Through this blog I found and embraced myself. I am a bilateral amputee after surviving meningitis in 1986. I have some scarring and have gone through numerous reconstructive surgeries. I am here to encourage independence, share my story, and grow into the best person I can be. I enjoy all things music, art, travel, cooking, humor, love and general creativity. Let's help each other through this journey of life!

 

Bottoming Out - Prosthesis Issues

Sometime last week the additional padding in my right corset came loose and slipped out of place. Over the course of the weekend I noticed a small bruise at the bottom on my residual limb but wasn’t really too concerned. Today I woke up to a swollen leg & sore bone that I could barely apply pressure to. I realized I was bottoming out about then. You would think with my decades of knowledge as an amputee that I’d just know these things. 

I think with the legs of Christmas past (I went there) that I just assume they were poorly made and so I would just be in pain without the possibility of fixing them. I’d just live with this terrible pain all the time. Now I kind of know what to look for but sometimes I just forget to pay attention. Until my leg is screaming out in pain because the bone is hitting the bottom of the prosthesis I don’t think much of it. My behavior needs to change!! I’m going in a couple hours to have my padding adjusted in the corset and then heading home to lay down with an ice pack.

What do you do when your leg bottoms out? 

My cat has a real bitch face problem and she never wants to hug anymore. 

Anonymous asked
I think you are inspiring and insanely beautiful! So glad I found your blog!

Thank you for the compliment, you are far too kind. I’m also glad you found my blog! It’s always so nice to hear from people who have been inspired from my story. 

Silicone Liners

Living in Wisconsin will always have its up and downs. I love the summer for obvious reasons and I love winter because I’m not profusely sweating into my liners. That has bothered me from day one and I know I’ve posted about it a few times. I am realizing more and more that my legs hurt as I put on my liners because of the cold. I don’t have sores to contend with at the moment so its actually my leg bones. It’s an aching, throbbing kind of pain that bothers me throughout the day. Could this because for the past two decades I had only been wearing, warm & breathable wool socks and now am suctioned into silicone liners? These liners aren’t breathable and so when I am sweating in the warmers months there is no where for that to go and when I’m freezing in the winter months I can’t seem to warm up.

I’m not sure when I’ll ever have my own insurance again. I’m trying to move past the aching/throbbing pain in my legs and just focus on my health. I’ve been working out to lower my body weight as that isn’t helping me at all. Just losing 5-10 pounds will greatly reduce said pain and it will also mean I won’t develop pressure sores so often. 

What do other amputees do for sweating & severe cold when wearing silicone liners? I’m going to have to put up with this for a bit and it’s almost time to start applying prescription grade antiperspirant on my legs each morning & night. 

Volunteering - It’s a Whole Process

I haven’t volunteered since 2009 and kind of forgot it’s a big deal. You find a location to dedicate your time to, schedule an interview and fit it into your already busy schedule. Now I won’t be donating that much time right off the bat as I’m just getting started. I figured since I’m going in a different direction from Art Therapy I should have a bit more experience volunteering in a hospital/clinic setting. 

To be a volunteer at my local VA Hospital I have to go in for fingerprinting & two rounds of TB testing. I passed with flying colors.Fast-forward to orientation, where they had us watch a video on HIPA laws. This is stuff I kind of already know about as I’m basically in med school. Or so my friend says. Ha. Anyway, I’m finally to the point of scheduling volunteer time and am so excited. I even got a Linkin account set up so I can maybe start finding a more suitable job in my field. We’ll see if I’m able to get anything prior to graduating in a year and a half. No need to rush or wait; hence volunteering. I’m ready to have no down time and focus all my energy on my career. I think it’s time. 

#1 Reason I Don’t Sign Up for Snap Chat

Dick Pics. 

Online dating is bad enough, people never know which photos to put up (stop using the ones where you look like a serial killer) or what to say about themselves. Me included! 

Clearly, this new app was intended for said purpose. Otherwise, why? You take a photo to look back on it at a later date not for it to be deleted after a few minutes. 

This ends my old lady rant. 

Because sometimes I Just look better with one bespeckled eye. 

Because sometimes I Just look better with one bespeckled eye. 

These are photos from a while back but it took me so long to come to terms with sharing them on my blog. I’ve never been able to show off my thighs in shorts or swim suits. Not because people were saying I shouldn’t but because I thought they looked weird. Up until a year ago I had been wearing a suspension belt that dug into my thighs. The suspension belt left a mark around my waist (I wore one for 25 years!) and marks/chaffing on my thighs. So these are really just photos of how my thighs so longer have indents from said suspension belt. This is ability in an entirely different way. 

Disability Status?

Can we just talk for a second about how absolutely ridiculous it is that I have never been declared disabled by the State of Wisconsin since turning 18. And have been missing out on benefits because I am apparently the most independent, disabled person anyone has ever met. Being independent does not mean I haven’t been broke because of things insurance didn’t cover. Things like the socks or liners I need to wear to fit into my prosthesis. Moving on…

I’m just going to be sitting over here laughing like the crazy person I am. This isn’t even upsetting (ok, it’s totally upsetting) but I am at the point where this is the funniest thing I have ever heard. I mean I have permanent handicap parking privileges….does that not equal having a permanent disability? I guess not. I mean just missing two of your limbs is no big deal - insert sarcastic, raised eyebrows Jess face here. 

I am being sent paperwork and will be contacting my physicians to get this an official document so I’m eligible to possibly get into the Medicaid Purchase Plan. Laughing all the laughs today in my office. 

Today my sweater ate my dress. Thank god I was wearing tights. #jessproblems

Today my sweater ate my dress. Thank god I was wearing tights. #jessproblems