My new splints

My new splints
My new splints

My serial casting pots got taken off yesterday which I was very happy about, and my new day time splints (also called AFOs) have also arrived.

I had the pots taken off yesterday morning and then went straight round to the department that deals with the splints to get them fitted.

It looks like the serial casting has helped to make my ankles less tight, which is what we wanted. I’m not entirely sure how much difference it has made, but I have an appointment with the physio in a couple of weeks so she’ll be able to give me a better idea.

When I first came out of the casts my ankles ached for quite a while afterwards but my mum and I did a bit of stretching and that has passed now, which is really quite nice.

The thing that took me by surprise the most was how strange I found it when I first put my new splints on yesterday. I had them for most of my childhood but stopped wearing them about a year ago when it was decided that we would try to see how well callipers worked for me.

Although I’m sure they work well for a lot of people, this wasn’t the case for me because I had a lot of problems with blistering. This is why we made the choice to give splints another go after we had relieved some of the tightness in my ankles by doing the serial casting.

I kind of thought that because I’d worn splints for so long before that it wouldn’t really feel odd to me, but it did. Now I just have to go through the process of bedding them in slowly a couple of hours at time until I get used to it again, which could take a while.

As I’m only on day two of the process, I’ll update you all about it a bit later on when I’ve got a bit more to say about it.

They fit inside a pair shoes that you can buy in the shops too although I have to buy them a size bigger than I would normally take without them and make sure that I get a pair that is wide enough to accommodate them.

I guess it’s time that I dug out my old collection of over-the-knee socks that I used to wear with my old ones. I find that helps to make them more comfy because it stops them sticking to the back of my legs.

I’ll let you all know how I get on.


The final countdown

Yep, it’s official: I’m counting down. But not to Christmas or even New Year. Nope, I’m just waiting for Tuesday, which is the day that my serial casting pots will be coming off.

Serial casting is some treatment that I’ve been undergoing for the past five weeks for my Cerebral Palsy. As my ankles are tight, they’ve been potted into a better postion, so that hopefully, when they get taken off on Tuesday, my muscles will be more relaxed. Then, I’ll be able to get my foot into the place that the casts have been holding it a lot more easily.This, in turn, should make the new splints that I’ll be getting on that day a lot more confotable for me to wear than if we hadn’t done this first.

If you want to read more about how I’ve found the process, you can read my other posts  about it here.

As excited as I am to see how well the has worked, and to get my new splints, I think the thing I’m looking forward to the most is not having to worry about getting my feet and legs wet anymore. Thankfully we have a walk in shower at home that I’ve still been able to use as long as I covered the pots with some waterproof protectors and some bin bags, but it’s just not the same. I’ll be able to go out in heavy rain without having to worry and constantly look for shelter again too. Not that I make a habit of going out when it’s pouring it down, but it’s nice to have the option, you know?

Not long now though. Almost there.

Four days to go, if you don’t count Tuesday itself. And yes, I am counting.

How time flies!

It really does seem like time flies by these days.

I’ve had my serial casting pots on for four weeks now and it’s passed very quickly, which I’m going to say is a good thing.

I’m still not sure when they’re going to be coming off yet, that will all depend on when my new splints arrive, and when the splints ( AKA orthotics department) can fit me in at a time that suits them both. I don’t mind being in the casts for as long as it takes, but I won’t deny that I’m looking forward to them coming off.

As I’m sitting here typing this, I have an itch on my left leg that is just under the pot and just out of reach. It’s been here for a couple of minutes now, and because I’m writing about it, it’s making it seem worse. So I think I’ll talk about something different…

So, anyway, (she says, trying hard to focus on the keyboard and nothing else), I’ve had this current pair of casts on for two weeks and no one has signed them this time. They have been sort of customised by accident though because they are covered in bits of fluff from the slipper socks that I’ve been wearing to keep my feet warm. The bits close to my toes and heels are starting to go pink and black, which kind of makes me smile. I’m pretty sure someone will come at them with a marker pen before too long, though.

Speaking of decorating, I’m already thinking of how I can cover Martha in trimmings for Christmas this year. I was talking to mum about this earlier today and she has a few ideas too, so between us we might be able to come up with some form of festive fun for my walking frame.

If you have any suggestions for things that you think might look good and are fairly easy/cheap that I could try, feel free to suggest and I’ll see if I can incorporate any of them.

Let’s have a catch up

First off, I need to start off by saying sorry that there wasn’t a nice new post for you all to read on Monday. I meant to tell you all on Friday that there wouldn’t be one but I forgot. (Silly me). I’ll try make sure that it doesn’t happen again.

Now, onto today’s topic which I suppose is kind of a round- up of all that’s been going on the last few days. Things have been pretty busy.

As you might recall, on Thursday I had somewhere to go on the train and I was wondering how easy it would be for me to manage alone while I was undergoing my serial casting treatment to release some of the tightness in my muscles. I am very happy to say that all went fine and it was just the same as always, which is nice to know. The only real difference was that I’m walking even slower than I usually do (speed is not my strong point at the best of times), but I managed to set off early enough that I still got there ahead of schedule.

It just so happened to be a dry day too which made the trip a lot less stressful because I was a bit worried about getting the pots too wet, so that was a relief.

On Friday, I went back to the hospital to get the air of pots that I was wearing taken off and get cast for some new daytime and night time splints to wear once the serial casting process is done. I was happy to see that even though was only two weeks into the treatment at the time, you could already see some improvements. We’re not quite where we want to be yet I don’t think, but there’s still a couple of weeks to go yet so there’s room for more changes.

When I went to see the man who was in charge of taking casts for my splints, he told me that the ones that I will be getting for during the day time will be like some that I have had before. For some reason, I thought they were going to be different, but I must’ve got myself confused somewhere along the line. I think because I personally have always just called them ‘fixed AFOs’, the word ankle made me think that they were something I hadn’t tried before and now I feel a bit silly. Either way, I don’t mind having those again. All the posts where I said that I hadn’t had them before have now been edited so that they no longer say that and I’m sorry for any confusion that this may have caused.

I’ll post pictures when they arrive rather than trying to explain them all. I thought I might have some already, but I spent a lot of time where them under my jeans or trousers so I don’t actually have a photo where they are visible. Sorry about that.

I was allowed to choose what colour I wanted, and usually I’d go for something bright and bold but this time I thought I go for black, just for a change, and I can jazz them up with stickers or something if I fancy a bit of a change at some point.

The night splints that I’ll be getting (which I think are called resting spring splints,) will be made from the same cast too. I don’t think that I’d had this kind of thing before, but I guess I really won’t know what they are until they turn up. It might be something that I have used in the past bit with a different name to what I’m used to using so I’ll let you know.

Then I went and had more pots put back on my feet. It will take about two weeks for the splints to arrive so they will stay on until I go in and get them fitted, all being well.

Trying not to splash in puddles

Sometimes, I think that I must have a bigger inner child than I actually realise, at least where puddles are concerned.

I used to love splashing in them and walking through them when I was much younger, and I still always seem to end up trailing in them even if I don’t intend to. I try my best to avoid them and it still always seems to happen, I’m not sure if this is because I find it harder to move quickly out of their path, or because of some childhood instinct.

When I had serial casting done as a child I remember played out in the rain for a bit too long in our school playground. My mum had already warned me that I should use the undercover area that it had if any showers hit us, but this particular day, I didn’t think it was heavy enough for me to do that. I didn’t notice that a few of the bottom layers had started to peel off until I got home at the end of the day and got a telling off from my mother. Opps.

This time around, I’m taking the completely opposite altitude and if the ground is even slightly damp, or there are any grey clouds overhead, I go out in my wheelchair just to be on the safe side because I don’t want to have to go and be recast . Nor do I want an even bigger telling off from my mother because now I really am old enough to know better. I always take some form of waterproof covering out with me just to be on the safe side too. This weekend for example, and wrapped a bright red waterproof coat around my legs, and tied it around my waist to hold it in place.

If it were dry enough, I would still take Martha instead of the wheelchair, but for once I’m making sure that I am sensible. The other day mum also remembered that we have waterproof walking trousers up in the loft so I’ll be taking them with me next time for added protection.

If there are some dry days while I’m in pots I think I will still use Martha, but only if it looks like it will be a fine day. I’d rather not risk it over the next couple of weeks. There’ll be lots of opportunities for me to splashing in puddles when this is all over and done with, after all.


Snug as a bug in a rug

Today’s post is a series of good news stories! I love it when this happens. I have three things that I’m feeling very happy about today!  Go grab a cup of tea and I’ll tell you all about them.

Ready? Okay, let’s get started!

So, on Monday afternoon I went to have my left leg re-potted after I had to get that one removed because my little toe was feeling a bit on the squashed side, so off I trotted to the hospital to get recast. This is where good news story #1 comes in. When they put my first pots on last Friday, they had to cast me lying on my tummy so that they could get my ankle into the right position. When I was a child, I had this done in sitting, but on that day, my ankles were too tight to do this with me sat up, so I had to lay on my front. My left leg always has been the tighter of the two. The right leg has stayed it its cast the whole time.

However, come Monday afternoon, even though I’d only worn the original pot on Lefty Leg for just over 12 hours and had it taken off on the Saturday morning, even by the time Monday rolled around, the people who work in the plaster room to get my foot into the right position to pot me in sitting! I was truly amazed by this. I can’t wait to see the end result on both sides.

When they put the new pot on, they made sure that my left pinky toe had lots of padding so it’s now snug as a bug in a rug, which is the second thing I’m pleased about today.

The third thing that is making me happy is the new pair of joggers that I have invested in. I can’t manage to get my jeans over my casts at the moment so I’ve had to wear shorts and skirts (without tights). Over the last couple of weeks, the weather has turned really cold in the UK, so I have been spending a lot of time wrapped up in blankets when I leave the house.

That won’t be an issue now though because these jogging bottoms are a perfect fit and so hopefully they’ll keep me nice and warm and snugly, just like my little toe.

I think I may need to buy another pair…

The Serial Casting begins

It’s fair to say that the last couple of days have been quite busy, and today is looking set to be the same.

I had my Serial Casting pots put on on Friday as expected. I was quite surprised when they decided to cast me while I was on my tummy this time around because it helped to get my legs in a better position due to how tight they are. I don’t remember them having to do it this way when I was a child. I didn’t really mind it to be honest, although I was a little upset that I couldn’t be nosey.

They decided that instead of only keeping them on for a week, because they’d got my feet into such good positions they would keep them on for a fortnight instead. When these come off, I’ll go straight down to the orthotics department to have my new splints cast too and then go back into another set of pots for probably another two weeks at least.

This time, I didn’t get to  chose what colour I had the casts, but the plaster technicians did offer to put some glitter on them for me. I decided against this so that my family and friends could draw all over them for me instead if they wanted.

Things seemed to be going okay from there. I mastered walking in them pretty fast and my only worry was that my feet were cold, given the time of year.

Later on the evening though, my little toe on my left side started to really hurt. I thought it was mostly because my feet were nice and warm by that point. It got worse during the night so I went to the hospital on Saturday morning just to see if they could trim the pot back a little bit to see if they could release some of the pressure on it. I should point out that my pinky toe was absolutely fine apart from being sore, I just felt that it needed a little more wiggle room in there.

This no reflection on the people who put them on for me whatsoever. These things just happen sometimes and I’m sure the next one they give me will be just fine.

In turned out, that on Saturday morning, someone would be able to help us cut the cast where it needed to be cut, but there would be no one in who could put another one back on until Monday (today).  The nurse tried her best to be able to keep the pot on, but cutting it back just moved the pressure to different parts of my foot, so it was decided that it was for the best to take the whole thing off and start again. The right one is absolutely fine so that one has been left alone and I’m still wearing it.

So this afternoon I’m off back to the hospital to be recast. Even though that one was on for just over 24 hours there’s already a notable difference in my left ankle when you stretch it, so I’m looking forward to getting it back on again and seeing what the result is at the end of the process in a few weeks time.

I tried my water proof shower cover out last night with some help from my mum. We coated my leg in an extra bin bag too just to be safe, and propped my foot up on a stool to prevent it from being exposed to water as much as possible. It was a success.