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

Friday, September 14, 2012

Why I Need A New Brace and What Happened in Colorado

When I walk I use an AFO, or Ankle Foot Orthosis. (A fancy name for an ankle brace) This little shell of plastic ends up doing more than its share of the work when I walk. I'll lean on the front to hold myself up, take full advantage of the small spring in my step that it gives me, and unintentionally bang it against nearly every object.

So True! Meanies!

While my old AFO has been good to me, it's time to move on to a new brace. I always feel better if I have a goal, something to work towards. And for the last year or so that goal has been learning to master my current AFO. Now that I've pretty much got that down, I'm finding myself getting comfortable again... and therein lies the trap! Once I'm comfortable I don't work as hard and I stop making progress, at least until I pick myself up and start again. This happened with my wheelchair, my KAFO, and now this. It's time to push on before I start sliding backwards.

My new brace, the ToeOFF. It's lightweight, it's cool looking, and it's something new to work on. What's not to love?

The new brace is called the Toeoff. It's got a sleek design, with only one very strong carbon fiber cable on the side. It gives me support but far less than I'm used to. The one feature that's vastly improved over my previous brace is that it has increased spring in the ankle, which propels your body forward. It's still hard to use and it will take a lot of practice but I'm confident that just like all the others I'm going to master this too. And I can guarantee that once I do my question will be, “What's next?”

I haven't written in several weeks for a few reasons. First of all, I started school again; though my university may not be the most prestigious in the world it still offers challenging classes. Secondly, I visited Colorado for a week.

For those less geographically inclined, here's Colorado.

My reasons for visiting Colorado are purely personal. I've been wanting to return to Colorado since I left there two years ago for medical reasons. My best friend had a baby a few months ago, and I was named godfather. I wanted to be there more than anything in the world but because I had continual health issues, my trip was delayed several times. Now that I'm finally in the clear (mostly) I took off without looking back.

It was completely worth the hassle of going through TSA with a leg brace to see my friend and my godson.

Now 5 months old, my godson is now at the point of learning how to crawl; he hasn't quite mastered the skill yet but he's working his butt off. Because of a few issues that arose when he was born, he has some muscle weakness on his left side. His mother, taking my recovery as inspiration, threw herself into physical therapy with him every day. And lo and behold... he's doing just fine! He's healthy, happy, and excited to explore his new world. Since it's likely that he'll need more PT and other services for some of his life, his mom is keeping ahead, making sure that he's got the best head start he can.

Om nom nom!

I also got to visit some of my favorite food spots. Big City Burrito has a burrito that has never been matched in my opinion. Luciles, a Cajun restaurant, had dishes and smells that just brought back memories.

A potato burrito with melted onions and cheese, rice, black beans, a ladle of chicken mole, corn salsa, sour cream, guacamole, and a drizzle of ranch. Perfecto!

I didn't see all the friends that I've missed since I left but I saw a fair few. The rest will just have to wait until I return in a couple of months. Sorry, but it's the best I can do. Until then they and I will just have to make do with the communication we have. This is the main reason my facebook is unlikely to die anytime soon. All hail the mighty facebook...

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