Thursday, December 31, 2009

My new leg

The process of getting a new artificial leg is just that - a process. You can't just buy one off a shelf or order one online. One has to be made for you. That's why I have been putting it off for a long time. My old leg didn't fit right at all anymore so I had lined the inside with countless band aids to help with the discomfort; the outer support liner was cracked so I had wrapped duck tape around it to keep it together; and the computerized knee was making weird noises...sometimes refusing to charge at night. It was a wreck but I had adapted. That's what I do.

Now don't judge. I wasn't being lazy by putting it off. The process is so time consuming, and anyone who knows my life knows that time is one thing I DO NOT have. You have to start with an appointment where they make a mold of your residual limb (not a quick appointment). Then you have to go in for an appointment where you try on a "test socket." This test socket is a very hard clear plastic material so that they can see your leg through and look for air gaps. Since my leg is held on by suction it has to be air tight. This appointment is even longer than the previous as they mark the leg then take it in back and cut & mold it - then you try it on again and they mark it get the point. Next, you go for the "final fitting." I say "final" because it's never the final appointment. During this appointment they have your actual leg all done and they only do minor tweaking of alignment and fit. Then you wear it home. Usually after a few days of wearing it you realize what's not quite right and go back in for more alterations.

You get the point. Deciding to get a new leg takes a pretty big time commitment. Well, long story short - too late, right - I got a new one and it is pretty cool. I designed it myself. I gave my prosthetist fabric with puzzle pieces so that they could fuse it into the plastic - a permanent union of the two things in my life that cause me daily struggles: amputation and autism. Since I didn't really feel like posting a picture of my mother-of-two body in a bathing suit so you could see the leg, I just took a picture of it by itself. Awesome, right?

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

What really matters

With Christmas behind us it is easy to feel a certain amount of sadness. All of the anticipation we feel as we get nearer and nearer to the holidays creates a bit of a let-down when they are finally behind us. For me, Christmas is my favorite holiday. Not just because of all the gifts; although I do really enjoy getting presents, but because of the time I get to spend with all the people I love. There is nothing in this world that is more important to me than my family. They have been through so much with me and love me unconditionally. I am truly blessed. So this year I am going to remain happy despite the fact that Christmas is over because the real joy of Christmas for me doesn't end with the decorations coming down - the real joy is my family and they are with me all year long. So look around you and realize that the "holidays" don't have to be over for you...make a commitment to spend time with those you love all year long. As a little fairwell to Christmas here is a video of the "Wright Family Grandkids." Enjoy!

Monday, December 21, 2009

I have got to be the WORST blogger ever!! I haven't posted anything substantial in forever. We are finally all settled in to the new house - I LOVE it. So here's my big news...we got a dog. Just what my insane life needs right? Here's what happened:

Let me make a very long story short...a coworker from JoAnn Fabric got evicted and had to get rid of his 11 month old chocolate Lab puppy. He was going to take him to the pound -- nuff said?? So now I have a new puppy named Sebastian. I went to pick up the dog and he was gorgeous! Very playful and sweet. It was love at first site...until I got him home.

We got home and I put his leash on him before getting him out of the car. He was acting very skittish but I figured he was just nervous about the big change. I walked him into my garage and hit the button to close the door -- it's a habit. He freaked out and lunged backwards pulling the collar right over his ears and off his head. He bolted out of the garage as the door slowly went down. I was stunned for about 5 seconds until I realized: "crap...I've gotta catch this dog before he gets hit by a car or totally lost." I bolted down the driveway after him - well, I don't know that bolted is the exact correct term for how fast I can move with my leg, but I was definitely going as fast as I can go. I was yelling at the top of my lungs for Sebastian - giving the neighbors a great show.

Sebastian was sprinting around the front lawn - luckily not running out into the street or too far away. It had snowed so he was slipping and sliding all over the place (tearing up my neighbors yard - whoops). He wouldn't come to me! He was terrified. I finally remembered that his previous owner had given me some treats for him so I hustled back to the car to get them. I'm not exaggerating when I say it took me 10 minutes to get this crazy pup to inch up and take a treat from me. I slowly slipped the collar back on his neck. Victory was mine!!

I finally got him in the house (he refused to go in the garage) and then realized that he was covered in mud - this day was getting better and better. Luckily he let me wipe him up before he went tearing around the house.

He has settled in some but is still the biggest fraiddy cat dog I have ever met in my life - poor thing is terrified of his own shadow - literally. For the first 2 days he growled at his own reflection in the sliding glass door:-) Still, getting Sebastian feels like a step towards having a "normal" family. So, say hi to the newest member of the Cunion family.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Real American Idols


So yesterday I took a break from all the moving nonsense and travelled to Columbus, OH for a cheerleading competition. As I've mentioned before, my daughter belongs to a special needs cheerleading squad called the American Elite Idols. These kids practice every week with more dedication and enthusiasm than most of their typical peers despite how mentally, and often physically, demanding it is. The competition yesterday was not just for special needs teams. There were squads competing that were doing stunts and tumbling that you would see on ESPN. It was amazing and our kids were so excited to be a part of it. When it was finally our turn, the crowd was amazing. It was a packed house and our precious Idols received a standing ovation. I was so proud and thankful that this audience was proud too. Watching the kids get their trophies was one of those moments when you take a snap-shot in your mind. The pride that was on each of their faces was priceless.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

I'll be back soon

Hi everyone. For those of you who actually check my blog on a regular basis...sorry I haven't written in a while. I have been in the middle of moving hell and I'm not out yet. I'll be back soon so check back again.