Friday, January 20, 2012

One Stroky’s Journey: Joy of Movement #2

Another walking buddy, Ann, on the right
Earlier this week I had my second walk with a new walking buddy, Ann Losset of Gautier. It was an enjoyable walk indoors at Singing River Mall in Gautier, out of the cold and wind.

Wednesday, Jan.11, was my first walk with Ann. And thanks to Ann, we handled a challenging complication.  We walked at the Ocean Springs walking track that winds around the Mississippi Vietnam Memorial adjacent to Ocean Springs’ civic center. I was thrilled with the blue skies, comfortably cool temperatures and a new place to walk.

After 15 minutes or so I could tell I was getting surprisingly tired. That is when I realized that, even though benches were plentiful near the parking lot where we started our walk, I could see none nearby. Suddenly my body started rotating—definitely not something I had initiated. I was losing my balance and beginning to freak out.

Not Ann. She held steady on my gait belt, resisted the natural urge to pull on it to keep me upright and instead stuck out her arm for me to grab. Her simple maneuver allowed me to recover my balance and stand erect. 

With my balance restored I looked down to see why my left foot was hurting. I had rolled my ankle and was standing there with my left foot rolled completely over. With almost no sensory input on my left side, I had no warning of what was happening earlier in the turning process. It was what had caused my loss of balance.

My therapist reminded me later that rolling that ankle was a result of the kind of tone that can come with a stroke. Fatigue, cold, activity, yawning and even laughing are some of the things that increase my tone. It causes my left hand to curl into a claw, my left elbow to pop up into a 90 degree angle or my left ankle to roll.

Once I righted my poor old abused foot, Ann noted that benches were available inside the memorial structure we had just passed. Still with my right hand clutching her forearm, we negotiated the slight incline and uneven turf up to the memorial entrance.

That experience could have made me a fearful walker. Instead, with Ann’s help, it bolstered my confidence in the ability to recover balance without injuring my companion or myself.

Ann’s calm actions, confident manner and engaging conversation helped a beautiful day deliver on its promise of joyful movement. And to top it off she was a good sport about my attempt at taking a photo of us together. The result is the photo at the top of this post.

I am now making sure, however, that I limit extra-tiring, early morning tasks to the days when I DON’T have walks scheduled for later in the day.

Thanks, Ann, for keeping me moving!


  1. Friends like Ann are the rare jewels of life. She's a keeper!

  2. I am reading your post and reliving those moments when I got so tired I thought about lying down whereever I was and taking a snooze. I still have some weakness after seven years. Still, to be able to go to the grocery store this week and push a cart for a while was a success. Of course David was not far behind with his cart.'s one I found this morning. Defalcate...Greek meaning - to slice away with a sickle. Used in the nineteenth century to describe embezzlement.


  3. I'm so thankful that the Lord has given you an Angel to walk with and taste Life.
    She sounds like one in a million.
    I'm also happy to hear about your progress. Its simply wonderful.
    Keep on Keeping on.

  4. I believe God has sent you this very special person, who instinctively knows how to help you when you get in a jam! What a wonder she must be! A scary story with a good ending, and glad to see you are writing posts just perfectly. You have come such a long way and had such a hard battle, but you are winning!!! Your story is one of bravery and triumph. Enjoy your weekend, my friend. I always look forward to your next post and you progress.

  5. ann is a true blessing and I am so glad you have someone to walk with you and that your adventure turned out well for you. keep walking and trying

  6. So glad the experienced didn't dampen your desire to walk. You have found a real keeper friend. What a blessing.

  7. That's wonderful! I'm so glad you had Ann with you.

    I was thinking as I neared the end of your post that this is a reminder of the fact that we are always changing, learning, growing; yours has been "ampted" up by the occurrence of the stroke and the added lessons it brings. Keep working, dear lady. :)

  8. I find your journey so interesting and informative. I find myself filing away the information you recount into my mind just incase I might ever need it.

    I am so thankful you have Ann.

  9. Thank you for sharing. Not to many people in your position are so gracious. Your article was very poignant and understandable. It helped me to understand very clearly. Thank you for your help.