Since my last post on here, many things have happened in my life, which have kept me very busy.
We moved to southern Georgia from Indiana, which was a lot of work. We looked at so many houses that I lost count. I realized during our house hunting that due to my disability our search would be more limited. We tried to avoid houses with more than one floor because navigating stairs is very difficult for me mostly if I had to do it many times a day.
After searching through these houses for such a long time we realized having a house built would be easier to get what we wanted, where we wanted, and capable of accommodating my disability. Our goal was to move into our new house before Christmas 2015. We had our house started halfway across the country, which was the first step towards our new journey in life.
The process of having our house built had a few hiccups and we didn’t hit our Christmas deadline. It was completed towards the end of January. We closed on our house and prepared for the big move. I definitely put my C-Brace to the test loading/unloading a moving truck. It’s a struggle at times trying to carry a box with one hand that doesn’t really work and using my brace with extra weight on it. The extra weight makes it a little more difficult to get it to swing out in front of you. After a few minutes it is easy to master walking while holding extra weight.
My C-Brace made this move much easier on me, my wife and family that helped us move. If I didn’t have my C-Brace I would have been in my wheelchair and would only be able to help a little. I am extremely happy that it was able to handle the stress I put it under.
I love our new home, but the best part is the warm weather. We moved from Indiana in January, which was well below freezing as the daytime high to Georgia with mid 60’s as the high temperature. Now I can wear shorts year round and I have to say I am ecstatic about this. It’ll be cold a few days here and there, but I refuse to wear pants with my C-Brace unless it’s completely necessary.
I am not trying to sugar coat the C-Brace in this blog. It’s a life-changing device that has given me more freedom. I have also had my fair share of problems with my C-Brace.
I do have to say most of the problems are because I am or at least try to be as active as I can be. My medical conditions take many days away so I try to make up for these days when I am feeling good. I have broken the carbon fiber on my C-Brace a couple times and just recently sheered off the bolts that hold the foot piece into place. I have had quite a few temporary fixes done by my local orthotist while I get prepared to ship off my brace for repairs. Luckily the repair process is very quick. It gets sent out to Ottobock and within a week (usually 3-4 days) I have my brace back and it’s as good as new.
I have taken a few falls with my brace since I have had it. Luckily, I haven’t seriously hurt myself. I have realized of you are going to fall (trip over a dog/slip in wet grass as I like to do) then you try your best to land on you butt or whatever it takes to not land on your braced leg or let your braced leg get twisted. The brace will hold strong while your bones may not.
My C-Brace also took me through last minute trip to Disney world with my family that started early in the morning and lasted until late at night. It was a very long day that wore me out. My C-Brace was ready for more, but the rest of my body was saying there was no way.
I think out of all the people that ask about my leg/brace I am most surprised by physical therapists as well as prosthetists/orthotists reaction to it. They all have heard of the elusive C-Brace, but have never seen one in person. I immediately become the shiny new toy that everyone has to look at. I have even had a group of physical therapists that circled me like their prey and then started touching on it and hiking up my shorts to look at the upper parts of the orthotic. It was… different to say the least.
Then I was ask to walk up and down a hall for what seemed like and eternity while they seen how it worked. I feel like I have become somewhat of an expert at explaining how the brace works since I have had to explain it so many times. I enjoy people asking me and me being able to explain how it has changed my life. I am sure halfway through the conversation they are wondering if I will ever shut up.