I gave the broken brace to my orthotist, who sent it off for a tune up from the manufacturer. I attempted to use Roboleg, the computer controlled leg brace, in the mean time. I soon remembered why I stopped using Roboleg: the brace is heavy, clunky, and difficult to control. I was quickly getting more and more frustrated.
I had used my AFO (Ankle Foot Orthosis), the ankle brace, in therapy and at the pool but I had yet to use it for any length of time out in the real world. After only one day with Roboleg, I decided to put on my AFO and try wearing it while my leg brace was being fixed.
I trialed out the AFO on a school day, with great results. I expected to feel more tired than usual, which I did. Other than this I didn't suffer any great consequences from the switch. As I continued to wear it throughout the week I felt more comfortable, stronger, and more mobile. Every day my endurance improved and I was able to walk farther. An added bonus is that the AFO can be hidden under my jeans, making me a little less obvious (though the canes end up giving me away).
Me walking without canes with the AFO. I can only do this for short bursts right now, but this is my future.
These experiences spurred on the inevitable epiphany:
I don't need my leg brace any more!I knew this day was coming but until this week I didn't realize that the time had already come. This accident caused me to move onto greater devices of mobility. I have pure chance to thank for huge improvements to my walking. I can use a brace that has no wires that can break, no computers that can malfunction, and is powered by my own muscles.
I have my leg back again!