Tag: injury

Healing From the Inside Out

Healing From the Inside Out

 

If we could only see the damage within ourselves from past experiences, like we can see the physical damage done from surgery, we would understand the importance of healing within ourselves.  If you are hurting, feeling discouraged, broken, sad, anxious, angry, then you really need to focus on your inner YOU before you can heal and build up your physical YOU.

When we feel great, happy, content, or relaxed we tend to have energy and then that energy is used to move us, heal our bodies, and become more physically active.  Ironically, when we do start moving our bodies not only is that good for our physical being, but it, in turn, lifts our spirits and helps with our emotional and mental state as well.

So what comes first? It’s like the chicken or egg scenario. If you are emotionally defeated, it’s hard to motivate yourself to do something good for yourself. Yet, if you could just push past that, the endorphins that your body releases when you become active can boost your spirits.

After all I have been through since 2013, when I couldn’t be active, left me feeling miserable at times. It actually took its toll on my body as I had gained 55 pounds through 5 years of knee surgeries.  It was actually after I had my amputation that I was once again able to move, and rose up to once again, define who I was and live a better life.  It was hard, I stumbled and fell often both physically and metaphorically, but I kept pushing myself, and the boundaries, until I began to soar.

 

The first picture, on top, was me right after my amputation in 2018. The 2nd picture is from 2 weeks ago.

I began doing things I thought I may never do again, I attempted new sports and activities, and found a pure joy that no one could take away from me. I healed myself from the inside out and accepted my new situation, and moved on from there, challenging myself to anything and everything I could think of as an amputee.  I became so active that the extra weight dropped off and now I am more fit then I was, even in high school!

 

You can achieve this, if you want it. It takes commitment and perseverance. You must set goals and follow through, but it can be done.

Don’t count yourself out just yet. I believe in you!

 

 

 

It’s simple this week:

 

Write down all the emotions and feelings you are having that eat away at you. All the negative thoughts and feelings you have about yourself, where you are at in your life, your medical situation.

Now destroy that list! Burn it! Tear it to shreds! Crumple it up and throw it in the trash!

It’s time to move onward and upward. Today you learn to forgive, have grace, and think positive thoughts.

It’s never too late to start a new path, take a road less traveled, and to adjust your life.

Don’t put it off anymore, you deserve the best from yourself.

I believe in you! Let’s do this!

 

Best wishes on your new beginning!

As always,

Be Healthy,

Be Happy,

Be YOU!!!

 

Much love,

Angie

 

What’s Your Story with Christy Gardner

What’s Your Story with Christy Gardner

 US Army Veteran, USA Sled Hockey Teammate, Therapy Dog Trainer, Special Olympics Coach, Bilateral Below Knee Amputee

Christy does it all! She is amazing, inspiring, and constantly pushing her limits to see what is possible!

As I wrap up my interviews for Limb Loss/Limb Difference Awareness month (April), I have to say I am renewed, Inspired, and ready to take on the world!

Christy was planning on serving our country for the maximum number of years, until one fateful day she was hit by a local strike in an undisclosed area she was serving as a MP Sergeant. She ended up with a traumatic brain injury (TBI), and spinal cord damage which ultimately led to her double amputation.  She was distraught and had been told that she would never talk or walk again and would never be able to live on her own.

What saved her? How did she go from that “diagnoses” to becoming an alternate to the US Paralympic Track and Field team, a member of the women’s US Sled Hockey team, therapy/service dog trainer, and living alone?  Well, you need to listen in to hear her tell her story. Hear how a friend at the VA kept inviting her to come see what sports were available, how a dog named Moxie changed her life forever for the best, and how her unrelenting desire to be better and achieve the impossible, made everything possible once again!

 

Don’t miss this episode and an opportunity to find your own strength in Christy’s story.

Thank you, Christy, for spending time with me and blessing us with your story of hardship and triumph, and how you were able to overcome such large obstacles. You are a true warrior and such an inspiration! Best wishes in all you do.

 

Competition is such a powerful motivator for Christy…

 

But then again, so was Moxie!🐾

 

Make sure you watch the YouTube episode of my interview with Christy, as well! You can find my YouTube channel by search BAWarrior360

 

And as always:

Be Healthy,

Be Happy,

Be YOU!!!

 

Much love,

Angie

 

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

 

Giving the Gift of Activity

Giving the Gift of Activity

Staying Active Through the Hard times…and Making it FUN!

Me out hiking on a “good” day….

However, you may ask,  “How about those bad days, Angie? How do you stay active and in a good place when you’re struggling?”

 

I have found ways to alleviate the pain I feel in a socket that’s not fitting properly (which happens every few months, the first couple of years after becoming an amputee, as your limb changes) or if I’m just bruised and sore from a hard workout the day before.  I like to have fun and the activities I use get me out and active, but also allow me to forget, for however briefly, that I am an amputee and let’s me play and enjoy time with my family or on my own.

 

These are just a few ideas I wanted to share, that I use often, and have found to be a great workout while having fun.  Please know, that I didn’t just accomplish doing some of these activities. Some took time and practice, practice, practice.  That was where the fun, for me, came in. I found activities that I thought would be a challenge, or ones that people would tell me would be impossible for an above knee amputee.  There is nothing more fun or rewarding, to me, than proving people wrong!

Listen in to my podcast and take a look at the list provided below of the company’s I have used.  All of these company’s I am using are only because they are what I found, liked and pricing worked for me.  IndoBoard is the only company that I am representing and I have a code you can use to get a discount when checking out.

Take a peek!⤵

Wavestorm Surfboards

 

 

IndoBoard

 

 

MagLock Bike Pedals

 

 

Kahuna Creations

 

 

 

**When you click on the IndoBoard link, above,  it will take you to my affliate link where you will recieve a discount upon checkout.

I don’t have a particular scooter I like or prefer but here’s me enjoying myself on my scooter, too!

 

Enjoy this podcast whether you are an amputee looking for ways to stay active during hard times, or if you know someone who could use a fun way to get in shape.

Disclaimer: Please know that with any of these exercises you can get hurt. Please take the necessary precautions to protect yourself and always, start slowly and work your way up.

 

 

 

Best wishes and as always:

Be Healthy,

Be Happy,

Be YOU!!!

 

Much love,

Angie

Rise To The Challenge

Rise To The Challenge

Run The Race Set Before You

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

 

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

 

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

Now it’s YOUR turn!

 

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

Check these out:

Virtual Strides

Virtual Pace Series

Gone For A Run

Will Run For Bling and Charity

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

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

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

And as always:

Be Healthy,

Be Happy,

Be YOU!!

 

Cheers,

Angie

 

Is Amputation Right For You?

Is Amputation Right For You?

Advocating For Yourself When You Reach That Moment

-My First steps as an amputee
-This was pure joy: a new life had been opened up to me
-The possibilities were endless

-My amazing nurses that saw me through
several days of recovery
-This was just before being discharged
-Excitement mixed with nerves

-Dr Judd Cummings, my amazing orthopedic surgeon

 

That moment had come, in my mind. I had done everything to make my knee work the way it was suppose to. I spent years in PT. I tried medication, pain management, dry needling, cryotherapy, holistic/Eastern medicine, blocks, non-invasive surgeries, and allergy testing. NOTHING helped. When I came home from Europe only to find out I had a blood clot and could’ve died in flight was it then that  I realized  that was it, the end of my pursuits to regaining mobility with the knee I was born with.

Enter Dr. Judd Cummings.

He listened to my concerns, had a real grasp of my years of trying to make things better and let me know that I was in the right place, checked off all the boxes, and that amputation was definitely a route he could help me take.

Was this an easy thing to talk about? No way! For a while I couldn’t even say the “A” word. If I did, it became real and I wasn’t emotionally there yet. I got several other opinions before heading back to Dr. Cummings office. One opinion even told me that I’d never walk again if I amputated!! Can you believe that!?!?

The reality is, you need to be in the right state of mind to accept it and go forward with this surgery. How did I know it was right for me? I knew I had exhausted all my options. I had started talking to people in that world who had success with their amputation, and I knew that I was NOT living my life. I was defeated. I was tired of working so hard for something that wasn’t working. I missed doing things with my family, my boys, who were growing up so quickly before my eyes while I watched from the sidelines.

I once had a doctor tell me that I would be a good candidate for amputation however I wasn’t there, yet. I had no idea what he meant by that….until my blood clot. It was like a final slap in the face. The final straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back. At that moment, in the ER, when the doctor told me I had a blood clot, I knew right then and there that I was physically ready for amputation.

I spent over a month getting second opinions, even though I knew I wanted Dr. Cummings to do the surgery, but I was doing my due diligence. Making sure I heard everything loud and clear from several medical professionals, asking a lot of questions, and sometimes hearing things I didn’t want to hear. Each one of those appointments lead me to the final decision, with conviction.

After I set the date for December 18, 2018 I had 3 months to mull it over, ask more questions, worry, get confused, doubt my decision and have nightmares. It was not an easy road leading up to that fateful date. But in those months I gained mental strength that was needed to rise above and succeed in my endeavor. By the time I woke, the morning of my surgery, I was in the best spirits, the weight of my decision was in God’s hands and I was ready! My Faith drove me forward, gave me confidence and conviction.

-I did it for them❤

When I woke after surgery, the moment I actually feared the most, I never felt better. Even my family was shocked by my recovery (I usually am very groggy and sick to my stomach when I come to), and my chirper behavior surprised them.

As I speak with Dr. Cummings in my interview you’ll hear some things that can help you succeed, if this is the path laid out for you. We discuss advocating for yourself in the doctor appoints, gaining perspective through talking to others who have been there, and knowing when to seek another opinion. Dr. Cummings also tells us what things he, as a professional, looks for when deciding if amputation is the best avenue for his patients.

This is not an easy road but it is possible to live your life once again. Yes, I look different. Yes, I have more hurdles to jump over when doing everyday chores. Yes, there are good days and bad days, but everyone has those. It’s ultimately your mindset and the attitude you take about your circumstance that can determine the success you have or don’t have.

Take a listen. Hear what we are saying and know that you, too, can live a full, healthy, and active life as an amputee.

Find joy in where you are, and hope that new adventures can still be had after amputation!

This week, if you believe you may be a candidate for amputation, or you’re leaning towards it, OR your doctor has told you that this is the way you should go then I want you to do a few things to help you in the decision making process.

  1. Check with your insurance on their coverage. This is a lifelong journey, not done once surgery is done. You’ll need to really advocate for yourself with your insurance company for the surgery AND the prosthetic care afterwards! Call them, multiple times, and make sure you always get the same answer to the questions you are asking: for example, is amputation covered? Is my prosthetic covered? Find out what type you may get-some insurance companies won’t cover an electronic leg and you need to know what that means to you.
  2. Talk to a prosthetist or two. Get to know them. Ask questions that you have thought about, like what type of leg you could get based on your physical activity level. There’s a K test they do to see where you are and insurance companies use that to determine what they will cover.
  3. Ask those prosthetist for people that would be willing to do a peer-to-peer. Talking with amputees, especially successful ones, will bolster confidence that you can do it too, and also give you an idea of their day to day routine and struggles they’ve overcome. I also learned through my peer-to-peer visits that they all had a common thread: they all had a great, positive attitude and all of them set goals for themselves for AFTER the amputation. Goals setting is so key, but attitude can make or break the situation you’ll be in.
  4. Get second, third and even fourth opinions about the surgery from different doctors. It’ll be insightful to hear the different takes they each have.

You have your work cut out for you until next week. Reach out to me if you have questions. I’d love to talk!

Until next time,

Be Healthy,

Be Happy,

Be YOU!

-My first “real” photo after I got home- I hadn’t “shown off” my new look until this moment

 

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Embrace your new life. Except it and then you can find true happiness in the choice you made OR the choice that had to be made for you. You’ve got this! I know you can do it.

-Much love,

Angie

 

Facing Fears, Overcoming Obstacles

Facing Fears, Overcoming Obstacles

What’s Holding You Back?What if I told you that you can overcome your fears. What if I told you that you could rise above your circumstances and that they do NOT define you?

You need to hear Mike’s story, but not just what happened to him, listen to how he speaks about it. Listen to his message of the hope, and how he looked toward his future and NOT his past. Hear his heart and about the faith he had that this was all part of a bigger plan. We could all learn a thing or two from his approach to living a full and rewarding life and how his positivity and mindset might be just what you need to be inspired to make the most of your circumstances.

I met Mike while we were in Kauai on vacation a couple of years ago. I didn’t know his story before meeting him but was intrigued to hear that he lost his leg in a shark attack and went right back to surfing.  Talk about facing fears! Wow! I find his story inspiring, not just because he went back to surfing but because he took a life changing event and made the most of it. To become a shark advocate and to be face to face with them so he could photograph them and show the world what beauty lies within these ancient creatures is, to me, the ultimate sign of courage and strength.

What I realized after talking with Mike, in depth, is that we ALL have that capability inside of us. We can all make the choice to see the positive in any situation. We can get knocked down a hundred times but rise 101 times. We control the power within ourselves to be great and live a full and meaningful life, no matter what hand we are dealt.

Mike and I meeting for the first time in Kilauea, Kauai

 

I really hope you hear the message Mike presents in our interview, and understand that it’s possible to find happiness in tragedy, hope when you feel hopeless, and success in overcoming fear. You can do this! You are strong enough and you have a story to share with others. Through your fight and your journey, you, too, can and will inspire.

 

Call to Action:

Decide if you are playing the victim and throwing a pity party because life didn’t deal you the hand you think you deserve or are you looking at that circumstances as a way to rise to the challenge and going to make the best of it.

Then decide if you want to make a change and start living your life.

If you are choosing to take back control of your life, what do you need to make this happen?

Do you need to change your thinking? Then start by seeing the positive- I try to remember that I am lucky to be alive and healthy and can now do the things I couldn’t do just 2 years ago. I also realize that there are people in worse situations than I am and that I should have a a heart of gratitude.

Do you need help? Reach out to a family member, a friend, a close co-worker or find a support group. Sometimes it’s just plain tough to go it alone and a healthy, open relationship is just what you need. Be honest with yourself and your family about how you’re feeling. Sometimes just talking through your feelings will release your anxiety and allow you to grow.

Once you figure out what’s holding you back you can begin to move forward and make the necessary changes to improve your outlook on your life, and begin to have a positive, healthy mindset that will translate to a more profitable lifestyle for you and those around you.

This week I want you to work on your thinking and how you perceive your life. Be positive, upbeat, lose the negativity and smile. The simple act of smiling increases the release of endorphins and serotonin- a pain reliever and antidepressant, respectively. Try it!

I want to see you soar! I want to see you live a healthy, full and wonderful life. It’s there for the making.

 

Next week join me as I speak with Dr. Judd Cummings, the Orthopedic surgeon who performed my amputation and helped me get my life back.

Until next time:

Be Healthy,

Be Happy,

Be YOU!

 

 

 

Never Quit, Never Surrender!

Never Quit, Never Surrender!

No matter what I went through those 3+ years prior to amputation, Dr. Shaun Palmer never gave up on me or my hope…nor did I! I was going to walk again! I was going to get better, whatever it took! In this episode I chat with my PT that I saw from my knee revision surgery through amputation. You’ll get to hear his side of my journey and how he adapted my therapy to fit where I was physically and mentally. I want to show you what is possible when you advocate for yourself in the medical world, and what kind of relationships you can build with the right mindset. Unleash the warrior inside of you! Fight for your health! Bring your hopes, dreams and positivity to your provider so they can best serve you.

Dr. Palmer is also a co-host on the Doc Doc Goose Podcast (DDG Podcast) that you should check out for great information and entertainment.

Be sure to subscribe to Be-YOU-tiful Adaptive Warrior Podcast so you don’t miss an episode. I have big things in the works and some very special guests lined up. Check my Instagram account for updates as well: @BAWarrior360 and @angie_heuser and some upcoming Live Interviews with some amazing people.

Until next time, Be healthy, Be happy, Be YOU!

Starfish Arms and Lizard Tails

Starfish Arms and Lizard Tails

It won’t grow back so it’s time to change your thinking!

The road I’ve taken to get where I am and to be the person you see here has been long and filled with bumps and bruises along the way. I got knocked down-over and over again but I chose to get back up. Today, I share my journey with you for the first time. From injury to amputation, this is my personal story.

To be transparent is to show the world your weakest side, your weakest moments in hopes of inspiring and motivating others. I hope my story gives you hope, makes you laugh, and maybe even shed a tear because you  know this story all too well, as it mirrors your own.

Mine started in taekwondo. That’s when I felt like my train derailed. Little did I know what the next several years would bring, who I’d meet along the way, and the lessons I would learn.

Know their is hope in your story. That journeys serve a purpose, and that your perception and attitude will help you rise up and conquer whatever is in your way.

It’s time to unleash the warrior within you! Listen to my new podcast episode here! You can also click the link to your favorite podcast platform (Apple, Spotify, iHeart Radio) on this page.

After you listen, add your Call To Action comments here so I can see where you’re at in your journey and respond.

Thanks  for listening and please subscribe and don’t forget to share my link with someone you know that needs encouragement today!!

 

Starfish Arms and Lizard tails

Starfish Arms and Lizard tails

New podcast episode is on it’s way. In this episode I want to delve into my history up to my amputation so you can understand where my experience comes from and what I’ve been through. Amputation happens all the time, and for so many different reasons: accident/trauma, disease, infection, and elected.  To understand my view point and my drive- what makes me tick- you must first know who I am and what I went through. Let’s call this the starting point of our relationship, our first date, in some ways. You wouldn’t spend time or energy on someone you knew nothing about unless they led you to believe there was something worth getting to know. In this episode I will do just that. Time to get personal and share my story.  You will understand what makes me…. Me! And my hope is to reach you, my listener, so that you can relate to parts (or all) of my story and feel comfortable with the topics at hand and why I am sharing. I want to help others, who have struggled in life, reach their potential no matter what their circumstance. To give hope to those who feel they have none and to show you how to stand strong and live your best life through the ups and downs, and ins and outs of my journey.

Fasten your seatbelts as we jump into my pre-amputation life- it was a wild ride for about 6 years!