Tag: pain

Embrace the Moments

Embrace the Moments

 

The past few weeks have been quite a ride and then just 2 days ago I realized we, as a family, were about to close another chapter in our lives.

Change happens. Life keeps moving forward, even when we are not ready, even if we don’t want it to. It is inevitable.

We as humans don’t really embrace change well, it takes some getting used to but, it is what helps us grow. When we are forced out of our comfort zone, a place we’ve become accustomed to, we can feel out of control, scared, and unsure of ourselves and our path. It can be disorienting and make us feel like we are failing.

What I have learned over the past 9 years is that within moments we feel chapters closing, and our life taking on a new direction, with acceptance and positive mindset, embrace these changes, we succeed and begin fly once again.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not easy. As a matter of fact, changes that deeply affect us and make us stumble or strike fear in us, take time to grapple with before and accept. But the sooner you accept the change the sooner you’ll find yourself flying once again, and you might even see how it’s made you grow in certain aspects of your life.

New chapters happen often throughout our lifetime. If we could only remember that and enjoy the ride, then we can stop worrying and start really living our best life, a more deep and meaningful life, taking in the moments that we often take for granted. So often we get caught up in worry and stress, wondering what will happen next, and wondering if we can handle the curveballs life is throwing at us that we forget that life is happening, and life is about the ups and downs, the journey, the struggles, the triumphs and joys. We tend to lose sight of the big picture. New chapters open and old ones close. New adventures begin and we learn more about ourselves and our people we surround ourselves with by how we handle the situations in life. But it is in the small daily moments that we must remember to embrace, and cherish. they are fleeting moments and quickly become memories.

This young man is now a 20-year-old. We said good-bye to teen years this week!😢

 

My youngest! His team won State this past weekend and he graduates high school next week!😭

 

I am in a season of change, yet again, in my life. This momma’s heart will weep and be sad for the change, but I know that new doors open, allowing us to grow some more, to build character and perseverance for the next step.

Enjoy today, for all its worth.

It may not be perfect or fun or pain-free, but find the joy. Embrace the moment. Love the challenges or triumphs you are in, right now.

Take mental pictures to store in your heart forever and love your life.

 

 

Every time you find yourself struggling with frustrations, anxiety, or fear stop and slow yourself down

Take 5-10 deep breathes in through your mouth, hold for 2 seconds and then exhale through your nose.

Next, write down:

5 things you love about your life,

or 5 things you are proud of,

or 5 things that were positives about your day.

Our minds are powerful and whatever we tell our brain, it believes!

Feed your mind positives and watch how your mindset and life change for the better.

 

As always, until next week:

Be Healthy,

Be Happy,

Be YOU!!!

 

Much love,

Angie

 

What’s Your Story with Noah Elliott

What’s Your Story with Noah Elliott

2x Paralympic Medalist, Father, and Cancer Survivor-Noah Elliott

 

Wow! Do you need some inspiration? Make sure you listen in today! Noah Elliott shares the journey he has been on since the age of 15, and how he went from becoming a teen father to cancer diagnoses to 2x Olympic medalist!  I mean, WOW!!!

2022 Winter Olympics

 

 Noah doing what he does!

 

Doing what he loves and his personality shines through the heaviest of winter clothing!😎

 

I am honored to call him a friend and am inspired beyond words at the grit and determination he has shown throughout his young life.

If you are struggling in your own journey and find it hard to be positive then consider this interview a huge dose of positivity made just for you.

Noah’s story will inspire, empower and lift you up.

Remember, we all go through hard times and Noah is just a person, like you and me. Listen and see if you can hear what makes him stand out from the crowd. Listen and hear what took him from what could have been a life of impossibilities to him doing the impossible.

See what you can learn from this interview, and the others from the past month, that set these individuals with limb loss/limb difference apart from the crowd. What do they have that you can adopt and use to achieve your goals. Remember, anything is possible with the right mindset, attitude, and faith in yourself.

Remember to like, subscribe and share so you don’t miss an episode!

 

I hope you enjoy this interview as much as I did.

And as always:

 

Be Healthy,

Be Happy,

Be YOU!!!

 

Much love,

Angie

 

Tell Me Your Story: Andrew Hauser

Tell Me Your Story: Andrew Hauser

Andrew Hauser: Athletic Trainer/Strength Coach to the MLB and NFL players

I am so excited to share amazing stories all month, interviewing people from all over, who have gone through losing a limb or have limb difference, and letting them share their story and how they have risen from and conquered the challenges in their lives.

This week’s interview is with Andrew Hauser, athletic trainer/strength coach in the MLB and with NFL players, who lost his leg in a scary and tragic accident at 18 years old.  He was a baseball player and getting ready to head off to college to a whole new world when this took place. Can you even imagine being 18 years old with whole world in your reach, only to have your life turned upside down in a heartbeat?!?!

Andrew’s positive outlook, and his ability to be introspective and calm, was not only astonishing at such a young age, but it probably was the key to him bouncing back and living an amazing life, full of adventure and helping others strive to reach their highest potential in the field he works in.

Listen in as you hear Andrew talk about his journey, the hurdles he had to jump through, finding a wife to love and be loved by, and embarking on a career that he hadn’t dreamed of as an 18 year old.  Hear what took place, in his own words, and how he ended up reconnecting with his identity as an athlete and having an incredible job, doing what he loves.

Thank you, Andrew, for sharing your story, your journey, and the struggles and triumphs you experienced along the way!

 

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😁
Somebody’s Watching Me

Somebody’s Watching Me

….. And They’re Watching You, Too.

I know, that sounds creepy but it’s not what you think.  Did you know that you influence and impact more people daily than you realize?

As a parent I knew right away that my boys were watching me, my every move, even when it appeared that they were enthralled in a movie, game, or activity! They’d say something, or repeat me, or act the way I did. Wow! What an eye opener that was for me as a mom. Now as an amputee I am realizing that people are watching, every move feels like it’s being monitored.

At first you might think they are just being rude and it makes you feel uncomfortable, almost paralyzing, afraid of stumbling or looking weak and incapable; at least that’s how I felt.  Then I decided to make eye contact and smile….and you know what?  People started opening up!  They’d ask if it was rude to ask what happened, if I was a vet, if I’m comfortable in a prosthetic.  Some people would tell me about their journey and rough patches they were going through. Some even asked my thoughts on amputation because they were at that juncture in their own life.  I mean, wow!

Connection. Comradery. Compassion.

People are curious, they have questions and want to understand what it’s like to be an amputee and what makes us tick.

After my journey from injury to amputation, and now beyond, I feel it is my purpose, and obligation, to help others. If I have experiences that can help someone else through their trials then I need to share my experiences, good and bad. I have found that talking with others, sharing my story, my journey, not only gives them insight and a foundation to help them along their path, it also fills my bucket up, motivates me, and puts a spring in my step that day.

I love sharing my story with anyone who asks. I love showing curious children my leg and helping their parents understand that it’s ok for their children to be curious and ask questions.  I wished more amputees were so open, but the reality is that some are hurting inside, struggling to make sense of what they are going through, wondering if they can carry on.  If that’s you, I’m sorry you are going through that, but know you are not alone and you don’t have to be stuck in that mental space.

Break free from those mental and physical confines by sharing your experience, you’ll be surprised how healing that can be.  When you share your story, you let go of some of those hard emotions by allowing others to absorb them, listening to you, and validating your feelings and struggles.  And when they share their own struggles in reply you’ll realize you AREN’T alone after all, which is such a load off your heart.

I’m telling you, it is an AMAZING feeling to share your journey, your struggles, your successes with people who are strangers that become invested and lift you up with their words.

Embrace that you are different. Share your story, you may help someone along the way. I know you’ll be helping yourself when you do.

 

 

This week I challenge you to make eye contact, smile and see what relationships you create, and who’s lives you’ll touch with your story. It’s time to face the fears you have about your circumstance. It won’t be easy for some of you but I can tell you that I haven’t met a person who hasn’t made a difference in my life when I’ve made those connections.  I love telling people what I went through. I’m proud of the courage it took me to get here. I’m proud of how hard I’ve worked to get over being self-conscience, and how hard I’ve worked to achieve things some people never thought I could do as an amputee.  Be proud of your story and the scars you have, and share it with who ever is curious. You will feel liberated and find healing in opening up.

Get out there and be brave. Share your journey.  You have so much to offer this world.

As always:

Be Healthy,

Be Happy,

Be YOU!!

Much love,

Angie

 

 

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

Positivity

Positivity

Positive mindset is your friend!

We all face struggles in life. Some people it’s more obvious than with others but no one goes through life unscathed.  It’s how we deal with those struggles that define us and give us the opportunities to live a great life or struggle to make ends meet.

Which are you? Are you making the most of your life or struggling to move past your circumstances?

Our mindset is a powerful tool that allows us to cope, deal with, and eventually rise back up again when we have been knocked down.  However, this is not an easy skill to obtain. As a matter of fact, it takes experience to learn how to deal with adversities in our lives.

One thing I have learned through all that I have been through is that each bout of pain, frustration or struggle is just a phase that helps me grow mentally, physically, and emotionally.  It is with these experiences that I come to you today to tell you that you can do it.  You can make it through whatever it is that is holding you back from living an amazing life.

It is just a phase.  What you are going through is strengthening you, if you allow it.  The struggles are real, no doubt about it, but they do not define you!  They are strengthening you so that you can better handle what comes next.

 

 

You can be successful just by getting back up every time you are knocked down.  You deserve that!  You owe it to yourself to give life your best shot.  Don’t give up, GET UP!!! Again, and again, and again!!

 

 

Repeat after me:

 

This is just a phase.

This is just a phase.

This, too, shall pass.

 

Now, write down a positive affirmation for yourself that you can tape to your mirror and see every morning and every evening before you go to bed.  Remind yourself that you deserve a great life.  Remind yourself to have grace in the hard times. And never forget that what you are going through is just a phase.  Take a deep breathe and step back for a moment. Find a positive in your life and then move forward again.

 

And as always:

Be Healthy,

Be Happy,

Be YOU!!!

 

Much love,

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

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