Present In My Life

Elaine walks down the stairs from her appointment with Billy Cioffredi for the first time in 3 years

-Elaine Stone

In October, 2021, I was experiencing searing pain in my back and legs. After a CT Scan, I was told I had 3 bulging discs in my lower back and severe sciatica. I was frightened I’d never walk again without assistance. I had the first of a two part procedure, but it didn’t last. It made me feel like I couldn’t do it, even emotionally. It’s extremely frightening to think that at my age. I mean, I’m 71, I’ve got so much I want to do. I have a new grandbaby on the way and one that’s just turned 7. And she says “Grammy, can we jump in puddles this year?” And I say “I don’t know honey.” She’s asked me all winter, and it makes her sad. And that’s when I got mad.

Elaine poses with her granddaughter Nora at a dance

I’m taking my life back. I might not jump in a puddle, but I’m going to splash in a puddle, and it’s NOT going to be with a cane. And we’re going to go pick flowers, we’re going to go to playgrounds. I want to walk, be up straight when I’m doing it, and look at people in the face instead of looking at the ground. My mother was short statured. Big personality, but short-statued. And when she bent over, she never straightened up again. I’m not going there.

I said, “I know where I’m going. I’m going to see Bill Cioffredi.” I’ve known him for over 40 years and I trust him. When I walked in here, I had been slumped over for six months. I had days where I couldn’t walk. I needed help showering. And I walked up the stairs today! It was just my third visit and I walked in without a cane. I walked up the stairs. I walked my full five foot six and I used every inch of that frame. It’s amazing! Right now my leg hurts, but you know something? It’s going to feel better. I know I’m not going to be dancing like a maniac all night long like I used to, but I know I’m going to be out there and present in my life. I’m going to turn it around. It’s going to be a lot of work, but I’m going to do it.


Read more inspiring stories from around the Upper Valley in our Spring Newsletter:

Pain, Pain, Go Away! Read the Spring Newsletter

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