Adjusting to life with mobility challenges is full of ups-and-downs. While there are often immense obstacles like re-learning how to walk, there are just as often day-to-day issues that challenge and frustrate. We asked four TeamUP co-captains to describe the things they miss the most now that they are living with mobility challenges such as Foot Drop, TBI and Charcot Marie Tooth. Their answers remind us to never take “the small stuff” for granted—while inspiring us with their determination and positive outlooks.
I can’t wear flip flops or light, airy sandals anymore—not with the brace. There are certain shoes I can wear without my brace for a bit, but I still risk tripping. Sometimes it might seem like a trivial thing thinking about shoes, but when you have to dress to accommodate your physical challenges, people notice. On the bright side, I save a lot of money on shoes!
I also miss being able to just wake up in the morning and easily step out of bed and into the bathroom. Now, I’ve got to think about every step as soon as I wake up. As soon as you put your feet on the floor, you’re reminded, “oh yea—something’s wrong.”
I used to be an avid soccer and tennis player, too, and those are both quite difficult with my brace. I’m really grateful I can still run with Foot Drop, but that side-to-side action in soccer and tennis just isn’t practical with this condition or the brace, sadly.
I really miss being able to cut my own dinner. Have you ever tried slicing a piece of bread or cutting up a piece of meat with one hand? It’s pretty tricky! I also miss being able to dye my hair fun colors. I can still dye my hair, but it’s way trickier. Usually our bathroom just ends up covered in whatever color I’m trying to use…
I will still wear flip flops sometimes or walk barefoot without my brace, but you really have to be so mindful when you do. I can’t just roam around the backyard barefoot without difficulty if I’m not wearing my brace. It’s those little things you don’t really think about much when you live with Foot Drop until they pop up when you’re not expecting it.
I have to be really careful when I’m carrying things around the house. I have a lot of friends who bring their babies by, and I can’t be walking around the house with someone’s newborn! I am terrified to trip and hurt a child, so usually I have to make sure I’m sitting down when I’m playing with them.
It’s also small stuff like wearing slippers around the house or buttoning up a shirt or picking up change. Those fine motor movements like grasping are challenging for me, but usually my right hand is a little better at it than my left.
Also, shoe shopping is the worst! I just want to go into a store, find a pair I like and get out. If I manage to find a shoe that I do like and that works with my brace, I tend to buy a few different pairs in different colors just so I can have options.
Submit Your Own Story
What do you miss the most about your life before mobility challenges appeared? We’d love to hear more about your journey and get inspired by you!