Just a walk in the park..

I totally spaced and forgot to post these!!! The story behind the photos is that I knew I really needed to update my headshots after I had my surgery 2 years ago.  So, back in the beginning of the summer I reached out to a friend and we started talking about where we wanted to shoot and when. Unfortunately, about a week later my “new” car suddenly had a water leak in the engine, which  resulted in the head gasket cracking and breaking. In English, it was bad news and I was going to need to find a new means of transportation…

Thankfully, everything finally came together in the end and I am so happy with how these ended up coming out!! They were done by Revtar Photography and you can check out more pictures here! Thanks again Rev ❤

Let me know what you guys think!!

 

Helllloooo everybody!!

I hope you’re all just excited for the holiday season as I am! Time to see family and friends, enjoy each other’s company, and eat lots and lots and LOTS of food!!!

I love food. It’s a bad romance. I’m awful with sweets and even when I try to diet, I can’t ever seem to cut them out. THEYRE SO GOOD BUT SO BAAAAAD!! But, know why? I’ll say it with pride, I ain’t even mad about it!! When life hands you pumpkin pie there’s only one thing ya gotta do about it: 

  
In the meantime though, I’ve just started my first job in retail 🎉 So that’s some exciting stuff, I know! 

The craziest part about it is that I WILL be working this upcoming Thanksgiving/Black Friday. And ironically enough, I have never ever been Black Friday shopping ever 😳. This should be interesting, to say the very least! I’m not worried though, I’m a people person and if it isn’t already apparently obvious, I know that I’m fairly capable of rolling with the punches. 

So if you don’t hear from me in a little while, hopefully it’ll be because my schedule will be completely filled with hours ✨ 

As always, I’ll still be updating my life here and there on my insta, Twitter, and maybe even on my YouTube channel. Who knows? #staytuned 

End of Summer Update

Better late than never? .. If you say so!

If you’d like to know more about other people who are facing their disabilities head-on, I highly suggest that you check some of these people/groups out!

Facebook
Living One Handed- Ryaan Haack
“Notorious” Nick Newell
Amputee Coalition of America
The Mandeville Sisters
Sarah Stump

Websites/Blogs
lookdifferent.org
gymheroes.com

Instagram
Noah Galloway @noahgallowayathlete
Rebekah Marine @rebekahmarine
Tiphany Adams @tiphanyadams
Devin Coffin @devincoffin

Coming this Summer…

Hello all! Just thought I’d take a moment to tell you about my latest and greatest adventure–my return to the stage!This summer I am going to be performing in the Margate Players’ production of Chicago, and I will be rocking the part of Mona aka Lipschitz in the cell block tango.

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The official promo flyer for the show from Margate Players

It’s been almost 2 years since the last time that I was in a show, and I am BEYOND excited to be getting back at it! Sure, it feels a little weird to be putting myself out there in this “new form” of mine, but this is what I’ve always loved to do so I don’t think I’m all-that deterred by it anyway!

An edited promo photo for the show

An edited promo photo for the show

The show does have a split cast, which means that I have 2 out of the 4 performances with my role, but I will still be in the dance ensemble every night!

The dates for the show are July 23-26 and my shows will be on Friday the 24th at 7:00 pm and Sunday the 26th at 2:00 pm at the Dominic A. Potena Performing Arts center, located at 7804 Amherst Ave. in Margate, New Jersey.

Let me know if you would like to make it! I am selling ads for the show and I do have a goal amount to meet, so any and all help would be greatly appreciated!! I hope to see you there and I will be sure to post more pictures after the show!!

Hope you all have a great summer!

Myoelectric Sensor Test

I almost completely forgot to post this entry, so I apologize in advanced for that! Anyway, something incredibly exciting happened this past week. On Wednesday I went to find out if I was eligible for a myoelectric prosthetic. I took a “test” to find out which muscles in my arm were strong enough to trigger sensors, which would be able to open/close a myoelectric hand.

So, my mom took a short little video clip and you can see me go through the testing (which was exhausting) and even try to move a hand (which was equally as exhausting). It was such a redeeming feeling though; to even attempt to get a reading was exciting enough for me. Watch the clip below to see whether I was successful or not…

An April Update

Just in time for the end of April, I’ve finally come around to give you an update!! 

So in the last month I’ve been keeping pretty busy, which is probably why you haven’t heard from me until now.
I saw my surgeon a few weeks ago and had my final post-op appointment with him! It came with both good news and bad news. The good news was that as far as surgeries go, I am done! There is nothing else to be done surgically, which would be good news, if only I wasn’t still in pain.
So, the bad news is that I can’t say that I am fully out of the woods just yet.
..But what else is new?
In order to manage my pain I am currently trying some different approaches, other than with surgery. I am seeing a pain management specialist and I’ve also restarted going to physical therapy in the hopes of trying to desensitize my arm. This helps to make it a lot less painful when putting pressure on it, which would help me to eventually get into a working and functional prosthetic.
Now before you jump the gun, I know that in the past I may have expressed some negative opinions towards prosthetics and wearing them. So although my view hasn’t really changed, I know that at the end of the day the point of wearing one would only help me to become more independent (than I already am).
As a side note, I have recently become enamored with watching Dancing With the Stars. (Yes it was total bullshit that Willow went home this week, we weren’t supposed to have to say ‘goodbye’ to Prim until November..)
However, Noah Galloway is the man.
If you have not seen him dance, I am pretty sure that you MUST be living under a rock.. but I’ll attach a video below just so you can see what I’m talking about.
Noah is an army veteran who became both an upper and lower extremity amputee while in service, but he has typically only worn his leg prosthetic before dancing on the show.
To make a long story short (you’ll see what happens in the YouTube clip), he too ended up having the same issues with wearing an upper extremity prosthetic as I’ve had. Basically, he felt that life was much easier when he worked the way he normally did–without a prosthetic. So it was kind of comforting to hear that.  But even after all of that, I am still excited to go through the process of being fitted again!
I mean, who doesn’t like getting new toys??
I will be heading back to Hanger Prosthetics in May, but this time I’ll be looking into getting my very first myoelectric prosthetic (one that would work very much like the one in the video).
There are a lot more exciting things to come in the month of May, so make sure to check back to see what I’m up to!
Also, if you want a chance to watch or vote for Noah Galloway (please DO NOT let him lose to the Bachelor, Chris Soles -_-) Dancing with the Stars airs LIVE Monday nights at 8 on abc.
As always, thank you for all of your support!! See you in May!

March Update

Well hello there! I hope everyone is as ready for Spring as much as I am! If you haven’t already heard, I just recently celebrated my 24th Birthday! HOORAY!!  …there really aren’t many milestones for when you turn 24, other than being a year away from turning a quarter of a century old. So, I guess that’s exciting? …anyway


So here are some updates with my health and healing and all that.
Over the past infinity amount of weeks I have been to and fro between home and my endless amount of doctor’s appointments, most of which were located an hour away in Philly. This month alone I think I’ve been up and back at the very least 10 times each way.

I’ve mostly had to go up to see my surgeon. My arm still wasn’t fully healed from the last surgery. So, I had been checking in with my surgeon at least once a week.
However, I saw his Physician’s Assistant last Wednesday and she was happy to say that I’m finally doing a lot better!
Now, a week later, my arm is all finally healed up! (What a great birthday present, right?) She also told me that I won’t be needing to see them again for another 4 weeks!

Also among my many numerous amounts of Philly doctor visits, I was able to see my Hematologist (blood disorder doctor) and my Rheumatologist (lupus doctor). Both of whom gave great reports so far, but we are still waiting for some blood test results to come in.

If you’re squeamish, skip to the next paragraph =D.
My two doctor’s ordered so many test results that I ended up having to give 12 vials worth of blood -_- I’d say about half of them were a little smaller than the rest.. but still. That was a doozy.

Anyway, outside of my medical life, I have finally been able to get myself up and out of my house for extended amounts of time without feeling too tired! It ended up working out so that I was able to actually go out on my birthday weekend and even enjoy a few beers at our local Beer and Music Festival!

So, what have I been doing during my many many weeks of recovery? Well, I became best friends with HGTV and I also got a lot of writing and organization done for the book I’ve been working on, too.

And I made this little treat for all of you!

Being in the hospital is absolutely NO fun. But if I start to get a little stir crazy when I’m there, I’ll try to make the best of it and entertain myself in whatever way I can. So, since I was in and out of the hospital so much, I began to document what that kind of boredom looks like. So I hope you like it! If not, at least way down the line somewhere I’ll have it to remind myself of what this past year and a half of my life has been like!

And then there were 15 (..not 13).

I haven’t shared this with many people, but now that the whole ordeal seems to be over with, I think that it’s time to bring you up to speed.

To cut to the chase, I just returned home yesterday from a second unexpected stay in the hospital. Over the past month, I was in and out of the hospital for a total of 3 times. I had my originally planned 13th surgery on Jan 20th, and everything seemed to go well with it at first. Unfortunately, I developed not one but two hematomas.

So all in all, after leaving the hospital, I now have had a total of 15 surgeries since September 2013.  For those of you who are like me and have no motivation to do the math, I’ll do it for you.  That comes to a total of 15 surgeries in 18 months.

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So here was the progression of the blur of the past month of my life
Surgeries:
#13- Jan 20: Planned- Extraction of Neuromas
#14- Jan 29: Unplanned- I&D and Extraction of Hematoma
#15- Feb 10: Unplanned- Same as #14

Each stay in the hospital lasted from about 5-6 days between admittance to discharge. Thankfully, I was allowed to return home for a short period in between each of these surgeries.
(I did however watch the Super Bowl from my hospital room, on a very tiny TV screen with my mommy)

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But the reason why I had to keep going back was because I knew that something was going wrong. Especially because after each surgery, my pain wasn’t getting any better, it was only getting worse.

So thankfully for now, everything looks good– well, if it didn’t I wouldn’t have been discharged in the first place but I digrss– I am feeling good and I’m finally able to relax in my own home, thank goodness.

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As for the hematomas, well we’re not entirely sure. There’s no sure way of knowing if or how we could really prevent them from coming back. This isn’t a typical occurrence, though (if this comes as a surprise to you, go back to start, this is my life). Anyway, my doctors suspect that this is happening because I’m trying to transition from one blood thinner to another, post-op, and it just doesn’t seem to be working out very smoothly.

So then, the bad news is that if I feel ANY symptoms of having another hematoma, I have to go right back up to the hospital. So for now I really just have to spend my time resting and keeping my arm elevated. I will be seeing my surgeon later this week, so keep your fingers crossed that Nubbie and I won’t be needing any more than 15 surgeries.

On a lighter note- The answer is, yes! I did take and save a lot of my snapchat pictures. They may or may not be shared at a later time, once I finally can stay awake for more than 4 or 5 hours at a time. (Sleeping in hospitals can be even harder than sleeping in class). So excuse me if this post has typos or flaws, I’ll fix them later. For now, it’s time to go back to sleep.

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