In my continuing ankle-foot orthosis journey, I picked up my new AFO for my left foot. It has been a very different experience from where I started this journey.
The journey began in December 2017. I now have had three different orthotists. I liked the first one, but he left that office. His replacement was not my favorite; I felt that he did not listen to what I said or how I felt about the AFOs and my Charcot-Marie-Tooth. I did speak up and was guided to a different office and orthotist. So far, I like her. She listened and addressed the issues that I was having with the current AFOs. She recast my left foot and made a new AFO for it.
I picked the new one up this week. I could walk as soon as I put it on and had minimal discomfort. I was surprised at how easy it was to walk and how straight my ankle was in the new one. My orthotist suggested I wear it for two hours a day at first, then slowly add more time and see her in two weeks. I wore the brace for about two hours while having lunch with a friend. I had to stop walking at one point and take the brace off due to extreme pain in the back of my foot. There was no bench around, so my friend helped me take the brace off and put my shoe back on, in the middle of the mall. I then walked to my car with one brace in my hand and one on my foot. It was a slow, uncomfortable walk.
When I got home, I checked my foot and saw I had a quarter-sized blister! No wonder it had hurt so much. I cleaned it and bandaged it. I padded the old brace in the spot, so I could put on a shoe to do some errands. The next morning I called the office to let the orthotist know what was happening. She wasn’t there, but the receptionist told me to text her on her clinic cellphone. She got back to me within an hour. The orthotist asked some questions, then said she would check her schedule and get me in as soon as she could. I had an appointment scheduled shortly afterward.
At my appointment, my orthotist took the new AFO and made a deeper indention where the blister is. She listened to my concerns and I was impressed with how quickly she addressed the issue. I hope that once this situation is under control, I will find it easier and safer to walk.
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