but Ferocious

Fluid, Flexible, but Ferocious

Managing Expectations

 

Sometimes we just feel like nothing is going right, we can get down on ourselves, or worse,  OTHERS, because of what we are going through.  When we expect certain things to go a certain way we can be setting ourselves up for a let down of epic proportions.  I’m not saying you shouldn’t strive for your best, or to set those types of expectations/goals for yourselves. You should always work at achieving something greater than where you are at now, for example, if you want to walk to your mailbox, with your prosthetic, but have only gotten to the end of your driveway, then go for it. It’s achievable but will take hard work, time, and positive attitude.  What I am referring to is how you feel in your prosthetic or what you are expecting from your prosthetist.

My prosthetists: Randy and David
The Limb Center

Teamwork!

The work room where Randy does all his magic!

Be forewarned, you need to know the difference between a prosthetist who is giving his or her all to you and those who aren’t. You also need to know if you are just expecting too much. Remember, you lost your limb, nothing can replace the real thing. What you ARE looking for is something that will be doable to get around on and is comfortable enough NOT to cause any other issues, such as: blisters, infection, bruising, etc.  YOU have to know the difference between when you are expecting too much or when your prosthetist isn’t giving enough. And that, my friends, takes time and listening to your gut.

 

You can best determine if you are getting the best care possible if your questions are being addressed, your concerns are being heard, and actions are being taken to assure your best interests are being met.  If in your gut you feel you aren’t being heard, or given proper time to address issues you are having, then you probably aren’t in the right office.  However, you also need to understand that no practitioner is going to be able to give you ‘perfect’.  There is no such thing, and you need to manage THOSE expectations and find a common ground, one where you feel good enough about your fit, and aren’t in major pain.  My leg I have right now, after almost three years, feels the best….but it’s not perfect.  I can deal with what I have to deal with because it’s better than it’s ever been.  I have to know that this is a good thing, I lowered my expectations to an 80-90% pain free, versus looking for 100% pain free.  And I’m ok with that. I am also a better, happier, thus healthier ME, because I have come to terms with not feeling perfect.

Catch my drift?

You don’t need to settle, that’s not what I am saying, but know the difference of getting good, quality health care versus high expectations that NO ONE could possibly supply you.

I’m the lucky one. I had an amazing doctor who directed me to two of the most kind, caring and talented prosthetists around.  They care about me, my lifestyle, and making my life the best they can give.  I ask questions, tell them my symptoms and they work with me to achieve that. I don’t complain or blame them for ill-fitting sockets, I just ask for their help to make it better. I communicate clearly about what’s going on and they do the rest.  We work together and make it a “give and take” relationship that works. After all, it’s going to be a long ride with these guys.

 

 

Work on journaling your feeling and where you are struggling.  Try to keep track of and acknowledge the time of day, weather, and other factors that could be causing you issues. Is there a common thread? Can you work around that or fix it yourself? Is it your mindset holding you back or is it a true issue with your fit?

Practice being flexible and patient.

Understand and communicate with your practitioner about what you are going through, dealing with, and what you need. Pay attention to your body so you CAN communicate clearly.  These small things will help you give them the best shot of actually helping you, after all, you are the only one who can feel what you feel and describe what’s going right and wrong. It’s our job to communicate clearly and accurately so they can help us to the best of their ability.

Let go off perfection. It won’t ever get there but those thoughts will make you grumpy and frustrated with everything going WRONG that you’ll forget to focus on what is going right. Be positive!

 

You can do this, I believe in you!

Change your mindset,

Stay positive,

Find a level of comfort you CAN live with and

Get out and live your life!!!

 

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

Try!

Try!

“Nana korobi, ya oki”-Japanese proverb

Translation- “Fall down seven times, get up eight.”

Are you struggling with getting up and getting active?  Are you afraid to fail? To fall?

It happens. If you decide to try something new then be prepared to fail, and fail again, until you finally succeed.  It takes trials and errors to make the necessary adjustments, in anything you do, to finally see success.  If you didn’t fail when trying something new then you didn’t learn anything and didn’t set your goal high enough.

 

A goal should be hard to achieve, but not unachievable. It should make you work, and often times fail or be so hard that when you do achieve it you feel amazing about how far you’ve come.

This past weekend I achieved a goal I set for myself over a year ago.  Part of it, no, most of it, was about my mindset.  I wanted to hike a specific trail that I knew would be demanding on my body, my residual limb, and socket.  When I first attempted it I didn’t have the necessary equipment, time, nor was the temperature conducive (100 degrees+).  I really hadn’t a clue why we even tried it but I knew how hard the first 1/4 mile was and the hike would be 5 miles round trip.  I needed to prepare physically but also mentally.  I knew I was going for it this past weekend a whole week beforehand so I had time to make necessary adjustments with materials and prepare my mind for the hardship this trek would have on me, but I WAS determined to achieve my goal!

 

I know this sounds more like a talk on goal setting but it’s really about getting out and trying things you might not normally do…and quite frankly, that takes goal setting and a mind shift.

 

 

But if failure scares you then be prepared to stay right where you are and become stagnant.  You cannot grow without goals. You cannot achieve goals without hardships and failure. And you cannot see change without trying something new pushing you out of your comfort zone.

So what are you waiting for???

 

 

Get out and try something new this week!

If you are struggling with pain, maybe shift your thinking to something different than sitting around and thinking about the pain.  Maybe that means reading a book you’ve always wanted to read, going for a drive just to get out of the house, calling a friend and having a nice conversation about something totally unrelated to your circumstance or focusing on their life or their issues.  Whatever you do, set a goal, small or large, write it down and then set the necessary steps it takes to achieve it….and then go for it!!!

If you try something new you might find that you have found a new passion, whether it’s reading an certain author or helping others with their situations or a specific exercise or activity.  It might put you on the path of a healthier lifestyle and better habits.  Who knows, you might actually, for a moment, forget about your own pain and problems!

Now wouldn’t that be something!?

I hope you found something useful here,

And as always:

Be Healthy,

Be Happy,

Be YOU!!

Almost  to the top of the Granite Mountain Hot Shots Memorial hike, Yarnell, AZ.
2.5 miles to observation point. 1,990 feet elevation change. Rocky as all get out!💪🏼

 

Much  love,

Angie

Goals

Goals

Set ‘Em, and Slam Dunk ‘Em!

No better time than the present!  It doesn’t need to be a Monday or the first of the month or, even worse, January 1st to set and achieve any goal you set for yourself. Now is the time to get started on the path you want and desire for yourself.  What do you want from your life? Do you want to be healthier? Eat better? Quit smoking/drinking? Get moving and exercise daily?  Are you, like me, trying to walk better and more smoothly in your prosthetic or use your running blade for running?

What are you waiting for? Let’s crush your goals….NOW!

 

You can do anything you set your mind to and setting goals is the most powerful way to get there.  To make sure you’re successful in achieving your goals you need to make sure you follow a few steps.

  1. Set a goal you really want to achieve.
  2. Set a DATE to achieve it by.
  3. Tell people who care about you. They will hold you accountable when you struggle to stay the course.
  4. Forgive yourself when you take a step backward, and pick yourself back up and continue forward.
  5. Write it down!!
  6. Celebrate the small victories and be proud of yourself when you achieve your goal.

These simple steps will help you meet your goals and push you forward. When you start achieving your goals you will find that you will feel better about yourself, be physically healthier, and your mental game will be stronger.

A happier and healthier you will be greeting on the other side of your goals.

It’s all up to you and what you really want in life.

This is how I got motivated to move in my prosthetic from the start.

 

I use a little extrinsic reward to stay motivated to move.  For me, after many years of knee surgeries before amputation, I couldn’t get out and move.  Even a small walk to the mailbox was too painful for me.  I gained weight and felt awful about myself.  Once I got my prosthetic I couldn’t wait to be mobile, but it wasn’t that easy.  Learning how to manipulate the knee joint and getting use to wearing a 12 lb leg was more than I bargained for but I was determined, after all I decided to amputate so I could be mobile once again.  The only way I knew how to get use to something was to use it, and use it daily, no matter what.  Enter virtual races, before they became a pandemic thing.

I loved that I could do it on my own time, the way I could do it, and at my pace.  I was hooked after receiving my first medal, and as you can see I have gained a few…. and some aren’t even in this picture!  All of these I completed in the past 2 years, as an amputee!  If I can do this then so can you. You just need to follow those basic steps above, to help you succeed.

 

 

You guessed it!

This week I want you to set a realistic, yet challenging goal for yourself.

What have you been putting off but really want to achieve?

WRITE IT DOWN! Put it somewhere you can see every morning to remind yourself and remember you ARE worth achieving it!

Tell your friend or family member, or join a social group that’ll support you, cheer you on, and pick you up when you fall.

Remember, it’s a journey. You’ll have good days and bad. There will be days you fail, but you must pick yourself back up and press on. Don’t quit!

You will thank yourself when you meet your goal, and then you’ll be wanting to set a new one.

 

Talk to me! Tell me what you’re planning on doing and how you’ll go about achieving it. I’m here and listening.

As always,

Be Healthy,

Be Happy, Be YOU!!!

 

Much love,

Angie

Me, right after amputation. I actually had my surgery right before Christmas.

 

Me now. Happier, healthier, and moving! Just like I wanted, and everything I’d hoped for!

What are YOUR goals?

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!🥰