“Give yourself some credit for the days you have made it when you thought you never could.”

Each one of us hasn’t come this far without a few battle scars. Even in the past year with COVID and the state of the world, it hasn’t been easy for anyone. Hopefully by sharing some insight I’ve learned through my journey, it can help remind you on your hard days that you are strong enough to face whatever comes your way.

I had my 13th surgery in August which really helped as they were able to remove portions of my nerve – potentially the last piece to the surgical puzzle. Thankfully my CRPS responded better than it ever has previously to surgery so that was a good sign. It’s been about five months since then and I’ve still been working really hard at physical therapy towards trying to weight-bear and walk on my leg again.

If I had to describe these last few years, I’d say it’s been a sheer journey of determination, patience, faith, and self-love, and a lesson in what it means to truly never give up. The first injury in 2011 was hard on its own, but these last few years since 2018 have truly been the most challenging of my life. There have been times I have wanted to throw in the towel and just stop trying. But, then I remind myself that even though it seems insurmountable at times, I am making progress. If I wasn’t, I wouldn’t keep going down this path. Through these last nine surgeries over three + years, and thousands of hours of hard work at PT and on my own, I am making progress. Sometimes it’s hard to see if I look right at it in the day-to-day, but when I look back at how far I’ve come and how my leg feels now compared to when we started, it’s truly incredible.

While I’m still on crutches, I am getting closer to weight-bearing and walking on my leg again and that would be a true miracle in itself. I have been able to take a few assisted steps at PT, which is amazing, really. Through the past few years, there have been days where I hit rock bottom. Even recently, with setbacks from CRPS flares, I have had moments where I didn’t think I could keep going. But I have, and we all have to give ourselves credit for pushing through the days when we didn’t think we could.

Do I have all the answers to my journey figured out? No, but I’m choosing to try to focus on taking the next best step I can today which is to keep trusting the process – one day at a time. I think for “planner-type” people like myself it feels necessary to want to see the full staircase and to know the timelines for everything and have some reassurance to it all, but there is no set timeline or guarantee to my rehabilitation, so I’ve had to learn to get comfortable with just trying to take the “next step” on the staircase, knowing God is with me, leading the way.

Someone recently told me, “When you feel down and can’t see light at the end of the tunnel, hold onto someone else’s hope and belief in you and let that be your light for that day.” That really resonated with me because there have been days where I’ve thought, “How in the world have I been trying at this for this long?” And then I begin to get weary in the race. But, my PT and surgeon can see my progress and feel extremely hopeful for my prognosis. They can see what I cannot. So on my hard days, I hold onto their belief that things will keep improving and sometimes that is the light that carries me through.

So keep taking that next step on your staircase and remind yourself on the hard days when you think you can’t keep going, you can. You’ve made it this far – on the days you thought you never could.

working hard @ PT #nevergiveup

Until next time everyone. #keepgoing ♥

Your friend always,

Beth

11 Comments

  1. Your post brought a smile to my face this morning. I hit ankle surgery 11 over the summer due to an unexpected setback. It’s been a daily challenge to press on. I won’t give up getting back to a functional state, but some days your mind wanders to those places. I’m so happy to see you progressing and wish you the best. Keep fighting as I will too….

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Beth,
    You got this, and just know there are a lot of people pulling for you. I slipped on ice on 12/23 and broke my fibula along with a badly sprained ankle in my ExoSym leg. I am at almost 4 weeks non weight-bearing and counting down the days. I can’t imagine your long journey, it definitely puts my little oops in perspective for sure. Keep the positive outlook, it really does help all of us and hopefully you when you reflect to write. God Bless!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Beth, I am very happy to see that there is an improvement and that you are as strong as always.
      Keep working hard. I am sure you are going to achieve great things for yourself and for others.
      Keep us updated!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Thank you, Tracy! I appreciate your words a lot. I’m sorry to hear about your slip on the ice, but hope you have made a solid recovery. Here’s to a better year ahead for all of us! Keep going strong. ❤️ #nevergiveup

      Like

  3. Dear Beth, I hope you read over your posts over the last few years and really see what you’ve been through. You are the epitome of Strength and Grace.
    I do believe (as someone who doesn’t know you personally) that your family, your friends, your medical team, your supporters here on this site, your Faith and most of all your own inner strength have lifted you up and kept you going through these most difficult years.
    I have so much respect for you.
    I also wish I could give you a gentle hug. Everyone wants you to experience a recovery that removes pain and restores your mobility.
    You are the first person who educated me about the ExoSym after I accidentally came across an interview with Ryan Blanck on-line. I now have bilateral ExoSyms. Thank you and please know we are all with you. 🤗

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jude, I know it’s been some time since you left this comment, but your post really touched me. Thank you so much for taking the time to leave it! It makes my heart happy to know that I have helped you. May we all keep going strong in our journeys and find the inner strength to always keep moving forward no matter the circumstances. ❤️ Thank you again, Beth

      Like

  4. Beth,
    Your posts always help me so very much along the journey. Thank you for your honesty, transparency, and perseverence. Praying for this last surgery to be very successful for you!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I just came across your blog Beth! I was recently diagnosed with a coalition in my ankle that has wreaked havoc on my joint including oa at 27. I was recently cast for a dynamic AFO (similar to the exosym but with cornerstone), but have been feeling really down about how it may impact my life goals (I had a dream of hiking the WA section of the PCT which got shelved when my ankle got worse). I hope you are doing well, and just wanted to let you know your words and this blog is helping people!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Megan, thanks so much for reaching out! It means a lot for you to share this. Keep looking forward and pressing on towards your goals. I hope you make it to the PCT! ❤️ #nevergiveup

      Like

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