As I am writing this, I am less than 24 hours away from my 4th foot/ankle surgery. I am actually excited for this surgery because last year I had the same surgery on my other ankle; and since then I have been walking more. So, I know this will help, but part of me can’t help but be a little nervous. However, I am not nervous about the surgery but what I am nervous about is the recovery.
The recovery for this will be anywhere from 2-4 months. I will probably have a cast on for about a month, then a boot for another month after that. Next, I will have a brace that goes up to just about my knee for a month, then one that just goes above my ankle for another month after that. Meanwhile, during this whole process, I will be doing physical therapy. The part that is the most annoying to me is having to shower with a cast. Luckily, I have done this before so I know what I’m getting into.
So I sit here thinking to myself, how am I going to do this?  The first thing that comes to my mind is one of my best friends in the whole world, Kristen (Kmac), and how she is the strongest person in the world. If you didn’t know, Kmac ended up paralyzed due to her arthritis. Now she lives her life in a wheelchair. But that wheelchair doesn’t hold her back. Kristen still lives her life to the fullest whilst being completely independent. But the reason that Kmac is the first person to come to mind is because of something that she said to me earlier this year at the Houston arthritis conference. What she told me was that before she was paralyzed, she was in constant pain but at least she was able to walk; and now that she can’t walk, she isn’t in constant pain. It was what she said next that truly inspired me. She said that she would go back to being in constant pain if that meant she could walk again. So for the rest of that trip, I refused to use my wheelchair when I was with her (which was all the time), because I felt that since I do have the ability to walk; I should use it no matter how much pain it caused me. On the last day of the trip, Kristen came up to me and told me that she was so impressed that I walked the whole trip even though it caused me to be in immense pain, which meant the world to me. She then said that she wanted me to use my wheelchair that day. So I did and that trip made me realize that I am capable of far more than I realize.

The next week I went to camp to be a counselor and I decided that I wouldn’t use my wheelchair for the whole week. And you know what I did? That week I may have had to take extra meds but I walked a total of 60,000 steps. That was even more than my dad had walked that week. So at the end of the day, I want to thank Kristen for giving me the strength to get through this upcoming surgery tomorrow. And to you, Kristen, if you are reading this, in my eyes you are the strongest person in the world; so keep fighting and I love you girl.


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