Thursday, September 24, 2015

WOW! It's obviously been a long time since I've updated this blog...but here goes today is the 6th Anniversary of what I like to call our Adventure (thanks Julianne for the example). September for me is like being on an emotional roller coaster. I'm excited kids are back in school, dance has started and let's not forget it's Football season! Weather is changing and life is beautiful...but then there is that dark side...
It's an Anniversary of something well a couple something's that have changed my family, my life and Me!!! With both happening in September in the back of my mind I want to go postal and lock my kids in bubbles for fear of something bad happening. I want to curl up in a ball in my bedroom and cry while wishing it was me and not him. My hubby who is extremely supportive is usually 2-3 states away working his butt off for us. 

Then the prerelease of the Shriners commercial (that will soon air) is emailed to me that is exclusively about him and as I cry everytime I watch it I'm reminded that without the Doctors & services at Shriners I really don't know how I'd have my crazy but beautiful home. My time hop well that's a new addition to the roller coaster. I've gone back and looked through this blog and my FB before to read and reminisce of the trials we've overcome and the support of the community, Family, Friends &'s strangely therapeutic.

Time hop however has made this easier to hurt...
I've recently saw Karsen on his bike 6 years ago with his cute smile & squishy cheeks with his helmet on. I love this picture so much but painstakingly reminds me of the day I jumped off my lawn mower to see my sweet baby screaming with that same helmet on that I soon found mangled from his left calf down. Yes I've been to therapy to rid me of the horrific triggers and pain but ultimately the constant reminder will never go away...I mean I didn't just break his leg. AND yes it was ALL and Accident but the memory never fades.
 Then there are the pics of him in the hospital Smiles in most of them.

Reminding me that through all the hell life can hand you "I got this!" As reminded from Karsens first attempt to going up stairs in his Scooby Cast. WE GOT THIS!!!
Memories of the Amazing but challenging trip to NY that was a great experience to being reminded of the stupid park toy that busted Karsens femur and the trip in an ambulance with nothing but my hands splinting it all the way from Riverton to Primaries.

Fast forward to surgeries to help him grow. And now 2 months fully recovered from yet another surgery that is intended to help his growth to another new prosthetic.
 I've completely lost count of how many times he's been put under for some sort of procedure, how many changes in treatment when things like skin grafts don't work well. I've lost count how many times I've held back tears while he goes through another procedure or as he's relearned to walk and how many times I still cry praying he will have a full abundant able bodied life.

He's my Hero...I always say...but from sun up till sun down he's Karsen. Every morning as he goes to get out of his bunk bed he has to put on his liner and leg...I hear him get down and stomp to get it all the way on. No complaints it's his life and he's doing just fine!!! He loves to run, play, hang out with friends, fight with his bro. He's played Baseball, made the swim team and competed in Dance for almost 4 years on Winning teams. We've met some Amazing people along the way too.

 While this isn't the life we expected I'm grateful for it. It has uniquely humbled us all. He amongst his siblings inspire me daily. They truly are incredible!!!

Being the Mom in the Mery house is one of the Best "Jobs" I have and I'll never quit.
Love the life you Live, Live the life you Love!!!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Proud Mama Moment (not that I'm never not proud)

Remembering back almost 5 years ago sitting in the hospital watching my baby go through everything I remember telling Rick my cute little tough boy is never going to play sports. He had an athletic build and I could picture him playing football...Years later I had realized regardless maybe sports weren't his thing anyway. He loves to dance, he's way smart and wants to get into piano, music and science.
Basketball season came around and Jaxon was ready to play...Karsen says ok fine I'll play. So we sign him up. Every time we would try to play with him he'd cry and wouldn't...WHY? Cause he couldn't dribble. He was intimidated by his brother who Loved to play. But he went anyway. By the end of the season he understood the game and now dribbles a ball any chance he can get. He pushed himself even though his leg was starting to loosen up and hurt. After the season was over it was time to sign up for Baseball...Jaxon signed up and Karsen said no way. I kept talking to him because I just wanted him to at least try. If he hated it I'd never make him play again. It's Peewee 7's. With Jaxon playing I decided to take on a position on the board as well lack of a better term Mother of all Team Parents. Talking with members of the board I decided to persuade him. We got to the last and final day to get him in and I txt Karsen on his iPod and he says ok I'll play. WAHOOO! I sign him up DONE!

Well not really...with him signed up we get him a bag, a glove and what not...He was all set!
Kinda, He then lacked any form of confidence. We finally get him outside to practice and BAM!!! Jaxon throws a ball to him and WHACK right in the head. That was the end of practicing with Jaxon or anyone for that matter. Pep talk after pep talk I tried to get him to practice with me. Promising to throw soft. Use the softer baseballs we had with the Pitching machine I borrowed. It took bribery to get him to practice with us. Jaxon on the other hand practices daily and it shows. He'd cry about not being able to play and not being good enough. It was heartbreaking. So I take Karsen to practice with his Coach who happens to be a newer neighbor of ours and gladly takes on my little boy with a prosthetic. I NEVER want to down play my son or make him feel like he can't be as good as anyone else so all I said was this is his first year and he's way nervous. Well low and behold he'd do anything Coach Nick told him to do. I noticed him set aside some of his fears and LISTEN! Yep LISTEN! The first game he went out there nervous but tried. In Peewee 7 part of the game is machine pitch and the rest is Kid pitch. He would swing the bat and miss. He did get on base and score a few times through some of what we love about PW 7 kid pitch. By the end of the season he walked out there confidently. And did what his Coaches taught him.
During the season we got him a new better fitting leg and he walked and ran better with it. His leg from his last surgery has healed well and he keeps growing like a weed. I spoke a little with his coach about how he needs to pivot differently since his left leg faces the pitcher. Funny thing is he got hit the leg...the prosthetic one. First time he looked at me unsure what to do. I said even if you can't feel it take your base you still got hit.

The last few games I'd stand behind him recording and he like any cute kid with a mom coaching him from behind the fence turned around and Shushed me...yep fingers to his lips shushed me...We all had a good laugh and I realized his Coaches had it under control. He was so eager by the last game to get a hit. Unfortunately he didn't but his swing was so much better. There are things we can adjust that will make him even greater as he grows and he's willing to try.

From Season Opener to his last game he has changed so much. Built so much confidence. And well now he's talking Flag Football...Who knew my baby who I worried would never be the athlete I thought he would just might. Never doubt a kid with a heart as big as his...I'm thankful every day for the lessons he teaches me daily. Not sure how I got so lucky to have such a little Rockstar in my life...but I'm forever grateful!!!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Feeling Oddly Emotional but More So Grateful...

I haven't had a ton to blog about but this is something Fun so I had to share. A few weeks ago I was called from our Dr at Shriners and he asked if we'd be interested in working with a group of Seniors in the Research & Development department at the U on their Senior Project. They were working with Ottobock to develop a new foot for kids with prosthetic legs. It is meant to feel more real and comfortable as well as be adjustable in length. Pretty cool concept. 
It's exciting to be able to assist in the research. Learning things that had we not ever had the accident we would be clueless about. All that goes into the engineering and developing the things that help Amputees function. We aren't finished yet but it's pretty cool to be a part of it. 
So I start to wonder...HOW on earth is this in any way some emotional experience... 4-1/2 years ago I laid in a hospital bed with a barely 3 year old boy while holding him I panicked. What if people don't accept him? What if kids at school are mean? What if he hates me or resents me for the rest of his life? What if he'll never find someone to love him? What if people are repulsed by his minor imperfection? SOOOO Many questions, concerns, worries, etc. As we toured the building last week and I say the process/development of so many things we are now familiar with I realized had this never happened we'd never ever know anything about anything when it comes to Prosthetics and Orthotics. Then I saw the wall...15,000 individual molds for 15,000 people that need custom made liners that are only shelved for 2 YEARS...WOW...I was blown away. I thought of each mold as people who struggle with something most people will NEVER comprehend. I know I personally take advantage of 2 functional legs that maybe at times can be sore but nonetheless I still have them.
I watch my boy who's now 7 run, play, skip, jump, hop, throw attitude, act like a little boy and try almost daily to drive a mama crazy but yet he blows my mind.  He's got this way about him that ALMOST makes me bend everytime. Couldn't imagine life without him and his brother and sisters.
As we drove away after a 2 hour appointment he was so Excited...Not only getting out of school early but he was a part of research that may or may not help the future of children's prosthesis. And all I could do was feel grateful he's alive, ambitious, grateful, full of life and ready to conquer the world and extremely happy. And even though September 24th 2009 was one of the worst days of my has become such an extraordinary opportunity. And I hope for many more to come...Gotta make due with whatever curve balls are thrown at you...
15,000 custom molds of different peoples
amputated legs.

This is what it looks like without the groovy fake foot.
I think he walked a mile with 4 different models


Walking Stairs and Ramps

Racing Mike  from Ottobock

Mike trying the Stahl Karsen just showed him.
I caught him too late.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Can't believe how fast time flies...

Can you believe it's been 4 YEARS? 4 Years since our lives were changed traumatically. This time of year I get excited for the change in weather and hoodie season and so much more but there is always an ache in my heart. Last week I started feeling emotional (I was mowing the lawn surprise surprise) and was thinking what is wrong with ME? Then it dawned on me...It's September...memories creep in and gratitude all at the same time.

It's crazy to reflect on where we were and where we are now. WOW!!! Our lives are forever changed and daily we are reminded of it. I watch my now 7 year old. Run, Play, Develop and Be HIMSELF. Which I truly admire. He is who he is. He is a typical 7 year old that most don't know deals with things daily others don't even think even myself. As I observe him going into a new class with new friends wondering WHAT HAPPENED? As well as learning to adjust his prosthetic throughout the day because it's not fitting right. But yet he doesn't complain...well at least not about that. He's 7 he complains about brothers and sisters and fairness and ALL the things a 7 year old should. 

Today as I reflect and even reread what happened ( while not wanting to trigger all the emotions I want to show gratitude. Gratitude for the fact that he has lived through it all. He's shown me strength, perseverance, love, hope and fearlessness. It has been inbedded in me as well. For so long I'd look down at my sweet boy and hate that FOREVER I will be reminded of that day as well as he is but now I look at him and think WOW if only he knew how much he means to me. How much he has taught me. How much strength he gives me. He will forever be my hero. I love him, his Dad and his siblings more then anything in this world. My hubby and I have some pretty great kids. This quote was posted and I found it PERFECT for my reflections on life today. Thank you again to all those that have been on this crazy journey. My Love and Admiration for you all is immeasurable.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Screw Removal :) Surgery #??? I think we've all lost count

After just a short 7 months Karsen's bone bridge we made is all healed and today we removed his screw. It was helping hold a piece of his fibula in between the tibia and fibula to create a stable bone bridge. The hope in doing this is so as he grows he won't grow bone spurs and his fibula won't move around. Here is a picture of the before and after.

Here he is holding his screw. He said it looks like one from Dad's work!

 I was kinda surprised how big it was.

Here is the infamous Dr. Marci he lit up the minute he saw her. She puts him at ease when he is nervous and they adore each other. So glad we have her!!!

Had to take this pic. He didn't want to wake up he was in such a deep amazing sleep I was extremely jealous.

Every surgery always stirs up emotions for me and him but we push through. He should be back walking in a few days. He's already hoping & crawling everywhere. Perhaps I should get his walker out from under his bed. 
This kid never ceases to amaze me. While he can be a typical 6 year old and pain in my butt he is still my hero. I'm grateful for all my kids that give me strength and purpose. Thank you to all those that have followed his story and have been there for our family. It means more then anyone will ever know. Helps keep the bad thoughts and emotions from sinking in too deep. I'm sure both he and I wish we never had to deal with any of this but we have learned so much and have grown so much. Again thank you all for your love, prayers and support.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Anticipated surgery...wasn't expecting it so soon :(

It's hard to believe my baby has spent more time without his leg then he has with his real one. It's been a crazy 3 years and we are now headed back for surgery. You can see in the picture how the ends of his Tibia and Fibula are both sharp and pointy. This was something we anticipated and will anticipate to happen again till he stops growing. Didn't think it would be this soon. We have chosen to do the surgery now so he can recover while the weather isn't as enticing to play in and he won't miss much school being off track. When we went to the Dr's he was complaining of it hurting on the bottom as well as on the sides. What most people don't know is with a prosthetic leg the weight isn't on the bottom of his stump its actually around the sides. So while we try to get a good snug fit that will hold him well and help him walk "normal" it is pushing his Fibula (the little one) into his Tibia which causes more discomfort. So we may be fusing the two bones together with a plate. Dr. Marci will decide that while she is in there.
I just wanted to Thank all of those that continue to support us and love my son and our family so much. The prayers, well wishes and happy thoughts really do mean a lot. And to our families that are always supportive and encouraging him and constantly loving us in the good times and bad.
I as a mom try to be as STRONG as humanly possible but I can't lie I hate that he will be off his leg again and have to have surgery. It stirs up so many emotions like anger, sadness, wish I would'ves and all that. But the strength I get from Karsen and our little family makes things easier to pull through. My husband for those of you that know him know he's very simple. He let's me cry through it with his arms around me and always says "Don't worry we got this he'll be ok and so will we. Nothing can stop him". So true!!! Thanks again for the love and support. I will keep ya posted on here and FB.

Much Love,

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Reflections...3 years later

It's crazy that we are coming up on the 3 year anniversary of one of the most life altering experiences for me and my family. I hate to bring up memories...but in reality that is what September is for me. While I love the change in season, a chance to wear my hoodie's and sending the kids to school I still feel an anxiety for this month. Between the original accident and a year after him breaking his leg I am grateful that we are doing good since then.
So many things have happened since I blogged last...
**Karsen is now on leg 7 and will be fitted for a new leg next week. He's growing up so fast people think him and his older brother Jaxon are twins!
**He finished up Private Kindergarten at Little Critters which he absolutely loved and was accepted into 1st grade by his amazing new teacher Mrs. Dangerfield.
**We held a Zumbathon this year in honor of Shriner's Hospital and all the work they have done for us. Thanks to all that donated we raised over $1000 for them and can't wait to do it again and raise even more!!! In the world of prosthetics that helps but so much more is needed :(
**Karsen also learned to finally ride his bike. He's still working on it but I'm grateful he is taking it easy.
**He's been able to meet some incredible new friends that struggle with the same amputation but they are all amazing who they are and what they teach us.
**Karsen has thankfully been very healthy and way happy. He's turning 6 on the 22nd and some days I feel like he's turning 10. He's so mature and smart...not sure where he gets that from but I'm proud of him.
He continually gives me strength everyday as I watch him be him. He goes to school with confidence. I worried so much about him entering school and kids not being nice. He told his teacher and class on the first day that what made him unique was not that he had a prosthetic leg but that he helped me do the dishes.
That kid makes me laugh everyday and when I look into his beautiful eyes I thank God I still have him...the memory of that nightmare will never fully go away but the joy of what it has done in our lives for the better makes it all so much better.
September is definitely a remembering month and I look forward to many more that are full of positive happy memories.

Monday, April 16, 2012


Kids 14 & Under can participate for a $5 donation :)


This Zumbathon is to Give Back to Shriners Hospital for all the work they do for so many of our children especially Karsen.
The Doctors and staff have done so much but definitely can use the donations.

Thanks in advance for dancing with us...

All my RUN KARSEN RUN FANS please consider switching it up a bit and dancing with us!! It will be like doing a 10


Kids 14 & Under can participate for a $5 donation :)


This Zumbathon is to Give Back to Shriners Hospital for all the work they do for so many of our children especially Karsen.
The Doctors and staff have done so much but definitely can use the donations.

Thanks in advance for dancing with us...

All my RUN KARSEN RUN FANS please consider switching it up a bit and dancing with us!! It will be like doing a 10

Wow It's been a long time...

It's been a while since I've updated Karsen's blog. So many things going on. Recently we went to Shriner's for a new leg. Karsen is growing rapidly which requires fittings every 7-9 months. Thank goodness his doctors up at Shriners hook us up with great designs and work so well with him.
I can't believe what a difference minor adjustments can make. I am posting a pic of all the many designs we've had and different "legs" he's had since that horrible day in September 2009. Karsen is a champ and acts as if nothing is different about him. He's such a smart little guy. We currently have him in Private Kindergarten (since his bday misses the deadline by 22 days) and we are very excited to have him move into 1st grade next year. He's also developed another kind of smart...a smart alec. He's a master at teasing and taunting everyone just to make ya made enough but then he laughs. He's quite a jokester. Just the other day he came in and told me he wished we had the old lawn mower. I of course asked why and his reply was "so we could cut off my other leg then I could walk anywhere and not get thorns in my foot." My 10 year old Jazmine and I looked at each other with a little shock in our faces and realized apparently he's not a fan of shoes. Crazy kid makes me laugh even with his insane sense of humor.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Meet Benjamin!!!

Meet Ben he is our new Friend as well as his wonderful family!! Ben was in a lawn mower Accident just like Karsen. He had a through the knee Amputation which requires a more complicated prosthetic and since he is only 4 and small it complicates it even more. He has a prosthetic but has no way to bend which will make it uncomfortable to walk not to mention what it will do to his hips.
You can Donate through Karsen's blog and all proceeds will go to their family to help them.
Help us pay it forward!! I know you all have a special place in your heart for our family help spread that love to the Steinfeldts!!

More details from his accident are below...

Never Thought in a Million Years...Time to pay it forward!!!

When Karsen's Accident happened we heard a statistic the there were 600 lawn mower accidents a year. Some similar to ours but some different. A little while back I received a call from Dr. Marci she called to ask a huge favor for Karsen and I to go to Primaries and meet a family that was now experiencing the same thing we were. My heart instantly broke and I agreed to go visit them that day. I tried hard to be strong and not cry and it didn't help that Rick wasn't home to go but the minute I talked to him I broke down and just cried. I would never wish this upon anyone and now here it is not far from us. The physical and mental heart ache is at times unbearable.
We went up and met with Ben who is only 4 and his parents Anthony and Eleisha...the similarity between our families and our experience was crazy. Anthony was on the lawn mower and Ben got knocked over due to some brake issues. His leg was severed as well but unfortunately due to lack of skin and from what Marci told me the issues we've had and many surgeries they decided to do a through the knee Amputation. Ben spent a couple days in the hospital and his recovery has gone well. He should have normal growth and they shouldn't have bone growth issues like we have but his prosthetic is going to be a lot more complicated and require more physical therapy learning to walk with it. Ben and his family are from Manti and came up for a fitting at Shriner's and after a long hard appointment they went home with no prosthetic and finding that he is too small for the knee part of the prosthetic. They just don't make them that small. He was refitted without the knee this past Monday but without the knee so he will have a stiff straight leg. Eleisha and Anthony are working with some specialists on making a knee part that will fit but as we know once you venture out of the limitations at Shriner's things have cost. Shriner's is incredible and we all love them but they are limited to what they can do. There is a fundraiser for Benjamin and we will be collecting through Karsen's website for their family to help with this cost as well as all the travel expense going back and forth from Manti. Please help our family raise some money for this family. We have been beyond blessed from all of you and your donations of time, love, help and money I'd love to show them the same support. Every little bit helps!!!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Leg #4 and Still Growing...

It's been forever since I have updated but we've been doing pretty good. Karsen is still the champ he always has been and with sisters and a brother like his he stays active and happy. He's healed really good from his Femur Break but now our only concern is his fibula & tibia. He has grown so much the tibia is now almost as long as his fibula (it was half the size) and it's growing in pretty sharp and pointy. We went and got refitted for another Prosthetic so we can prolong surgery...It's been a year praying it will be even longer.
Karsen's attitude has been incredible and of course nothing stops him from getting what he wants. We've hit a few emotional snags. Some of the ones I "I wish I had my leg back" and the last one was "when I'm 10 will my leg have grown back". Unfortunately It's those moments that break my heart. Come to find out he was just being lazy and doesn't want to put his leg on. Nothing much more then that.
We've had a great year he's gone camping, swimming and 4 wheeling even went boating. Trying to keep him active and involved. We just recently went to Lagoon and after a couple hours of walking he was pretty worn out but had fun. He was on his old leg. This new one is awesome it has a Truper foot and helps keep his alignment straight. The Truper foot has little shocks in it to give it more of a real ankle feel. The minute he put it on it was a major difference to me how he walked. The hope is to keep him going running and riding his bike. Peter his Prothesis Dr up at Shriner's said he'd probably grow out of this leg in 6 or so months too.
The good side to his down time is he's retained a lot of knowledge and we are starting him early to Kindergarten (come to find out just like his Dr. Marcy). Excited to have him learn to read better and continue with his education. He wants to be a Dr. Like Marcy some day too!!
My goal and prayer is for this next September to be a great one and for Karsen to have health and strength and NO MORE ACCIDENTS!! We can't wait to celebrate his 5th birthday without a body cast!!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Feeling back to "normal"

I have been meaning to blog for a while but life has been crazy but great!!
The last time I blogged was when we were at a year Karsen had broken his femur and we were feeling has though we were taking steps back instead of forward.
Karsen really is a champ...he sat for 10 weeks in his spica cast having to go under to redo it and then when they took it off. He got it off right before Halloween and couldn't have been more excited.
After that we were back to rehabilitation. He wasn't able to put his Prosthesis on for 2 more weeks and after that it was limited. Thank goodness the one we got from New York fit but only after a few adjustments and only for a short time. At that time I was discouraged having spent the time and money to go out there feeling as though it was a waste now that his leg had been through so much more. We ended up going to Shriners and got a new fitting where we got his Scooby leg. Love working with Pete up there he has done amazing things for us.
The good news is with him having a amputated leg we can adjust his prosthesis to help his legs to be the same length. It's been quite the process but we have all grown so much.

We also have done some great things since the last post. We did the 2nd annual Run Karsen Run and thanks to some incredible friends for putting it together it wouldn't have happened. We wanted to do it as a pay it forward event and was able to give back to Shriner's. I am full of gratitude for everyone that attended and participated and especially helped put it together. As soon as Karsen broke his leg I was at his beck and call 24/7 considering he couldn't even go to the bathroom on his own. Rick and I took turns carrying and were very grateful he could pee in a bottle. lol. The event was amazing and we were able to donate to Shriners and help cover the emergency costs of his new adventure.
After that we just kept working on adjusting him to help make his leg fit more comfortably and so he can walk. It was a little frustrating for him to be limping all the time. He was doing so well before you wouldn't have even known he had a prosthetic but now it was painful to walk.
One day we were walking into the store and he told me his leg was hurting but he'd be ok because he could do it! His determination and independence amazes me everyday!!
Since then we have been living life and doing great. He has been going to preschool and plays like everyone else. I only have mini heart attacks on occasion when he goes outside and ends up crying. It's usually because his older brother is picking on him. He is a typical 4 year old and on occasion is catching up on the tantrums he didn't get to throw while he was 3.
He has managed to walk, run, ride his bike, hike & even jump on a trampoline.
I am so proud of him and all my babies for the amazing children that they are. The encouragement the give each other and the raised level of compassion they have for everyone.
We are so blessed to have great family & friends. I'm so grateful to be on the mend and past the HELL we have been through. We still will have day to day struggles but they are nothing compared to what they used to be.