Monday, January 17, 2011

Same Old Me, Brand New Braces

Over the holidays I was given a couple generous financial gifts, and so I was able to get myself some new, wider shoes. While I was on the New Balance website trying to find the shoe style I currently wear, I also found that New Balance had knee supports and ankle supports too. I immediately thought, “Hmm, I wonder if these would help me”, and bought a pair of the cheapest ankle supports to try out. It turned out that they did help a little, so I went back and bought a pair of the heavier ankle supports and a pair of heavier knee supports that have stabilizers in them. These help a lot more, especially using the knee and ankle supports together. I also managed to find myself an upper body support to keep myself from slumping and leaning to the side so much, and this also helps a lot.

So now that I have these braces I don’t get tired as quickly and I don’t hurt as much or as quickly. The braces even help me when I’m just sitting, since they keep my legs in better alignment and keep my upper body from slumping and leaning so much. And they seem to give me better balance too. Whoo-hoo!!! Because of this I’ve been doing more exercises and walking. Yeah, I still get tired easily, but it’s such a big change for me to be tired and still be able to do stuff, rather than being so tired I can’t do anything but go lay down on the couch. And it’s so great to be able to exercise more, without being too tired to do anything else afterward.

One person I told this to said, “It’s like it’s a whole new you”. Well, not actually, it’s the same old me with some new equipment that makes me able to do more. I get the feeling that all my life people (not including the person I just mentioned) have assumed I was just lazy and didn’t want to exercise, even though they should have been able to see that I had trouble sitting up straight and my legs and feet were turned out. Just like people assumed I had a lot more sight than I really had. I’ve really always wanted to be able to exercise and walk, and yes, even run. So I’m the same old Maria I always was, but now I have some equipment that helps me do more. I think these braces are the best things to happen to me since I got my wheelchair in 2005. (Speaking of which, I even got a new wheelchair cushion - a bunch of them were generously donated to BBNC, the community center I use.)

Anyway, I’m hoping that gradually I’ll be able to walk more (without hurting and getting exhausted so quickly), and do other exercise too. So I’m still not making any New Year’s resolution, but I’ll just keep pushing myself like I always have.

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