Tag: The Limb Center

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😁
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

Baby Steps

Baby Steps

 

What’s holding you back from achieving your goals?

What fears are keeping you from living your best life?

Today I talk about creating baby steps to reaching the goals you have and how I faced a fear of my own yesterday. Baby steps to reaching your goals are still steps toward your goals. They need to be celebrated and you should feel great when you do accomplish them. So much of my past few years you’ve seen me do big things: skiing, surfing, hiking large mountains, but sometimes it’s the small steps that mean the most. Yesterday was one of those days. Join me as I share how stressful yesterday was but how I chose to see the positive in the baby steps. #babysteps #keepmovingforward #runningblade #ottobock #wiggleyourtoes #adaptiveathlete #ampstrong #amputeelife #aka #facingfears #challenges #calltoaction

 

Gym time

 

My 1st race
Starting line of the Phoenix Rock n Roll Marathon

 

 

2 parts to this week’s CTA:

  1. Figure out what is holding you back from achieving something you want, set small, baby step goals to get yourself there.  Like I did yesterday on the treadmill, it was only for 10 minutes and I wasn’t running, but I got myself out in public to attempt something I hadn’t done in over a year.
  2. Have grace with those around you. We never know what battles people are facing, but assume they are if they aren’t being nice, and remind yourself that it has nothing to do with you, and move on.

 

 

 

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

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?

Rock Bottom Isn’t Really Rock Bottom

Rock Bottom Isn’t Really Rock Bottom

Finding Joy in the Hard Moments

My joy and why I do what I do.

So not everyday is roses.  It may seem like that if you check out some people’s social media.  Don’t buy it!  We all struggle, and we all go through valleys.  I’m smiling in the photo above because I am surrounded by the people I love, doing something we love- together.  Today, however, as I put on my prosthetic, I realized it didn’t feel right.  As I started walking on it I was noticing that I was already hitting the bone at the end of my residual limb on the inside of my socket.  I tried to “walk it off” by literally grabbing my backpack and heading out for a walk, only to realize I just couldn’t make it to the end of my block!

DEFEAT!

That’s what was going through my head.  Then, “what if I never get back the level of activity I had last year!?”

ENOUGH! This talk was helping no one.  That’s when I decided to share my journey with you.  To put it all out there and show that even when it appears all is going well, that sometimes it’s just not.  And for me to give up on an activity is really saying something….especially me sharing that I gave up.

It has to be known, that all of us fall victim to self-doubt, or giving up, or fears.  We are all human, after all.  What makes each one of us different is what we do after we fall.  Do you sit and wallow in self-pity, looking for external things and people to give you strength and value? Or do you pick yourself back up and try again when you’re ready?

How we approach the hard times will inevitably be what helps us succeed on our journey called life, or fall short and make us struggle every time things don’t go our way.

I want to see you all rise up, challenge yourself, and succeed!  You need to believe in yourself. Believe you ARE strong enough, and make life what you want it to be.

You can do it! Rise up!  Here I am on a great day.
This is where I want to be, this is my goal!

 

 

 

This week stay positive! I know, easier said than done at times. Find something that you CAN do and go do it. Be outside, let the sunshine and Fall weather bring you joy, energy, and some inner peace.  Do something that makes you laugh, and release those positive chemicals in your body.  Don’t sit back and ponder all the negatives, that won’t do you, or anyone around you, any good.  You deserve more! You deserve better!!

 

I’m here for you!  Let me know how you’re doing.

 

And remember, as always:

Be Healthy,

Be Happy,

Be YOU!!!

 

Much love,

Angie

Sometimes how I feel about my leg!🤣

 

 

What is Your Why?

What is Your Why?

What drives you forward when you hit hard times?

 

 

When days get hard we look to find purpose, I think that’s human nature. Somedays we fall short of finding what gets us up and motivated.  Today, after a very hard hike in the heat and my prosthetic rubbing my leg raw, I pushed myself to a point that I wasn’t sure I’d make it back to the car but when I did, I sat there and looked at my husband and right then, in midst of my pain and exhaustion, I saw my purpose very clearly.

 

My husband, and my ‘Why’, up at Young Life camp serving with me.

 

For me, I need to see my purpose, daily.  I know that it is what drives me forward, to work through the pain, to try new things- even if I fail.  My two sons, they are my purpose, as well.  They have seen me go through hard times, seen me struggle, and seen my victories.  They were there for it all and were 2 amazing supports, even at a young age.  They kept me going and striving for more.

My ‘Why’
My boys, supporting one another, as well.

Life is better when you figure out your purpose.  And when hard times come, and they will, knowing your purpose, the “why” in your life, then you’ll be prepared and ready to fight the battles.  You are not alone, you are loved. Find your ‘why’ and watch your circumstances and attitude shift.

 

 

Simply put: your call to action this week is to soul search and figure out what you’re living for, what you get up in the morning for, what puts a smile on your face and a spring in your step.

Spend time in a quiet location and really search your heart.  Once you figure out what your purpose is, write it down and place it somewhere you can see it everyday.  If it’s someone in your life, put a picture near your bedside and remember what you’re doing this all for.  When I decided to amputate, I made a vision board to show me things I wanted to get back to or do again after I healed. I also had pictures of my boys, my husband and my siblings on my board… my why’s were there watching me and helping remember why I chose to go through this.

It’s motivating to find your purpose.  You can do this and you will figure it out.  Do it now! Don’t wait until you are searching and feel like you’re drowning in pain and turmoil.  Have your ‘Why’ ready for when those moments strike. You’ll be prepared and ready to tackle the valleys when they arise.

 

This is what I live for!

 

He is my future.

 

What is YOUR ‘Why’?

 

As always;

Be Healthy,

Be Happy,

Be YOU!!

 

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