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Sunday, January 13, 2013

Limb Loss Education Day (ACA)

     Yesterday was the Limb Loss Ed. Day event that I mentioned in my last blog.  I didn't go in the morning to listen to the speakers.  I mainly went to be on the panel of "Active Amputees in AZ."  I didn't take too many special tools or anything because I honestly don't have/need many.   It was a fun day all around though.  I got to see some older acquaintances, meet new people, and try a new activity!!  Jessica Cox and I decided to share a table and put out our very few handy tools. lol She also had a video out, and we both handed out our business cards.  I think we were able to answer  everyone's questions and give hope to a few newer amputees, which is what this is all about, right?? I met a little girl named, Piercella, aka Pierce, who is 3 or 4 years old, totally adorable and is missing part of her left leg.  She needed some revisions to her prosthetic and is waiting for her new leg to be done. In the mean time, she hops around on her right leg and plays just like any other child does!  She was very talkative and funny.  We had a conversation about her shoes that were so cool and the boo boo on her knee. lol  To little kids, those things are big, important things. So, I take the time to listen and see the importance.  Another little doll was there, who I met briefly about 8 months ago.  She will be 2 years old next month, and was born without her right hand.  Her name is Rumi, named after  poetic dancer.  She is quite the little dancer herself!  I have to say that I TOTALLY fell in love with this little angel.  Her smile and presence completely lit up the entire room.  She was pretty fascinated with my nub and kept playing with it. Toward the end of the day, we were saying, "One, two, threeeee!"  On three, we were giving "high nubs," a high five but with our nubs. lol  I think we must've done that about a zillion times!  She loved it, and her smiles and giggles sure brought joy to me as well.  
   One of the events they had was rock climbing on a GINORMOUS rock wall! They had Ronnie Dickson, C.P. from Orlando, FL there to help, who is an avid rock climber! BTW, he is missing his left leg.  Well, the competitive nature came out in me, and I asked Jessica if she wanted to try, and we could race to see who gets to the top first! She agreed that would be fun!  So, we gave it our all!  We quickly figured out that rock climbing is NOT a sport for the armless folks, even the athletic ones!  haha  Thankfully, Ronnie was there to help us out.  Poor guy; he really got a workout! He was going back and forth between Jessica and I helping us go higher each time!  Technically, Jessica got to the top first. Then Ronnie helped me:)   The bottom line is, even though it couldn't really be a competition, we BOTH got to the top with Ronnie's help!  That was quite an experience!   At the beginning, I figured out that it was much easier to kind hang almost upside down and pull myself up with my toes/feet..can you say hamstring and core strength?? Whoa!!  However, due to safety reasons..blah blah blah, they would not allow me to continue that way.  I am attaching a picture of that though. 
I am also attaching pics of Pierce, Rumi, and their mommies!  It was a great day, and I'mm looking forward to keeping in contact with some amazing people!






    

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Limb Loss Education Day

     As most of you know, I lost my arms when I was 2 1/2 years old in an electrical accident.  With the help of strong parents, patient therapists, and my strong will and determination, I have become an independent woman who lives life as normally as anyone else.  If you know me, you also know that I haven't been involved at all with amputee groups, mainly because I do not choose to define myself as an amputee. Yes, I am an amputee (I can't deny it), but I am so much more than that!  If I could choose what defines me, I'd choose to be known for the kind of person I am, the kind of mother I am, and for me determination as an athlete.  
    However, last year I was invited to be a guest speaker at an amputee expo and received an award!  You may recall that I blogged about it, too! http://barbiethomas.blogspot.com/2012/05/special-blessings.html I realized that day that it wasn't about defining myself. I didn't need to be there for myself.  I do need to be there for the others though. I realized that I have some great insight on what it's like to be missing limbs, adapting throughout life, and keeping a strong and positive mentality.  It was very apparent to me that I have the ability to be of great service to others in this area.  Click on the above link and read that blog if you can.
     Anyway, I was invited to be on a panel of "Active Amputees in Arizona" this weekend at the Amputee Coalition of America's Limb Loss Education Day, which happens to be i Phoenix this year.  Of course, when they asked me to be there, I replied right away with a happy, "YES!"  It's going to be very casual.  All of the panelists will be just sitting at a table where people can come up and talk to us, ask questions, ask for suggestions, support, advice, etc.  I was told to bring any special things that I use in everyday life that I could show.  I have a few things I will bring, but I honestly don't use any special tools, except for what I use for dressing.
    I am looking forward to meeting new people and hopefully helping several people.  I know I'll be on cloud 9 before I ever even go....I have a date the night before, and he might be going with me for this as well!!  Yeehaw!  
   For anyone who is interested in attending this, you can get all the info. at:  http://www.amputee-coalition.org/events-programs/limb-loss-education-day/index.html  I hope to meet some of y'all there!!
Have a great day!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Life Happens

I know, I know, I know....you haven't heard from me in quite a while. What can I say?  Sometimes life gets in the way of such important things as blogging. LOL.   2012 was not such a great year for me.  From around Feb. on, I was faced with making some huge decisions that I had hoped I'd never have to make.  These decisions really weighed me down for several months.  Finally, in Oct. I made some big choices that would be life changing.  It wasn't easy.  However, in the end, I did what I felt was best for everyone involved.  I am now having to practice some very tough love with one of my children, which is the hardest thing for me.  I love my boys more than anything in the world and want the best for them.  Having to be tough right now is what has to be done, but in the mean time, my heart breaks for him.  In the long run, he will be a better man because of this.  I do hope my other son learns from his brother's mistakes/choices.  Besides the issues and changes with my son,  there is another big change that I never wanted to happen.  I will maybe discuss that one at some other time, but then again...probably not.  All I'm going to say is that I NEVER thought I'd be single again, yet here I am...single again, which isn't necessarily a bad thing I guess;)  
So, moving on....in the last 3-4 months, I kinda hid inside my own little bubble, which is why I have not blogged in a while.  I just needed to deal with my own hurt and pain in my own way.  Thankfully, I've never been one to stay down for long!  Eventually, I get tired of being in my own bubble!  I'm now ready to live again!!  I am back in the gym, back in gymnastics, and back to life/reality!  I am ready to do what I've got to do to take off the weight I put on during this time of emotional turmoil.  I tend to feed my emotions with food in times like that, even though I realize it only makes things worse.  However, I'm ready to get back to my norm and be ME again!!   I have re-joined the land of the living, along with my friends and people who care.  I am so thankful for everyone who has been here for me through all of this.  They seriously were, and continue to be, my saving grace!  
I am still planning on competing again at Jr. Nationals in June! Contest prep begins the first Fri. of Feb!!  I already have a routine choreographed, which is one giant weight off my shoulders, thanks to Mika.  I just need to practice, practice, practice...and get back into shape!  I'm hoping to go on stage looking even better than I did last year, with the help of my new coach Dustin Franke!!  I'm also looking forward to going back to STS for posing practice!  I hope Kelli is ready for my sweaty self in her group again!! haha. 
I will TRY to post on here for y'all a little more regularly again.  Until the next time, stay positive and remember: "CAN'T" is NOT an option!!!