As many of you know who follow me, I am a Brain Cancer Survivor. I have been doing well and moving forward with my life. In this week’s post, I want to reflect on the upheaval of illness, the challenge of recovery, and what is left in the wake.
Recently, I had a few falls in the house and while walking outside around my neighborhood. My husband has been concerned and said, ‘you need to get this checked out’! Thankfully there were no injuries except to my skinned knees and my confidence.
I knew I had to find out why I was falling, I thought about who I should see. To me, the suitable route was to see the Prosthetist who fitted me for braces in 2015 when I was in acute rehab. Luckily I have a PPO Medicare Advantage Plan so that I can go to a provider in my network without a referral.
I remembered that after being diagnosed with bilateral foot drop and neuropathy from chemo, the braces were beneficial and allowed me to walk safely. Over time, I built up my strength with exercise and felt I could go without them. So, I stopped wearing them as I ‘thought I was healed.
With the new onset of my falls, and my ankles and feet pronating, I knew something was up and needed to find out what was happening. I made an appointment with the Prosthetist to get his opinion.
After being examined, I was told, “you still have foot drop .The left is worse than the right. As a result, your ankles are weak, which is why you are falling. It would be best for you to return to the braces before you hurt yourself.”
To say I was disappointed is an understatement. We talked briefly, and the Prosthetist told me the bottom line was to be safe. He said having the braces on will give you the support you need to exercise, and that will help you build up your muscles to support your ankles. He said it would help you gain your confidence back. I knew what he said was true and made sense to me. So, I said, ok, let’s do it.
The experience brought back to me that I must acknowledge my limitations. I do have a permanent disability and have to use tools designed to keep me safe.
I have a lot to be grateful for, and I will do what I must to stay safe. But this was a setback I really was not expecting.
I plan to pick up the AFOs this week and look forward to getting back to some exercise.
Wish me luck!
Anne your recovery, strength and resilience has been an inspiration to so many, especially me! With all your struggles you never stopped sharing, teaching or caring for others. I am always grateful for your wisdom, your honesty and just being present!
Always wishing you happiness, health and lots of luck!
I am so sorry to hear this. Do you have a good physical therapist? As u well know, as we age exercise becomes more and more important.
I do like your title Setbacks We all have them.
Wishing you the best
Your journey does remind us that life is never a static situation…. and by adapting to these challenges we are able to find our groove and keep living our best life…. So happy you are finding your “groove” again!
We all do what we need to do to reach our best goals. Your strength and drive are inspirational!
Anne — your candor in sharing the challenges of your conditions is appreciated and serve to many of us in healthcare—myself included— to minimize or discount signs and symptoms that need to be addressed. Thank you (and your husband) for calling this out and addressing your needs urgently. Self care first!
Thank you all. It is good to know you are all still out there…my support system! Have a good week. Be well!
Anne you’re a very strong person and you will overcome this. We are all here for any and all support. You have given all of us so much through your leadership with case management. Much love.
Your motivation and positive outlook is such a motivator. I am sorry to hear of your struggles. I have followed your career for many years , we are blessed to have you as a mentor to all of us in so many ways. I will pray for your strength and health. Thank you!
Dear Anne, I am so sorry to read about your setback. I think we assume the further out from the event the less of an effect the event should have on us.
I appreciate you sharing this with us a hope your ankles get stronger soon.
Anne–love this post. It warms my heart to see your posts and your continued perseverance to get the max of your body, despite “limitations”. But these limitations are true for all, those with disease or not. As we age, we do develop limitations, and the acceptance and how to work these limitations is the true lesson. My Mom was a strong “in your face” woman, for example she would not take her diuretic (we would find the pills in planters, our purses, etc), so she developed CHF. I have developed metatarsalgia from high heels…GRRRR! I really love my high heels!!! Having a hard time letting that go. My moral of this story is we all develop limitations, so when life hands you lemons…make lemonade!! You’ve mastered that one!
So true Ana……………………
Quality of life is a priority, using your braces to achieve your life goals and living to your full potential is an example to everyone. You certainly do not sit on the sidelines!
Thank you for sharing your story Anne. I think recovery is an ongoing process land sometimes as we feel better and better we forget that we have limitations. Life has a way of tapping us on the shoulder and saying–I gave you the tools to be safe; please continue to use them!
So glad you are safe!
You were first my mentor and then became my hero for at least 4 decades. You have the strength and will so many of us not only admire but desire. During my most difficult moments, you were there and I am thankful that the setback allows you to remain being our flagship for strength, determination and above all our source of professional and personal passion for living life to the fullest. With love, Sili
Thanks so much Sili…I feel the same about you. We have grown up in this crazy industry! Take care
So sorry to hear about that, Anne. Set backs are never easy. Resilience is always the key. It’s so easy to forget how far we’ve come in our healing journey until mother nature rears her ugly head to remind us we are all still vulnerable … especially as we age. Wishing you the strength, endurance, and ability to bounce back once again. Never, never, NEVER give up. Good things happen to those who fight for it. Hope you’ll be able to regain your strength again one day soon. I’m rooting for you !!
We all need motivators to help us overcome setbacks. Perhaps you can occasionally reward yourself with using a simplified/alternative ankle brace when you go out, such as those velcro ankle wraps that attach to tennis shoe eyelets, or a brace made with silicone. What about a mobility service dog? Our dog is trained as a service dog to help Jim with occasional imbalance, especially when he is going to be on his feet for awhile. Service dogs are widely used in SFLA now and are great companions as well as the best safety feature – far more reliable than a cane. They can be any breed, although you want to select a dog that has the best height, weight and temperment for your needs.
You are an amazing woman. You have endured much in the way of health issue challenges and have continued to pursue life with vigor and purpose. You never quit and continue to give to us all. You have given us so much. Thank you
Wishing you well as you start back on the braces.
Thank you all for taking the time to express from your hearts your caring, compassionate and helpful comments to Anne.
How blessed we all are to have an opportunity to share our wisdom and support with each other via Anne’s Nurse Advocate blog.
Anne you are in my heart and prayers as you take on this challenge! I’m always inspired by how you’re able to turn disappointments or unexpected situations into something you extract positivity from. You are so special and so loved by countless people!🤗❤️
Anne, I wish you a healthy recovery. You’re a positive person and will overcome this event. I am praying for your well-being.
So sorry to hear about your recent falls. Thank you for your transparency. I know it is not always easy to share personal details about our health challenges. You have chosen to share to be a model for others. You have come a long way, and with the proper tools, you will continue to do well. I admire you for your strength and resilience. Please take care of yourself and use the tools provided to remain safe. Will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.
First of all “Good Luck”…Sounds like wearing braces is something you’d rather not do, yet are open to and can see how they will help you. Second of all, “You GO Girl!” Sorry to hear about your falls need to address. And thanks for sharing your story. It is inspiring to me to hear of your vulnerability, courage, and strength! Love, Beth
You warm my heart with your story. Life is full of setbacks, and it is how you handle it and deal it. You are using what you need to do to, and you are being resilient and a fighter. Kudos to you and will keep you in prayers to get better.
What an honest, inspirational post Anne. Wishing you a wonderful week!
Hopefully you will listen to your body henceforth, without delay. As a Patient Advocate, that is what you would direct a client to do.
Will keep you in my prayers and thoughts. Be well as there are so many clients out there who benefit from your attention and work.
Happy Monday! What sounded like a setback is an opportunity to put your best foot forward safely. Our bodies continue to change, and we are usually the last to acknowledge this as the change is gradual and we continuously adapt.
How wonderful, your Hubby is so loving, supportive and encouraged you to find out what you can do to continue to participate in the activities you enjoy. You hopped right to it, recalling the benefit of the braces.
I’m so proud of you, taking the time to take care of #1. The one thing many of us do not do so well. Thank you for that encouragement as things develop in each of our lives.
Thanks for being you & sharing this with the many.