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Perspectives: Walking With Leg Braces And Crutches.!
By Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado   

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A young woman is grateful she can walk, even if she has to use assistance.

I've really never known what it is like to walk under my own power.  I have always used some type of assistance, be it a wheelchair or, when ambulating, crutches, or even two canes. 

I guess I should be grateful that I can at least walk.  Sometimes it's a drag, especially when I am in a lot of pain (due to my JRA flaring up again; I have it really bad in my hips, feet, and lower back; I also have it in my neck and shoulders) or when people tell me I'm holding up the line.  I'm sorry; I can't help it.

I walk with two canes usually, but if hurting more than usual, I use my crutches.  In addition, I wear braces on both legs 'cause my ankles are weak.  I use them to help stabilize myself when I am walking.  They do help.  A lot.  (My balance isn't that great, so this is why I rely on my braces.)

Sometimes when there is a lot of walking required or I'm hurting badly, I resort to my wheelchair.  That saves a lot of headaches on my joints and it doesn't tire me out nearly as much. 

When I was a little over a year old, I was in a bad accident and the mere fact that I am walking again is a miracle.  Doctors didn't think I would ever walk again, but I showed them: I had the last laugh on them.  Then when I was four, I started having pains in my joints and was eventually diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis when I was four and a half/five years old.  I was hoping that I wouldn't have to use crutches again, but I was proven wrong. 

The crutches and braces are a part of my normal routine.  The wheelchair is too, but I try not to use it unless it is absolutely necessary.  I would rather be ambulatory than sitting down all the time 'cause when I get up, I'm stiffer than stiff and it takes me twice as long to get going.

I now use two canes, but as I alluded to earlier, I still have my crutches in case they are needed. 

I have never let the fact that I am disabled slow me down any.  Sometimes the JRA tries to get the better of me, but I am a fighter.  I refuse to give in to my pain.  I have too much to do, and I have a life to live.  I have schooling.  My job at the college bookstore.  Voice lessons.  My boyfriend/fiance'.  My friends.  Performances.  My church/relationship with God.  My writing.  So many things to keep me busy so I don't have to even think about my pain or what I happen to be facing.

I'd rather keep it that way.  :)

Well, I'd best go.  It's about time for me to go to my next class, which is College Level Algebra.  UGH!!  I don't mind school, but I do hate math!!  I will write in here again soon; until later, this is Ronee' Reaux saying so long! May God bless you as much as He's blessed me over the years!

~Ronee'.  :)  

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