“Kinesiology is the scientific study of human or non-human body movement. Kinesiology addresses physiological, biomechanical, and psychological mechanisms of movement.”

On March 30 I met such an amazing man.

I broke my ankle several years ago. I spent 9 months in a fibreglass cast to no avail. I freaked out when they tried to re-cast me. There were all kinds of reasons I wanted out of that fibreglass prison.

I wanted a shower. I was engaged at the time and wanted to walk down the aisle without a cast. Winter was coming and my toes were getting cold (not to mention funky smelling). I couldn’t bear another moment.

The doctor decided to give me a strap on, therefore removable, cast that I continued to wear(off and on) for over a year.

My ankle has never healed. The Alberta government took my strap-on (cast) when I lived in the forest. I was then refused medical treatment because of paperwork.

I came to BC without my cast. I walked here over a period of three months with approx. 65 to 71lbs in my pack on any given day. Even though I have settled down? I don’t drive. I walk a lot. I’m grateful for rides I get but I depend on my ankles for my main mode of transportation.

After all this time without treatment or my cast to help? My leg pain has become back pain. I have used a tensor to help. Paul has always been good to rub my ankle and my lower back to help with the pain. I stretch to help my muscles and I push through other pain to walk, regardless of it maybe causing more damage. I won’t be immobile at 42.

I have talked to many doctors. I broke my ankle when living in Manitoba. Even though doctors tried? I left there with the plastic cast. In Alberta I was refused any medical treatment because the government took my ID and held it. I could not prove who I was so they would not transfer my medical. My doctor in BC? He’s only good for referrals it seems. He referred me to an orthopedic surgeon.

The outcome? The surgeon told me surgery won’t improve my mobility and may increase my pain. I already knew that and was grateful he said the same but asked what I could do. Did I need a cane? I explained it was affecting my balance which means potential of other injuries. Should I get a brace? Would stabilizing my ankle when I am walking any distance help?

He said a brace may help. He hemmed an hawed over it and didn’t know it would help with my balance issues but it MIGHT help my pain. He gave me a prescription for one that didn’t need to be fitted so I could look at options.

I checked out the brace place he recommended but given my financial circumstances? I wasn’t super keen to spend that kind of money by going to an orthopedic brace place.

On the way home I had my friend stop at Pharmasave in town to see what kind of things they had over the counter. A lovely lady told me they had a kinesiologist coming at the end of the month who may be able to help me pick the best brace. I said alright and made the appointment.

March 30 at 10am.

I told him the background of why I was seeing him. He had me take my socks and shoes off, roll up my jeans and step down. Then he told me he could see it immediately, my pain issue. He slipped his hand under my foot, pushed up and INSTANTLY my back relaxed. He showed me how I was stepping to ‘protect’ my ankle and how it was affecting my foot. He found a brace that would help with stability and recommended something to help correct my instep.

I asked if that would help with my balance issues. (OK, yes, I drink. And that doesn’t help with balance. But even stone cold sober? I have serious balance issues.)

He noticed when helping adjust the brace that I have ‘excess skin roll’ on my calf. He told me his brother had gone through a mass weight loss and asked if I had. I opened up and told him I had. He asked how much weight and how long it had been.

After telling him the information? He told me music to my ears.  He told me my balance issues are totally normal. His brother went through that and it’s part of why he (the kinesiologist)went from being a personal trainer to studying how muscles work.

My muscles had carried that weight for SO long.  After you lose that kind of weight it takes your muscles YEARS to adjust. I lost more than half my body weight at an age where my body was already going through all kinds of changes otherwise. Considering all the change that has happened in my life from then until now? He’s confident my balance issues are related to not re-training my muscles after the weight loss.

Small weight training and yoga! Ankle weights held in positions for as long as I can will train my leg muscles for where my body is at NOW. Yoga will help with balance but I should start small.

I’m overjoyed! After several years of trying to figure out how to deal with this pain issue? Seeing doctors, surgeons ,etc? The kinesiologist who does volunteer work at my local drugstore is the one who helped me understand the source of my pain. He found me a professional brace that was on sale half off and then gave me and extra 20% off.

And he explained the balance thing. It makes total sense. He gave me realistic goals to help address it.

And because of all that? I feel a tiny bit of sanity about something. My leg pain isn’t in my head. My balance isn’t some kind of neurological issue. Both are real, explainable and able to be worked on! That does so much to help with the anxiety I feel about my health  on a day to day basis.

I’m so grateful.



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