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    Old 01-31-2005, 06:42 AM   #1
    Albertarose
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    AfO's

    This topic was probably brougt up at some point or another so I apologize. I was wondering if anyone who wears an AFO in the home if you wear any special shoe/slipper? And if so what siuts you best?
    I wear an AFO both outside and in my home. My AFO fits fine in any running shoe but in the house I don't wear runners so I have tried wearing slippers over my AFO and they don't seem to work well. They fall off or ruin very quickly. I have since been wearing a summer sandle with velcro straps. It works very well but my feet get cold. I have tried heavier socks but than the brace is to tight. Any suggetions?
    Thank you

     
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    Old 01-31-2005, 08:23 AM   #2
    Freestyles
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    Re: AfO's

    Albertarose,

    Welcome aboard!

    I used to wear AFOs a few years back.. I had the same problem in that finding a shoe to fit over the AFO posed quite the challenge.

    Have you tried wearing a sock over your AFO? Someone suggested this to me when I was younger.. Although I was never prone to having cold feet.

    F.S

     
    Old 01-31-2005, 07:32 PM   #3
    Albertarose
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    Lightbulb Re: AfO's

    Thank you for the welcome Freestyle,

    I haven't tried socks over the AFO. Sounds like something I might try tho. Thanks for the tip!

     
    Old 02-13-2005, 01:55 AM   #4
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    Re: AfO's

    hi,

    I'm 25 years of age. I used to wear AFO's, and i found that i could only wear certain types of shoes, like u found out. Anyway when i was 15 I decided to experiment and found that regular orthotics in the shoes gave me the same level of support as AFO's. So now i can wear regular shoes. hope this helps

    cya

    stew

     
    Old 02-14-2005, 07:39 AM   #5
    Albertarose
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    Re: AfO's

    Thanks stewieb,

    I'm 37 and I should have been wearing orthotics or a built up shoes all my life but my parents neglected it. So as I got older I had to do something about my walking before I ended up in a wheelchair. I've been wearing the AFO for 6 years now. It helps out a lot, but I am prone to cold feet in the house. Do you wear your orthotics in the house? And if so, what type of shoe do you wear?

     
    Old 02-17-2005, 08:42 AM   #6
    musicmaker650
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    Re: AfO's

    Hello Albertarose,
    I really doubt if wearing "more correct" shoes or AFO's will help you stay out of a wheelchair indefinately. It is true that AFO's support and counteract the muscle and tendon forces that are incorrect, but these forces will get stronger and stronger regardless of what you wear. Something you already know, I'm sure... I hated my leg braces, and when my doctor said he could do a surgical procedure on me that would make it so I never needed braces again. I was happy, to say the least! I had that procedure done when I was 11. I have not worn AFO's since. I am walking the same now, as I was at 11. I'm 54

     
    Old 02-17-2005, 01:30 PM   #7
    Albertarose
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    Re: AfO's

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by musicmaker650
    Hello Albertarose,
    I really doubt if wearing "more correct" shoes or AFO's will help you stay out of a wheelchair indefinately. It is true that AFO's support and counteract the muscle and tendon forces that are incorrect, but these forces will get stronger and stronger regardless of what you wear. Something you already know, I'm sure... I hated my leg braces, and when my doctor said he could do a surgical procedure on me that would make it so I never needed braces again. I was happy, to say the least! I had that procedure done when I was 11. I have not worn AFO's since. I am walking the same now, as I was at 11. I'm 54
    Thanks usicmaker,

    I have not reached a whelchair as of yet....knock on wood! I hope that I don't any time soon. You seem to have gone through many surgeries in your life. I have only had one on my left arm when I was 7 years old and heelcord surgery on my left leg when I was 14. I'm now approaching 38, and was wondering if you have had any surgeries in your adulthood? If so what kind? Thanks

     
    Old 02-17-2005, 01:35 PM   #8
    NJenn
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    Re: AfO's

    Albertarose,

    Using a wheelchair is not the end of the world...... It may even be a good thing, even though it is a major life adjustment. I've used a wheelchair all my life even though I really don't have to. It makes the simple tasks in life that much easier, and makes more difficult things possible. I am quicker and less fatigued when I use my chair, and I also have found that I'm treated with much more respect by ABs.

    Just my two cents.

    NJenn

     
    Old 02-17-2005, 03:20 PM   #9
    Albertarose
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    Re: AfO's

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NJenn
    Albertarose,

    Using a wheelchair is not the end of the world...... It may even be a good thing, even though it is a major life adjustment. I've used a wheelchair all my life even though I really don't have to. It makes the simple tasks in life that much easier, and makes more difficult things possible. I am quicker and less fatigued when I use my chair, and I also have found that I'm treated with much more respect by ABs.

    Just my two cents.

    NJenn
    NJen,

    I know a wheelchair makes things more easy. I was just simply saying that so far I've been lucky that I haven't had to use one yet!. I've been walking since I was 3.5 years old and haven't had the need for a chair at this time in my life. I know that it will be a HUGE adjustment if I ever have to use one. And that's when I'll come to you with a lot of questions!!! If you don't mind!

     
    Old 02-18-2005, 06:18 PM   #10
    musicmaker650
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    Re: AfO's

    Albertarose,
    I know you will need some sort of walking assistance eventually. A wheelchair is not a major adjustment, unless you have a weak upper body. There are all types of scooters too. It's really too bad that those of you that are so thankful that you have not needed a wheelchair so far in your lives, might end up in one, without having the skills to get the most out of one... or become an invalid of sorts, as you might think those of us that use one are

     
    Old 02-18-2005, 08:58 PM   #11
    NJenn
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    Re: AfO's

    I am so thankful that my mom had the foresight not to listen to the doctor's "walking is everything" attitude. I got a manual chair early, and was given the option to use it if and when I wanted. This left me with no hangups about using a chair whatsoever, and has thus given me greater quality of life than walking alone ever could. There really is no way to convey this to full-time ambulators, you have to try it for yourself. I've mentioned in several previous posts that I often choose to use the chair for social rather than physical reasons. This is not because I am uncomfortable with the way that I walk, but because I am a professional in a fast-paced environment who's keenly aware of how uncomfortable and uneasy a spastic gait can make others. If my colleagues and professional contacts are focused on my physicality, they won't be listening as closely to the ideas that I convey, and the skill set that I bring to the table-- no matter how comfortable I am with my gait. This isn't a PC thing to say, but it is the truth. My chair allows me to fully interact in the world, and I am thankful for that.

    I definitely respect the decision to walk full-time, and think that it really takes guts to constantly use that much energy. I just feel as if there is an undercurrent on this board, and in threads other than this, that conveys the idea that walking is innately "better" than using a chair. Believe me, that is not necessarily the case. Everyone with CP will end up using a chair at some point in their lives, whether it is directly or indirectly to CP. By the way, the amazing upper body I've developed because of my wheelchair use allows me to bench press 1.5X my body weight. Not bad for a little crip girl in a chair, if I do say so myself.

    Take care of yourselves,

    NJenn

     
    Old 02-19-2005, 12:09 AM   #12
    Christine23
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    Re: AfO's

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NJenn
    I often choose to use the chair for social rather than physical reasons. This is not because I am uncomfortable with the way that I walk, but because I am a professional in a fast-paced environment who's keenly aware of how uncomfortable and uneasy a spastic gait can make others. If my colleagues and professional contacts are focused on my physicality, they won't be listening as closely to the ideas that I convey, and the skill set that I bring to the table-- no matter how comfortable I am with my gait. This isn't a PC thing to say, but it is the truth.
    In a way its refreshing to hear someone say that. On the other hand as someone who rarely uses wheeled transportation I've found that for me it has been a little more awkward using my scooter in social situations vs using my crutches. I think this is because its easier for me to get into smaller, semi inaccessable places with my crutches. I hate making people feel uncomfortable because I can't get into some place because I'm using the scooter.

    Usually people with me will say something like "Oh we'll figure something out..." , but this usually results with me feeling bad, or embarrassed when they say, "Oh, she can't get into XYZ place so what should we do now??", or if they try to physically "help me" get into some inaccesible area it usually involves me ending up in some humiliating position. (usually carried somewhere, which I hate, or EVERYTHING is being moved, and EVERYONE is falling all over themselves appoligizing.)

    All in all I think one's preference is determined by what they are used to

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NJenn
    I definitely respect the decision to walk full-time, and think that it really takes guts to constantly use that much energy.
    You'd think I'd be thinner since I'm expending energy.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NJenn
    I just feel as if there is an undercurrent on this board, and in threads other than this, that conveys the idea that walking is innately "better" than using a chair.
    I think this board may be somewhat biased toward walking, but I think that this is because a lot of the more vocal posters seem to be more on the walking end of the CP spectrum. I think a good number of people are more ambulatory than I am, as I can't relate to exercising using a treadmill, etc, but it was refresshing for me to get to finally see this side of PWD. As I have said in earlier thread I've always felt I've been treated as a "lesser" PWD because I don't use a chair. I was once was on a PWD related forum where it seemed like most of those with CP were in power chairs. Whenever they'd refer to different issues they always seemed to assume that everyone uses a chair. (one of pet peeves is the Ms Wheelchair pagent I guess in order to properly represent PWD you have to be in a chair.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NJenn
    Everyone with CP will end up using a chair at some point in their lives, whether it is directly or indirectly to CP.
    I know this, and when the time comes I'll be happy with it.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NJenn
    By the way, the amazing upper body I've developed because of my wheelchair use allows me to bench press 1.5X my body weight. Not bad for a little crip girl in a chair, if I do say so myself.
    Thats awesome! wouldn't last long in a manual chair because while my legs are affected more, my shoulders would wear ot much faster

    Sorry for rambling

    Last edited by Christine23; 02-19-2005 at 12:17 AM.

     
    Old 02-19-2005, 10:37 PM   #13
    NJenn
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    Re: AfO's

    Hey Christine--

    What a great post! Thank you. It's interesting, because I'm riding both sides of the fence. While in college I walked 70-80% of the time, and used a chair for the remainder. Now, because of back pain (from too much walking--look out) and because of recently getting new afo's, I use my chair much more often. I've seen and lived both sides, and there are definitely pros and cons to both.

    You're right, it does boil down to which mobility aid we are most comfortable with. In some situations I do prefer my crutches. I prefer a lightweight manual over a scooter in order to avoid the "how do we get her in there" situation that you described. Plus, I can get my manual into my car very easily. It all depends on our individual situation.

    One of the problems with being a walker and a roller is that I never really learned all the tips and tricks of using a chair. So, if I need to pop my chair up a curb or if I get stuck in the snow, I'm apt to jump out of the chair, pick it up and carry it over the obstacle. That's led to its own interesting situations ("oh my god, she can walk!")! It's amazing how many people assume you can't walk because you use a chair.

    The arm strength comes with time and perserverance in the gym, but it does happen. I'm concerned about keeping my shoulders healthy, so my doc has suggested getting a pair of power assist wheels for my chair. This is a very tough transition for me! Probably similar to you making the choice to use a chair. I've always thought of myself as pretty athletic in my chair-- I play wheelchair BB, tennis, and am training to do a marathon. Somehow those power assist wheels don't quite fit with my image of myself, but if they'll save my shoulders, I guess I'll try them.

    Your comment about the Ms. Wheelchair pageant really hit home-- I was recently asked to participate in this. My response was "but I only use a chair sometimes". As you can imagine, that didn't bother them at all. The whole premise of that program bothers me, though. Here's the thing: as women, PWD or not, we compete against other women on a daily basis just by virtue of living in a society that is still dominated by men (yeah, I'm a feminist-- shoot me). We compete for jobs, salary increases, partners, etc. The last thing I would ever want to do is compete against my disabled sisters for anything-- let alone the chance to wear a tiara, carry flowers, and spout off a disability platform. I can do that on my own, through my research in the future (applying to PhD programs now)-- no contest, no flowers, and no tiara needed! And don't we all do this in our daily lives as we explain the disabled experience (sometimes ad naseaum) to others? Just my two cents.

    Ok, this got really long (sorry!). Guess I get chatty after midnight.

    NJenn~~ 26, spastic diplegic, sometimes walker, sometimes roller, yet all-the-time on the move.

     
    Old 02-21-2005, 07:45 AM   #14
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    Re: AfO's

    Albertarose
    I have had surgeries in adulthood (now 36; had them in the last five years). It is definitely harder at this stage, given more life responsibilities and healing in later years. I didn't have too many options w. respect to conversative measures. Long road, but worth it.

    Just dealing w. residuals now.

    prisc1125

     
    Old 02-21-2005, 07:55 AM   #15
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    Re: AfO's

    Hey Everyone
    For folks who have had orthotics made, has the idea of a rockerbottom shoe ever been posed as an option? I am grappling with this possibility currently for my foot issues. Have little-to-no ankle dorsiflexion, and supinate. Therefore, my forefoot and lateral foot take the brunt of each foot strike. Also have a leg length discrepancy. Idea is to lift entire shoe up (vs lift for heel, which worsens my lumbar back pain) and take the force off my forefoot. Have calluses forming from friction.

    Any feedback welcome! Tx!

    prisc1125

     
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