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  1. I’m sorry you’re having so much pain, Brenda. My opinion, for what it’s worth, is that as long as you can afford your car, you should hold on to it. Maybe it’s the cold weather that’s causing your pain, and the spring/ summer will offer some relief. Don’t give up hope! Maybe look at your car as a symbol of inspiration!

  2. I am sorry you have so much pain Brenda. I would get a second opinion from another PT or from a holistic/wellness doctor. Greg has been so kind and helpful to you but sometimes fresh eyes may see/find new ways to rehab or to even assess what might be going on. This is about your quality of life and there is nothing more important – you have to do what is best for you. Have a convo w Greg about how hopeless it is making you feel – he may be able to speak to his superior and devise a new or revised plan going forward -or refer you out – it is common in the medical profession and it is not personal. A call to your insurance provider might shed some light as well. Speak to your local senior center -they may have local resources that can help you and even PT or doc referrals. Google your symptoms and see what articles you can find to read about it and maybe what others have done. In other words, speak, read, listen to everyone and anyone who may have experience w similar issues. In the meantime, try to relax and be extra kind to yourself. Have as much done for you that you can manage for now – deliveries, easy foods etc – you are more prone to injuring yourself in your present condition and that would be a setback. Try not to stress about it and stay positive and grateful if you can – instead (get mad as they say) and try to take control of finding some answers and exhausting every option so that you know you are doing everything you can and don’t feel hopeless. I would keep the car for now for sure. If it only has 57,000 miles it is a “cream puff” – a dented fender is nothing (and easily fixed) to a car that is mechanically sound w low mileage. Take extra good care.

  3. I think keeping your car as long as you want is a good idea. The fact that it is sitting in its parking space is a positive because it means you will drive again … if not right now, then when you are ready.

  4. So here’s my two cents, and probably worth less than that! LOL. I’m 53. Over the last 5-10 years, I’ve had more and more trouble standing for more than a few minutes at best before I feel like my legs will collapse. Walking isn’t much better? but a smidge better. I work in an office and a family donated a mobility scooter to our agency. I tried it out around the office and realized I could regain some quality of life, both in the office and out. I’ve now privately purchased a beautiful scooter for outside of work, which allows me to visit state parks, and our family cabin, and go shopping as long as I’d like to. We DID purchase a battery operated lift for my car (SUV), which since you have a car and an SUV would be possible! I can work that with one hand. Just lifts it slightly, and one finger can swing it out and then it lowers to the ground. Even with my standing for just minutes, I can manage. I have a just ok scooter in my office building. I have just now discovered I need back surgery. The nerves to my legs have been slowly being pinched off over the years, until my legs simply no longer work. The surgery should relieve that and I should in theory walk again! It took many, many years of wondering why, and finally a lovely physicians assistant listening to any clues I could think of, to put some ideas together. Sure enough she was correct! I was so surprised! I would have said the one thing that did NOT hurt on my entire body was my back! Anyhow, I can do SO much with my scooters. You could for sure go in and out of your apartment, as I do my office. I maneuver around all sorts of spaces. Pretty much if my butt fits through a space, my scooter will also. We found my scooters to purchase without insurance (but I do believe a dr would find your situation qualifying for insurance coverage for a new scooter) I would recommend one that has “handle bars” as opposed to a chair with the arm controls. It would allow you to move about your building, the grounds, and possibly even to a store or something close by. My nicer scoot has a range of 7 miles when fully charged. I feel like it IS my legs at this point, until we see what the surgery brings. The recovery for the surgery in total is 18 months, with gradual improvements as you go. The scooter will still be my “crutch” during those times. As I said, we bought ours without insurance, and used, and sadly or fortunately, however you see it, they come available because someone who used them passed away generally. My nicer one, we purchased from a lovely lady MY age, who’s mom used it twice from new, and then she passed away. It was literally new condition. The most we have ever had to do to one, was purchase new batteries for my work scooter and those were $120.00 only.

    I would highly recommend this for you. You can take out trash. Bring in groceries a few bags at a time. I’d also recommend not delivering your food supplies if it’s too costly, but doing a pick up from the store. You still order online, but arrive at a scheduled time in a special parking spot, and they load everything into your car for you on the spot. When you arrived at home, if you could navigate to your apartment on your own, you could then hop on your scooter and go retrieve your bags in stages if needed.

    I regained some independence, and some inclusion in life itself by allowing myself this mobility aid. It’s humbling, but not participating in anything outside of my home is worse.

    Much love to you Brenda. You’re a warrior!


    1. Marcia, THANK YOU for sharing your story…I am wondering if possibly part of the reason my husband can barely walk is the same as yours!! FINDING a doc these days who cares a fig, is very expensive here. We have finally gone to docs who do not accept any insurance or medicare, so it costs a bundle…but the govt ones are worthless by and large. It is a very sad thing what has happened in this country in the medical field.

      1. Hi Elizabeth,

        The clue that finally made a different I remembered to share with her was this,,,,,If I’m standing, 2-3 minutes in, longer than it takes to check in at the doctors office, I can’t keep standing. BUT! If I bend over, as if to tie my shoe? I can stand like that for probably an hour or more.

        She said ahhhhhh, that gives me some ideas. She pressed on my lower back on the exam table and I nearly shot off the table to the ceiling. I said I had NO idea that hurt back there!
        When I bent over and in a fashion “touched my toes” apparently, that elongates the spine, taking the pressure off the pinched nerves, and made standing longer possible.

        So spinal fusion surgery it is for me! They’ll put a piece of my hip bones in between somewhere, fuse things together with nuts and bolts and it should make enough space for the nerve highway to resume operations! I have never been more surprised to learn anything about myself as this!

        I hope you and your sweet hubby find an answer also! It was the weirdest clue I could remember/think of, that changed the course of diagnosis for me.

        Don’t give up!

        1. Marcia, We saw the doc today and I shared with him what you had said about your experience. He asked my husband quite a few questions and he thinks he does have spinal stinosis in his lower back. Hubby will go for some tests (MRI I think) and then the doc has some noninvasive ideas to try first before sending him onto a neurosurgeon for perhaps surgery similar to what was done on his upper back/neck region some years ago. THANK YOU again for sharing…we are hopeful now that maybe his leg weakness in standing esp etc can be helped!! And thank you too Brenda for providing this space…one never knows what might help another.

  5. I’ll just say that QVC has some prepared food that is quite good – and as I’ve said before my crutches were my best friends ’til I was forced to give them up. I’m now in my eighties and some days wish I still had them. Using just one was the best!
    Along with the QVC food, I try and keep breakfast burritos and tamales in my freezer when I can.

  6. Do you have an aging department that can send someone to help you once or twice a week? I worked for family services and helped by picking items up, washing clothes, cooking, taking the people out and just keeping them company. I know that a lot of the aging/disability places around here have this service. Of course I don’t know what they charge these days. Maybe your therapist would have some ideas for you.

    1. I was thinking the same thing Teresa. The local Senior Center could help with finding someone to help around the house and transportation to doctor appointments or shopping.

  7. The circle of life is rough when the circle is waning . Perhaps have a friend pick dinner up every few weeks . You treat they deliver. It has been a rough patch for me as I have very low vision and had to sell my car. However I am blessed to have neighbors that I call on about once a month. The loneliness and feeling venerable are as taxing as the loss of eyesight. I lost my husband of 52 years unexpectedly then two months later my dear feline friend was diagnosed with a huge bowel blockage and had to be put to sleep. So every now and then I have a pity party and ask God to give me strength to cope . Had two surgeries since June. but the digestive issues are less painful and I am blessed to have a good support system within my neighborhood and church. My family are great at checking in by phone or text. I muddle along like you every age has curses and blessings I get down but try not to stay there. Brenda is there a way you could use lyft or Uber to drive you to a support group of some sort ? We need others. Your blog is a blessing in my life. I wish you the best as you are a gifted and loving person. Wish we lived closer I could be your legs and you could help guide me with your great eyesight Blessings as you face these challenges Know you have a group of people that are pulling for you Find Joy and keep sharing as graciously as you have Merry Christmas and may God knock your socks off with blessings when you least expect them

  8. Brenda, before you give up on a functional life, please consider other options. I’ve gotten pain blocks on my back over the years by deadening smaller nerves. I’ve gotten PRP therapy to help stimulate my body into doing more healing. both from an extremely good pain medical doctor. you can use phenylalanine to improve your body’s reactions to pain over time. there are a lot of options other than accepting what has been done so far and giving up. it makes me crazy to hear you talk about yourself as so elderly when you are younger than me and I’m still living a very active life..

  9. I am so sorry that you’ve had more stress and pain this week. Ugh! Getting old is definitely not for sissies! If you feel that you have to drive to pick up food, then please consider going where there’s a drive thru.
    I have a daughter who has little to no time for me for various reasons – there are 4 children in the house that keep her on her toes. We only chat every couple of weeks because I hate bothering her. Like you, I’m very independent and don’t want to be a burden to anyone. I took note recently that you hadn’t mentioned Steve much in lately, but it never occurred to me that he had a girlfriend. He was such a huge help to you!
    Please don’t give up your car. Even if you use it only on occasion it’s still a way to go out if you have to.
    I don’t out much and when I do, I’m exhausted when I get home. I don’t enjoy going out anymore. Health and old age are not fun. I have a friend who got rid of her car because she didn’t enjoy driving on our fast-paced busy streets. She relies heavily on deliveries and prefers it that way.
    Keep practicing self-care and it will get better soon. Gentle hugs, Brenda!

  10. Brenda, so sorry to hear of your complications. My health is failing. Several of my friends have the same situation. Thank God for friends.
    Think and think again before you sale your car especially at the beginning of cold weather. It seems to me that would make the loss of transportation more difficult. A car is something to motivate you to get healthy and be independent. If I sold my car then I could never buy another. It seems slowing down and resting would help you be healthy. Certainly staying indoors and away from the cold and ice is essential this year. I deal with this the first time this year, also. ❤️

  11. Brenda, I’m sorry for all that you’re going through. Since it’s been six months since your surgery and you can’t walk very far without pain still, it sounds like you need to have a follow-up appointment with your surgeon. It doesn’t sound like the PT has helped very much. Do you keep up with the exercises at home every day? Hugs to you, my friend. I know this isn’t easy.

    1. I don’t think there’s anything else the surgeon can do. He told me from the outset that surgery might not help. I guess the damage is maybe too extensive. When I’ve gone to him, he just looks at the x-rays, not my actual ankle. Nothing hands on. That seems to be what they do these days according to those I’ve talked to.

  12. Brenda I know nothing about the pros and or cons of motorized scooters, however I do have an 80+ year old friend that gives her STANDER Easy Fold Walker a 5 star / 10+ rating. It only weighs 7 lbs, is super easy to fold up and fits nicely in the back seat of her VW. Luckily she is not dealing with post surgery issues like you but has back pain & balance problems which prior to getting the walker kept her pretty much “grounded”. Her one advice to anyone thinking of purchasing said walker is to deal with a local Medical Supply vendor rather than ordering from Amazon so that any needed adjustments can be easily taken care of if and when needed. Of course you would still have to put weight on your ankle when walking but I would think it’s features would be easier for you to deal with.

    Just a thought, could you possibly have your house cleaner come more often, maybe to run errands for you?

    1. I have fold-up walker. It’s that I can’t walk due to my ankle, not anything to do with balance. I could maybe ask the housekeeper. But she cleans at other places and has 4 young boys.

  13. No one has asked you if you’ve had a checkup with your surgeon. If therapy is not helping you it’s a waste of money. It’s supposed to build strength and muscles to support your surgery. If you are in that much pain you need to do something different or try a different therapist after a checkup.If you aren’t able to live independently then like someone else said here; assisted living.

    1. I haven’t seen the surgeon since August. He made it pretty clear from the beginning that he could try to help with the pain. But there was nothing else he could do, he said. The surgeon before him said pretty much the same thing. In physical therapy, we have not been able to get to strengthening exercises because the ankle isn’t stable enough yet. I will do everything I possibly can to remain living independently.

  14. It is so hard to give up our limited independence as we age. I am lucky that my pain in treatable and I am relatively pain free at this point in time. I feel blessed to have the good health that I have at my age. Two days ago we lost another good friend unexpectedly and he was 2 years younger than I am now.
    Life takes its toll on all of us an exacts its revenge.
    I hope you figure out what to do to meet your needs. Diana

  15. So sorry you or any of us are having these kinds of issues. Because of my husband’s job we are living an hour away from my Dad and we take care of him. Our son in law has a few years left in the Navy to make his 20 years. For the last 3 years they have been 4 hours away and In the next few months they will be moving even further away. It is nice to have family close and that is our goal but we don’t know where they will want to live for their forever home. I wish they would move to our little town where our daughter was raised and we have lived for 28 years. I wish you peace and hope you figure things out. I haven’t experienced issues and wish I could offer some suggestions. On the bright side, I know your apartment is way better than the last and you are on the mends from a successful procedure.

  16. Brenda, this makes me feel so sad for you today. At least your red wallet was found right there by your car door. Small blessings in a stressful,anxious time. No one has mentioned this, but I think the loss of your close friendship with Steve is also contributing to your problems – he was close-by, a pal, and helpful. I’m sure he is still your friend, but just not there for you as he was. I know how that would make me feel. Sorry if I’m projecting my feelings here – perhaps you are fine with it.
    I think it would be good to keep your car for now. Sorry I don’t have any practical suggestions for you other than to perhaps have a consult with your doctor regarding your status.
    Keeping you and your Ivy in my thoughts. We’re all sending you positive energy.

    1. Yes, it’s hard now in terms of Steve. I never know if I might call and be interrupting something. So I hesitate to call him now just to talk. I always thought I’d get out and make more friends when I could walk, but that isn’t happening so far. Poor Ron across the sidewalk has cancer. We’re all old and not in the best of health, I guess.

    1. No, I won’t even consider that. I will somehow manage. I’ll check into every option for help that I can. It would just kill me to have to be around people that much as in assisted living. If I can just get the pain under control, I’ll be happy. I can have pretty much anything delivered these days. So I don’t really need to go out.

      1. Brenda, have you considered cbd as a pain med? my son in law who’s recovering from a terrible accident is having a lot of success with it. I have no idea how it works but it might be something to look into?

  17. I think u would kick yourself if u got rid of your car Brenda! U would probably regret it afterwards! I know I would regret it if I got rid of my car.

    Ppl ask me or leave their number all the time to try to get me to sell mine!
    One guy told me it was junk bc it’s an old car and told me he’d take it off my hands! I told him I’m not selling my car period and get off my property! He never came back! Lol

    All it needs is a starter and tuneup in the spring. I’m not driving in the winter bc I get scared when my car slides on ice! I’ve had enough of those experiences already over the yrs! Lol

    You’re lucky that u have stores that deliver. We only have Walmart and I don’t shop there. My fav supermarket doesn’t deliver and the other grocery store jacks up the price. So I only go once a month when they have a good sale and stock up on things.

    I hope your weekend is going better!

    1. I think you’re right. I’ve taken the option of getting rid of my car off the table now. It looks terrible, but as long as it will run, I will keep it. With groceries, it’s true. They do jack up the prices for deliveries.

  18. Can you sign up on a “wait list” to get an apartment similar to your current one that is close to the parking lot so you wouldn’t have to go so far? Can you get a “walker” that folds/unfolds easily that you could stash in the back seat of your car and easily pull out and open? Could you get an aid through a senior assistance program if offered by your state, county or city, or hire an aide through a business that specializes in serving senior citizens who would come over once a week to help you get to the car and travel with you as you do errands or just go to a park to take in the beautiful scenery and take photos, or – whatever? Does your city or county offer a service that provides pick-up services and rides for disabled seniors and what are the parameters? Perhaps consider moving to a complex that has smooth and wide sidewalks you can negotiate with a walker or a motorized vehicle that can get you from your apartment to your car with no roots or rock gardens or concrete block walls to navigate, or from your apartment to a service van. I think you’re too young to give up the thought of driving your own car – you have a lot of years yet before you hit say 80 years old and decide to give up driving because your reflexes have slowed and/or your vision isn’t what it used to be. Your cognitive abilities aren’t in decline, it’s your wonky ankle that you have to work around. If I were in your “boot,” I’d consider consulting another doctor for an independent opinion on the condition of your ankle and what can be done, if anything, to improve your condition. If nothing more can be done, then your doctor and you must explore all options on how to mitigate the pain so you have some decent quality of life.

    1. I’ve thought of seeking a different apartment here, but none of them are exactly all that close to the parking lot. And the thought of moving right now could make things worse because I recall what it was like when I moved here even with help. I have a walker. I just can’t lift it into the car. And I’m checking into all the other things you mentioned. Even if I had someone pick me up, I still have to walk to the parking lot. Thanks for the suggestions!

  19. So sorry Brenda you are experiencing such a hard time at the moment. I don’t know how cold the weather is where you are but could that be making things worse for your ankle? If I were you I would not get rid of your car, I would bank on being able to use it again. As you said it is old but good. I can imagine how frustrated you are and I really feel for you.

    1. Yes, it’s pretty cold and I know that has a lot to do with it with all the arthritis I have. This week will be colder than it has been, but this too shall pass. We don’t often get into the minus numbers here, but will this week.

  20. Hopefully somebody can answer your questions about power scooters. I have no knowledge of them.

    As someone said I think I’d hold on to the car a little longer. It is your lifeline to independence. And I know the girls are busy and can’t always help out.

    I’m driving a 12 year old car also. My Little KIA Soul was totaled last January in the car accident and I have yet to settle the case. I am so thankful for it. It has about 59,000 miles on it and just keeps going. And thankfully my ac and heat work! It kept me from having to buy something else immediately after the accident. Big hugs to you today❤️

    1. Yeah, guess I will hang onto it. Just wish I could park it somewhere else. I’ve ordered duct tape and Greg said he could probably keep parts from falling off with the tape. What on earth would I do without him?

  21. As seniors, age is difficult enough.
    Then with an injury, or surgery recovery, is much more traumatic for us.
    After a previous hernia operation, I never fully healed.
    Balance is a daily problem.
    So, I fully depend on my walker to get around.
    With all sorts of pain and also tummy issues, I stay home.
    Luckily my youngest sister cares for me every day.
    That’s the scope of it.
    Nothing to do about my situation accept to enjoy the days as they come.
    After time goes by, you forget what it was like to be independent.
    Often wondering how I ever walked without my “wheels” ,,,,, hahaha!!! 😆

    1. As someone who kind of knows, I’m so sorry you’re dealing with this. My daughters just don’t have time to help me. One is dealing with an autistic child and the other one is dealing with a college-aged son who is having mental health problems. I think you’re right about kind of forgetting what it was like to be independent. Things will get better I imagine. I’m being impatient.

  22. Overly optimistic here, but wondering if a golf cart could free you to get around the complex. I’m sorry for your pain, and how you have to endure it without a daily helper. I weep for the cruel changes that rob of us our independence. The wallet was a silver lining and I pray there are more on the way.

    1. I don’t know where I’d keep a golf cart. At least with the power scooters they are much narrower and could be in my apartment. So I may end up with one of those if things don’t begin to change.

  23. Sorry Brenda you had one of those days where nothing seem to go in your favor. Been there! Could you sell your car and the proceeds use to get groceries delivered right to your door. If you have to go anywhere like a Doctor etc. could one of your daughters take you and help you to the car on those small occasions you would have to go anywhere. Just an idea. So many things can be delivered now. That would save you on insurance and a parking space each month too. Hope you have better days ahead. xoxo Kris

    1. I’m trying a new food delivery service that is bringing food Wednesday. I’ll see how that goes. I’m kind of back to the point where I can’t stand more than a minute or so preparing food. The service is called Factor. Oh, and I do have groceries delivered right to my door. I’d be in a real pickle otherwise!

  24. Awww, Brenda. I’m so sorry you had such an awful day, leaving you with so many questions about the days ahead.
    The final decisions are yours, of course, but I think I’d keep that dependable very low mileage car for now. Around here, ones like that are at a premium and sell for top dollar. And your parking space fee is negligible. I wonder if you’d regret the loss of a feeling of independence once you sold it.
    The ongoing pain, though. Ugh. That’s a real pain. With every new post, I hope to read you’ve turned a corner on it. I’m sorry it’s taking so long.

    1. It might have sold at top dollar before I’d crashed it time and again on those darned poles. But I guess I’ll keep it for now. I imagine I’d be horrified to find myself in a spot where I had no way of getting around at all. Now to just be able to get to the parking lot without so much trouble. And with all old cars, hope I don’t end up on the side of the road!

  25. It is really hard not to dispair, Brenda…I guess we all have our issues, made worse with age. In my case, I am absolutely being abused when the MONSTERS upstairs are there to visit…that horrendous jumping has my nerves in tatters. And with high blood pressure, I certainly do not need it. I am so sorry for your pain and walking troubles. My Hubby can barely get around and could not manage as far as you do. It is hard not to be discouraged. I am working on incorporating more collagen into meals etc in hopes it will make some difference for him.

    1. The only ways I’ve found to deal somewhat with the guy upstairs and his loud TV is to keep a sound machine right next to my chair in the living room and next to my bed in the bedroom. I’ve tried to get him to turn it down. The manager has also. Maybe he can’t hear. But yeah, at least my noise is not that of children so I’ll count my blessings!

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