Tag: positive

When The Going Gets Tough

When The Going Gets Tough

How do you deal when hard times come a knockin’?

 

Do you throw your hands up in defeat or do you reach deep down and find the strength to carry on?

Do you belittle yourself into an out of control spin or do you use words of affirmation and pull yourself up by the bootstraps?

 

I have been realizing, of late, that I am struggling with motivation. I think the move did me in and I’m still recuperating from the physical battles I had to overcome with packing and unpacking a home.  My body has been aching more and my residual limb, well, let’s just say we are trying to come to terms with what I want to do and what it is capable of doing.

I have pushing myself to get out the door and put my walks and exercise time in, only to find that my physical game is struggling, which then plays into my mental game. This past weekend I went for a long walk with my husband, only to find that my limb really didn’t have it in it to walk as long as I wanted to… but I pushed myself and my mind won.  However, that wasn’t the only win that day.  I walked the longest I had walked in my new socket- 2 miles, but I also pushed myself into an opportunity to see where my mental fortitude lay.  This is how this podcast came about. I realized how much I talk to myself in the “heat of the battle”.  My mind was speaking to my heart and my leg.  I then asked myself why I go through this pain and hurt.  What was I getting out of doing this to myself?

I learned a lot about myself as I walked in the 98 degree Arizona summer sun, pushing myself to go farther, to not turn around, and not to give up.  I find that this is beneficial for me to see what I am made of, to work out the kinks in my prosthesis, and build my character and create positive moments in my life.  Is it easy? Was it easy?  Absolutely NOT!  But as the saying goes, nothing worth earning comes from “easy”.  We benefit more from a situation that is hard to get through because when we rise out on the other side we claim victory, and this is great for self motivation and helps us deal with the next hard moment, which is sure to come.

 

This was a moment of finding out what I was made of.
A 10K race just 1 year after amputation.

 

The question is, how are you handling those tough moments? Do you want to do better? Feel better? Look better? Then it comes down to your mindset and the way you talk to yourself.  Positive self-talk is so important. We tell our kids to not put themselves down, when they screw up, but are we beating ourselves up when we fall short? It’s easy to say this to people when you realize what they are doing to themselves, but to practice what you preach can be tough and a hard pill to swallow.  I realized the day after I did this walk that I had a really hard time with the pain and my usual exercise, and I started to get angry with myself, using negative words and being frustrated…. so easy to fall into that pattern. I saw that I was doing exactly what I said NOT to do and instantly changed my inner voice to a positive tone. Did it make it easier to finish, not necessarily, but I was better for it, and learned a lot about myself that day.  I know that I can be physically strong but mentally weak and will struggle.  These two go hand in hand.  It’s time to change how you treat yourself and how you talk to yourself.

Listen in to this week’s podcast to hear how that day went for me, as I recorded in the midst of that moment. It’s raw emotion and the reality of that struggle and hear what you can do to help yourself the next time doubt and fear creep in to your mind.

 

 

This week I want you to really listen  to your inner voice.

Are you speaking negatively to yourself? Putting yourself down and beating yourself up?  Be honest.  Nothing good will come from lying to yourself or being in denial.

Listen to your mind when you realize you’re battling something. What do you hear?  More than likely you are negative. It’s really common to do that. We hate making mistakes, and sometimes we feel unworthy of where we are. Stop! Give yourself grace to fall, talk kindly to yourself and pick yourself back up.

This week practice positive self-talk. It’s time to ramp up your mental game so you can go out with confidence into this world and kick butt.  There is no room for negativity. Love yourself for where you are now, set goals to where you want to be, and speak kindly and positively. You just might find yourself reach those goals quicker than you imagined you ever could.

You can do this!  Believe in yourself, I do!

 

And as always,

Be Healthy,

Be Happy,

Be YOU!!!! (You deserve that!)

 

Much love,

Angie

Attitude is Everything
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