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!

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