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Author Topic: Double Braced  (Read 62530 times)

Offline Bracesx3

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #30 on: 01. October 2023, 07:36:07 AM »
Update: Last week was a whirlwind and the bandaid was ripped off per se. Wednesday I wasn’t going to get all my needed hours in without wearing it to my kid’s scout meeting. I wasn’t expecting as many parents to be there, but I was wrong. There were a few questions about my brace, but I think most were too shy to ask me questions in front of everyone (thankfully). I was also called earlier that day to substitute teach at my kid’s school on Thursday. Again the dilemma on getting my hours in arose. My daughter was the one who convinced me to wear my brace all day to school. Surprisingly, not a single student asked a single question about it, though one girl was very sweet to pick up my pen when it dropped in the floor for which I was very thankful. All of the kids in the three classes I taught (7th grade science) were great, and only a few of the teachers noticed. When asked if I was wearing a back brace, I told them it was my new exoskeleton without going into too many details. As a result of the all day wear, it brought me over the hump of jumping into full time wear five days earlier than scheduled. My underarms have not been happy as my brace still digs in pretty bad when driving or sitting. I took two lidocaine patches and stuck them in my armpits under a fitted t-shirt so the sleeves would keep them in place, and wore them to bed. What an amazing difference! I woke up without any armpit discomfort for the first time in over a week. I talked to my doctor who is going to add some padding there next week. I’m pleased with myself for overcoming this hurdle, and am confident that I will be able to get through the next few years with it, even with the occasional accompanying pain.
On the orthodontic side of things, my bite blocks are wearing down from me grinding my teeth since they’ve been in, and my tongue thrust has worsened now that my teeth don’t come together. I tried using tic tacos to hold my tongue in the correct swallowing position, but it kept sliding forward. At my orthodontist’s suggestion, I switched to lifesavers which has been impossible. I end up with the roof of my mouth being so sore from the constant friction of the lifesaver being pushed forward as I swallow. I feel like my situation is regressing. My appointment isn’t until later in the month.
And as if my situation isn’t complicated enough, the coup de grace is that I found out this last week that I need ankle surgery that will lay me up for several months. I feel like I can’t catch a break lately. Nothing has been simple or clear cut. I keep my head up because I know from my time in the military that things could be much worse. I had my first ankle reconstruction (which failed) while on active duty. I rehabbed next to people who were missing limbs and/or were severely disfigured. It was very humbling. I had my second reconstruction after I left the service where several ligaments were replaced with synthetic material. I will need the same for two different ligaments this time. I’m thankful everyday to still be able to walk; but I don’t know how many more times I can be put back together, and that deeply concerns me.  I’ll keep you updated.

Offline mr_90proof

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #31 on: 01. October 2023, 08:17:28 AM »
I am sorry you are having to deal with so much, especially at once.  Life can be cruel and humbling.  But clouds lead to rain which leads to flowers.  Corny I know.  But true.  Thank you for sharing. 

Good luck with your ankle and your braces. I have six screws in my ankle.  So I have complete empathy.  Maybe your orthodontist will have a simple solution.   

And it is great that you are getting so acclimated to the back brace.  In another month you will just forget it is even there most of the time.

Offline Bracesx3

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #32 on: 01. October 2023, 08:44:16 AM »
Thanks for the encouragement. Sorry to hear that you’ve been through a lot with your ankle as well. You definitely know what it entails.

Offline Ericspain

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #33 on: 01. October 2023, 17:58:39 PM »
 I am surprised with your story, very encouraged with everything, we are looking forward to an image of the complete pack with your smile and your orthopedic device all together.

Offline radian

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #34 on: 03. October 2023, 17:43:14 PM »
Update: Last week was a whirlwind and the bandaid was ripped off per se. Wednesday I wasn’t going to get all my needed hours in without wearing it to my kid’s scout meeting. I wasn’t expecting as many parents to be there, but I was wrong. There were a few questions about my brace, but I think most were too shy to ask me questions in front of everyone (thankfully). I was also called earlier that day to substitute teach at my kid’s school on Thursday. Again the dilemma on getting my hours in arose. My daughter was the one who convinced me to wear my brace all day to school. Surprisingly, not a single student asked a single question about it, though one girl was very sweet to pick up my pen when it dropped in the floor for which I was very thankful. All of the kids in the three classes I taught (7th grade science) were great, and only a few of the teachers noticed. When asked if I was wearing a back brace, I told them it was my new exoskeleton without going into too many details. As a result of the all day wear, it brought me over the hump of jumping into full time wear five days earlier than scheduled. My underarms have not been happy as my brace still digs in pretty bad when driving or sitting. I took two lidocaine patches and stuck them in my armpits under a fitted t-shirt so the sleeves would keep them in place, and wore them to bed. What an amazing difference! I woke up without any armpit discomfort for the first time in over a week. I talked to my doctor who is going to add some padding there next week. I’m pleased with myself for overcoming this hurdle, and am confident that I will be able to get through the next few years with it, even with the occasional accompanying pain.
On the orthodontic side of things, my bite blocks are wearing down from me grinding my teeth since they’ve been in, and my tongue thrust has worsened now that my teeth don’t come together. I tried using tic tacos to hold my tongue in the correct swallowing position, but it kept sliding forward. At my orthodontist’s suggestion, I switched to lifesavers which has been impossible. I end up with the roof of my mouth being so sore from the constant friction of the lifesaver being pushed forward as I swallow. I feel like my situation is regressing. My appointment isn’t until later in the month.
And as if my situation isn’t complicated enough, the coup de grace is that I found out this last week that I need ankle surgery that will lay me up for several months. I feel like I can’t catch a break lately. Nothing has been simple or clear cut. I keep my head up because I know from my time in the military that things could be much worse. I had my first ankle reconstruction (which failed) while on active duty. I rehabbed next to people who were missing limbs and/or were severely disfigured. It was very humbling. I had my second reconstruction after I left the service where several ligaments were replaced with synthetic material. I will need the same for two different ligaments this time. I’m thankful everyday to still be able to walk; but I don’t know how many more times I can be put back together, and that deeply concerns me.  I’ll keep you updated.

Thanks a lot for updating.

Good and bad news in your message.

It's great you manage wearing your brace outside sooner than expected. I guess you're nearly to the main goal to keep it 7/7 22/24 ? I hope your othopedist will find a solution for your painful armpits. When is your next appointment ?

So sorry on the other hand for your ankle. I hope your surgery won't be too complicated and will be fine !

Did you finally try to wear dresses ? ;D

And like Ericspain said, when would it be possible to see the braces and brace package on you ?  ;D

Offline Bracesx3

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #35 on: 06. October 2023, 03:20:50 AM »
https://dereferer.me/?https://imgur.com/a/L3YjFXx
As requested. Not sure if you can see or not, but some padding was added to the underarm area of my brace which has made a huge difference.

Offline Bracesx3

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #36 on: 06. October 2023, 03:22:17 AM »
https://dereferer.me/?https://imgur.com/a/Wvdl1BH
Here’s a picture of me with my brace under my clothes. My shoulders are the big giveaway.

Offline mr_90proof

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #37 on: 06. October 2023, 06:56:00 AM »
Your brace is really aggressive with the outriggers.  I am glad the padding helps.  As it gets cooler it will get easier to hide.  If you had a pullover or jacket on in the “under clothes” pic no one would know.  But you don’t need to hide it.  You are beautiful and rock it.  And the only thing that really matters is how you feel when you are wearing it, not what someone else thinks.

Thank you for sharing.

And just look at that posture  ;D

How is the ankle?

Offline Bracesx3

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #38 on: 06. October 2023, 21:54:16 PM »
My posture has definitely improved. I noticed how much straighter my back has become in such a short time when I saw myself in the mirror while bending down to pick something off the floor while out of my brace.
My ankle has gotten worse since the original injury which is why I now need surgery. When I didn’t hear back after my initial MRI, I mistakenly assumed (or was experiencing cognitive dissonance) that nothing was seriously wrong; and ignored my body’s screams of pain to do things I shouldn’t have. Here is a photo of it after the first week. Don’t look if you’re squeamish. https://dereferer.me/?https://imgur.com/a/QrDyiSU
The swelling has come down some, but still pretty prominent. The pain hasn’t really subsided since the injury; but I  haven’t been pain free in my ankles for any length of time since my army days, so it’s all relative. Thanks for asking.

Offline mr_90proof

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #39 on: 06. October 2023, 22:32:02 PM »
That looks like it does hurt.  I am sorry.  But look at those nails!  :)

If misery loves company, I have a screw that has backed out of my ankle a good ways.  It is still under the skin.  It doesn’t hurt.  Until I bang it on something.  And then it will damn near bring me to tears.  I also can’t wear most lace up boots because of it.  I really need to go and get it taken out or tightened up.  I have multiple friends that have offered to do so, but I am not sure if a Dewalt drill and pocket knife are medical grade.

Anyway, I am sorry you have to have surgery on yours.  Maybe they can fix you right up this time.

Offline radian

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #40 on: 09. October 2023, 15:03:47 PM »
https://dereferer.me/?https://noreferrer.me/?https://dereferer.me/?https://imgur.com/a/Wvdl1BH
Here’s a picture of me with my brace under my clothes. My shoulders are the big giveaway.

Many thanks for the pics. Honestly, you look great !

But it seems so bulky. I wouldn't believe it if you say it's easy to wear. How can you deal when you sit ? You're so brave to endure all that stuff and I send you my best wishes to get fixed quickly ! You can walk without crutches with your ankle boot ?

Offline Bracesx3

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #41 on: 11. October 2023, 01:20:45 AM »
That looks like it does hurt.  I am sorry.  But look at those nails!  :)

If misery loves company, I have a screw that has backed out of my ankle a good ways.  It is still under the skin.  It doesn’t hurt.  Until I bang it on something.  And then it will damn near bring me to tears.  I also can’t wear most lace up boots because of it.  I really need to go and get it taken out or tightened up.  I have multiple friends that have offered to do so, but I am not sure if a Dewalt drill and pocket knife are medical grade.

Anyway, I am sorry you have to have surgery on yours.  Maybe they can fix you right up this time.

Thank you! During my military service, I always had nice pedicured and polished nails under my combat boots. It kept me feeling girly. Now I go all out and keep my fingernails polished as well.
Sorry to hear about your ankle. It’s worth getting the screw out (by a surgeon) before it breaks thru your skin. It’s not nearly as painful as having it put in, and the recovery is quicker.
I’m hoping I can get fixed up for good as well, and not have the same thing happen to my right ankle which has also had 2 reconstructions. Clearly, my boots were never made for walking- haha!

Offline Bracesx3

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #42 on: 11. October 2023, 02:03:14 AM »
Many thanks for the pics. Honestly, you look great !

But it seems so bulky. I wouldn't believe it if you say it's easy to wear. How can you deal when you sit ? You're so brave to endure all that stuff and I send you my best wishes to get fixed quickly ! You can walk without crutches with your ankle boot ?

I would say my back brace is not for the faint of heart. I think I previously mentioned (or maybe not) that the VA had fitted me with an off the shelf TLSO for the back problems they had identified without the scoliosis complication. There’s a lot going on with my back. The VA version was not as restrictive, but much bulkier and noticeable under my clothing; and because it wasn’t custom fit, it shifted up, down, and around more than it provided any beneficial support to my back; in spite of the multiple adjustments that were made.
It took several weeks of increasing my brace time to be able to tolerate full time wear. At first it was pretty painful, as I could feel my back shifting to conform to my brace. Yet when I would take it off, the pain of everything going back to its original position was worse. That incentivized me to wear it for more hours sooner than my wear schedule indicated. It’s a struggle many days, and a definite trade off between having decreased mobility (short term) or excruciating pain from not wearing the brace as prescribed or at all. I’m hopeful by following my doctor’s recommendations that I will have less pain long term than the temporary pain and annoyance I am currently experiencing.
In regards to sitting…that’s still a rough area. I can’t sit for long periods on anything soft without getting numbness in my arms, though it is getting better. I have finally found the right position for my car seat to be comfortable while driving and as a passenger. As my curves lessen, my spine should straighten and stretch more for these problems to become less of an issue. I have noticed that my underarms have less sensation which has made sitting much less painful. The only good thing about 20-23 hour per day wear is that I can plan my day to be able to go without my brace… like when going to restaurants or ballgames where the activity is all sitting.
In regards to my ankle, I am using a single forearm crutch currently. I tend to be stubborn and push myself farther and harder than I should. My original injury was in mid June, so I’ve been dealing with it for several months. I didn’t even want to wear the boot initially, but compromised with my doctor and agreed to the shorter version. In hindsight it may not have been the best choice for pain management, but probably would not have changed the course of the injury given all the prior trauma.
I really appreciate your well wishes, as well as everyone else’s who I may not have directly responded to. Everyone’s support has been overwhelming.

Offline Bracesx3

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #43 on: 23. October 2023, 03:03:53 AM »
I had my orthodontist appointment this last week. It was originally scheduled for this week, but my pre-op appointment for my upcoming ankle surgery was scheduled the same day at the same time. I called to reschedule and was given the day before my surgery, but was encouraged to call the next day for any cancellations. I did call and spoke with a different receptionist. I explained my situation all over again and she was very understanding. She didn’t show any availability, but asked if I would be ok on a wait list and available at any time the next gay from noon on. Absolutely. I didn’t want my appointment the day before surgery. It just seemed like too much. So the next day I was called and asked if I could be there in an hour. Since I was being squeezed in, the appointment was pretty quick. My wire wasn’t changed, just my ligatures. My bite blocks were ground down a bit more, which is nice to not have as big of a space between my teeth. I chose metallic blue ligatures. They aren’t really shiny or bright, but have a nice splash of color that doesn’t attract extra attention. My next appointment is in a month.
I’ve been wearing my back brace full time at least 20 hours a day for a few weeks now. Most days I don’t have a problem getting my time in. I’ve only had one or two days that have been short, and only by about an hour or so. I make sure to exceed the 20 hour minimum the next day to compensate. Driving has gotten much easier and far less painful. It’s definitely different than what I’m used to. I find the hardest part is still the underarm area, but it’s numbness that goes down my arm as opposed to pain. When it happens, I’ll move my shoulder and arm around a few times then reposition how it rests against the brace, and it usually solves the problem. My worst experience was last week. I went to my daughter’s choir performance. Her school along with at least 10 others in the area performed and were then critiqued. It went on for more than four hours. The theater seats were rough. I used the restroom multiple times to take the brace off and relieve the underarm pressure. After she went back to school, I went home and laid down for an hour in my brace. It’s the most comfortable position to be in. Aside form extended sitting, the brace is relatively comfortable. I wake up in the morning forgetting it’s there. It’s no problem when walking- in fact my hip pain has decreased tremendously- which is huge. I no longer fight the brace to try to twist or turn, I naturally just turn my entire self around when needed. I can pick things up off the ground when I have to, though it’s not my favorite thing to do. Mainly because it’s a strain to reach that far with such a straight back, and my brace slides up considerably, so I have to reposition it when I stand back up. This morning I did some laundry and housework wearing it, but had to remove it to clean the baseboards.
My ankle surgery is at the beginning of next month with my pre-op appointment this week. I’m wondering if I should match my cast to my braces, or just choose randomly. Anyone want to set up a poll to help me decide?

Offline napacaster

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #44 on: 23. October 2023, 04:14:35 AM »
It sounds like things are getting a better with your brace and it's great that your hip pain has diminished. Hope all goes will with your ankle surgery and you heal up quickly.

I would match my cast to my braces. That would look good.