The NEW AFO (Ankle Foot Orthosis)

I finally got my new brace. My 4th brace since I became hemiplegic. Technically, you’re suppose to change your brace every 3 years as the orthopedist suggests. I guess I have this mentality of “if it ain’t broke why fix it” thing going on. Because the ones I have been wearing are long overdue, to be thrown out. BUT I can’t seem, to part with them.

2000 AFO is what I use for riding or anytime I need to wear my boots for formal occasions and all the like. However, after riding, I usually pick up my son from his football practices and I miscalculated a step and somehow, in stepping down, I broke my AFO. Having no choice but to use masking tape and Mueller tape to hold it in place. No, you can’t weld it or remelt it. They finally gave in. I really could not use them. In 2003, I had to change my brace since my leg got smaller and having a lose brace would affect my walking and foot. This was a slimmer which allowed me to use not only cross-trainers but sneakers as well. Then through time, the ball of my foot was always in pain, all sort of discomforts that would even make me wince or cry in pain. Time to get the third pair, 2007.  The third was ultra padded and it was walking on air plus the ultra comfort of New Balance made the perfect match. But because I decided that I seriously needed to lose weight, exercise and minimal dieting over a 2 year period of time, shrunk my leg as well. Making 2007 AFO too lose and started affecting my walking plus the very very tight tendon, was giving more pain and my ankle twisting inward more and more. Thus the ankle surgery that started this blog in the first place.

So today, I picked up my brace. Just like anything else, it needs to be broken in. Give it 3-5 days to pin point the pressure points etc. Then adjustments and extra padding will be put if needed.

It was tiny compared to the others. First the brace was fitted on me then Ric had to attached the straps & the bolts just to make sure he got the measurements right. As always, it felt different. I seriously need new shoes. New sneakers. I walked around getting the feel of my new brace and I was walking better. Again I have to give it 3-5 days to see the difference.

Here’s to a new ankle and a new AFO. Cheers! (Permitted to shop for shoes now.)


Two Rounds & More

When I woke up this morning I was excited. I was going to PT in the afternoon. Maybe adding an extra round without a brace again. Since I was “bad” last night, I had Oatmeal & Peanut Butter & Coffee for breakfast to wash away my sins. Hahaha. A bit bummed by something, but things that I cannot control shouldn’t control me either. I had PT to look forward to at the least. A little Twitter exchange with whoever was on line. My son reminding me that he’s having friends over tonight. Making sure that there were would be food for the kids since the cook went on day-off. Then to get ready. Yes, I still have my bath in  bed.  My yaya is a expert now. The water only trickles down from the shower and faucet in the guest bathroom and I think my mom is exasperated already and wants me out of the den.

I don’t bring a wheelchair around anymore to force me to walk and get my muscles going. It’s only a few steps from the car, to the lobby, up the elevator, and into the PT Department. C’mon Bettina, don’t be Ms. Lazybones. Hahaha. As always, Chris greeted me with a smile and I guess a standard thing to ask how I was feeling. Nothing much changed with the bed exercises except this time my ankle had weights. Ah-ha! My problem is I can’t lift my legs when I’m on my tummy. I have to look at the mirror to see what I’m doing. Chris & I presumed that it was the rewiring of my brain. Hahaha. I just laughed it off as I usually do. 

I promised a video but the first video my yaya took was a huge file that I couldn’t open. I could open some but the camera was all over the place. Still need to give credit to my yaya Helen. I’ll figure it how somehow of how I can post a video. In the meantime, all I have are pictures.

I still need my baston (Lofstrand Forearm Crutch)for balance and as you can see, making Chris still hold me. He says I can do without him holding. In time Chris. In time. I did two rounds around the department and other leg exercises in the parallel bars.

The corner turns are a bit tricky. I kinda lose my balance. Something I still have to learn in time. For more than 12 years, I was entirely dependent on a wheelchair and then a crutch and of course my AFO (leg brace) to get me walking or moving.  Who would have thought that it would be possible for me to “walk” again?  The activities of daily living (ADL), is one thing that people take for granted. Going up and down stairs, hopping on and off an escalator or elevator, brushing your teeth, taking a bath, combing your hair, going to the bathroom… I can go on and on. In all of this, it makes one realize how much we take things and people for granted. The simplest things in life that we just brush aside because we’re used to them being “there”. Well, DON’T. Because one day, pray that it doesn’t, people and things just vanish or lose interest and move on to hopefully better things. Then what?

The GREEN Cast Comes Off…. DAY 1

After exactly 31 days, my green cement cast comes off. Then begins my journey. Recovering. Strengthening. Learning to walk again. And so I thought. I think the cast would have been taken off if I didn’t forget or better yet, I was told to bring my AFO (Ankle Foot Orthosis). Unfortunately, I didn’t. Instead my full leg cast was sawed-off to knee length. AT LEAST I can finally bend my knee. I was told that my knee will hurt and it does. Also, my toes started to swell since I left my leg down after the doctor’s visit. Had to prop it up again with a pillow. It does feel so much better. It’s like I’m just wearing my brace which I have been wearing for the past 12 years. Only I can’t walk yet and do things on my own. Just be patient Bettina. Just be patient.