Monday, October 18, 2010

My Braces

I have many different braces that I use throughout the day and night. They are mainly for stability and to keep me aligned, or in the right position. The braces that I wear most often are my AFO's (ankle foot orthotics); I have three pairs. They help prevent foot drop.
This is how my foot usually is, in a dropped position. The AFO's help stretch my foot out to a 90° angle. The socks on my feet are called Ted socks. I have ones that go all the way up to my thigh that I wear during the day and ones that just go up to my knees that I wear at night. They help with blood circulation.
I wear these AFO's during the day when I'm up in my wheelchair.
I wear these braces at night when I'm sleeping. They are padded to keep me from getting pressure sores on my feet when I lay on them.
These are called dynamic AFO's. They have straps on the sides to adjust the foot part more than 90° to give me a bigger stretch. I wear these twice a day (in my wheelchair) for one hour at a time.
These are called WHO's (wrist hand orthotics). I wear them at night when I'm sleeping to keep my hands stretched.
These are my elbow braces that I wear at night when I'm sleeping to keep my elbows straight.
I also wear a back brace during the day to keep my trunk supported and my spine from curving. It is very comfortable for me and I don't feel right when I don't have it on. I wear it over my T-shirt and under my sweater so it doesn't show. You'll rarely see me wearing just a T-shirt unless I'm outside when it's hot. I just prefer to have the brace covered. I also wear fuzzy socks over my AFO's so you can't see my feet. I don't know of any pair of shoes that would fit over them, unless they were specially made. However then I would probably look like I had clown shoes on.



Cheryl said...

Why are your braces so plain and boring? They come in so many cute colors. My AFOs are supposed to look like denim (didn't work so well) & my UCBs are purple and swirly.

As for shoes, some of New Balance's shoes come in Xwide and that's what I wear. They're somewhat hard to find, the new balance store by me doesn't even carry them, they only carry wide.

But there is a store by my moms who's owner specializes in fitting people with braces. He's in such high demand that you can easily wait an hr to have him help you. He carry's lots of Xwide and my physiatrist calls him the shoe guru.

There has got to be a store like this in MN... Haven't you ever asked Dr Gormley? Physiatrists are always on the up and up when it comes to this stuff.

Cheryl said...

Also, don't shy away from men's new balance. I do that sometimes. They're wider.

Jenni said...

I don't really like all those fancy colors. The ones I wear during the day have pink butterflies on them, but they have kind of worn off. I'd actually rather not wear shoes if I don't have to. Especially if they're going to be extra wide and long. Thanks for the suggestions though.

WildKat said...

I wore AFO's before my sci. (I was born with Cerebral Palsy.) Have you tried buying shoes with extra width? (They usually have a "W" after the size.)

I use to buy wide shoes that were a couple of sizes bigger than I needed and I'd take the insoles out to add extra depth. It worked out well.

Also, Cheryl is right. I swore by New Balance shoes! Their extra wide ones fit very well and the insoles are easily removed.

Lisa said...

I'm with you on the shoes. I like big soft fuzzy slippers. Regarding your elbow braces. Did you have those from the start. I am coming up on 7 months post and my elbows haven't seen that sort of thing yet.