Tag: strength

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

 

 

 

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

 

Goals

Goals

Set ‘Em, and Slam Dunk ‘Em!

No better time than the present!  It doesn’t need to be a Monday or the first of the month or, even worse, January 1st to set and achieve any goal you set for yourself. Now is the time to get started on the path you want and desire for yourself.  What do you want from your life? Do you want to be healthier? Eat better? Quit smoking/drinking? Get moving and exercise daily?  Are you, like me, trying to walk better and more smoothly in your prosthetic or use your running blade for running?

What are you waiting for? Let’s crush your goals….NOW!

 

You can do anything you set your mind to and setting goals is the most powerful way to get there.  To make sure you’re successful in achieving your goals you need to make sure you follow a few steps.

  1. Set a goal you really want to achieve.
  2. Set a DATE to achieve it by.
  3. Tell people who care about you. They will hold you accountable when you struggle to stay the course.
  4. Forgive yourself when you take a step backward, and pick yourself back up and continue forward.
  5. Write it down!!
  6. Celebrate the small victories and be proud of yourself when you achieve your goal.

These simple steps will help you meet your goals and push you forward. When you start achieving your goals you will find that you will feel better about yourself, be physically healthier, and your mental game will be stronger.

A happier and healthier you will be greeting on the other side of your goals.

It’s all up to you and what you really want in life.

This is how I got motivated to move in my prosthetic from the start.

 

I use a little extrinsic reward to stay motivated to move.  For me, after many years of knee surgeries before amputation, I couldn’t get out and move.  Even a small walk to the mailbox was too painful for me.  I gained weight and felt awful about myself.  Once I got my prosthetic I couldn’t wait to be mobile, but it wasn’t that easy.  Learning how to manipulate the knee joint and getting use to wearing a 12 lb leg was more than I bargained for but I was determined, after all I decided to amputate so I could be mobile once again.  The only way I knew how to get use to something was to use it, and use it daily, no matter what.  Enter virtual races, before they became a pandemic thing.

I loved that I could do it on my own time, the way I could do it, and at my pace.  I was hooked after receiving my first medal, and as you can see I have gained a few…. and some aren’t even in this picture!  All of these I completed in the past 2 years, as an amputee!  If I can do this then so can you. You just need to follow those basic steps above, to help you succeed.

 

 

You guessed it!

This week I want you to set a realistic, yet challenging goal for yourself.

What have you been putting off but really want to achieve?

WRITE IT DOWN! Put it somewhere you can see every morning to remind yourself and remember you ARE worth achieving it!

Tell your friend or family member, or join a social group that’ll support you, cheer you on, and pick you up when you fall.

Remember, it’s a journey. You’ll have good days and bad. There will be days you fail, but you must pick yourself back up and press on. Don’t quit!

You will thank yourself when you meet your goal, and then you’ll be wanting to set a new one.

 

Talk to me! Tell me what you’re planning on doing and how you’ll go about achieving it. I’m here and listening.

As always,

Be Healthy,

Be Happy, Be YOU!!!

 

Much love,

Angie

Me, right after amputation. I actually had my surgery right before Christmas.

 

Me now. Happier, healthier, and moving! Just like I wanted, and everything I’d hoped for!

What are YOUR goals?

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