Category Archives: ‘Rite on Point with Tanya

Things To Know When Cupid’s Arrow Hits You!

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Photo by Michael Fenton on Unsplash

 

Valentine’s Day is around the corner! Crazyyy!! Whether you are spending it with a significant other, or going on a date with a new person, love and dating are in the air. And guess what, dating and relationships are for EVERYONE. But when it comes to dating amputees, here are a few things that you should know about us. This will help you become more familiar with our daily lives, and to become more comfortable in the “getting-to-know-you” stage, which can only move your relationships along to bigger things – like love!

Be patient. Patience is a huge factor in any relationship, but especially if you are dating an amputee. Most of the time, it takes a little longer to get ready. Putting on prosthetic legs, and putting pants or shoes on those legs all take time! So, be patient!

Many doctors’ appointments. When it comes to amputation, lots of different doctor’s appointments will be in the future. Why? Well, because our prosthetics need lots of care and attention! There will also be physical therapy, psychologists and general doctors. Life is scheduled around appointments, because it is all part of the journey to get walking again. Be supportive, offer to accompany the person you are dating to any of their appointments.

Remember, people stare, like all the time! Everyone stares – whether it’s children or adults. Prosthetic legs are out of the ordinary and to see someone walking through the street on them can be crazy!!! Or, like I like to call them – my robot legs. There are people who will come up to the person you are dating on the street and say things like, “God bless you”, “thank you for your service”, or anything along those lines. We know they mean well, but all it does is draw more attention to our disability. Some people ask questions nicely and out of pure curiosity. Some people point and stare and laugh. Amputations are not contagious, and just because someone is different does not make them bad or less of a person. Everybody is a little different, but some differences are clearly more prominent than others. Try not to let it bother you and follow the lead of the person you are dating. They’ll know when to react and when not to!

Funny one – You’ll get your feet stepped on all the time. Another major challenge to dating an amputee is the amount of times he/she does not know where their prosthetic feet are. Ask my husband! 😉 This leads to accidentally stepping on your foot and ouch, it can hurt, or so I’ve heard!!! Sorry… Be prepared and watch your feet. LOL!

And finally, focus on the person, not on their disability. We amputees are funny, can get mad or frightened, we can cook, be loving, play sports, we can cry and can go shopping. Once you start to focus on how much we live a normal life, you’ll forget about our disability. Next time, think of that person as the person you are dating, not the amputee you are dating. 😉 You never know where this can lead to!

Happy Dating and we hope Cupid’s Arrow hits you! ❤

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20 for 2020!

Let’s mix it up – here’s 20 random amputee points to get your 2020 started on the right “foot” (or left, whatever you got).

  1. Not all amputees like being called inspirational! I know, surprise! J Instead, just say hello!
  2. Kids will stare. Most of the time, I smile and reassure them that I am aware that I have robot legs and offer to give them a detailed look at my prosthetics. Despite it being extremely annoying, it is also a good way to educate others about amputees, because we amputees are awesome!
  3. Not all amputees were involved in tragic accidents or are veterans. There are so many ways to lose a limb. Cancer, diabetes, and other diseases are major factors in limb loss and amputation. Ask me instead of assuming it was tragic.
  4. We really, really, REALLY appreciate our ability to walk. Most of us try extremely hard to avoid resorting to wheelchair use, unless we absolutely have to.
  5. Helping is okay! Yes, I need help sometimes, but just ask me first if I need help. You can talk to me like a normal adult who spills chocolate milk on herself just like you.
  6. No two legs are the same! Our prosthetic sockets are carefully and meticulously molded to each of our stumps. Test sockets are made, things are shaped and cut down and built up and re-molded so no, we can’t switch for fun.
  7. We can and do lead normal lives! No, really, like we still have normal jobs, pay bills, have hobbies and argue with families.
  8. Your life after amputation WILL change – like, it will change dramatically and you will be a new person. You will hate it at first, because you will go through struggles and tough times. When you look back at your life, you’ll appreciate those struggles because they made you who you are today.
  9. You don’t have to match your socks!  Not that people ever really do match them anyway… Matching is overrated!
  10. With the amount of stares that you get from day to day, you could always place an advertisement on your prosthesis and have a company pay you to promote their product. You might as well give people something to read while their eyes are fixed in your direction! 😉 LOL!
  11. Don’t limit yourself, but remember, you have nothing to prove. It may sound corny, but there’s really nothing you can’t do if you’re persistent enough and determined enough. Whether it’s a sport, a hobby or a job you want, there’s a way to make it happen.
  12. It’s okay to be sad, but it is better to laugh when you can. Humor can be one of the greatest gifts for those of us who go through life looking different from other people.
  13. If you are missing one leg, then you only have to check one shoe for any creatures that may be hiding in there. And if you do happen to put on a shoe containing Mr. Spider, at least when your foot squishes him, you won’t feel it! LOL!
  14. I love giving my husband that look that says “please help this legless girl!” Two thumbs up to using my leglessness (is that even a word?) to my advantage! He seems to be wise to this by now, though. I guess, the honeymoon is over!
  15. We have a love/hate relationship with pants. Partially, we love pants! It is our way to hide our legs and protect from all the staring! But we also hate them very very much. Have you ever tried putting pants on a doll? OMG!!! It takes forever, and if your leg doesn’t bend, or maybe your leg hurts to bend that way and so and so on! My point is – if we amputees are wearing shorts in winter or pants in summer, don’t assume something and immediately tell us what to do! Let us do our own thing 😉
  16. Don’t assume that all disabled people look the same. I wish people would stop thinking that the world is made up of purely able-bodied individuals, and that the tiny minority who are disabled are easily recognizable. Broaden what you believe in. We don’t all look the same – just as able-bodied people don’t.
  17. Amputees can have children! No, not all of them are born with missing limbs!
  18. I might be missing two legs and some fingers, but darn it, I can change a mean diaper –probably better than my fully-limbed husband. 😉
  19. The life with one less limb isn’t so bad. Even if you’ve lost two, don’t lose heart. There are many stories in the news about the amazing developments in the prosthetic world. When you’re ready, the life-restoring prosthetics are there.
  20. And always my favorite one… Your toes never get cold! You know, because you don’t have toes!

There you go. There are 20 things for your 2020. Go get ’em, tiger!

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Having A Baby Makes Me Forget About My Disability!

Having a baby makes me forget about my disability! Okay, so not totally, but most of the time I don’t think about being disabled. My mind is so busy with my son, that it is easy to forget. Plus, I am very sleep deprived, and busy making sure my little guy is happy! Whenever I go to the store or any other public place, I love that conversations easily start up about my son, and not so much about my legs! It’s refreshing! I am sure they still notice my legs and have a tons of questions about my “disability”, but I don’t hear much about that anymore!

And going to my original thought, they are not the only ones who don’t think about my disability – I am not either. Again, it’s probably because I have more important things to think about! 😉 I don’t have to think about how I am going to do this or that with Gabe. It just comes naturally – whether it’s changing his diaper or giving him a bath! It doesn’t matter. I am focused on mommy duties. I am thankful for that, because it makes me feel like a “normal” mom!

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However, there are moments where suddenly I do remember that I am missing a few limbs – like when I am trying to catch a little butt that doesn’t’ want to be diapered. Those are moments I am so thankful for my husband. 😉 He’s my parenting partner and he’s full of limbs!

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Make This Season About Gratitude And Giving Back!

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Photo by Miroslava on Unsplash

 

The arrival of the holiday season often means spending time with families, exchanging gifts and enjoying a delicious meal with loved ones. But, it’s also a perfect time to focus on gratitude and giving back. Choosing to focus on doing good during this crazy and busy time of the year is a wonderful tradition to start for yourself and your family. And, whether you’d like to volunteer, perform random acts of kindness or make a donation, I have a few suggestions on how you can do some good this holiday season.

Teach Your Kids the Importance of Giving

The holiday season is a wonderful opportunity to teach your kids the importance of giving back, even at a young age. Here’s an idea. For one of the kiddos’ holiday gifts, give them a pre-determined amount of money. Then help them to choose a charity that they would like to support, and let them decide which they would like to donate their money to.

Stock Up on Gift Cards

This is such an easy and kind idea. Stock up on $5 or $10 gift cards (Amazon, American Express, Walmart, etc.), and hand them out to people that you interact with often: USPS or mail person, a cashier, or your favorite barista. Passing along a gift card with a simple “Happy Holidays!” wish will almost always bring a smile to someone’s face.

Drive-Thru Surprise

This is one of the easiest to do something kind for a complete stranger and a favorite. The next time you go through the drive-thru to get your morning Starbucks cup of coffee, pay for the person behind you. It’s that simple! You’ll drive away before they’ll know what you did so they won’t get a chance to thank you, but you’ll know that you totally made a stranger’s day. J

Up Your Tips

Another easy way to do good over the holiday season is to randomly increase your tips when you go out to eat. Write a simple “We wish you a happy holiday!” on your bill, and leave your server a nice tip.

Thank Your Local Firefighters

Call the non-emergency number of your local fire department to find out how many firefighters they typically have there at any given time. Then, put together a delicious breakfast of baked goods you can drop off to thank these brave men and women for their service.

Help Your Local Animal Shelter

And finally, my favorite one! If you’re an animal lover, it would be a lovely gesture to volunteer at your local shelter as a family. Often the dogs need to be walked and socialized, which is a great activity for the family after all the holiday goodies. Also, ask the shelter what’s on their wish list and stop at a pet store before you volunteer, so you can bring collars, dog beds or anything else they might need.

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Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

 

Receiving gifts is awesome, but giving back is even better! Spend some quality time with your family, but don’t forget to make this season about gratitude and giving back – it will make your season so much better while making others smile!

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Tips For Supporting People With Disabilities Through Holidays!

The holiday season often brings wonderful memories of joyful times with family and friends. However, for some people with special needs – such as those on the autism spectrum – the holidays can actually bring feelings of stress and discomfort. And who can blame them? Changes in routine, different demands, new foods, sounds, textures — it is all a challenge! Below are some tips to help create a positive holiday celebration for everyone in the family.

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Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay

 

  • Try to keep to the usual routine as much as possible. That will keep everyone calmer.
  • Holidays can bring sensory over-stimulations with lights, sounds, smells, and even relatives who want to give hugs. Eliminating or minimizing these stimulations are your best bet. Plus, you may want to talk to your family about how to greet your child or your relative when they arrive.
  • And while you are at it, talk to relatives about the best way to behave with your child’s unique sensitivity and needs.
  • Instead of limiting the holiday decorations, some families wait until Christmas Eve to put up their tree and decorate. It keeps the stress down and also builds up some fun anticipation of Christmas Eve. You can spend the month preparing for this big day.
  • Or, some families let everyone participate in the decorating. The decorations may end up in a line or stacked rather than in the traditional way, but so what. Let them enjoy the activity in their own way.
  • Generally, people with special needs do better in the morning when they are less tired, rather than the late afternoon or evening. It may be better to schedule Christmas events at these times.
  • And finally, realize that you are probably not going to have perfect food, perfect decorations and perfect gifts. Your holidays may not be celebrated the traditional way, but it can still have real meaning.

Happy Holidays!

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Thanksgiving Thoughts…

Thanksgiving is a holiday that includes traditions established in childhood. We know what’s expected. It might be an annual Turkey Trot 5K, a family game of football, delicious turkey, stuffing, green bean casserole, lots of pies from Grandma’s secret recipe, and a nap on the couch while the Lions or Cowboys play on TV. But what makes all of these routines memorable and important is the people who participate in them with you. Without family and friends, Thanksgiving — and really all holidays — wouldn’t be nearly as special.

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Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

 

I’m sure many of you have participated in the Thanksgiving cliché of going around the dinner table and asking what each person is thankful for that year. So often, many of the answers are similar — thankful for family, thankful for time together, thankful for siblings. I used to think that I needed an original answer when it got to my turn. I didn’t want to say the same thing someone else had already said!

But looking back, I think those simple yet repetitive answers are some of the best things to be thankful for.

So this year, I don’t care how cliché it might be: I’m thankful for family. I am thankful for everyone who takes the time to read my blog. I am thankful for everyone who reaches out and tells me that these blogs made an impact on them. Finally, I am thankful that I have so much to be thankful for! 🙂 What repetitive or original things are you thankful for this year? Don’t worry, both are completely acceptable!

Happy Thanksgiving!

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How To Stay Positive When Living With Disability?

Let’s be real, we all have expectations on our shoulders; responsibilities and obstacles that shape the way we live our lives. However, for those living with disabilities, these pressures can feel much more difficult. That is why a positive, healthy outlook is essential for day-to-day life with disabilities. Here are some tips on how to live positively!

  • Surround yourself with positive people. A few good, understanding and reliable friends are better than a large circle of acquaintances. Find the honest ones that see past your disability; the ones that give straight advice and call you out on issues. Making new friends when living with a disability is another challenge to overcome, but it can be rewarding. You never know what relationships you might form and the impacts they will have on your life.
  • At the same time, make sure to connect with people in a positive way. There are always going to be people that are unsure of how to approach you or talk to you. Disability, especially a physical, visible one, can be intimidating to people. They may want to engage in conversation and be social, but a part of them will be left doubting themselves over the best course of action. If you sense some intimidation on their part, reassure them with a funny joke or a smile. Helping them to be more comfortable will create a positive connection between you.
  • Be careful setting expectations. This is true of both the expectations of others and the ones you place upon yourself. Don’t measure yourself against others. You know your abilities and limitations, and you know what you need to work on with them. Push yourself to achievable goals that you set yourself, which will improve your situation. However, there will always be those that assume you can’t do anything because of your disability. The satisfaction of proving them wrong cannot be understated. Don’t push yourself to unreachable heights just to appease others and fit in.
  • Make the most of what you have. You can choose to look at your physical limitations or your physical abilities. Everyone has something they cannot do and something they are great at. Show the world what you have to offer, and you will increase your sense of self-worth while living with a disability. Choose your abilities.
  • Finally, live in the present. This final tip for living with a disability is perhaps the most important of all. What does the future hold for you concerning your disability and prosperity? Nobody has an answer to that. All you can do is work on your present self and enjoy the moments and victories as they come. Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses, and we must all enjoy each day for what it is.

Many thanks,

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