New Arm- Part 1 (Picking Out Body Parts)

For those who might be interested, I invite you to walk with me through the tedious process of getting a new prosthetic arm. I’ll journal the steps and my experiences along the way. You can interact with me by sharing thoughts and comments, if you wish.

 There are some advantages to having one arm. I only need one mitten—if I lose one, I have a spare. Manicures are fifty percent off. I can remove my arm before stepping on the scales. I get to pick out my own body parts.

Though I got a new prosthetic arm in 2012, it has become uncomfortable and even painful in the past five months. (This has never happened to me before!) An ill-fitting socket, the part that my existing upper arm slips into, can cause pain in the arm, shoulder, neck, and/or back. A socket’s fit can change over time with variances in muscle, skin, or weight. Perhaps I’m gaining muscle tone because of my new treadmill (or perhaps things are shifting because I’m 55). Whatever the reason, I find myself by evening wanting to shout, “GET IT OFF!” Again, this is a first for me. I have always worn my prosthetic arm from morning to bedtime with little thought about it all day long.

On 3/3/16, I went to “the body shop.” That’s what I like to call it. I met with Adan, one of the great prosthetists at Fourroux Prosthetics in Huntsville, Alabama. We talked about my need for a new arm and looked online at options available for upper-arm sockets, elbows, forearms, wrists, and hands. We discussed ways to decrease the weight of an arm, as the pounds hanging on my shoulder seem to bother me more now than when I was younger. We crafted a design that I feel will give me relief and offer improvements over my present prosthesis.

ARM MADE IN 2012

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A Tale of Two Teachers- Part 2

How many kids have accomplished more and went further in life because of the positive influence of a teacher? Watch as Becky tells about a teacher who had that kind of impact on her.

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Lost

(A devotional thought from the book One Smile, One Heart)

Some people have an innate sense of direction. That would be my friend Janice. Other people do not. That would be my friend Julia… and me.

All three of us had a child performing in the “Morgan County Night of Bands” at Brewer High School, an annual show by area high school marching bands. Janice’s daughter was a majorette, Julia’s daughter was a drum major, and my son was part of a drumline.

“Roy and I are going to follow the band bus to Brewer,” Janice said.

“Julia, do you want to ride with me?” I asked. “Surely we can’t get lost. It’s one road from Decatur to Brewer with no turns!” We all had a good laugh.

On the night of the show I picked up Julia. We headed south on Highway 67 and forty minutes later we were there. No big deal. The show was loud and colorful and fun. And, of course, our three kids were amazing! After the show Julia and I said goodbye to Janice and walked to my car. Traffic was backed up horribly with everybody trying to get out of the parking lot. Finally we were able to pull onto the road to start for home.

We chattered non-stop about the different bands and the themes of their shows. We discussed our kids and our husbands and our parents. We dreamed out loud of vacation plans for the next year. You know, best friends can cover a lot of topics during a forty-minute drive.

Then out of nowhere a strange thing appeared—a stop sign. I rolled to a stop. I looked at Julia. Julia looked at me.

“Where in the world are we?” I exclaimed.

“I have no idea!” Julia exclaimed louder.

“Cotaco?” I exclaimed louder yet, pointing to a sign on a country store. “I don’t even know where Cotaco is!”

Julia giggled. “Leave it to us to get lost when all we had to do was pull out of the parking lot and turn left.”

Deuteronomy 4:9 cautions us to stay alert and not let our heart wander off. Otherwise, we could end up in “Cotaco,” an unfamiliar place, a long way from where we want to be.

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“Just make sure you stay alert. Keep close watch over yourselves. Don’t forget anything of what you’ve seen. Don’t let your HEART wander off. Stay vigilant as long as you live” (Deuteronomy 4:9 MSG).

We found our way home from Cotaco

We found our way home from Cotaco!