Archive for "Michelle’s Blog"

Michelle Joins Bulow BioTech Prosthetics

Michelle's Blog Jun 10, 2013 1 Comment

It’s been quite some time since my last post!! Keeping very busy with a 2 1/2 year old! This is by far my favorite age, Avery is talking away!  Her imagination cracks me up.

Just a few months back, I was offered a job with Bulow Biotech Prosthetics. After interviewing the CEO/Founder Matt Bulow, I knew this was an opportunity I couldn’t resist. I mean, this really was my “dream job” being handed to me. It was hard to leave my co-workers at Artfilgo, but I knew in this new venture I would be able to continue to change the lives of amputees every single day! At the beginning of May, I started as the Director of Patient Services at Bulow in Nashville, TN.

Bulow BioTech Prosthetics Helps Amputees Nationwide Return to Normal, Happy Lives. Truly understanding what an amputee goes through in life drives the philosophy of our company. At Bulow, it’s about providing innovative prosthetic technology, one-on-one personal attention and nurturing guidance. It all started with the founder, Matthew Bulow, who lost a leg to cancer at an early age. This experience compelled him to help other amputees return to normal, happy lives. Matt’s vision continues to be our mission, and can be felt throughout our staff and clinics. Bulow Biotech Clinics are located in Colorado, Texas, Tennessee, South Caroline and Georgia.

One of my main roles will be heading the Amputee Peer Visitor Program. Any individual can be subject to the loss of a limb, which can be devastating emotionally and physically. There are many tools which can assist patients in recovering and regaining the self-confidence to move forward. Nothing gives more hope to a patient then meeting with an amputee who is successfully living with limb loss, who can provide inspiration and support to new and prospective amputees. As a Certified Peer Visitor,  a peer visit can be at the hospital, rehabilitation facility, home or telephone.  www.bulowbiotech.com  I truly am so excited about being a part of Bulow and continuing to changes the lives of others!!!!

Just Life!

Michelle's Blog Jul 19, 2011 No Comments

So I’ve been slacking on writing! I started a new job and now the time just seems to slip right out of my hands…..We are chasing after Avery who is literally on the verge of walking and we are so encouraging this so she can walk into “Mom’s Day Out “ on August 31st! I cannot believe my baby girl is almost a year!! Crazy how time flies….
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Life as an Amputee and Mom!!! (made a few factual changes)

Michelle's Blog May 24, 2011 1 Comment

Sorry it’s taken me a bit to get back to writing!! Busy week working on Mending Limbs and Interviewing for jobs!!!!

To get back on track to where I left off…. From 18 months till now I’ve worn AK (Above-the-Knee) Prosthesis. Each prosthesis was made by my leg man. He actually made my last one in January 2010 (he has now retired and sold his business- I’ll get to that =(  ). I continued life just like every other child. I was on the Lake Forest Sharks Swim team. My parents enrolled me at age 5. I swam on the Sharks for years. I swam side by side with 2000 Olympic Champion Kaitlin Sandeno. I was best at backstroke!  To this day I still hold the record for the fastest time!! Crazy!!!

At 18 months my right foot was amputated and my knee was fused. In fourth grade, I had my last surgery. The doctors removed a few inches of bone from the bottom of my stump and shaved the right side of my bone so I would not have a bulge in my leg. This surgery was needed so that when standing and sitting me knees would align correctly. I do remember vaguely that this was a pretty painful surgery, but I made it through like a champ! I went back to school on crutches for several weeks while I healed until I was able to walk with my prosthesis. I truly had the best friends and family. Most people would think going through all this might be traumatic….But, honestly I just remember all my friends and family surrounding me with support!!! Will continue about this journey later….

This past weekend, we went to Steeplechase!! It was so fun! Our neighbors have two spots right where the horses are cooled off after the race!!! Muddy, Rainy and a bit cold! But it was so fun!! Jared and I have met some great friends!!!Oh and by the way, my Bestie Kim from California made and shipped the BEST CAKE BALLS ever!!! If you have no idea what they are check out her website (www.creativecakeballs.com) She ships every where and once you have one you will be addicted!!!  Also, yesterday we went to High Meadows Alpacas in Leiper’s Fork…. oh my!! They seriously are the cutest things ever!!!! We went with my parents and grandparents. Avery met “Winston” who absolutely LOVED her!!! I think most of all he would have loved to have taken off her fluffy bow!!! But they only have 2 bottom teeth, so I wasn’t too worried!!! While we were there a baby was born… so sweet. They are 20 pounds when they are born! Wheww! Definitely check out the event they hold in September!! Super fun outing, especially with the family…. Visit there website!  www.highmeadowalpacas.net- Talk soon =) Hope you have a great week!!!!!

 

My first blog!

Michelle's Blog May 04, 2011 4 Comments

So, most of you know me very well and some may not know me at all!  I’ve never “blogged” before! So hopefully this won’t be terrible. If it is…well, sorry!

I’ve been told several times in the past few months that I should create a blog to tell my story, so here it is. I never thought that 10 years ago I would be writing this or be the founder of a non-profit organization. I moved to Nashville for School and Music, never did I know that I would face a challenge a few years back that would bring me to where I am today. At this point in my life, I honestly feel that I need to share my story about my life growing up as an amputee…. I’m hoping that it will help others know that perfection isn’t always everything!

I was born June 25, 1981 in Mission Viejo, California! Crap, I’m almost 30!! Anyways, I was born with 2 legs, however, my right leg did not fully develop. My right femur had only developed fifty percent and I was born with a very small ball and socket, this birth defect is known as Proximal Femoral Deficiency (PFD). PFD is very uncommon and the exact cause can be very complex and be combined with other congenital abnormalities. The news was a shock to my parents as technology was not like it is today. They were not forewarned or prepared for this situation (which wouldn’t have made a difference to them).  As most parents dream and want a healthy child, that doesn’t always happen. I was healthy just not perfect! Who is perfect anyway?? My parents accepted me just the way I was. They did not leave me at the hospital; say they couldn’t handle me or didn’t want me because I would grow up wearing a prosthetic leg. Resources to help my parents cope with a child with PFD like the internet, small groups or extensive research just wasn’t there. My parents took advice from my doctor’s on how they should raise me. They brought me home and surrounded me with love and treated me as I was no different than my brother or any other child.

At an early age, I wanted to walk so bad, I was fitted with a small prosthesis to help me walk until my leg was amputated. At 18 months I had my first surgery at UCLA and my right leg was amputated. I was then fitted with an above the knee (AK) prosthesis. Rudy Nunez, C.P. owner of Am-Pro Prosthetics in Anaheim, CA made me my first leg. You will get to know him as my “leg man”.  My leg man became my family as I saw him sometimes monthly or maybe once a year just depending on how I was growing.  I once read this quote when I was doing some research “a good prosthetist is worth his weight in gold”. Oh man, is that true! My leg man is best. Let me tell you, he is a “PRO” at fitting patients just like me!

I’ve gotta run! My baby is waking up! Will continue soon…..