Seen as Weak

March 20, 2018

I went to MILKFLOAT with a good friend recently.  While we were partaking in our

Hummingbird cake Hummingbird Cake

Banana Cream Pie Banana Cream Pie

oh so yummy treats we came upon a conversation on my AFO/leg brace. Mary said, “So why have you left your brace in your closet for so long?”.  I had to admit that it was because of a vain excuse to not be able to wear cute shoes and to look weak to people I don’t even know.  I know its so incredibly immature!!!

But, my body was telling me that I needed more support.  I ignored it for while and then remembered and kept remembering the words of my Orthodist, Joe from Hanger.  Joe said with no uncertainty that if I did not wear the brace, within 2 years, I would cause significant damage to my core body structure.

How was my body telling me that I needed more support??  Well, my knee that hyperextends(right knee) is tender making walking more tedious, my tendons are incredibly fragile making wearing shoes and walking difficult and my gait/walk is unbalanced, which puts my entire core body our of alignment, which does damage to hips, lower back, etc….

What was my body doing to ensure I don’t fall, without the support of the beautiful blue brace?  My right knee hyperextended to lock in place and ensure my left knee, which collapses, would keep me upright.  My beautiful blue brace was made specifically to ensure that I don’t hyperextend my knee and to support my ankle from collapsing.

Hyperextending is VERY BAD!!!!!!!

A hyperextended knee occurs when your knee is pushed past its normal range of motion from a straightened position. It is bent too far back in the wrong direction.

                                                                                            Similar to my AFO

Actually, all of my bodies warnings were incredibly smart!! I was unbelievably BAD, BAD, BAD and on my part incredibly STUPID!!!

While continuing munching away on our scrumptious treats, Mary asked several questions to try to completely understand.  She said “Is it all people that you feel treat you differently?”  I replied that it was only the people that I do not know.

Mary then asked how I felt people interacted with me differently because of my brace?  I thought about my words and told her first and foremost I felt their eyes look into mine to greet or acknowledge me.   Immediately afterwards scan to my beautiful blue brace on my lower left leg, which is where their eyes stayed.  Afterwards, some people are quickly embarrassed because they are starring and look away, others ask “What happened?”, yet others quickly revert to wondering how they can help.

I have never been seen as incapable yet my blue brace is concrete evidence that I have a weakness.  In the end, I realized in processing with Mary that I need to realize that people are good.  Some of them don’t know how to deal with my brace/weakness, others jump to a complete need to assist you, while others are okay to ask what is wrong with your leg and why are you wearing that blue thing.  For me, the learning curve to dealing with the brace is large and I have just begun the hike.  Mary helped me process that I need to accept peoples past experiences and current comfort level in dealing with seeing weaknesses in other people.  In the end, I have to always remember that people are all doing their best, including me!!!



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