Tag: dreams

What’s Your Story with Roni Sasaki

What’s Your Story with Roni Sasaki

 

Born with limb difference but having the drive and determination to become something more than her “disability”. Being told she may never walk and having the will to prove everyone wrong.

Daring to dream big and pushing the boundaries of being an athlete with limb difference comes the story of Roni Sasaki, Gold medalist in Alpine Skiing, author, speaker, and entrepreneur.  This lady has accomplished a lot, but it was a rough road as a child with limb difference.

Listen in as Roni tells us what it was like to look different as a child, overcoming the fears of fitting in, and then dreaming so big her dreams seemed out of reach and silly, back then.  Be inspired by her story and how dreaming big and having faith, beyond measure, saved her and gave her purpose to push forward against the odds, accomplishing those dreams…and more!

Roni on the slopes using a normal ski and boot with outriggers

Roni also has a podcast called, “A Leg Up On Life”, which you can listen to HERE . And you can even hear me being interviewed by Roni in Episode #44 on her site as well!

What an incredible journey and story Roni has shared with us. I hope you find her as inspiring as I have to live your best life and to never give up on a dream.

Roni, thank you for spending time with me and giving my audience some amazing words to live by. You are a true warrior and a blessing to know.

 

 

As always and until next week,

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

 

Being Comfortable With Being Uncomfortable

Being Comfortable With Being Uncomfortable

Using Fear to Grow and Overcome Obstacles

What holds you back from accomplishing your goals, your dreams?

What stops you from moving forward, creating anxiety within you?

If you are crippled by fear and can’t seem to move forward in pursuing your goals just know you are not alone.  Everyone has some sort of fear: fear of failure, fear of acceptance, fear of being alone or in pain. The issue is never about whether you have a fear or not, it’s about how much it controls your life.

I use to tell my sons, when they were little, that it was ok to have fears, as long as it doesn’t control you or stop you from being healthy, happy and living your life.  Fear is defined by Merriam-Webster as an unpleasant often strong emotion caused by anticipation or awareness of danger; anxious concern. Fear is the most general term and implies anxiety and usually a loss of courage.  Sometimes fear is defined as a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger or pain, whether the threat is real or imagined.

For most of us, we experience fear based on past, unpleasant experiences. It makes sense. If I went rock climbing a year ago and my foot slipped and I went sliding down the face of the rock, scrapping up my body, I might instantly feel anxiety well up inside of me when a friend suggests we go rock climbing today. As adults, we tend to hold onto past experiences, good and bad, and file those moments away, only to have them resurface when we perceive that we are walking into a similar situation.

However, this only becomes a problem when it creates a roadblock in our living. If we allow that fear, that anxiety, to stop us from experiencing life, then we’ve allowed it to define us.

Once we realize that fear is just a part of human nature then we can learn from it, and dare I say, use it as a tool to help us grow and actually enjoy new experiences. We don’t grow in our comfort zones, we grow when we get pushed  into uncomfortable situations. It forces us to improvise, it heightens our alertness and makes us aware of our limits, helping us to push our minds and bodies into new, unchartered territories.

This is how I have felt since becoming an amputee. Each day I feel that there is something that makes me become more alert, anxious, or even fearful. When I first learned to walk in my prosthetic I worried about falling and hurting myself, or making myself look foolish in public. Then as I got better at walking I tried to run. I’d put on my running blade, but would only go out at night so no one could see me stumble, look awkward, or stare at me. Fear of not being good enough stopped me from getting out in daylight, when it was safer and easier to see the road. I eventually got past that enough to go out earlier, but I still felt uncomfortable. Each day would bring it’s own set of issues, anxiety and discomfort. I tried a lot of new things like sled hockey and surfing, for the first time as an amputee. And each one of these was a test of my fortitude on pushing past my own insecurities. I am a perfectionist and very competitive with myself and others.

If you can do it, so can I.

If you tell me I can’t because I’m missing a leg, I’ll show you that I can. (That might actually be the stubbornness in me).

Skiing in Colorado March 2021

 

In today’s podcast I share with you my journey at getting back to skiing and how fear of falling takes away from the experience. I want to enjoy skiing again. To be outside, breathing in the fresh air, getting exercise and making a connection with my family.

So what do you do when fear takes hold? How do you push past discomfort and really start living your life?  It’s a mindset. It’s positive self-talk, your own personal pep-talks.  It’s about goal setting.

This goes back to the vision boards I talked about in the last episode. If you didn’t hear that podcast you can take a listen here

My vision board

A vision board is a place to put your dreams, goals, positive messages. Once you’ve created it you will have a place to go to keep yourself motivated. When you start to worry or doubt yourself or your capabilities, look to your vision board. You also need to remember that goals take time, and the bigger the goal the more grace you need to have with yourself and the setbacks that may occur. I remind myself, daily, that baby steps are still steps.

When we went skiing this past week, my first day on the slopes wasn’t my best. I just wasn’t feeling it, my movements were tense and unsure. We didn’t ski again until the end of the week, and quite frankly I couldn’t help but worry that I was going to feel the same way as before. Part of me would have been content with not skiing again….but I decided to push myself into uncomfortableness and try again, and you know what? I had a great day of skiing! I relaxed, worked on breathing, remembered some techniques I had been taught by my adaptive ski instructors from the previous year and enjoyed my day (and yes, I even talked to myself, affirming my skills and capabilities as a skier). When all was said and done, I was grateful I pushed myself out of my comfort zone that day. I wiped away the negative memories of the first day of skiing and replaced them with healthy, positive ones. The funny thing about that, I am the only one who saw my progress, because it was internal. It was the way I felt out there and how I moved from being uncomfortable to comfortable. This was MY victory. I conquered my fears and came out on top.

You need to remember that you CAN do anything. You set your goals, you speak and write affirming words to motivate and push yourself forward, you surround yourself with a tribe of people who can support you-mentally, emotionally, physically.

It may not be easy, but you can accomplish your goals, and when you do, when you learn to be comfortable with being uncomfortable, it’ll be then that you will truly be living your best life. And nothing will be able to stop you.

Call to Action:

This week, write down a fear you have. Something you want to conquer. Decide on the goal and the steps you’ll need to take to get to that goal. Add the desired outcome to your vision board or tape it on the mirror in your bathroom, somewhere you can see it everyday, someplace that will be a constant reminder of what you want to accomplish. Now go for it!! Reminder: some days will be better than others (remember my first day of skiing was the pits) but don’t give up. I challenge you to enjoy the journey, with its ups and downs. Get after it, have grace with yourself. If you take a step backward, don’t GIVE up- GET up, and attack it again. You can do this!!

Finally, lean on someone. Ask for accountability and support from someone you trust. If you struggle with that, reach out to me, let me help you.

Make sure you let me know how you’re doing.

Tell me what your goals and dreams are in the comments below, or email me. I’d love to hear about your journey. I’m here.

Best wishes on conquering your fear(s).

Speaking of conquering fears, next week I have a special guest. My friend, Mike Coots, joins me from Kauai, HI. He is an amazing photographer, shark advocate, surfer, and an amputee who lost his leg in a shark attack! Be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss it!

Until next time:

Be Healthy,

Be Happy,

Be YOU!