Time for change

So, yesterday I took a trip to the hospital to have a discussion about my callipers and pick up some new boots that it’s hoped will help them stop cutting into me a giving e blisters quite so much. I went in there knowing that we’d also be looking at some of the other options that we could try. More on the new footwear in a minute, I promise.

A couple of weeks back, I went to a clinic appointment where someone suggested that we could try using something called Spring Splints at night instead, which I’ve never had before, but  they said I should discuss that further when I went to pick up my new shoes. I  go to a lot of my appointments on my own these days, (don’t you love being a grown up), but this time I asked my mum if she could come along for the ride to offer some insight into things that had worked well for me when I was a child.

After a bit of a debate, it was decided that we could give these Spring Splints a go when I’m resting, and also cast me for a pair of ridged ankle AFO splints for during the day. I’ve had AFOs before . There’s also discussion of using another course of using another method to help release some of the tightness in my ankles. It’s something that I had done a few times as a child and it worked really well. However, that is only at the discussion stages right now so I’ll mention that later on if it goes ahead.

My callipers
My callipers

Anyway, back to the shoes. They look pretty much the same as the ones in this picture, only with one extra strap, and not worn down, obviously. I’ve hunted high and low for a picture of my old splints, but I can’t find one because I used to wear them under trousers or jeans most of the time. Sorry.

When I got my new pair of boots that the callipers slot into, I found that they had an extra strap on the back that should make a difference to the position of my foot so I’ll keep trying to wear them for now until the new stuff comes through. I tried walking around in them for a bit and it’s so far, so good, minus the usual feelings of having to break in any new gear you get for your feet anyway.

I’m nervous about trying the new splints but I’m excited too. I’m willing to try anything that might help in the long or short term so I’ll just have to keep an open mind and see how it goes.

If you or someone you know has tried any of these types of splints, I’d be really grateful if you could leave me a comment or tweet me.

And so, let’s hope that today’s appointment with the occupational therapist goes as well!

Why you probably don’t want to get caught in the rain with me

I’ll admit that I’m probably not the best person to be out and about with when it’s pouring down with rain.

If I’m using my walking frame Martha I walk quite a lot slower than most of the people I hang out with, so can’t dash for cover in a hurry, and I’m pretty sure trying to move a wheelchair at speed with me sat in it isn’t the easiest thing in the world to do either. And if I just so happen to have an umbrella, my designated driver for the day usually gets hit in the face by it a few times (unintentionally, I promise.)

I know that Martha and my callipers don’t really like the wet weather all that much either, because they both tend to develop, high-pitched squeaks of protest and everyone around can hear us coming for miles. It’s bad enough when it’s just one of them, but when they both start kicking off, it gets really, really annoying.

And yet, despite all this, my dear mother has still offered to take me, along with Martha and my callipers to the shops today when it eases off a bit.

Thanks, Mum 🙂

Calliper/blister update

My callipers
My callipers

Well, I went to the hospital to show them that my callipers and boots have been blistering me again, and, as promised, I thought I’d give you all an update.

The man looked at my feet and how they sit inside boot and suggested that we try adding some extra straps to another pair that will change my foot position and hopefully be more comfy to wear. He ordered them and suggested that I come in for a fitting rather than just collecting them so that he could show me how to attach the calliper to them because it will be slightly different this time around. I’m just hoping that I’ll manage to get them on by myself, although I don’t see why not.

With this will then come some upping the ante on my physio and stretching regime, but that’s probably a good thing to do anyways.

As for the chaffing that the callipers did to my legs when I first got them back in January, I showed him the mark that is still on my leg (although somewhat fainter now, which is good) and when he found out that I wear them over the top of my jeans rather than underneath them, he suggested that it might be a good idea to wear jeans with small seems in case that was what had irritated my skin in the first place. They haven’t rubbed there for ages though so I’m hoping that that part has sorted itself out at least. I know that I could hide them under my clothes if i really wanted to, but I figured that seeing as I spend my time wondering around with a big blue walking frame, it seems a little bit pointless, if you ask me.

So, there you have it. Not all that much to tell really, but let’s hope it works. Needless to say, I’ll keep you posted.

My lack of summer shoes

One of the downsides of summer for me is that I can’t wear summer shoes. In years gone by this hasn’t been too much of a problem for me because it hasn’t ever really got that warm, but boy, oh boy, I am feeling it this year.

I’m not able to wear flip-flops or open toe sandals to help me keep cool in the heat, and I’m still limited to my usual choice of callipers, boots or trainers. Usually this doesn’t bother me too much. If I’m honest, because I’ve never done it, the idea of wearing flip-flops seems totally odd to me. The idea of wondering around all day with something shoved between two of your toes and having the sole of your foot slapped by whatever they’re wearing every time you take a step seems like it would really get on my nerves, but I guess you must get used to it after a while.

Maybe there would be something different I could wear, I don’t spend enough time in shoe shops to really notice.

For the past week, I’ve taken to wearing an old pair of ankle boots I bought a couple of years back. My callipers are too warm to wear at the moment, and they’ve blistered my feet really badly again anyway. This happens every so often and I’m not really sure why, but I’m off to the hospital next week to hopefully try and get the problem sorted out. They don’t blister me as much as the AFO splints that I used to wear, but still, it’s not nice when they do. My foot was so sore last week that my boyfriend even offered to carry me so that I wouldn’t have to walk on it until I could change into something that wouldn’t irritate me quite so much. I didn’t take him up on the offer, as tempted as I was by the time I got home.

For now, I guess I should look on what I guess you could call the brightside: at least I have an excuse to wear something that’s not quite so warm without having to feel guilty about no wearing the callipers.

Every cloud, eh?

Customising my callipers

My callipers
My callipers

For a while now I have been toying with the idea of customising my callipers. It’s not that I don’t like them the way they are or that I’m ashamed to wear them or anything I just think they look a bit…well, dull. I never bother to hide them under my jeans and just wear them on the outside of them in plain sight. When I first got them I was still using my old kaye walker Betsy which was silver, but now that I have Martha in all her blue glory, I think they could do with jazzing up a bit.

When I used to wear AFO leg splints I had them in all kinds of varieties from swirly blue patterns, to butterflies and Tweety Pie.  My first pair of leg gaiters that I used to sleep in at night had the 100 Acre Wood and Winnie the Pooh.

My walking frames too have not been exempt coming in a range of colours, some of them being given names and sometimes having little mementos from holidays and various events like ribbons.

I know that not everything I use over the years and look interesting but that doesn’t mean that I can’t do it for myself. The thing is, now that I’m getting older I’m not really sure how to go about doing it. Now that I’m looking for work I don’t think it would be very acceptable for me to cover them in stickers or glitter anymore.

I was thinking that maybe I could paint them but then I have to decide on a colour. I could paint them black so that they would go with anything, but then purple in my favourite colour but I’m not sure if it would be frowned upon.

I may not end up customising them at all but it’s something that I would quite like to do if I can find a good and simple way of doing it.

If you have an idea or opinions of if and how I could do it, let me know. If you think it’s a bad idea, tell me that too.