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Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado

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Perspectives: Walking With Leg Braces And Crutches.
By Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado
Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Rated "G" by the Author.

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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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Reviewed by Karla Dorman, The StormSpinner 11/29/2011
Excellent story of learning to live WITH, and not BY, disability. Well done, Karen.

(((HUGS))) and love, Karla.
Reviewed by Michelle Kidwell Power In The Pen 11/29/2011
Well done story here Karen, thank you for sharing, love hearing from Ronee!!!
In Christs Love
Reviewed by Paul Berube 11/29/2011
Having had severe RA myself for the past 20+ years, I can very much appreciate this story, Karen. I've been there and done all of the things you describe in this sad tale. The flare ups, that nothing short of an extended and possibly dangerous prednisone regimen help, are the worse of all. Very well done, my friend. God bless.

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