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Meet Linda T: Back On Her Feet: Bilateral Leg Fracture Recovery

Iora Primary Care is celebrating Older Americans Month with senior Stories of Strength. We are sharing these stories from our patients to offer hope, share their wisdom and connect one another virtually.

Follow #StoriesofStrength on Facebook and Instagram to see all of the featured senior stories.

Here’s Linda T.’s story:

About seven years ago I had bilateral distal femoral fractures (the area of the leg just above the knee joint). The healing and repairing process was difficult; I had to learn how to walk all over again. I was on the mend and getting excited about walking again when I ended up breaking the titanium plates in both of my legs (which, you’re not supposed to be able to break!). I was working in customer service at the time, but after that I had to start all over again with learning to walk. It was a long and painful journey, with many surgeries on my legs. On my journey to healing, I learned so much about myself and other people. 

The best part for me along the way was that there was always a student I was helping to learn how to do their jobs as therapists, CNAs or interns. One of the physical therapists took a survey of all of the other therapists and found out that none of them had ever worked with bilateral fractures of the femur before. She also said she had never seen a group of people pull together so hard for someone to heal and get back on their feet and moving. 

These last seven years has actually made me appreciate being mobile a whole lot more than I did before. Prior to my injuries, I’ll admit I was a real lazy slug; I would wait to take the trash out until I had a reason to walk out of the house, I would park in the closest parking spaces available, etc. My injuries and the healing process helps me take those little extra trips out; take the extra steps, park in the back, because every time I take a step forward, I appreciate it more after spending three months in stabilizers (I had to be non-weight bearing). I appreciate every moment I can step on the ground. 

My advice to others who may be going through a tough medical situation is to do what you need to do, in order to do what needs to be done. If you’re looking at physical or occupational therapy, for heaven sakes DO IT. Don’t sit around thinking or saying “why did this happen to me?” Instead focus on:  “how am I going to deal with what’s happened and move forward”. It doesn’t matter why I broke my femurs, it matters how I go forward from it. It’s easy to get stuck in a “poor pitiful me” attitude and it just makes it worse. Yes, I have those days still, but you can’t stay there for long. 

Throughout my injuries and healing journey, I found that total strangers can be so kind. My neighbors or people when I was out shopping in my motorized cart, people were constantly helping or offering to help me. You know we have a pretty kind world if we just let it be that.

– Linda T.

To read more inspiring senior stories, visit our Stories of Strength.

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