How to Help Children Deal When A Parent Loses A Limb?

Kids are always curious and want to know the “hows” and “whys,” especially when it comes to missing limbs. The most common questions that children might ask are: “What happened to your leg or arm?” and “Did it break off?” Be prepared to help the child with an answer that is appropriate for his or her age, and of course developmental level.

Below are some suggestions to help you navigate this new territory.

  • Avoid giving children too much information, such as details about a complicated disease or the amputation surgery.
  • Help them understand that limb loss is not a punishment. However, if it’s the result of an accident, you may want to talk about safety issues at an appropriate time.
  • Make sure children understand that the parent is still a mommy or daddy regardless of the limb difference. Talk about what is important – Daddy can still read a bedtime story and Mommy will still brush your hair.
  • You may also want to discuss which things may be different. Mom may have to learn a new way to bake chocolate chip cookies; Dad may not be able to walk the dog for a few weeks.
  • Explain the new words: prosthesis, limb, residual limb, prosthetist, etc. If possible, make it fun by making a game out of spelling or pronunciation of these words.
  • Focus on the similarities, but prepare gently for the differences.
  • If possible, have the child talk with other children whose parents have lost a limb. It will help them understand that their parents aren’t the only ones dealing with limb loss.
  • And finally, encourage the child to express his or her feelings through drawing, poetry, or telling and writing a story.

By helping children cope with limb loss, they will eventually ask fewer questions and be more accepting of these, as well as other differences that people may have.


Tips For Your Success As A User Of Prosthetics

Be compliant – That means you should properly clean the inside of your liners after wearing them. Check your residual limbs each day to be sure you don’t have any issues that need to be addressed – like skin breakdowns. When needed, wear prosthetic Soft Socks to enhance your socket fit.

Don’t procrastinate  – If you have an issue with socket fit, like comfort or prosthetic function, immediately schedule an appointment to see your prosthetist. Don’t let what seems like a small issue grow into a major one, especially if you have diabetes or other skin issues.

Establish personal goals – Set some goals involving physical activities that gradually increase your prostheses use as time goes by. Don’t be satisfied with today’s level of activity. Constantly stretch yourself and strive to achieve more each day while being safe.

Wear and use your prosthesis every day – As a new amputee, you may wonder how long you should wear your prosthesis each day. A standard answer would be, “as much as possible for your comfort level.” If your prosthesis fits comfortably, you should be able to put it on in the morning and wear it until you go to bed at night. Also, by wearing it all day, you will be more inclined to use it more regularly. Your prosthesis will not do you any good if it is sitting in a closet collecting dust.

Accept and embrace your situation – Everyone deals with amputation in his or her own way – some more smoothly than others. The sooner you can come to grips with the fact that you’re an amputee and that your life has not ended, the better. Most amputees are able to return to full lifestyles after they become accustomed to using their prostheses. It is important to understand that being a successful prostheses-user can be as dependent on dealing successfully with mental adjustments as physical ones.

Focus on the future – Don’t be misled; not every day as an amputee will be a walk in the park. Often, you’ll need to exhibit an enormous amount of patience and perseverance. However, if you focus on the positives in life versus the negatives, with sincere effort and determination, you should be able to live a long, fulfilling life as a prostheses user.

You’ve got this!


Reasonable 2019 Resolutions

Every year people with very good intentions think of a list of New Year’s resolutions – usually consisting of some lofty goals like “I will never touch fast food again;” or “I will get back in shape;” or “I will be a more patient parent.”

But there’s a reason why most of these resolutions have been broken by January 2nd… honestly, they’re just too unreasonable!

So this year, I’ve decided to cut myself some slack, and just sort of give myself some “suggestions” which I believe, if followed, could lead to personal greatness… but, if not, well, no biggie.

Here they are:

  • Stop believing every ad for miracle wrinkle creams will work as well as Botox. With all the money we save, we can get more Botox! Ha-ha!
  • Try harder to quit after the second bowl of low-fat granola. Memo to self: Once you’re on the third bowl, it’s no longer a healthy snack.
  • Be more patient when people stare at my prosthetic legs. They are just curious, well, most of them!
  • No more buying US Weekly and People at the same time, no matter how great the covers look. They are redundant.
  • There is no need to sign up for every 5K race.
  • Drink at least three glasses of water a day. (Diet Cherry Dr. Pepper doesn’t count as water.)
  • Before my next Target run, ask myself, “Do I really need anything?”
  • Use less toilet paper. LOL!
  • Check my FB and IG 10% less often.
  • Use more bullet points.
  • Wash my prosthetic silicone a little more often. 😉
  • Read more books and less news.

There. I feel better already! I have my whole year mapped out for myself. It helps to throw yourself a bone like that to get started right away. And it’s not cheating; it’s just giving yourself a boost.

Good luck to everyone with everything they want to accomplish this year! Happy 2019!


Three Helpful Knit-Rite and Therafirm Products For Pregnancy

The final countdown is on!!! With less than 5 weeks until my due date, I thought I would share a few of the things that have helped me get through this pregnancy, well, almost! Now, let me say, every pregnancy and person is SO different.  Some mommies don’t swell while others don’t have pelvic pain. These have been two of my biggest issues.

Below are the three items that made a difference in my pregnancy and I would definitely recommend them to my amputee preggo mommies. (And, I have even included equivalents for my non-amputee mommies.)

  1. Soft Sock. Well, I actually needed this product before I even got pregnant. Soft socks are used like any other socks.


You wear your socks under your shoes; I wear my soft socks under my socket. Soft Sock fibers wick moisture away from the skin and inhibit odor. The best part is that they feel soft and cuddly worn next to my skin. For me, this is very important, since my skin is much more sensitive now that I am pregnant.

And for my non-amputee mommies, SmartKnit socks are made from similar materials for all those same wonderful reasons.


2. Shrinkers. Like most pregnant women, I’ve gained weight during this pregnancy. Duhh, this is the only time in my life where it is acceptable and expected!!! I am going to do it, guys. Happy Holidays! LOL! But more than anything, I swelled, a lot! I stopped wearing my wedding ring, and my limbs inside my prostheses were definitely more than snug. Unfortunately, I can’t just buy bigger clothes to fit or wear compression tights/socks to help with the swelling. After talking with my prosthetist, he suggested that I wear Knit-Rite shrinkers.


No lies here – I wore the shrinker all night like I was told. The next day I was able to fit into my socket without forcing myself into it. I was sooo happy! It’s not pleasant when you can’t fit into your walking legs – trust me!!! The compression prosthetic shrinker is usually used for control or prevention of edema following amputation surgery, for limb volumetric maintenance, to minimize hypertrophic scarring and to give compressive support for pain relief. But in my case, it definitely helped with my pregnancy swelling and I hope it will continue for the last 5 weeks!

As for my non-amputee mommies, I recommend Preggers maternity support leggings and our Core-Spun socks! They will give you the same effect as the shrinkers while looking fabulous. Aren’t you lucky? 😉


3. Preggers Maternity Support Bands. This is one we can all use!

Since I didn’t gain THAT much weight during this pregnancy, I didn’t think I would have too many back or pelvis issues. Boy, was I wrong. When I was about 33 weeks pregnant, I woke up with so much pelvic pain that I could barely make it to work. I kept thinking something was wrong with me, and I ended up visiting my OB/GYN . She said that this is a normal pregnancy issue, and I just need to wear a belly band to support my belly and hips. There are many types of belly bands out there, but of course I wore a Preggers by Therafirm Maternity Support Band.

IMG_6415 (002).JPG

This seamless garment is made from super stretchy fibers and expands during the varying stages of pregnancy. The supportive band helps ease back discomfort and provide active moms additional abdominal support. And yes, after wearing one of these maternity support bands for a few days, my pain started to go away! It’s amazing how a simple material that supports just a tiny bit of your belly can relieve pain from your back and pelvis.

I can’t imagine finishing the last 5 weeks of my pregnancy without all of these products. Like I said earlier, every pregnancy is different and not all of these products are right for everyone. But they are right for me, and they might be right for you too! Give them a try!


More than just a family…

The holidays are basically here! For some, they can be stressful, exhausting and just overwhelming. For others, it is the best time of the year because it is the season to indulge in all the goodies, do lots of holiday decorating and see all the family and friends!

Speaking of family! Since I moved to the US 10 years ago, I haven’t seen my birth family since then (Though I am thankful for Skype!) That makes the Holidays difficult, because I don’t have them close by. However, I am so grateful for my little Trimborn family at my house.


My little Trimborn family


But, I also have three American families here in Kansas City who treat me like their own daughter. Trust me, I don’t have to worry about spending my holidays by myself – ever!

Lastly, I have a work family – Knit-Rite! I am very fortunate to work for them because they treat me and all employees with so much love and respect! This week we had our annual Christmas party where we all got together and celebrated.






Seems like a simple event but very thoughtful and so full of laughter, joy and love. This event brings back many past employees who have made a huge impact on the culture of the company.

Family to Knit-Rite means more than just people in the building. It’s also extended to our customers and distributors – like Cascade who recently was affected by the devastating fires in Paradise, California.


Knit-Rite visiting Cascade during fires in Paradise, California


Family also extends to our community, where we volunteer at the local charitable organization, Crosslines, and raise money to contribute to their Christmas store.


All these goodies went to Crosslines for their annual Christmas store 


Family is who you make it – and mine is made up of every aspect of my life. And it is the best all around!

Happy Holidays!


Dealing with Holiday anxiety when you are traveling.

I don’t know about you, but I am not a huge fan of the hassles that accompany traveling. I am always concerned about whether my hosts’ or my hotel’s showers are safe for me, or how I will step over the bathtub without a grab bar. Is the bathroom door wide enough in case I need a wheelchair to get through? What about when I walk on my knees – is it too weird for my hosts? What about what to pack or what to expect in airports?

Have you had a similar situation? If so, below are some suggestions and possible solutions that may help reduce your anxiety when you are invited to stay with family and friends during the upcoming holidays or just anytime.

First of all, don’t be afraid to speak to your relatives and friends openly about your concerns. You might be surprised at the solutions they may come up with. After all, you received the invitation because they care about you and want you to visit. Perhaps, they will offer you a room on the first floor or their master bath, which has a more accessible stall shower or bathtub.

Ask if they can pick up a shower chair for you at the local pharmacy or hardware store. These have become common items. The same goes for a toilet seat riser, if that will make your stay more comfortable.

Sit down and make a list of everything you’ll need to bring with you – from extra liners and Knit-Rite socks, to alcohol and skin creams and any tools for minor repairs.

Bring a folding wheelchair with you for shopping trips or sightseeing. If you don’t have one, think about renting one at your destination so you don’t get overly tired out.

The same goes for navigating airports. Airports are extremely busy at holiday times. So, take advantage of the help available and use wheelchair assistance to get through security lines and to your gate when you need to make connections. You might want to arrive ahead of the recommended time in case of any extra hurdles or “traffic jams.”

Most importantly, pack a smile and a good attitude. Don’t be afraid to ask for assistance; most people are very eager to help! Enjoy your family and friends and have a wonderful holiday.


Service dogs!

Have you heard or seen a dog that wears a vest and you are not allowed to touch the animal because the dog is working?

They are called Service animals. Service animals are trained to help people with disabilities return to everyday activities, gain independence, and increase the ability to participate in exciting and challenging adventures. Service animals are defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as any animal “trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability.”

From monkeys to miniature horses, service animals of all types fulfill multiple roles, depending on the person with whom they are matched. However, dogs are the most common type – probably because of their domestication, status as pets, and familiarity.

Types of service. Guide dogs help people with a visual impairment navigate their environment safely. Hearing dogs alert their deaf or hearing-impaired humans to sounds such as doorbells, telephones, smoke alarms or crying children. Seizure alert dogs detect physiological changes and alert their human partners to an oncoming seizure. Psychological service dogs calm or ground their human partners during episodes of illness.

What about dogs for limb loss patients? Service dogs for people with limb loss or limb differences are trained to retrieve dropped items, turn light switches on and off, help with dressing, and more. They can also increase mobility independence by opening doors, pulling a wheelchair, or by acting as a balance or brace for transfers.

Dogs for emotional support.There are many ways dogs can assist people with disabilities in a physical capacity, but the emotional benefits of service dogs are also tremendous. People with service dogs often remark upon the emotional impact the dog has had on their lives. Dogs, unlike traditional adaptive equipment, are extremely sociable animals who love people and work. Dogs provide companionship and unconditional love, and can reduce loneliness.

Service dogs are not for everyone! Before applying for a service dog, consider your lifestyle and whether you and your family will be able to house, fund and care for a service dog. The dog is often provided free or for a reasonable price to the recipient. However, that person is responsible for all costs associated with the dog’s care once the dog is home.

Just an FYI. If you see animals wearing vests, now you know that they are working and helping their humans. These dedicated and loyal animals need to focus on their humans instead of the cuddles and attention you want to give them. Just be aware and considerate that these animals are more than just pets, but they are doing a very important job.

Rest assured, they get lots of love and attention from their humans during rest time.