Best Foot Forward …

The only photo of me in the flesh that you’re likely to ever see! I’m shy.
Make the most of it – it’s not likely to happen again πŸ˜‰!

I thought I’d give you a little background information about my disability. It’s not something I’ve previously spoken about much in my blog, so this is my story.

I started life as an able-bodied little girl who did all the usual activities that young children do. I was always small, skinny and underweight, but there were advantages to being as I was. I could shin up the gym apparatus faster than many children in my class. Considering I was sometimes thought of as a weed, I did pretty well. I grew up, married, had my two children, Tom and Clare, and then my ex left. I continued to raise the children alone and also had to work to bring some money in for us to live on. It was a tough time, but I was very content. Between school runs, the children’s football matches and netball, I was a carer and home help for ten years (I’d initially trained as a secretary and worked in the City of London for several years). I combined my work which I loved, with caring for Tom and Clare; we were a very happy little family.

When the children were about thirteen and eleven, I saved enough to take them to the funfair in town (Essex in the UK). It was there that I had my accident which was to change the course of my life.
When our carriage crashed, I felt a tremendous jolt that jarred my neck and spine. Eventually, after a lengthy spell in hospital (with my children staying with my Mum) and with many tests, x-rays, scans and examinations, the doctors decided I’d damaged the nerve endings leading from my spine. They said it was permanent. It was an awful lot to come to terms with, but over time, I grew, not so much to accept it but more to live my life despite it. I wasn’t about to give in easily. The pain was awful, though, and I was on morphine for quite a while. It wasn’t all bad – I was away with the fairies much of the time πŸ˜„!

Fast forward twenty years. It was recommended that I have a DEXA Scan as osteoporosis was suspected, given that I’d always been small-boned, had experienced a few years previously with anorexia, and being unable to exercise very often. When I got my results, I was unsure who was more shocked, the radiographer or me. My T-scores were appallingly low. A score of -2.5 indicates osteoporosis, but mine was -4.5, which meant I had severe osteoporosis.

Degrees of osteoporosis
Mine is severe, meaning there is more air space (in brown) and very little solid bone (shown in beige). It’s a wonder I haven’t entirely disintegrated!!

I was told I could die if I fractured my hip or be left even more disabled if I injured my spine. I have to admit I was scared – very scared. Every move I made seemed risky, and I lived in fear for a while. I became super-careful with everything I did, but two years ago, I tripped over Peanut (my new cat) while transferring from my wheelchair to my walking frame. There I was being rushed off to Accident & Emergency for the second time. I was in agony. I’ve never felt pain like it. After all the x-rays and scans came back, the doctors announced that I’d broken my pelvis, not once, not twice, but in six different places. I don’t do things by halves. If I’m going to have an accident, I’ve got to do it in style!

Strangely enough, contrary to what most people would think, I don’t have any regrets; I’m not angry or bitter or in the least bit dissatisfied with my life. I am who I am. Without the experiences I’ve been through, I wouldn’t be me. I wouldn’t be Ellie.

My next post (Part Two) will be about my journey back to good health and where I intend to go from here on in.

Okay … these aren’t my legs, but just an indication of where I go next on my journey. Look out for part two.

45 thoughts on “Best Foot Forward …

      1. Nah!! You are an inspiration. This blog was personal. But, I’m sure it will help many people to fight back. It will inspire them and it will push them. Waiting for part 2. Shine 🌟

      2. Aww, Tangie, I’m so touched. I can’t thank you enough. That’s just so, so kind of you. I love it. Bless you, Tangie. You are so sweet. Hope your day is going well too. X πŸ₯°

  1. Dearest Ellie, thank you for sharing this. By doing so, you not only free yourself, you inspire many many others…..

    Biiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiig hug to you! πŸ€—πŸ’•

  2. I feel very much impressed by your undaunting spirit Ellie! The intent of positive mind and courage can see through any adversity in life. Truly inspirational. Thanks for sharing.❀

    1. Oh, thank you, Mousumi. That means a lot to me. I used to be beaten by adversity, but I think I’ve become stronger through and despite it. It takes a lot to knock me down these days. I feel very blessed. Xx πŸ’–

    1. Thanks, PeNdantry. It’s simply my story – at least until part two unfolds a bit more. I still have a long way to go. I may never recover physically, but I’m doing my best not to let myself be beaten by my limitations 😊.

  3. Holy fck that sounds like quite a run… I have some neck/back issues of my own and sometimes it puts breaks on the spontaneous me – I want to do things but what if- something happens that makes my fragile neck/back even worse?

    Like others have mentioned – kudos to you for battling through it, not giving up, and most of all – for thriving! You go, Ellie! It’s an inspiring post for those that might feel a bit in the dumps due to their situations.

    1. Thanks for your comment, Sam. It’s appreciated. I’m sorry to learn that you have neck and back problems too. It can be quite limiting and frustrating at times, can’t it? I try not to dwell on those feelings, although, I have a say that I do also get a fair amount of pain at times. However, it’s a small price to pay in comparison to all the good things in my life that I’m so grateful for. I keep a gratitude diary every day which often helps put things in perspective. I have so much in my life to be grateful for; simple things like running water, food in the fridge, good friends and a lovely family although they’re far away from me and I see little of them. That’s apart from my son and the children who will be moving in with me before too long. I don’t know how long for at the moment, though. It was meant to be happening when I wrote my post called ‘Family Moving In’ on 2nd May this year. It’ll be a very different pace of life when that happens, as you can imagine with two small children about. Nevertheless, it will be wonderful to see more of them. Whether I’ll get much time to write my blog remains to be seen. Sorry, I’ve gone rather off-topic there πŸ€ͺ. Thanks again, Sam, and I hope today is one of your better days, free of too much pain and inconvenience.

      1. Not off-topic at all. While I’m sure the new tenants will require some adjustment on your part, I do hope that things go as smoothly as possible. It seems that with your attitude towards lie – they most surely will.

        P.S. I saw an ad the other day (for the UK) how there’s an organization (forgot name) that will help people without a permanent address obtain bank accounts, as not having one can limit their work prospects. I thought about you and our discussion about driver licenses and no ID. This sounds like progress. Pretty neat, though I do wonder about the specifics.

      2. Thanks, Sam. That’ll be good news for people with no fixed address, or as they say, no fixed abode. There must be so many people in that position now that it’s about time the authorities came up with something to help solve the problem x

  4. It’s a good bit of bad luck for a lifetime. I get what you mean about who you are being a factor of what you’ve been through. I was a really different person before my TBI. If I stayed on that trajectory, no telling where I’d be now, good or bad, but I wouldn’t be who I am. Now that I’ve seen your photo, I wonder who that long haired child is in your profile pic. A younger you, perhaps?

    1. I thought you’d be able to relate, Jeff. I understand totally where you’re coming from about your TBI. It’s an interesting thought to wonder who we would have been without our past journeys. I believe these experiences are ‘character-forming,’ They could well have made us who we are. I often wonder who or how I’d be without these events occurring. Who knows!?

      As for my photo, it took all I had to add it to this post – believe me; it took courage to ‘expose’ myself, even though that may sound silly. When I first began my blog in 2014, I wrote a lot of stuff I’m now embarrassed about and ashamed of. I was still very immature and hurt at that time. I’ve deleted the ‘worst’ of those past posts, so now feel free to be honest about who I am rather than hiding behind a persona. I write from my heart now and not from a place of fear and shame.

      Yes, you’re right; my blog’s black and white image is a drawing done by a friend many years ago. Believe it or not, I was nineteen years old and about to get married, so not really a child. I think that was because I’ve always been petite and somewhat immature up until my more recent years. I always had trouble getting into X-rated (18+) films at the cinema for years, even after that drawing was finished. Sometimes, I was told I wasn’t old enough to get into a bar to have a drink with my friends! However, I wouldn’t complain if I looked like that now – but then, that isn’t really me anymore.

  5. Thank you for sharing your story. Powerful. Brilliant life with us. Yes indeed what Stacey mentioned, your courageous spirit to bounce back and live your life. You have been an inspiring figure in the short time I’ve gotten to know you. Ellie, I just want to thank you, as I read your comments and I couldn’t respond because of grief. Just know you inspire me. I know you know too often, the world tells us one thing, but our inner spirit says another. And I’m willing to side with my inner intuition every time. Blessings to you and a great big spirit hug.. Love ya πŸ™πŸ»πŸ’™πŸ’™πŸ’™πŸ’™πŸ’™πŸ’™πŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œ

    1. Oh, Krissy, my beautiful and kind-hearted friend, your words mean so much to me, more so because I know you are suffering deeply right now. I’m so sorry for your loss and the intense grief that you feel. Please, please, don’t worry if you cannot read or comment on anything I write. I will naturally and totally understand. Your words today are so precious and much appreciated; I can’t tell you enough. You, too, have often inspired me also. Take good care of you and your beautiful heart, Krissy. I am sending you so much love and healing, comforting hugs – for you especially. All my love to you, my friend xxx πŸ’œπŸ’›πŸ’™πŸ’šπŸ’œπŸ’›πŸ’™πŸ’š

  6. Have no idea why I did not see this post.
    What a lot you have been through.
    Wow.
    You should become a motivating speaker.
    Am sure you could inspire a lot of people.
    Lots of love.

    1. Thanks for your encouragement, Granny. I haven’t got the confidence or courage to stand up and talk to other people. I just like to write from the safety of my laptop instead. When I write Part 2, I’ll let you know if I don’t think you’ve seen it. I wonder whether the blip is my end, your end or with WP. I might ask one of the Happiness Engineers as a few people didn’t get this post; it wasn’t just you. Lots of love to you, too xx 🌹

  7. I just read some comments in one of your older blog posts today as well, where you talked a bit about the funfair accident. Your positive and grateful spirit is to be admired Ellie, but I am so sorry that you had to go through such an ordeal; attitude to life is a big part of our strength and yours shines brightly, keep shining Ellie and keep wellπŸ’«πŸ’›xx

    1. Thanks so much for your kind comment, Cherryl. Yes, I saw that you had read some of my earlier posts and I’ve replied to one of them. How kind of you. I’m very touched. It was a very tough time in my past and I’ve now completely come to terms with my resulting disability and have a great deal of gratitude (as you noted) for those things that I do have. I am truly blessed in so many ways. I hope you are well. Xx πŸ’œπŸŒΈπŸ’›

    1. Thank you for reading my post and leaving me a comment. I appreciate that very much. And thanks, too, for the encouragement and kindness you express in your words. Have a great week ahead. Xx πŸ€—πŸ’œπŸ₯°

  8. Ellie my sweet. Bless your heart. You are a star in my book. What a journey, my dearie.
    But you matter and lookie here, you are loved.
    It must have taken lots of courage to share your photo. I know how that is. But know that you’re in good company here. Among friends.
    I think you know.

    AaNnDd thanks for doing what you did today. Thanks but know you can opt out anytime. I just really wanted to share those photos with you (too shy to share on WP) and give you a bit of encouragement in the words I wrote. Hope you enjoyed them. Please don’t feel pressured.
    I feel we’ve been friends for a long time now. That’s why I sent that link.
    Back to your story, thanks my sweet. Do not change. Love you.
    I bless you and wish you miracles. Xoxo

    1. Thank you for reading my post and for your encouragement – I really appreciate that. I always value your comments and opinions. They mean a lot to me. I’m not sure whether you would have seen this post before today, but apologies if you didn’t. Something odd happened to this post at WP’s end and I discovered that many of my readers didn’t get it for some reason. WP are still looking into it and I hope to get it rectified before my next post (which I haven’t had a minute to write yet this week).

      Thank you, too, for such kind words to me, Selma. Your words are always so gentle and carry so much warmth in them. They are like receiving a comforting hug from you. We have been friends for quite a while now, yes, and I value that too. I won’t want to opt-out of your newsletters as I enjoyed the first one a lot. With love to you, dear friend. Hugs, Ellie xxx πŸ€—β€πŸŒΌπŸ’š

  9. Thank you so much for sharing your story. You have inspired me and I am sure others. It is stories like yours is one reason I started blogging; to encourage and be encouraged. Thank you 😊

    1. Hi Tangie. Thank you so much for dropping by my blog and reading my posts – it’s so appreciated. Thank you for your kind comment too. I’m glad that I have inspired you to be encouraged and that you, too, encourage others. That’s very generous of you. I’ll be sure to drop by your blog later in the day too. Thanks once again. Ellie x .😊

  10. I am so glad I stumbled upon this post! Your resilience and strength is commendable and inspiring! I can’t wait to hear about the new adventures that are about to take place with a home filled with laughter and love! The transformation will give you plenty to write about… Cheers! πŸ™‚ Annie

    1. Thank you for reading my post, Annie. I appreciate your time very much. Thank you, too, for your kind comments. I’m a tough cookie these days, although I wasn’t always like that. I haven’t had a minute to write a post this week as the decorator, builder, carpet layer etc., etc., have been in to start their work on what I hope will be a good transformation ready for my son and the children to join me. Goodness knows when I’ll get time to write after that! My poor cat, Peanut, has been freaking out with all these people coming and going. I feel so sorry for you. She’s upstairs hiding in the airing cupboard at the moment. I expect she’ll reappear when she hears her food bowl being tapped with a spoon. Poor Peanut. There’ll be more tomorrow. She is not impressed πŸ™€. Thanks again x 😊

      1. There’ll be a frew adjustments but I see you guys growing closer as Tom heals, the kids adjust and Peanut finds her safe, quiet spots! Good luck on the final touches!

      2. Thank you so much for your reassurance, Annie. I do hope it works out. It’s going to take some getting used to, that’s for sure! I think Peanut will take up residence in the airing cupboard. I shall have to put her bed up there! She’s had lots of treats today in a vain effort to keep her calm. Poor thing. X 😽

    1. Aww, thank you, Simone. I really don’t think of myself as a hero, although it’s lovely to be told that. When I wrote this, I wanted to be as open and honest as possible about my disabilities and the challenges I have but cope with positively. Life can be a struggle at times; nevertheless, I’m so grateful for all that I do have and count myself as very blessed. Thanks again, dear SImone. Xx πŸ’–

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