Brenda’s Journey: Letting Go of My Crutch

After being diagnosed with cancer in 2009, Brenda decided it was time to take charge and get healthy.  As she exercised and gained a new level of fitness, she realized that she was in charge of her body and started enjoying the activity.  After recently having her leg broken, Brenda shares her insights on getting back to healthy.

Brenda and her daughter at Lake Champlain in Burlington, Vt.

 

First updates: I am completely free of crutches! I went to one crutch at the beginning of January, just two weeks after I started putting weight on my broken leg. And a little over a week ago I gave up the single crutch. It was a good thing as I really didn’t need it. I found that I was relying on it a bit too much and it wasn’t helping me re-build my leg strength. And last weekend I was able to walk 5 miles without any pain or a crutch around the very cold city of Burlington, Vermont. So, progress!

For January, I had set a micro-resolution to stand every hour, including in the evenings at home. I’m about 60% on standing … I’m much better at work, especially when I have to run to a meeting every 30 minutes. But home is harder. I find when I stand and even take a lap around my floor, I have more focus to get back to the work at hand. And the work at hand has me hopping from one topic to the next. I’m going to keep working at it.

I’m also finding that the focus on standing every hour also has me moving and walking more. This is really making a difference in my recovery. The biggest challenge this month has been working on my balance. I’m finding it’s all about ankle strength. I’m working with my physical therapist to find ways to work on ankle strength, like balancing on an uneven surface or a bosu ball. Even standing on one leg as I brush my teeth or stand at my desk is starting to make a difference.

My other challenge is squatting. Really you don’t realize how much you bend your knees to squat for everyday activities – like putting on pants or shoes, picking up everything you drop, or getting pans out of the lower cupboard in the kitchen. I’m at about 80% on my squatting, meaning I can get pretty low, but not at 100%. This also has an impact on my ability to get up and down off the floor and has me rolling around rather ungracefully trying to find the best way up.

We’re almost at the end of January (which I really can’t believe), so now I’m focused on my next micro-resolution: drinking more water. Start chugging!

ANW Team

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