Click the picture for the story of Calypso, the Three Legged Green Sea Turtle, and why she's my symbol

Friday, July 1, 2011

Beach Fun, AFO, and More Leg Brace Problems

Sorry I haven't written in a while. I just started two summer courses, Intro To Computer Programing and Psychology. So for a while I won't be blogging as often I used to.

I went to a gay pride festival in my wheelchair. Or should I say my rainbow wheelchair. I had lots of fun, though some people made me feel vaguely uncomfortable. They kept coming up to me and saying things like "You know you're real brave, you know that," or my favorite "you're such an inspiration!" Random people kept coming and giving me hugs. I should have expected it. But I've become so accustomed to people knowing who I am and who are used to me. Meeting this many strangers made me feel strangely separate. I was a weirdo way before I was injured, so it kind of fits. I hung with an awesome group who were weird in vaguely the same ways as I am. I met some people from all over the state and I won't be forgetting them any time soon!

I wheeled around on the moderately hilly grass, people occasionally stopping what they were doing to help me wheel through. I'm just not one of those people who will refuse help when I could actually use it. For anyone who doesn't know, wheeling on grass is really annoying! As the day went I took my crutches and grabbed my swim suit and hopped over to the pool. People tried extremely hard not to stare. *stare* *look away* *stare* *look away*.

Finally in the evening we went to the beach. Here I put on my old leg brace and walked on the beach, where the dance party was. By that time I didn't do any dancing but hung around with my cluster of friends on their beach towel. Walking on sand was an intense experience. My canes sunk into the sand if I leaned on them very much, so I ended up walking with almost no support whatsoever. Needless to say at the end of this day I was dead tired. I slept well that night.

Outer Banks Beach Frence by Randy Steele

I managed to get my AFO (ankle foot orthosis) which I got casted for the other day. It's pretty boring, just molded plastic and Velcro. We got the most bare bones version we could so that we could take it in the pool, to practice walking underwater.

The AFO is extremely useful because it stabilizes the ankle, which otherwise has a tendency to roll out from under me as I walk. The difficulty is that it also pushes the knee forward due to muscle tightness in the hamstring. This forces me to use my quad and hold the knee tight, which I need to be doing anyway.

And finally my leg brace is on the fritz again! The wires are beginning to pop out of the case, with the possibility that my cats got to the wires. Not majorly, just enough that when you tilt the wire to the side it shuts off power to the brace. As I was leaving physical therapy it went on and off three times in less than 50 ft. All the orthotists had left for the day. So it's broken for a while. Most likely they will send it off to Minnesota to get repaired. It may be a while before I get it back but I guess we will see.

I saw him live! He was awesome!

1 comment:

  1. Hey, thanks! I have carbon fiber AFOs that I use daily, but I'm planning on going to Cancun next year and wanted to be able to go to the beach so I was looking for AFOs I could use on the beach. I still have my old clunky white plastic ones so I suppose I could use them. I just need to make sure my husband stays close by so I can lean on him if I feel like I'm going over.

    I also find it amusing when people try so hard not to stare. I just want to tell them it's okay to ask. I'm happy to tell them about CIDP, an autoimmune disorder that attacks the peripheral nerves.