Hello I’m Sandy Potter for Insightful Products and I’m happy to bring you another Step-Smart success story. Today I’m joined by Joseph Saenz, he’s a makeup artist and an actor from the Los Angeles area and he’s a relatively new user of the Step-Smart Brace for drop foot. Welcome, Joseph, thanks so much for joining me today!
Hi Sandy. Thanks for having me.
It’s wonderful to meet you this way as we’ve been talking for a little while now and you offered to talk to us today about your drop foot journey so maybe let’s just start there if you don’t mind and tell us when were you diagnosed, what is your story?
Well, my story goes back to um it was about in 2019 in May late April uh I had been working quite a bit uh on uh set so I was a little worn out and then uh I live in uh in the LA area but in a suburb called Santa Clarita and uh very hilly windy a little higher elevation um and we had had which we’re known for getting a lot of winds and it kicked off a sinus problem. Well, that sinus problem didn’t go away for a few weeks, and it just got worse and worse and I had a terrible ear ache and I wound up going to uh our local ER which is Henry Mayo and uh there they thought that I had perhaps a ruptured uh eardrum but they couldn’t really do anything about it because it was so inflamed. I was in so much pain they put me on morphine uh they kept me there for about five or six hours and sent me home uh and uh with medication of course and I continued that week to just completely decline. One morning my wife she came up to say goodbye to me and uh and to give me some snacks but I couldn’t respond I couldn’t talk and they rushed me to Henry Mayo and uh that’s I don’t even remember any of that and at that point I guess that’s when they determined that I in fact had uh spinal meningitis. It had dropped into this area uh behind my ear known as the mastoid and that’s where it went sepsis and it affected my entire body including my brain. I was a pretty sick guy uh they were trying to prepare my wife um the first night or two that I was in the hospital that they didn’t really think that they were going to be able to save me, but uh I guess there must’ve been a lot of people praying for me. I guess on the fourth or fifth day I just started to improve and um I wasn’t really that conscious of any of that but uh I guess on the fifth or sixth day when um they tried to get me out of bed and I was aware at that point uh but I still really couldn’t talk well and they discovered that one of my legs I needed to have a walker my right leg was dragging quite a bit and that’s when the physical therapist determined that it was uh drop foot. The physical therapy was excellent it really was it was a great help to me but as I started to improve over the coming months, I wanted to get back into my speed walking and everything and uh I uh I did really well walking but uh several times I took some very mean falls because of my foot not clearing a curb or a seam in the sidewalk or whatever and uh that’s what brought me to you guys. I got it um I don’t think it even took me a day to get used to it. I was aware of it for probably putting it on uh for a week or so but it wasn’t uncomfortable or anything. I have to tell you that this product or this device, this brace, however you want to call it, has literally changed my life. I feel so much more confident wearing it. I don’t know that anybody really ever notices that I am wearing it. I know that on set last week at Warner Brothers we took a break and uh I crossed my leg and one of the girls said hey what’s that on your foot and I said well it’s this really cool brace that’s helping me uh helping me with my foot. I just you know didn’t want to go too far with it. And she said you know have you worn that this whole time…because we worked almost six weeks on the show together, and I said yeah, I wear it constantly, she said this is the first time I’m noticing it so uh I love that about it. The way that you and I got connected was I called your office because I told my wife I said I think that the people at uh Step-Smart need to know what they have done for me and that’s when I called your offices and I wound up speaking to the actual person who created it, he just happened to be on the line and I told him you have no idea what you’d have done. It has it really has been a life changer for me. It has really improved my confidence. I’m as active as ever. I go to the gym. I do anything and everything that I used to do that for about two to three years after the meningitis I almost was beginning to feel you know like feeble like getting older and all of this but uh and it was all because I was so self-conscious about my foot and now that’s all gone away.
That’s incredible, it’s so special hearing that you’re seeing how happy you are and hearing your story and that this has helped to increase the quality of your life. That’s what our mission is so we really appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us and with others.
Well, I appreciate that and um uh thank you for the opportunity to share this. I really thank you.
Absolutely, it’s our pleasure.