Monday, October 31, 2011

Got my new bionic legs!

Yuck! I got fitted for AFOs (Ankle-Foot-Orthosis or Anti-Fashion-Object) today. FOR BOTH LEGS! Horrors! They are white plastic with velcro and you have to wear socks with them! It's heading to Summer in humid Auckland! I really wanted to cry when he brought them in. I am really starting to think the health system is taking 'run yourself ugly' to the extreme 'walk yourself ugly'. They do help me walk so that is a gain but they are really not compatible with work!

My working day involves driving to clients' houses - try that with a bit of plastic strapped to your leg and foot! Then visiting them in their homes. A large percentage of New Zealanders have shoe-free homes so the whole contraption has to be removed since the forms fit under inner soles where possible. It doesn't instill confidence in clients that I won't drop their baby when I need plastic to hold up my legs! 

I know all these products are designed to help make our lives easier but it is really hard to adjust to them.  I've done OK with the crutch, although I'd prefer a lilac one with diamantes. I've coped with the red blotches and bruises from injection irritation on my left leg - for some reason that's the only spot that causes problems! I sacked the physio because she was wasting my time and not giving me any thing in return. I sacked the OT when she threatened to come and assess my house for future possible problems - I'll sort them when they occur! I'm sick to death of people thinking I can just move from a townhouse to a single level dwelling just like that! For a start this is Grammar zone! Single level dwellings around here do not come cheap! 

There are people out there who are trying to make more user-friendly AFOs. The best I've seen are those by Allard which are light, and cool looking - the toe-off looks really cool -the woman is running in it!

Yesterday was a downer day. I had been to the Armaghedon convention and done 30 minutes on the wind trainer plus taken the dog for a wee walk the day prior. It was also the day I had my betaferon. I try to do as much as possible on good days (aka days that I'll be taking meds in the evening). Yesterday Simon was running a double marathon - one tacked on before the Auckland Marathon. In the good ol' days I'd have supported him but the optic neuritis means I can't drive at night so he had a buddy do it. I planned on making my way to downtown and cheering. When I woke up I felt like I'd been run over by a steamroller! Then I opened the curtains and saw brilliant sunshine - there is no way I can stand more than 10 minutes in the sun or I get a super exacerbation of symptoms. So once again MS robbed me of another facet of my life! The funny thing was when Simon got home we had the exact same gait! At least I have an easy explanation of my symptoms for my friends who do these crazy distances - I feel just like you do after a marathon/ultra!

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