You're gonna be filled with GLEE after this!
Are you ready for Fall-O-Ween?

Putting my best foot forward!

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I'm at the happiest point in my life right now. I haven't felt this way for a long time. Today I reached a goal that I've been trying to achieve for almost two years. I went for a walk!

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Ya ya you're thinking ... whoopie ... you went for a walk ... big deal. Well it is a big thing for me because I haven't been able to since the morning, almost two years ago, when I looked in my rear view mirror and realized a car was running a red light and was going to hit the truck behind me. And we were at a dead stop. With no where to go. And I knew it was going to hurt a lot because the same thing happened two years before and I was finally feeling recovered.

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One of the reasons I took the workshop space on Banning is because it was only a block away from White Bear Lake. I had visions of taking my walk along the shore each morning. Walking for me is a lot like creating ... I hAvE to do it ... it frees my mind and keeps me clicking on many different levels. We had just finished the buildout of the workshop and I had my shoes in the car because I was going for my walk by the lake that morning. Never stepped a foot on the trail.

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My doctors feel that I braced with my left leg ... I only remember trying to push the small of my back into the seat as far as I could because I didn't want to have anything happen to my spine again. The accident caused damage on both sides of my spine ... my hip ... my left ankle.

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I couldn't have made it to today without Amy from OSI in White Bear Lake hanging in there with me. She talked me through the initial anger and pain ... pulling and tugging on my leg to get the hip back to functioning again ... installing a regimen of exercises to strengthen my spine ... teaching me how to make myself feel better on those days where I never thought I'd feel good again.

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Through it all my ankle hurt every minute of every single day. The worse of it was last Summer when I had to push through it for the shop hop and the fair. A year ago yesterday I went back to my doctor and told him how I couldn't deal with the pain any longer ... even though we were concentrating on my back I felt like my ankle was broken or something. A second MRI showed that the damage was much more extensive than they thought ... a herniated disk was pressing on the nerves that controlled my foot. My surgeon was set to do surgery but because we had just moved the store, we opted for a series of steroid injections to help calm things down. I began to feel a little better but still couldn't walk well ... the muscles and tendons had been damaged in my leg and ankle.

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Intense physical therapy ... thousands of $$$ trying to find the right shoes ... an orthopedic surgeon ... that worried look on my doctor's face when I couldn't balance or stand on my toes. I didn't think I'd ever put on walking shoes again. The worse part was when we went to Itasca Park in July and I couldn't walk on the trails because it was too painful. And then I turned a corner. To get me through some of the deep tissue massage that Amy would do, she and I would talk about 'pretty' things like glitter and rainbows and unicorns ... and knitting and kids and politics (kind of painful on that last one!). She was so concerned about me being at the fair ... she gave me some new exercises that she felt would help me through. And through all of this I kept reminding her about my goal ... to go for a walk.

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And I did! Today!! And what a terrific day it's been. By going for a walk I was able to see this little piece of tree art.

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There were so many details in my charming, little town that I missed by being driven by in a car. Like that some residents along the lake are naming their homes.

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Or how the owners of this bungalow have turned their front porch into a sweet, outdoor living room.

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Or the details of this house that I had watched being renovated over the last two years.

I'm not out of the woods yet. Pain is still a big part of every day. I can't do any of the heavy lifting like I used to. But I CaN do a lot more than I CaN't do! I can walk on my toes and I can do the high heel exercise that I couldn't do a year ago. And I can stand on one foot without holding on to something. And I can walk without limping as much ... mostly when I've overdone it.

And another thing I cAn do is be creative again. The pain sapped every ounce of free thought that was in my brain. I could barely blog. Horrors! But the one thing it couldn't do is take away my persistence to get better. To reach my goal.

I went for a walk today. All the way down to the darling gazebo in Matoska Park where those beautiful brides and excited seniors have their photos taken.  And it makes me want to cry because its just such a happy day!

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