All of us have a different approach to summer. What is it that you love about this season? To me –  Summer means lots of playing outside – which equals exercise. I like to hike with Nordic poles, bike, swim, yoga and Tai chi. This year – I want to add kayaking to the list.

EXCEPT – right now, I’m in the middle of an RA flare; my left eye won’t open all of the way ( or see very well) and I was just fit with a custom made ankle brace that I get to wear for the rest of my life.

Part one of the plaster cast for my custom orthotic.

Part 2 of fitting.

Why do I need this? It’s a bit complicated. I have a history of spraining this ankle. Then, I took Levaquin for a nasty infection that refused to go away. I ended up with full body tendonitis (year 6 now) and it has destroyed the tendons and ligaments that hold my left foot to my ankle.  Add to that- rheumatoid arthritis,inflammation,with the bonus of osteoarthritis across the top of my foot. It’s just not pretty at all. My ankle specialist had given me 6 months to see if I could rehab it.  I worked very hard – 3 2 hr sessions a week for 4 months with no forward momentum. I knew I was DOOMED! My Dr.then planned on a titanium ankle- but my CYP issues with anesthesia changed her mind.

Today was only my first day -it will take a while to get used to it. It rubs against my skin- chaffes it, and is hard to get used to.  The heel cup is hard and solid so that I have no movement at all in my ankle joint. So- summer plans are slightly revised- moving along much slower than planned. But- they ARE moving along.

Next week – I’m back at Mayo to determine what is going on with left eye. Infection? Autoimmune? Any bets?

We know that chronic disease provides us with many challenges.

What will you be working on this summer? Any new challenges?

Later

C

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