Tag: David Banks

You’ve Got to Fight for Your Right….

You’ve Got to Fight for Your Right….

To Party.. I mean, for Medical Insurance

Sorry, I had the Beastie Boys song stuck in my head. But, for real, do what they say and FIGHT for your rights!!!! They know what’s up!

 

The Beastie Boys had it right when they sang, “You’ve got to fight, for your right to party” however I’d say you should also fight for your right to having appropriate medical coverage, and for us amputees, the right to mobility.
As if becoming an amputee is an easy adjustment, mentally, emotionally or physically, we should not have to struggle with the draining process of being initially denied prosthetics and fighting another battle.
Come along with me in this podcast to hear some tips I’ve learned along the way of my own insurance fiasco, denials and all.
Find out what the best piece of advice I was given by my GP prior to my decision to amputate, how I surrounded myself with the right medical team, what I did to “assure” that my insurance plan covered my specific prosthesis and what I did when it all fell apart.
Somewhere along my personal journey I hope you find the tools to help yourself when the time comes to fight for your own medical coverage and how to handle things when they get denied.
Don’t give up!
Never surrender!
Be the squeaky wheel and fight for the life you deserve to live.
Fight!!! Me BEFORE my injury which led to my subsequent amputation
If you know you will need to rely on your medical insurance in the near future, like I did with an amputation, do your research, ask questions, ask more questions. Be prepared!
Don’t take no for an answer-insurance companies always say no first and expect that a majority of people will just quietly go away.
Don’t give up. Ask for help, if you need to, but be proactive, persistent, and strong… for your own health and happiness in the future.
As always,
Be Healthy,
Be Happy,
Be YOU!!!
Much love,
Angie

 

Roll With the Punches

Roll With the Punches

 

Life is never truly easy, for anyone. Sometimes it feels like everything is going our way when out of the blue a bomb drops.

Maybe your job or family life is struggling, or maybe your health.  Then you can feel overwhelmed and defeated.

But don’t fret. We all go through these moments. We all have valleys we must trudge through. What I have learned through life is that the valleys don’t last forever and soon you’ll be on top once again.

The problem being on top is that you never know when a valley will strike again, when you get gut punched and feel the wind knocked out of you.

If you realize that this is just how life goes, the sooner you can prepare yourself to handle those moments.

Not like you will ever be totally prepared but at least not naive to the fact that it happens. If you practice positivity, and strengthening your character, you will be better prepared for those moments. They won’t control you and every aspect of your life.

Our job is to learn from them, to build up our resilience and character to better handle those situations.

As an amputee I have these moments a lot. As soon as my socket feels great, I’m out being active, life is good….. BOOM!

My socket doesn’t fit anymore, it’s too loose, or there’s a crack that’s hurting my leg, leaving painful raw spots every step throughout the day. That’s when I need to dig down deep, realize that this too shall pass, and I must carry on. My family depends on me to function. I have goals I want to achieve and a life I want to live… to the fullest.

If you are struggling right now, life has served up some lemons and a swift punch to your gut, don’t fret. You can get through this.

We all deal with these moments, wishing they would just pass us by, but if you can see these as learning moments, to better serve you in the future then you are on the right track. Each trial we go through breaks us down to build us back up, preparing us for the next, making us stronger.  But it’s up to you to rise to that challenge, it’s not just given to you. You won’t just rise up because you sit around pouting about your circumstance. You rise up and build character if you FIGHT! You have to use those muscles to get back up, you need to speak positivity into your soul, you will struggle otherwise.

Take a look at today’s Call to Action for steps to take to work on your resilience today.

 

 

 

 

 

This week I want you to prepare for the storm.

How you do it might be a little different from me, but a basic strategy is:

  1. Use positive affirmations about myself. Post them somewhere or at least write them down. Look back at them when the going gets tough!
  2. This week, write down a “silver lining” about each day for the next 7 days. Even in the toughest times there is good. Sometimes we have to look long and hard, but it’s there. Realizing that your world isn’t ending because of something bad is half the battle. If you start looking for the positive and the good in your life then you are armoring yourself for the battles that are sure to come.

I hope this helps you get through your week, and your future. Fight the good fight, Warrior! You and your family are worth it!

 

As always,

Be Healthy,

Be Happy,

Be YOU!!!!

 

Much love,

Angie

 

 

 

Commitment and Consistency Brings Confidence

Commitment and Consistency Brings Confidence

“How long did it take for you to learn to walk?”
“Was it hard to learn to walk in a prosthetic?”
“What helped you get use to your prosthetic?”
I get these questions on a weekly basis from curious onlookers to amputees in wheelchairs.
It took time and commitment. Some would say courage, as well, because it’s hard to learn a basic skill all over again, and the fear of falling, and failing, is so great as we get older.
This week I share the one major thing that helped me conquer using a prosthetic and walking again, with confidence.
GOALS: Commit
My 1st in person race as an amputee, just one year after amputation!

 

 

Focus and determination

 

 

 

Now it’s your turn!
Find a virtual race you can push yourself, at your pace, and in your timeframe that works for you.
Sign up and then get to work!
Get excited when the mail arrives with your finishers medal, you earned it!!!
If I can do it, so can you!!
Be the warrior you are meant to be. It’s time to rise and live your best life.
Commit- Be Consistent, Build your confidence!
As always,
Be Healthy,
Be Happy,
Be YOU!!!
Much love,
Angie
And don’t forget! TODAY is the final day to join the #14daysofmagic challenge
Go to www.magicmind.co to order your own pack of Magic Mind TODAY!!! Use my discount code: BEYOU14 to get a discount on your order. And remember to post yourself being productive while you’re using Magic Mind for your chance to win a 1-3 month subscription of Magic Mind!!
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
And don’t forget to join me in the Magic Mind 14 day challenge!  Check out their website and 14-day challenge at: magicmind.co/14daysofmagic and don’t forget to use my discount code: BEYOU14
Feel great, gain clarity, find all day energy to get the job done, all while saving the rainforest!!  Join today!
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Challenge ends November 30, so don’t wait!
The Nerve of Some People!

The Nerve of Some People!

Extreme Nerve Pain aka Phantom Pain

 

Oh, it’s real alright!! I experienced 3 days and nights of non-stop STABBING pain.

 

It’s MASSIVE pain, no way to control it, mentally exhausting and disabling pain like no other!  It attacks when you least expect it and can make itself at home for days, or weeks on end. I am not talking about what I feel everyday-yes, I said “everyday”. Everyday, I feel my missing foot. I feel pins and needles all day long and into the night, until my body shuts down and I fall asleep. The pain I felt THIS week, for several days, was 100x worse, relentless, and brought my to my knees and into tears- which doesn’t happen often.

I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy. And the unknown of how long it will last is just as bad as the pain itself. Listen in as I talk about my recent journey through ANOTHER “episode” of shooting phantom pain; what it feels like, why I think it happened, and how to push through it!

 

Three things you can do to make sure you get through the struggle:

  1. Choose to keep moving, even when it’s hard, MOVE! Do what you can and stay active as much as possible.
  2. Distract! Distract! Distract!! Everything we go through flows like a river. Whenever things get hard do you look back a realize you made it through to better times? Likewise, when things are going great, then all of a sudden you are dealing with something tough, it just happens. That’s life. The quicker you realize that, the easier it is to know that there will be a light at the end of the tunnel.
  3. Positive self-talk. It’s ok to feel defeated and frustrated when you’re going through something, but it will be easier to swallow if you create a positive environment, with positive words, and an attitude that creates good feelings. It’s hard, and at times I find myself beating me up inside. Don’t go there, and if you do, get out of that mindset quickly.

You will have these moments, how you handle them is up to you. Strive to build a positive aura around you, stretch and flex those mental muscles and soon you’ll find that you can handle it, and maybe, just maybe, come out a better, stronger, happier YOU!

As always,

Be Healthy,

Be Happy,

Be YOU!!

 

much love,

Angie

 

 

A Day in the Life

A Day in the Life

Let’s Take a Peek

Hi! My name is Angie and I am an above knee amputee and a skin fit socket wearer.

There are many struggles you might first think about when you see an amputee, the most obvious is walking (if they are a leg amputee), but there are so many daily, little (and big) struggles that you might never know about unless you are an amputee.

Did you know that most of us don’t shower with our leg on? Just getting in and out of a shower is a chore in and of itself!

We don’t sleep with it on, either, which means if and when we get up in the middle of the night we have to have other ways to get around, such as walker, crutches, wheelchairs.

And as a skin fit socket wearer, I have to be careful of my weight and what I consume. Lose too much weight and my socket won’t stay on. Gain even 4 pounds and it won’t even fit!

If I drink alcohol or consume too much salt the night before, I pay for it in the morning with a leg that won’t fit properly in the socket!

With Limb Loss and Limb Difference Awareness month coming in April I decided to share with you this week what a day in the life of a skin fit socket wearer looks like.  I hope my journey helps you embrace yours, help someone who is going through this too, or educates you on the inner workings of an above knee amputee.

Please make sure you stay tuned the next month as I have special guests all lined up during April that can share their stories of limb loss, limb difference, and how they traverse their life to find success. 2 of my guests are Paralympians who just competed in Bejing!! Trust me, you don’t want to miss April!!

 

 

This week, reach out to someone going through amputation, preparing to go through amputation, or is struggling with their own journey.

If you really want to make a difference then check out ROMP Global, HERE, where you can donate and get involved in helping get prosthesis into the hands of people in desperate need of them.  There is nothing more gratifying than helping someone find freedom of mobility through giving.  This group of people at ROMP do amazing work!!

 

I wish you an amazing week, make sure you don’t judge a book by the cover, and understand there is more to amputees than just learning to walk again.

As always, until next time,

Be Healthy,

Be Happy,

Be YOU!!!

 

Much love,

Angie

Me being me😁
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

 

Baby Steps

Baby Steps

 

What’s holding you back from achieving your goals?

What fears are keeping you from living your best life?

Today I talk about creating baby steps to reaching the goals you have and how I faced a fear of my own yesterday. Baby steps to reaching your goals are still steps toward your goals. They need to be celebrated and you should feel great when you do accomplish them. So much of my past few years you’ve seen me do big things: skiing, surfing, hiking large mountains, but sometimes it’s the small steps that mean the most. Yesterday was one of those days. Join me as I share how stressful yesterday was but how I chose to see the positive in the baby steps. #babysteps #keepmovingforward #runningblade #ottobock #wiggleyourtoes #adaptiveathlete #ampstrong #amputeelife #aka #facingfears #challenges #calltoaction

 

Gym time

 

My 1st race
Starting line of the Phoenix Rock n Roll Marathon

 

 

2 parts to this week’s CTA:

  1. Figure out what is holding you back from achieving something you want, set small, baby step goals to get yourself there.  Like I did yesterday on the treadmill, it was only for 10 minutes and I wasn’t running, but I got myself out in public to attempt something I hadn’t done in over a year.
  2. Have grace with those around you. We never know what battles people are facing, but assume they are if they aren’t being nice, and remind yourself that it has nothing to do with you, and move on.

 

 

 

As always:

Be Healthy,

Be Happy,

Be YOU!!!

 

Much love,

Angie

Pushing Past the Pain

Pushing Past the Pain

Be Strong! You Can Get Through This!

Pain is a tricky thing.  Each of us experiences pain multiple times in life. It comes and goes. It happens when we have an accident, when we’ve had surgery, and sometimes it is invisible to the people around us. It is always very real to the person dealing with it.  Pain is different for each of us, too. Some of us have a low tolerance for pain while others may not even register it- I have a friend whose son fractured a bone in his  foot and the pain never registered to him!

There is no normal to pain OR pain relief.  Each person has to figure out  what they can tolerate and how to handle their pain when it hits.

While this sounds like a bummer because no one else can truly help you through your specific circumstance there are ways  to help yourself that works for most people. I’m talking about building up your mental game.

Being outside in the sunshine and fresh air has so many health benefits both physically and mentally.

It’s important that you find a way to navigate through your pain.  Be patient with yourself, too, there will be good days and bad days.  Sometimes just recognizing the fact that there will be bad days, days which you can’t seem to handle the pain anymore, will help you have grace with yourself when you feel lost, stuck, or like throwing in the towel.  Don’t let those moments defeat you.  Use them to fuel you to keep moving forward.  Stay as positive as you can and distract yourself, do something you love, to push through those weaker moments, just remember that we are human and we will fall short, every now and then, from handling our situations.  If you feel like you have been knocked down, that’s ok, we all do at some point or another, but pull yourself up by the boot straps, and keep moving forward.  Last week I wrote about the Chinese proverb:  Get knocked down 7 times, get up 8.  That’s what it takes to become stronger.  Change your thinking. Don’t give in!

 

Dr. Roni Prucz, my amazing plastic surgeon who performed my TMR surgery in December 2020

 

 

This week I want you to write down your positive messages to yourself on post-it notes or notecards, and place them where you look everyday or in places where you struggle.

If you struggle getting out of bed in the morning then put them by your bedside.  Statements such as:

“You can do this!”

“I will NOT quit!”

“Today is going to be great/better!”

“One step at a time”

 

Use these messages to yourself to motivate and not give up.  You could even ask someone in your circle to write short affirmations for you to help as well.  Just keep the positive vibes going.  Send yourself messages of love and grace to yourself, and use them in times of weakness.

 

Attitude is Everything

Until next time, remember:

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