New Brace Part 2
The orthotist came up with a second brace concept, and I went back for a fitting that left me feeling a bit dejected.
She took a video of me walking in the examination room. She showed it to me after. It was framed from the knee down. Looking at it made me feel really disabled. I felt ashamed of myself. I felt sorry for myself. it was kind of nauseating. I looked at myself as an object. I felt disgusted.
I apologized to her for walking so poorly. She was surprised. Raising an eyebrow, she told me I had nothing to apologize for.
John Hoppin: Yes! You are tuned in to the What’s The Matter With Me? Podcast. My name is John. I’m 40 years old, and I have multiple sclerosis. I made this podcast to share what I’m going through. In this episode, New Brace, Part Two, they rethought the whole thing. They fit me for a new type of ankle brace. It’s new, and different, and I’m scared of change like anyone, but the energy is still high.
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New Brace Part 2
Two weeks ago, I was talking about getting a new ankle brace, and it got emotional then. This week, I had a second brace fitting appointment because the orthotist came up with a new concept. She thought about what I needed. She thought, “Maybe you need a brace that can help you walk more.” She thought up this carbon fiber brace that may help me walk easier.
While she was fitting me, she took a video of me walking in the examination room. She showed it to me after. I mean, she asked me, “Do you want to see it?” I looked at it. And she had kind of shot it framed from my knee down, looking at it to see how I walked. But watching it for me made me feel kind of really disabled. I know that wasn’t her intention at all. It was me. It was self-talk here, but looking at it was tough.
It was only a few steps, and I was holding the railing in the exam room. My knee was hyperextended, and my ankle twisting, and my muscles looked atrophied. And instead of stepping forward, my foot would swing out to the side and I would kind of stumble forward slowly, awkwardly, and it was painful-looking. I felt ashamed of myself when I watched it. I felt sorry for myself. It was kind of gross because I was looking at myself as an object. I felt some disgust, and really a lot of judgment on myself.
I even turned to the orthotist– we talked about her before. She’s a disabled woman. I apologized to her for walking so poorly while we were watching it together. She was surprised. She raised an eyebrow and told me I had nothing to apologize for. And really, I was freaking out about this. I made a lot of notes for this episode at 3:00 AM the night after I have the appointment because I’m trying to sleep. I wrote, “I’m trying to sleep, and I keep thinking of the video.” So you know, it caused some sleepless night or whatever. It upset me. I can’t believe I apologized to her though. I mean, come on. Get real.
Trust in the process
I’m afraid though. I’m afraid the new brace won’t work, even though she took extra time and thought about it. She thought more after our original fitting. She thought about it, but I’m having a hard time trusting in the process. So I laid in bed that night alternating being upset and crying with trying to breathe and be calm and breathe it out. So I wrote it down in the hopes that it would help with those kind of feelings.
Sometimes it is difficult to accept change. Right now, I don’t want it to be this way. I don’t want to have these problems, but it is this way. I need to compartmentalize what’s making me upset because it’s only part of a very wonderful life that I’m lucky to lead. And now I’ve had a couple days to think about this and I’m hopeful that my new brace will take the pressure off of my foot and make it less painful to walk. I’m scared that I won’t be able to walk in it, but what I have now is very painful. I can force myself to walk short distances. I have limited mobility now. I need to recognize that. Maybe it will help.
Hope For The Future
I have to keep an open mind about it. I have to leave baggage in the past and limit my expectations. I don’t need expectations. I need to try it, give it a shot, and stay in the present moment. I’m going to force myself to say something here. It’s not a bad thing, so I’m okay. Let me force myself. I am … Okay. Hold on. Let me gather myself. I don’t want to just try and say it. I am hopeful that my brace will help me improve my walking, and I hope it helps me to walk more. I am hopeful that my brace will help me improve my walking, and I hope I can walk more. I said it two times just to say a twice. You know what I mean? Things like that are good sometimes. Just say it three times. I hope I can walk more.
Thank you for listening
All right. Thank you for listening to the What’s The Matter With Me? Podcast. New episodes are available at whatsthematterwithme.org, Apple Podcasts, and wherever you download your podcasts. You can email me, via the Contact page and I will give you the greatest shout-out, a really great shout-out. Thanks for tuning in, and catch you next time.
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I don’t hve a website. But I do hve a brace on my right foot similar to tht one you showed. If I can hve a brace tht would make it easier for me to walk I would love to try it. Please send me info on it.
Thank u, Alisha Lee
It’s a carbon-fiber AFO that I got from Hanger Clinic in Mountain View. The company that makes them is Allard