A Broken Bone Won’t Lead to a Broken Spirit

Frankie Perazzola avatar

by Frankie Perazzola |

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spirituality, accommodations, internalized ableism, broken bone, fitness, newly diagnosed, reflecting

I tend to focus on self-reflection and growth in my column, “Fighting FA.” I love having the ability to look at previous columns and pinpoint exactly where my headspace was at the time. Doing this validates a generous amount of growth, gently nudges self-reflection, and offers a sense of inner peace.

Last week, I fell and broke my thumb while doing an exercise. It’s not that bad or painful, but I had to get a small hand cast to help correct it. It is extremely annoying and requires me to slow down and adapt even more.

For example, I have to be even more cognizant of where and how I place my hands when moving around my house and using my walker. I have to think even harder about any type of movement. I wasn’t prepared for this level of mental fatigue, but I will figure it out in time.

If this had happened last year, I can see myself completely shutting down. I probably would have written about how much the injury affected my day-to-day life, how much I couldn’t get done, or how much I was missing out on. I’m not saying those emotions are not valid or that I haven’t experienced waves of them recently. I just know I would have focused on remaining in a negative space. I know how obsessive I become and how complacent I get when I’m in a negative headspace.

This time, I recognized that the injury was temporary, and I was grateful it wasn’t worse. I understood that I have dealt with every single obstacle life has thrown at me, and this was just another bump in the road. We will never be fully prepared for what life throws at us, but it is our responsibility to internally heal so we can handle all those everyday stressors and unexpected problems, such as a broken thumb.

Although injuries are different with a neuromuscular disease, it means I have to work even harder for the little things that allow my soul and body to function optimally. I also understand how those little things add up and contribute to my overall happiness. If remaining happy is a priority, which it is, then it is my responsibility to make those little things happen.

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t experience a brief stage of darkness that felt like impending doom. The depression started to creep in at the same time as the fear and the anxiety about my injury. But this stage of darkness lasted only a couple days rather than a few months, and I am extremely proud of that. For me, that’s progress.

Looking back on how I handled previous situations can be somewhat cringeworthy, but I am so appreciative of the process. The therapeutic quality that writing offers has been extremely beneficial in my life and has given me the internal peace to be able to reflect on past experiences and to learn. I am happy to momentarily have a better grip on handling problematic situations instead of breaking as easily as I did before.


Friedreich’s Ataxia News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Friedreich’s Ataxia News or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Friedreich’s ataxia.


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