Asides

Cold Rush

This past week has been spent recovering from my re-amputation surgery. The pain has been relentless, rendering me feeling both drained and useless. I am a stubborn person and it’s difficult sitting on the sidelines. I was becoming depressed, and then I had an epiphany.

I’m an UNlimiter- we may have setbacks, but we are never knocked out completely! I may not be able to take care of my baby right now, but soon the pain will wane and I’ll figure out a way.  That is what UNlimiters is all about, figuring out the way to adjust to live the best life possible.coldrush

For the first few days after the surgery, the only relief I found was when I iced my limb. Because we are no strangers to surgery in this family, we were fully prepared for this eventuality. I directed my husband to the bottom corner of our hallway closet to retrieve our Cold Rush machine.

I love my Cold Rush! This super quiet machine provides a steady cool temperature through the pads. The temperature can be varied between chilly to cold, allowing me steady control. Ice packs start dangerously cold and quickly melt through the stages until it is warm and useless, leaving a drippy wet spot as a reminder of their former glory.  The pads for the Cold Rush are soft, flexible and uniquely designed to fit the user’s needs. Ice packs are the shape they assumed when they were last thrown into my freezer.

The Cold Rush allows me, in a small way, to be independent. My husband fills the reservoir with ice in the morning, and it lasts throughout the day. I realize that it may seem small, but when I am forced to ask for help with everything else, the fact that I can control my own ice requirements feels like a huge victory!

Every member of our family, with the exception of the newborn, has used the Cold Rush. Scott pulls it out of the closet when he twinges his back, and my eight year old has used to after various falls from his tree climbing adventures. My Mom borrowed the machine when she underwent her double knee replacement.  I highly recommend the Cold Rush to anybody who is tired of digging around the bottom of the freezer trying to find an ice pack, only to discover that it is too hard to fit around the aching appendage or that it has acquired a funky smell. If an ice pack has left you wet, or covered with thick blue goo from a puncture, the Cold Rush is for you.

 

Helping the Helper

imageI don’t spend a lot of time lamenting my amputation. I live a happy and healthy life and, for the most part, adapting to the limb loss has become second nature. Perhaps the only aspect of living with an amputation which I utterly detest is the sense of vulnerability. A fall, sore, blister, ingrown hair or a slew of other issues can pop up at a moments notice, rendering me unable to walk.

Last week I went to the doctor for my yearly limb check appointment. I knew that I was having some issues, but a I had hoped to thwart drastic treatment until my baby is a little older. Unfortunately the x-rays and exams revealed that the issues were more complex and involved than I realized. I emerged from the office with a handful of paperwork and a date for surgery.

Having surgery with a newborn is an exercise in planning and frustration. Ironically, I was put into the same situation after my first son was born eight years ago. I was hoping to avoid reliving the past, but it certainly did not turn out that way. After prepping the house and juggling schedules to secure care for both kiddos, I went to the hospital yesterday morning for my major limb revision surgery.

The procedure went well and, although I’m in considerable pain, I am expecting a smooth recovery. I’m already chomping at the bit to wear my prosthesis again. I have a feeling that the next month will feel extraordinarily long as I wait to heal enough to start wearing it.

Unlike my last post baby revision, this time I have more help. My older son is now eight and eager to be a helper. He loves fetching drinks, snacks, pillows and assorted electronic devices for me.

Although he is a great assistant, he is not necessarily the most careful. He tends to drop and spill, many times creating more of a mess for me. I’ve learned to take measures to counter his innate clumsiness.  Sometimes having him help creates more work for me as I have to clean the spills etc..

I have even found some products which help to minimize my son’s propensity for dropping and spilling. When I ask him to fetch me some water, I know that a trail of drops will not be left by the liquid sloshing. During my recovery, and perhaps indefinitely I have been using a large insulated tumbler with lid and straw.

The cup keeps the liquids cold, and the straw makes it easier to drink from while lying in bed. The lid has saved copious amounts of water, juice and soda from spilling out as my little helper eagerly delivers it. When I am able to use my knee scooter again I am confident that I won’t create spills while wheeling around.

Recovering from surgery is always difficult. Adding a newborn to the mix simple adds to the frustration. Anytime I find a product, such as this insulated tumbler, that helps me I am appreciative.

Hands Free Baby Carrier

I prefer to be hands free whenever possible.  Erring on the side of caution, I feel more comfortable keeping my hands available for balance or for grasping handrails. This preference also holds true when caring for my newborn. More often than naught, when I am upright my baby is securely against my chest, comfy and safe within his Moby Baby Wrap.

Okay, in full disclosure I was initially skeptical of the Moby. After I uncoiled the package, I realized that the carrier was nothing more than an extremely long scarf. I was worried that a simple piece of fabric would safely- and comfortably- secure my most precious possession. Before returning it to the store, I decided to give it a try.

I was pleasantly surprised by how secure my little baby was tethered against my chest. He was snug against my body, yet not so tight that he wasn’t able to move. The fabric has the perfect amount of stretch to strike the balance between safety and comfort.

I love my Moby for many reasons.The wrap is completely adjustable, allowing me to easily switch his position. Granted, it took me a little while to perfect the Moby wrapping process, but after some practice it is now second nature. I feel considerably safer walking with my little guy when he is secured on my chest as opposed to being held in my arms.

Unlike other carriers on the market, the Moby can be used from birth through 35 pounds. (My little guy was born early and did not meet the weight requirement of the other carriers.) I doubt I’ll have the strength (or desire) to strap a 35 pound child on my chest, but it is nice to know that I can if the need arises!

Tying the Moby around my back distributes the weight evenly, making it more comfortable for me to wear my baby for hours without fatiguing. When I finally take him out of the carrier, I am a little sweaty but never sore.

Having a newborn with reflux, I have learned to appreciate being able to clean baby items with ease. The Moby Wrap can be thrown into the washing machine when it becomes formula/ spit up covered. I am pleased that it can be thoroughly washed instead of just spot cleaned, especially when the item is so close to both of our bodies!

I would highly recommend the Moby Baby Wrap to any expecting parent! I have found it especially beneficial because it allows me to remain hands-free, and hence safer, when walking with my little guy. It turns out that this simple long scarf does an amazing job!

 

Holding my little Timmy in his Moby.

 moby

Cupcake Mom

I venture to guess that only a handful of my son’s classmates actually know my name. Instead of sticking with formalities, they have begun to refer to me as the “cupcake Mom.” I smile every time I hear the reference and I have made no attempts to correct them. After all, it is a title which I have worked hard to earn.

I remember being a child and feeling the rush of excitement when a Mom was spotted in the hallway, ready to deliver cupcakes. Since my little guy started school, I have made a point of delivering treats to his class on a regular, but unscheduled, basis. Of course I always check with his teacher, but the students (including my son) rarely know when I will show up at the door.

Because I have made so many cupcake deliveries over the years, I have become something of an expert in the packing and transporting of baked goods. For awhile I used to just line the treats up in a baking pan. I quickly learned that the cupcakes either tipped over or were difficult to remove from the tray. Nobody likes it when somebody’s finger goes into the icing as they try to pick it up out of the pan.

I’ve tried a variety of cupcake carriers over the years, but all posed various flaws. Many lack a sturdy handle, necessitating me to use both arms to carry the treats into the school. Because of balance issues, I feel more comfortable and I am more stable if I have at least one hand free at all times. Trust me, losing your balance and dropping the entire tray of cupcakes in front of the excited class of first graders creates a sense of disappointment which is nearly impossible to convey.

Most cupcake carriers which feature a handle only have room for two dozen cupcakes. I consistently need to carry at least 30 cupcakes. Not wanting to have to squish the treats together to make them fit, I kept looking.

Finally I have found a cupcake holder which meets all of my needs. It features a sturdy handle, allowing me to keep my balance at all times. I can carry the treat box at my side, allowing me to see where I am going and to avoid tripping up with my prosthesis. The holder has room for 3 dozen cupcake wells, providing each treat with a designated spot to avoid tipping and falling onto each other. As an added bonus, the carrier is clear. This was not a requisite but has certainly enhanced the excitement that my treats garner when I walk into the room.

Being a Mom is my greatest joy. I love when I discover a product that makes things just a little easier. It may seem like a small thing to so many, but the fact that I don’t feel unstable while delivering treats to my son’s class is important.  This cupcake holder is just another product which has helped me to become an UNlimiter.

cupcake