Thursday, March 21, 2013

Thursday Turmoil~ The End for Right Now

This week came time to say goodbye again to my physical therapist. Sad, though she knows I'll be back.

I'd reached a point where PT was causing more pain than benefit with the returning of my spasticity and months to go, May, before another series of Botox injections. Yes, therapy does break the pattern of spastic muscles but the work outs were reaching the 8 out of 10 on the pain scale and lasting more than a day. Each therapy day I found myself having less and less progress because of it. The frustration was the real killer.

I had dropped the work on my foot and ankle for this very reason a couple of weeks ago. Between the Achilles tendon contracture and the spasticity we were only going through the motions, and not making a smidgen of progress.

Yes, I do know it takes time. I've said often enough here that time is money. I achieved a 30% increase in mobility of my shoulder and 80% regain in active motion of my elbow. I am now better in active range so that's a measurable progress. I absolutely despise having to pick and choose. But decisions have to be made towards optimal versus palliative alternatives within a given set of dollar choices. If I had my way I would stay in all therapies twice to three times a week until I recovered all I lost, but short of spending thousands of dollars out of pocket, that isn't an option.

I've talked about the contracture of my Achilles tendon, right? From what I've learned, it's fairly common with stroke survivors. It will take time to remedy. I'm using my therapy bucks wisely this year for optimal recovery. I'm in recovery for the long haul. There is no quick solution. I wish there was.

On a different note, I went shoe shopping the other day. I had no success. Where do y'all AFO wearers find shoes that fit??? I mean pulling the inside soles out of brand new shoes in the stores is sort of frowned upon. I was told one size higher and a wide width when purchasing shoes with my AFO. My orthodics maker said that Dr. Comfort makes shoes for AFOs, but the cost is like $175 for a pair of shoes! Then you are ordering via the internet so there's no guarantee once you get the shoes whether they'll fit or not. Now with the additional block on my AFO, it makes it doubly hard.

I must have tried on fifteen pairs of tennis shoes in the store! None of them were wide enough to allow for the width of the AFO. I could use some advice from someone who has walked in my shoes literally. My current pair was gotten while I was in the hospital by Hanger. I figured $129 worth of shoes wouldn't wear out so fast. In ten short months the instep sole has worn out to nonexistent in my left fully functioning foot. The soles are pulling loose and cracked. They pick up every piece of pine straw and Spanish moss it steps on. I've been to every shoe store in my town with no luck. HELP!


  1. Oh, no! on all acounts, Jo! I'm so sorry. And I'm with you on buying shoes. I've had trouble for years and I don't have an AFO to consider. Good luck!

    1. Thanks Zan Marie. I've always had a small narrow foot (5 1/2 AA). Now all bets are off with a size 7 extra wide. It'll fit the AFO maybe and swallow my unaffected foot. They feel like clown shoes on my feet, but I'm adjusting sort of.

  2. Shoe shopping...I have given it up. Not because I have a difficult time finding shoes, but finding ones that fit AND are comfortable. I am big on comfort now. Used to be I care not a twit for comfort. The criteria was: do they look sexy?
    So, dealing with an apparatus on your foot adds insult to injury when shopping for foot wear. I feel your pain even though I do not share it.
    I am hoping that somewhere out here in cyber land someone has an answer that won't break the bank.
    Good luck Jo! HUGS

    1. Debra,
      Yeah, I was like that too until I tore my Achilles tendon in my left foot a couple of years ago. Stayed in a boot for 53 weeks. After that I fell in love with granny shoes. I actually found them a lot more comfortable. Especially the stride rite brand.

      I honestly hate shopping for anything which is why I have a stock pile to pull from. I never thought clothes or shoe shopping was fun. I'm strange like that. So looking for shoes and not finding ant is the triple insult to injury.


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