Scott, Tori and Patti

Hello! I’m Patti. I was born missing my right arm below the elbow. I’m married to Scott and have a daughter named Tori.  I live in central Wisconsin and currently work as a computer programmer. I enjoy camping, sewing, music, and recreational sports.

I did everything right on time when I was a baby, crawled at 5 months, walked at 11 months, etc. One day, mom found that I discovered my short arm fit into one of my shoes and found me crawling around with my shoe on my arm! I received my first passive prosthesis at 7 months of age, one of the little mitten types.  The next one I wore was the hook type. Once I was older, I used to take it off during Phys Ed classes so I could be more comfortable and not worry about accidentally smacking somebody with it. One particularly warm day in seventh grade, I couldn’t bear to put it back on, so I left it off for the rest of the day. After that, I quit wearing it all together and haven’t had one since. I found I could do just as much if not more without it and I was a lot more comfortable. The only thing I couldn’t do anymore was run my hook along the small battery charger in seventh grade science class and make lots of sparks (the other kids thought it was cool, but the teacher didn’t share the same enthusiasm when he caught me at it one day! LOL)

I am the oldest in my family. While growing up, my family and friends never treated me any differently. If someone mentioned me being handicapped, my sisters were usually the first to say, “She isn’t handicapped, she can do just as much as everyone else, if not more.”  I can play piano, but I never took any lessons, so I never played a lot. I can play a few songs, and they are always good for showing people that there isn’t much I can’t do! It’s really hard to point out any specific things in a profile like this, because I’ve always just been a normal person doing normal things like everyone else.  People always say that they forget about my arm because it is never an issue, and to be honest, I forget sometimes, too. I still remember once in the middle of an intense volleyball game, swinging at the ball with my right arm, and for a couple seconds wondering why I missed the ball! (-:

I was so glad to find the I-CAN website. Growing up in small towns, I’ve never had anyone to share my difference with who actually understood what I was talking about. I enjoyed reading many of the profiles on the website. I saw so much of myself in a lot of them. I’m happy to find a group where I really “fit in” and also where I-CAN be of help to others.