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Author Topic: Double Braced  (Read 62529 times)

Offline Bracesx3

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #60 on: 18. November 2023, 18:56:31 PM »
Glad things are going to plan.

Haha, no my kids aren’t quite old enough for college yet. I should have explained better. The go to a classical education based school that is structured like traditional English schools. Think of Harry Potter and the house system they follow. It’s the same thing, but obviously different names and color themes. Instead of quidditch, they have powder puff football and other house games throughout the school year. .
The Scolibrace is coming along. I still have a love hate relationship with it. I was not able to wear it for the first several days after surgery, in part because of my ankle pain and inability to find any comfortable position; but also because of the plate and screws, using my knee scooter was way to painful. I was using a wheelchair, which kept me from wearing my back brace for multiple reasons. In spite of all my pain meds, my back was really starting to hurt again, so I did start wearing it at night and then during the morning for as long as I could tolerate it. When I first visited my back doctor over the summer, before knowing the extent of my scoliosis, he had told me about all the adult brace wear-time options and their goals. 4 hours daily for pain management (I did not experience that during my break-in period), 12 hours daily to maintain my current curves without worsening them, and 20-23 hours for curve reduction. I figured if I could get at least 12 hours of daily wear, I wouldn’t get any worse. What I found was that I think I pretty much lost most of what I had gained the first couple of months of brace wear in my first post op week. After about 8-9 hours of wear, I had the same pain and feeling of my back shifting as I had during my break in period every single morning; and my back pain in the evening was reminiscent of the pain I previously described of the unshifting that originally pushed me to quicken my break in schedule. Last week I bit the bullet and jumped back into full time wear. For the most part, I’m getting 20 hours or more in, though some days it’s only 18. I do try to make up that time the next day, but don’t know if that actually makes a difference. It does feel like I am starting everything all over again with the pain I have been having. When I first started wearing my Scolibrace I found the undershirts they provided to be too hot, so I wore fitted tank tops underneath. With the increased amount of sitting I’ve been relegated to, I started wearing fitted t-shirts. Now that the weather is cooling, I started wearing long sleeve shirts underneath. When I’m at home, I don’t wear any other shirt over my brace as there is no reason to. I only do so when I'm out and about. I’m not sure that will ever change. My girls are extremely prominent and and the hole in the side and back of my brace draw way more attention than I am comfortable with. Given my recent setback, I have to wonder how long my full time wear will last and if I will be relegated to a lifetime wear of 12 hours daily to prevent any relapses. Only time will tell. Regardless, at this point I don’t think I will ever agree to undergo any spinal fusion surgeries. I can’t imagine never being able to bend my back - even if only for a few hours a day. I have gained a lot of sympathy for those who have undergone such surgeries, and realize that not everyone’s situation allows them any other choice.

Offline Bracesx3

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #61 on: 18. November 2023, 18:58:11 PM »
Glad things are going to plan.

Thanks Napacaster! Your stories have been a joy to read during my recuperation.

Offline mr_90proof

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #62 on: 19. November 2023, 00:40:22 AM »
Thank you for the update!  That’s a bummer that you lost a little progress, but you will make it right back up.  I hope your recovery continues smoothly.

Online napacaster

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #63 on: 19. November 2023, 03:45:55 AM »
Thanks Napacaster! Your stories have been a joy to read during my recuperation.

I'm glad you are enjoying my story. I just wish it was as easy for you as it is for my girls. Take care and I hope you everything works out for you.

Offline anton08

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #64 on: 19. November 2023, 05:54:40 AM »
Thank you very much for an interesting update.

You are very brave and I wish you every possible success of your treatments.

Offline Bracesx3

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #65 on: 21. November 2023, 20:04:31 PM »
Thanks for following me on my journey.

Offline radian

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #66 on: 22. November 2023, 11:48:03 AM »
A big thank to you for sharing with us your health journey ! you are so brave, not only to endure the pain but also to be so resilient and compliant about your health issues and the way to fix them, even if it's invasive and visible.

Did you manage to get a regular full time wear of your back brace ? Do you think it'll be easier to assume it with time ?

Just a curiosity. I don't if it happened yet (before the leg cast) but if you have to go out and get well dressed for a night at the restaurant or any event, do you keep the brace or you choose to make an exception for your treatment ?

Best wishes !

Offline Bracesx3

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #67 on: 22. November 2023, 17:28:40 PM »
You’re welcome, but I am more thankful for the encouragement and support so many people have reached out to offer.
In regards to my back brace, I have been doing very well over the last week getting all my hours in plus a few extra. I’m a bit concerned about Thanksgiving tomorrow. We are still having dinner at our house with guests. I will be making the Turkey, stuffing and gravy. I’m grateful that my daughter and I have the tradition of preparing and cooking everything together since she was a toddler. Her now being a teenager will be a huge help in the kitchen tomorrow. There will be times that I will probably have to remove my back brace to get all the cooking done, given my additional limited mobility with my ankle and knee scooter, but will wear it whenever I can even with company.
So when an event is happening that requires some level of getting dressed up, I take into consideration the length of the event. If it’s only a couple of hours, I will forego wearing my back brace and enjoy that time fully. If it’s something longer, for example monthly board meetings that I attend which are several hours of driving to and from, I do wear my back brace. As hard as getting used to driving in my brace was, it’s much less painful to wear my brace while driving. Since, I wear my brace under my clothes, it would be a hassle to take off my business attire multiple times just to not wear my brace during the meetings, so I leave it on. Interestingly enough, one of my counterparts broke her back a few weeks ago. Fortunately, the breaks are stable and there’s no spinal damage, so we will be comparing our braces next month at the meeting. I feel for her, as I can take my brace off to take care of things like going to the bathroom while she cannot. Things like that really give perspective, and keep me from complaining, knowing it could always be worse.
I hope I’ve answered your questions, and really appreciate your support. Thanks again.

Offline anton08

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #68 on: 22. November 2023, 21:46:10 PM »
My respect again! With your attitude you deserve every success possible!

Offline Bracesx3

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #69 on: 23. November 2023, 00:20:43 AM »
So, yesterday when I was showering my cast cover leaked. I didn’t realize until I went to move off the shower chair and felt a puddle sloshing over my foot. I immediately pulled the cast cover off, but could already feel the cold and wet that had seeped through all the layers of padding in my cast. I tried to soak up some of the water by sticking my towel in around my toes as well as using a blowing dryer for more than a half an hour. Nothing worked. I texted my doctor who had already left for the Thanksgiving holiday. Fortunately, his partner was in the office today, so he let one of his staff know that I needed to be seen. I got a phone call about 9 this morning to come in for a cast change. I made it to the doctor’s office in time and immediately had my cast removed. I can’t tell you how nice it was to dry off and warm my foot. My doctor has been applying an ace bandage over my foot and ankle over the stockinet between thee padding to minimize my swelling. I never had a chance at getting everything dry with that on. My foot unpruned relatively quick. It took the doctor about 45 minutes to get to me, but boy did I enjoy having my leg free for that time. I didn’t dare move it around, but did wiggle my toes around to warm them up. My daughter no longer believes I’m a traitor and asked me to get a red cast since after tomorrow we will be celebrating the Christmas season, not that green wasn’t just as festive.
I know I always mention my daughter, but my son (also a teenager) has been just as helpful and caring through all this as well. When I was breaking in my back brace, he tried wearing it around the house for a bit. I say tried because after 10 minutes, he realized how immobilizing it is and couldn’t do anything while wearing it. He took it off and let me know how bad he felt that I had to wear it and that he would always help me with whatever I needed when asked. So far, he has held true to his word the few times I have asked. My husband has been the absolute best though!
I hope all of you celebrating Thanksgiving tomorrow have a grateful day. For those of you not in the US, have a turkey feast anyway. Gobble Gobble!

Online napacaster

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #70 on: 23. November 2023, 02:38:13 AM »
Have a good Thanksgiving!

Offline Bracesx3

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #71 on: 03. December 2023, 05:58:56 AM »
I survived Thanksgiving! My daughter and I set out to get the turkey prepped in the morning, and my son decided to join in the fun. He had the job of removing the neck and giblets, which for a teenage boy was quite entertaining. My son then helped me make the stuffing and dressing using our home laid duck eggs, while my daughter buttered and seasoned the bird. It was so nice to have both kids in the kitchen with me and working together so well with each other. My son was the one to put the turkey in the oven, and my daughter regularly basted it along with my husband occasionally. We had several hours until our guests arrived. It’s the same guests that we celebrate Easter with each year. My MIL brought the most amazing cranberry mold, and our good friends and their family joined us and brought the mashed potatoes (honestly not my favorite recipe) along with another good friend (who most of you would recognize) also came with homemade pumpkin cheesecake. His wife is across the country helping with their new grandbaby. Once the turkey was done, I made the gravy from the drippings, and my work for the day was done. Dinner was delicious, and the company was excellent. I had to take extra pain meds because I was up and about so much throughout the day not putting my foot up, and I was 2 hours short on wearing my back brace. I had planned to wear it except for dinner, but once I got ready the house was so hot that I put off putting my brace back on. Next think I knew, company was knocking on the door and I never made it back to the bedroom. I definitely made up my time in the days following by getting at least 22 hours each day. In fact, the day after Thanksgiving, wearing my back brace and putting my foot up is just about all I did. We enjoyed the weekend as a family, and the kids went back to school on Monday. It was a busy week with 3 basketball games for my daughter and two soccer games for my son. I’ve been driving, but really prefer to have a passenger so they can help me with pulling out and putting away the scooter. This weekend has been all about decorating for Christmas. I realized it’s going to be a challenge decorating the tree with limited bending and twisting on one “good” leg. I say that because my other ankle is really taking a beating. I’ve been wearing a Ritchie ankle brace to try to protect it, but I’m starting to have some specific pain. I have my next post op appointment on Monday, and will talk to my doctor then. I’m not sure where things will end up. I’ve found myself constantly trying to figure out what’s going to have to give. What limits will I have to set to keep things from getting worse? How many times can ankles surgically be put back together? Am I going to have to limit myself physically to prevent more injuries? What is that going to look like? So many questions.
On top of this, I think I’ve developed a latex allergy. My mouth broke out with blisters/ulcers along the path my elastics follow. I stopped using the elastics, and have been applying Ora gel and using dental wax on my brackets. I don’t have my appointment for another week and a half, but will call them Monday. That’s about all that’s going on, but it’s more than enough.

Offline Bracesx3

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #72 on: 16. December 2023, 08:23:17 AM »
It’s been a few weeks since my last post. My ankle continues to heal. I’m scheduled to get my cast off on Monday and transition back into a boot, albeit bigger than my previous one. I’m hoping I will be allowed to try my luck with partial weight bearing as tolerated, but I’ll have to wait for Monday to find out. I’ll also have my right foot molds taken for my new ankle brace. I’ll find out on Monday what that will look like as well. I have a feeling I’ll have whatever it is on my left ankle at some point to prevent more injuries in the future once my rehab progresses.
On the braces front, yep I have a latex allergy. My elastics were changed to the synthetic type and bumped up to 12 hour of daily wear in the same Class 2 configuration. I don’t like the synthetic elastics. They seem very brittle and break like every 2 hours. I was wearing them at night, but with the elastics breaking so often, I don’t want to swallow or inhale them, so I’m wearing them during the day now. My bite blocks were slightly ground down further, even though my TMJ is flaring. It’s worsened more with the 4 extra hours of elastic wear. I don’t want to have to fork over $1000 for Botox injections to try to get some pain relief. Who has that kind of money? My orthodontist noticed my reverse swallow and let me know if I don’t resolve my tongue thrusting issue I will be seeing her every 5 years. She asked how I felt about tongue tamers. I told her they didn’t work. She asked how long I wore them. I said a few months and she asked me if I was willing to try them for a year. I agreed knowing they won’t help. She only bonded 2 on the top and not 4 as I had last time. I’ve been struggling with this for years. It’s been less than a week and my tongue has already found its forward happy place between my teeth in a no poking spot. They don’t even affect my speech very much. Trust me when I say I’ve been trying all the tricks with lifesavers and tic tacs with proper tongue posture, but as soon as I try to swallow, my tongue has a mind of its own.I have my regular teeth cleaning with my dentist in a few weeks and will be back at my orthodontist before and after to have my wires removed and replaced. I admit that I love being able to floss normally the few times a year I get my teeth cleaned. I also love teeth cleanings. Every cleaning, it’s like an itch I didn’t know you needed scratched. It took me years to find a dentist I was comfortable with after having so many terrible experiences with anesthesia not working. My dentist believes me when I tell him I can still feel everything after getting lidocaine. He uses articaine instead, and it’s the first time in my life that I didn’t feel every detail of what was being done in my mouth. I’m resistant to lidocaine no matter where it’s used. Can you imagine getting stitches in your finger and feeling it? Try medial branch nerve ablations for herniated discs, same thing. It’s been brutal at times. Anyway, I’ll touch bases with my orthodontist during my wiring appointment and let her see the ineffectiveness of the tongue tamers.
On the back brace front, I can’t wait to start walking again so I don’t feel so unbalanced while wearing my brace using my scooter. I’m so fortunate to not have fallen over by now. I’ve been very cautious while trying to get around. The worst is getting in and out of the car while wearing my back brace and getting on and off the scooter. There have been some harrowing moments where I should have just toppled over, but managed to stay upright. I’m averaging 18-19 hours of wear a day. Not the 20 I should be getting, but my doctor is happy with that given my mobility challenges.
I continue to keep trying. I still despise sitting in it, and my arms still go numb occasionally. I was struggling wrapping Christmas presents the other day. My supplies needed to be within reach at all times since I can’t twist to grab things, nor can I really lean forward to pick things up. It was challenging and took so much longer to wrap each gift. It was definitely a process. I’m just happy with this less than ideal wear time, I am not having the horrible back pain I had when breaking it in the first time and then again after my ankle surgery. I’m truly grateful for that.
I’ll try to update next week after I get my cast off on how that part of all this is going.
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Offline anton08

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #73 on: 16. December 2023, 10:37:24 AM »
It is very nice to read about your last experiences.

Concerning the problems with the tongue tamers: There are tongue cribs, as well for the upper as the lower arch. They will for sure give a lisp, but they should do the job.

All the best for you and your treatment.

And of course a Mery Christmas for all of your family.

Online napacaster

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #74 on: 16. December 2023, 17:16:31 PM »
I simply hope that everything turns out good in the long run for you. You have so much going on all at the same time, plus the holidays on top of it all.

I have tongue tamers on my fake braces I don't notice they are there, even when swallowing.

Have a great holiday and best wishes for 2024!