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Author Topic: Double Braced  (Read 62527 times)

Offline Bracesx3

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Double Braced
« on: 12. September 2023, 05:30:13 AM »
I didn’t share this earlier because I wasn’t sure if anyone was interested.
In addition to my orthodontic braces journey, I’ve been struggling with back pain and issues for several years.
I’m a disabled veteran and get most of my medical care through the VA. They’ve been treating my back pain with physical therapy and radio frequency ablation-which is an unpleasant procedure. Last year, I also had shoulder problems and was again provided physical therapy. Upon evaluation, one of the things they found was a winging scapula. This by itself is t that noteworthy except when I had my back eval, they noted that one half of my pelvis tilts forward. I asked if my back problems and shoulder issue could be related to scoliosis. I was assured that wasn’t possible. of note, the VA had prescribed a TLSO brace for my back previously, but for spinal instability. I didn’t mind wearing it, but it was very bulky and was meant as a reminder instead of a brace that actually held me in the proper spinal position. 
I decided to not take any chances with my back, in the event something else was going on that could be better treated, and sought an outside evaluation. Wouldn’t you know I was right. I have double curve scoliosis- a lumbar curve and a thoracic curve in the other direction. So after seeing an outside provider with copies of my MRIs, and a new set of X-rays, along with him conferring with another specialist, their agreed upon opinion was that a custom spinal TLSO orthosis to be worn on a regular basis would provide the best care for me. I was scanned about a month ago and last week my back brace was ready. I had my initial fitting today. There are a few alterations that need to be made, so it won’t be ready for me to start wearing until tomorrow.
I was given 2 options for wear. The first is 8-10 hours per day, and possibly after 3 or 4 years, I might be able to wean off of it. The other option is 20-24 hours a day which would most likely require 2 1/2- 3 years of wear before weaning out of it. They both have their pluses and minuses. Make no mistake, this brace is very restrictive. It holds my shoulders on both sides all the way down to my hips. I can feel it pulling my back in the proper position which relieves a lot of my pain, but is overwhelming right now in its limitations. It will take some time getting used to in addition  to being in the middle of orthodontic treatment (which I actually enjoy). I feel like I’m a middle aged stay at home mom reliving somebody else’s high school life. I’ll provide an update in a couple of days to let you all know how it’s going and which plan I decide to follow.

Offline Bracesx3

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #1 on: 13. September 2023, 02:27:16 AM »
I picked up my brace this morning after one last fitting. The area under my armpits are still really high making me look like a football linebacker, but my doctor wants to keep it that way for the next week to see if my spine will stretch out. On my break in schedule, it said to start with 2 hours today and add an hour each day until I reach 20-23 hours a day. The decision on how best to wear my brace was made for me by my doctor.
I got home and put it on for two hours as instructed. I tried doing a few things around the house, one of them being laundry- I can’t reach the floor to pick anything up! I went through the two baskets that had a mishosh of the kids’ clothes that I could reach and was able to put a load together. I’ll need a grabber stick moving forward. I tried sitting down, but the brace dug even further into my armpits, so I stood back up. I cleaned the kitchen from breakfast this morning and went through the mail that was on the table. I was exhausted from waking up at 5:15 this morning to get the kids ready for school and the nervousness of picking up my brace, so I decided to try laying down. There was nothing graceful about it. I sat on the edge of the bed, and leaned toward my pillow, which stared easy enough. But when I was almost there, my arms got tangled up and stuck. I managed to arrange my feet to help me roll over, which turned into more of a flop on my back. I laid there for several minutes just taking stock of what my life is about to become. My orthodontic braces are still very present. I still have my cross bite, and haven’t noticed the slightest movement attempting to widen my arch with just arch wires. I’ve gotten pretty used to only having four teeth to chew with. I miss being able to bite anything. I went to a meeting last week that was catered…with sandwiches. I felt like a fool trying to eat in front of everyone, especially considering a few of the attendees are city council members and mayors of cities in my county. I love my orthodontic braces, and secretly like the loss of control over them, but sometimes they can be humiliating. And I feel my embarrassment and humiliation will increase for awhile once I gain the courage to venture outside wearing my back brace. I’m not kidding when I say I’m doing the math to figure out how to get my brace time in at home for as long as I possibly can. I think I have about three and a half weeks before I can leave my house for only three hours at a time, and that’s only if I can tolerate sleeping with it on throughout the night. ????

Offline bracessd

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #2 on: 13. September 2023, 16:54:52 PM »
Thanks for your service and for the update. I hope the brace helps and you get relief in your back! Will you be sharing pictures?

Offline napacaster

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #3 on: 13. September 2023, 18:22:05 PM »
I hope that you can get used to your brace very soon and it relieves your pain. Must be really tough for you right now.

Best wishes,
NapaCaster

Offline mr_90proof

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #4 on: 13. September 2023, 22:57:14 PM »
I wish you the best of luck with your treatment.  I hope it gets easier for you.  Thank you for sharing with us.

Offline Bracesx3

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #5 on: 14. September 2023, 06:02:28 AM »
Thanks for your service and for the update. I hope the brace helps and you get relief in your back! Will you be sharing pictures?
I would love to, but have been having difficulty. I’ve previously tried using multiple devices and different browsers to no avail. I ended up changing my profile picture instead. I tap on Mona Lisa and get this:, but don’t know what to do with it. Any suggestions?

Offline mr_90proof

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #6 on: 14. September 2023, 07:30:50 AM »
https://dereferer.me/?https://imgur.io/

With imgur, you can upload pics, open them in a browser, copy the link, and paste link in a thread.  The image won’t show up, but anyone can click on it and see it open in a new window.

Offline Bracesx3

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #7 on: 14. September 2023, 16:49:28 PM »

Offline bracessd

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #8 on: 14. September 2023, 17:07:40 PM »
Nice!

Offline Charlie0186

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #9 on: 14. September 2023, 17:41:19 PM »
That looks unforgiving.  I hope it works for you and that your back soon feels better.

Offline radian

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #10 on: 14. September 2023, 18:48:50 PM »
https://dereferer.me/?https://noreferrer.me/?https://dereferer.me/?https://imgur.com/a/bZ7fmPD
Here it is.

Nice brace ! It does not seem so hard to wear but I'm not at your place.

How do you feel with it ? Do you think you'll be able to wear it 20-24h per day, as you need ?

How long is your braces treatment ?

Offline mr_90proof

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #11 on: 15. September 2023, 00:12:50 AM »
Thank you.  That looks like a Scolibrace.  Those arms or outriggers look like they would take some getting used to.  The whole thing does.  But it does seem like a lot of adults are getting improvement from adult bracing now days.  And providers sometimes can make modifications to improve comfort, either with additional padding, removing some material in places, or some combination.  The color pattern you choose is really pretty.  I wish you the best of luck getting acclimated quickly.  I am sure it will have some bumps but I am sure you will.  And once that happens, I hope the brace really helps short term with the pain and long term provides the correction you need.

I hope you will keep us updated.   I can't speak for others, but I do hope you get relief.  I am sure your provider gave you information, but there are some informative videos on youtube that might help with tips and tricks.  Here is one testimonial that seems to mirror your experience.  But the good news is that it will get better.

https://dereferer.me/?https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-HX0iJj5ZPg

Offline napacaster

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #12 on: 15. September 2023, 02:50:48 AM »
That's quite the brace! I hope it helps your pain and that you can become comfortable wearing it. With time and maybe some modifications to the brace, it will be more tolerable.

Offline Bracesx3

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #13 on: 15. September 2023, 08:48:11 AM »
Thank you to all of you for the well wishes. I still have about a year and a half left with my orthodontic braces. I will continue to update my journey with both braces.
I finished my wear time yesterday, and about an hour or so after taking it off, I had worse back pain than when I started. It’s difficult to describe, but I felt like my bones were shifting. My doctor said it was normal and can happen over the next 2-4 weeks. Yikes! It finally subsided a few hours later.
I actually ventured out of the house today with my husband while wearing my back brace. Getting into his truck wasn’t bad, but I realized as soon as I sat down that I couldn’t reach any of the seat controls to move into a more comfortable position. Fortunately, my hubby moved them for me. We went to Best Buy to pick up my son’s computer that needed some work. I feel like people noticed my brace under my clothes, but I didn’t notice anyone staring non stop. Because it was late morning, there weren’t a lot of people there either, which was nice. I’m definitely not ready to venture into Costco size crowds anytime soon. I have developed some pretty bad bruises under my arms from the pressure off the brace. I hope they diminish over time, but I think there are still a few adjustments to be made.
Tomorrow I’ll be up to five hours.
Again, thank you to all of you for the continued support.

Offline Bracesx3

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #14 on: 20. September 2023, 17:04:25 PM »
Here’s my current orthodontic situation for those interested. https://dereferer.me/?https://imgur.com/a/xE5s5Vi

Offline Bracesx3

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #15 on: 20. September 2023, 17:08:41 PM »
Yesterday was one week since getting my back brace. I’m up to 10 hours of wear time, though I was able to tolerate it longer over the weekend. Here I am wearing it. https://dereferer.me/?https://imgur.com/a/awgZsCF

Offline Bracesx3

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #16 on: 20. September 2023, 17:13:04 PM »
Yesterday was one week since getting my back brace. I’m up to 10 hours of wear time, though I was able to tolerate it longer over the weekend. Here I am wearing it. https://dereferer.me/?https://imgur.com/a/awgZsCF

Offline anton08

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #17 on: 20. September 2023, 21:38:45 PM »
Congratulations! 5 days ago you wore the brace for 5 hours, now you already managed 10 hours!

Maybe in 13 days you will be able to wear it 23 hours!

May your braces help to finaly reach a healthy bite and spine!

Offline mr_90proof

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #18 on: 21. September 2023, 01:55:43 AM »
Thank you for sharing.  I am glad it is getting, if not easier, at least more tolerable.

Offline radian

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #19 on: 25. September 2023, 10:59:11 AM »
Congratulations for the ten hours and thanks for the pictures. What is the next step ?

How old are you ? Does anyone notice your back brace ?

Keep us updated !

Offline Bracesx3

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #20 on: 25. September 2023, 17:36:29 PM »
Thanks! I’m in my early 50s.
Ultimately, I will need to wear my back brace 20-23 hours a day. I had a tough time getting my hours in on Saturday, as my daughter had a scout event a ways from home that required a lot of driving and staying in the area until she was done. I haven’t mastered long car rides or driving in my brace yet. I should have had at least 13 hours, but only got 12. Yesterday, I was able to get 22 in. I’m going to try driving in my back brace today and see how it goes. If I can make it work, getting my hours in will be so much easier. 

Offline Bracesx3

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #21 on: 25. September 2023, 17:46:48 PM »
I should add that yesterday’s 22 hours in brace was no joke. I woke up to terrible muscle spasms in my middle back. I tried changing positions in bed to no avail, and ended up getting out of bed earlier than I wanted. I took some Motrin and a muscle relaxer that helped tremendously, but left me very unproductive for the first half of the day. I ended up taking a nap a few hours later, and when I woke up I didn’t even notice that I was wearing my brace for the first time. I’m hoping I have more of those experiences. Once I started moving around and doing what needed to be done around the house, my brace constantly reminded me of my new limitations.

Offline mr_90proof

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #22 on: 26. September 2023, 07:18:25 AM »
I hesitate to respond less I stick my foot in my mouth.  But it sounds like you are whipping that brace’s ass.  It is all down hill from here.  I know, easier said than done.   But it sounds like you are making incredible progress.  Thank you for sharing.  I don’t know what a scoliosis brace is like.  But I have broken enough bones to know that after a couple of weeks you do just seem to figure out how things work even though they don’t work exactly like they did before.  You will have driving down in no time.

Offline radian

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #23 on: 26. September 2023, 11:04:26 AM »
I should add that yesterday’s 22 hours in brace was no joke. I woke up to terrible muscle spasms in my middle back. I tried changing positions in bed to no avail, and ended up getting out of bed earlier than I wanted. I took some Motrin and a muscle relaxer that helped tremendously, but left me very unproductive for the first half of the day. I ended up taking a nap a few hours later, and when I woke up I didn’t even notice that I was wearing my brace for the first time. I’m hoping I have more of those experiences. Once I started moving around and doing what needed to be done around the house, my brace constantly reminded me of my new limitations.

Wow ! You managed keeping it all day long so fast. It's impressive, even if it was annoying and painful. I think it'll be less difficult when you will be used to wear the brace constantly, even if you'll need to fight sometimes for not giving up.

What's your next goal ? Did you try going out with the brace on (out of your car) ? Does anyone notice it ?

Offline Bracesx3

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #24 on: 26. September 2023, 17:56:38 PM »
Wow ! You managed keeping it all day long so fast. It's impressive, even if it was annoying and painful. I think it'll be less difficult when you will be used to wear the brace constantly, even if you'll need to fight sometimes for not giving up.

What's your next goal ? Did you try going out with the brace on (out of your car) ? Does anyone notice it ?

I’m trying. Yesterday, I got in 20.5 hours. I drove with it on for the first time for my doctor’s appointment which was excruciatingly painful under my arms. Just when my original bruises faded, I have new ones. It was good in the sense that my doctor saw that some minor adjustments and possibly some padding is still needed.
I would say that defendant on what clothes I wear depends on how noticeable my brace is. The front portions (outriggers) over my collar bones would take a parka to hide. If I wear loose fitting tops, not much else can be seen, though the way that I walk along with the rigidity of my posture definitely gives away that I’m wearing a back brace. There are two circular cutouts in my brace. One on my right side and one over my left shoulder blade. My skin (and fat) bulge out slightly in those areas which looks really weird.

Offline Bracesx3

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #25 on: 26. September 2023, 18:15:25 PM »
I hesitate to respond less I stick my foot in my mouth.  But it sounds like you are whipping that brace’s ass.  It is all down hill from here.  I know, easier said than done.   But it sounds like you are making incredible progress.  Thank you for sharing.  I don’t know what a scoliosis brace is like.  But I have broken enough bones to know that after a couple of weeks you do just seem to figure out how things work even though they don’t work exactly like they did before.  You will have driving down in no time.
I’m trying. I found that the discomfort of wearing the brace as things shift around pales in comparison to the deep pain from unshifting that I experienced when I would take my brace off after getting my hours in. It was a decision of the lesser of two evils. I only got 20.5 hours yesterday because when it came time to make dinner, no one was home who could help me get ingredients that were on the bottom shelf of the pantry, the Dutch oven that was in the bottom cupboard, or help me put it in the oven. It seemed senseless to take the brace in and off during that time, so I left it off. As soon as dinner was in the oven, I put it back on knowing my family would be home when dinner needed to come out of the oven. Thankfully, there was no rebound pain in that hour. I’m finding I have to think about how I am going to do things ahead of time now with the sudden and extreme decreased mobility.I could not imagine how difficult life would be for someone who isn’t able to remove their brace or is in some sort of body jacket. These past two weeks have been quite a reality check for me, and I get overwhelmed when I think about having to do this for the next two years.

PS Im enjoying your story “The Split”

Offline Bracesx3

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #26 on: 26. September 2023, 18:19:34 PM »
I hope that you can get used to your brace very soon and it relieves your pain. Must be really tough for you right now.

Best wishes,
NapaCaster

Thanks for the encouragement. I wish I was more like Leigh and Rebekah- huge fan!

Offline napacaster

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #27 on: 27. September 2023, 02:51:46 AM »
Thanks for the encouragement. I wish I was more like Leigh and Rebekah- huge fan!

Your brace sounds like it is much more uncomfortable than the braces my girls wear. From the picture you posted, I don't think that even Leigh or Rebekah would ever find any pleasure in wearing it. I hope that with time, things get better for you and thanks for reading my story!

NapaCaster

Offline radian

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #28 on: 29. September 2023, 17:02:13 PM »
I’m trying. Yesterday, I got in 20.5 hours. I drove with it on for the first time for my doctor’s appointment which was excruciatingly painful under my arms. Just when my original bruises faded, I have new ones. It was good in the sense that my doctor saw that some minor adjustments and possibly some padding is still needed.
I would say that defendant on what clothes I wear depends on how noticeable my brace is. The front portions (outriggers) over my collar bones would take a parka to hide. If I wear loose fitting tops, not much else can be seen, though the way that I walk along with the rigidity of my posture definitely gives away that I’m wearing a back brace. There are two circular cutouts in my brace. One on my right side and one over my left shoulder blade. My skin (and fat) bulge out slightly in those areas which looks really weird.

Thanks for the updates !

Just a curiosity : do you manage staying feminine with that kind of brace and the clothes you wear ? Is it still possible to wear skirts or dress as much as you did (if you did) ? Do you need to wear an undershirt to make the situation a little less uncomfortable ? What was the reaction of your partner, your family and the strangers you meet ?

Offline Bracesx3

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #29 on: 01. October 2023, 06:54:08 AM »
Yes, I am still very feminine in appearance. I wear skirts and dresses more often in warmer months. I’m sure my skirts will be fine, I’ll have to see how my dresses work. One of the benefits (and drawbacks) about the brace’s design is that my chest is not covered by the brace. The girls are very prominent, almost more so, under my clothing. I do wear a fitted tank top under my brace daily to protect my skin. I bought them in several colors to compliment whatever I am wearing in case they are visible.  I usually wear light makeup daily, my nails are almost always with polish since leaving the military, and my long hair is styled dependent on my mood and my plans for the day.

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.

Offline mr_90proof

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #45 on: 23. October 2023, 04:30:51 AM »
I clicked on this thread last night.  I almost posted just to ask how you had been doing.  But I didn’t, because I didn’t want to make it weird.  So instead, I will make this response weird  ;D

I am so glad you have largely gotten used to your brace.  I can only imagine how frustrating and tough that was.  And seeing the outriggers, sitting would be tough.  It probably always will be.  But, it sounds like it is helping and working.  That is awesome.  And getting the bite blocks ground down is a win for sure.

As for the color of your cast, I am sure we all will have opinions.  But your family’s and your husband’s opinions are what matter.  And your’s most of all.

With that said, it is October; breast cancer awareness month; and a light pink cast would be quite appropriate even if you get it in the first of November.  So, those are my $0.02.

Mainly I am happy to hear you are doing well.

Offline Bracesx3

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #46 on: 28. October 2023, 19:27:43 PM »
Thanks mr_90proof. At this point, I don’t think there is a cast color I haven’t had. The only color I really don’t care for is white because it gets dirty so easily. I may end up telling my surgeon to surprise me.
This last week has been a whirlwind with multiple appointments. The biggest was my pre op appointment for surgery next week. I’m including a pic of the part of the consent detailing everything getting done. It’s a lot, and I’m starting to mentality prepare for what’s coming.
I’ve been talking to my back doctor regarding how to manage my back through this. I will have to really decrease my brace wearing time for the first week or so to avoid any post op respiratory complications, and no nighttime wear while taking heavy narcotics. Is a bit frustrating considering all I’ve done to get use to wearing it full time. My hope is that I can obtain good pain management quickly without having to rely on narcotics too long so I don’t lose too much of the stabilization and correction I have already accomplished.
I also had a routine appointment with my oral maxillofacial surgeon who has been working with my orthodontist through my journey. Unfortunately, the elastics that I had to start wearing again have created a TMJ flare up in just a week. Elastics are a necessary evil. The timing is terrible with having to stop all Motrin/aleve use for my upcoming surgery. It only leaves Tylenol to counter my pain for now. We discussed the possibility that even once my bite is corrected, the TMJ may not resolve. We also discussed that Botox injections may be needed during and/or after braces treatment if it worsens, and the potential need for a bite plate of some sort for longterm use that would need to be used beyond nighttime.
This week has been difficult being in this holding pattern. There are no easy fixes for anything, and no short term solutions. In the meantime, my mind is swimming with what needs to be done before I’m laid up next week- all the coordinating that needs to be arranged to get my kids carted around town as HS soccer (son) and basketball (daughter) begin ramping up, as well as temporarily relocating to the downstairs guest room, and forecast what I will need down there without going upstairs for awhile. Unfortunately, most everything will land on my husband, including him caring for me. I could not imagine being in this situation without having a strong marriage. Our 18th anniversary is in a few weeks. I definitely need to think of a way to let him know how much he is loved and how grateful I am to having him in my life.
For all of you who read my posts, thank you. It’s not in my character to share as much as I have in this forum. The fact that so many of you take the time to read my posts is nice to know that you find my not so average stay at home mom life interesting.
I’ll try to update again soon.
https://dereferer.me/?https://i.imgur.com/jvCUe2q.png

Offline mr_90proof

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #47 on: 29. October 2023, 20:33:13 PM »
Thank you for the update.  I really hate you have so much on your plate.  It certainly does not seem fair.  But, you seem like a warrior.  And it sounds like you have some people in your corner too.  I hope things go as smoothly as possible.  I am just certain everything will turn out ok.

Offline Bracesx3

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #48 on: 02. November 2023, 02:40:14 AM »
Just a quick update, I’m home from my ankle surgery. I ended up having two anchors and fiber tape used to replace my spring ligament, two more anchors used to tighten the previous fiber tape replacement of my ATFL, my peroneal longish tendon repaired, and two “tightropes” of fiber tape with 4 anchors between my tibia and fibula to hold the together. The nerve block I had is partially working with meds helping the pain that remains.
I asked my surgeon to surprise me when he asked what color cast I wanted, and he chose pink. I’ll be in a cast for 6 weeks with a few cast changes in between.
Thanks so much for all the well wishes and prayers.
I’ll keep you updated as things progress.

Offline mr_90proof

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #49 on: 02. November 2023, 16:21:23 PM »
It sounds like the surgery went well with no big hiccups.  That is great news.  I hope you have a quick and smooth recovery.

Offline Bracesx3

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #50 on: 04. November 2023, 23:26:42 PM »
Current situation. I’ve been sleeping most of the time. Pain meds are working much better, but still have intense tearing sensation where tendon was repaired when I bend my knee. I notified my doctor who said to limit knee movement, but keep it partially bent and elevated until he sees me at my first post op appointment. I have been able to were my elastics without additional pain for the last 3 nights. I started wearing my back brace since I couldn’t stand up straight yesterday without back pain. I do take it off every couple of hours to get in some deep breathing. https://dereferer.me/?https://imgur.com/a/LDHqq9C

Offline mr_90proof

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #51 on: 04. November 2023, 23:51:47 PM »
Goodness gracious.  That is a LOT.  But women are so much tougher than men.  It sounds like you are holding up. I don’t know if reading, or movies, or podcasts, or e-books are your thing.  But if any of them are, I hope you are covered up in them when you aren’t sleeping.   If it were me, I know I would do my damnedest to just sleep as much as possible.  I hope you are in good spirits.  The message on your cast is really sweet.  I hope you are just being taken the best care of.  I am sure you are.  Thank you for the update and letting us know how you are doing.

Offline Bracesx3

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #52 on: 07. November 2023, 05:48:16 AM »
I had my first post-op appointment today. My incisions were cleaned, X-rays were taken, and a new cast applied. First thing I noticed when I saw my X-ray was the plate and two screws on my fibula which was not previously discussed. Because of the multiple anchors in my distal fibula, the bone integrity is affected. Without the plate, there would be a strong chance that the bone would not be able to support the tension held by the two tightropes to keep my tib/fib together and aligned. I’ll take the plate in lieu of a 4th reconstruction. https://dereferer.me/?https://imgur.com/a/pFPs4Ut
I was interested to see how many incisions I had and where they were located. For those of you who don’t want to see the pictures, there are 3. A pretty large one on the outside of my ankle, and two smaller ones on the inside- one in front of the ankle bone above my arch and the other above my ankle bone. I think I counted 35 sutures total. Don’t look at this picture if you’re at all squeamish. For those of you with a dark curiosity, here you go https://dereferer.me/?https://imgur.com/a/vCkBAqD
I have my next appointment in a week. I’ll have my sutures removed and another cast applied. I got purple this time. I didn’t choose- one of the office staff did.
I’ll keep you updated as things progress.

Online TrainTrack

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #53 on: 07. November 2023, 06:03:36 AM »
Congrats! It sounds like your surgery went well, that is good news. It is also good they are taking steps to prevent even more surgeries, one is enough, three is way worse. And I bet you look awesome in your new cast.

Offline anton08

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #54 on: 07. November 2023, 08:18:52 AM »
Congratulations! It looks very good. May you soon be well again!

Offline mr_90proof

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #55 on: 07. November 2023, 14:57:46 PM »
I will echo the others, Congrats!  It sounds like things are progressing wonderfully.  You will be up and at it again in no time.

Offline napacaster

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #56 on: 07. November 2023, 16:20:14 PM »
Best wishes and prayers sent your way for a quick recovery.

Offline Bracesx3

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #57 on: 17. November 2023, 21:59:16 PM »
Thank you all for the well wishes. My recuperation is going well and everything is healing as it’s supposed to. I had my appointment to get my sutures removed (36 of them), but prior to that my daughter essentially accused me of being a traitor. Why, you might ask? The kids had their fall festival and powderpuff football where the girls in each of the 4 houses play against each other while the boys cheer them on. Their team won the first game and moved on to the finals against the house whose color is purple - just like my cast. They ended up winning the 2nd game as well, earning 1st place for their house. Back to the cast, neither kid had any input when asked what color cast I should have, but all of a sudden it matters. My daughter told me I needed to represent the house with a green cast, no matter what the shade. So off I went to my appointment and returned home with a pleasant Irish green cast for the next 2 weeks. I’ll have one more cast change (with x-rays) for a total of 4 more weeks casted before going into a boot. I’ll still be non weight bearing, getting around on my knee scooter. I’m thankful she didn’t have this color bug before my last orthodontist appointment. I think I would draw the line at green ligatures. I don’t think I’m going to let her know my next orthodontist appointment is in 10 days.

Offline mr_90proof

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #58 on: 18. November 2023, 05:40:30 AM »
I am so glad you are finding the best in all this.   What are the houses you are referring to?  I am assuming fraternity/sorority?  I was in a (I know, cut me some slack) fraternity in college.  We had a lot more than 4 houses though.   And no, green ligatures on braces are a no go in my book.

How is the Scolibrace?  Still managing? 

Mainly I am glad to hear you seem to be doing great and recover is going well.

Offline napacaster

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #59 on: 18. November 2023, 06:58:06 AM »
Glad things are going to plan.

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.

Offline 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!

Offline 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.
https://dereferer.me/?https://noreferrer.me/?https://dereferer.me/?https://imgur.com/a/MwXZDXT


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.

Offline 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!

Offline Bracesx3

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #75 on: 30. December 2023, 08:32:52 AM »
I’m walking! Ok, more like hobbling, but the point being is that I can finally put both feet on the ground. It’s not graceful by any means, but it’s a good start. I got my cast off the Monday before Christmas for a new boot. I also had the cast mold taken for a more sturdy ankle brace for my right foot. The best part of getting my cast off was being able to soak in the bathtub, shave both my legs, and do some serious exfoliating on my left leg and foot. Showering on a chair, while helpful, was not my favorite pastime. I had to promise to not attempt any weight bearing until after Christmas. So I impatiently waited. Tuesday morning I slid my foot out of bed (in the boot) and for the first time in 8 weeks put pressure on it. I was pleasantly surprised to not have any pins and needles sensations. I was also pleasantly surprised to not have pain in any of the places that were reconstructed. My only pain was in my heel, and I think it’s more from the stiffness and swelling than anything else. I intentionally haven’t taken any pain meds so that I don’t overdo anything. I can get around the house without any assistance for a few minutes at a time, but have been using crutches and sometimes still my scooter when out and about. I still am not allowed to move my ankle around or do any range of motion until cleared, hopefully at my appointment next week.
I’ve done an amazing job in the last week and a half of getting all my back brace hours in. I’m able to sit for long periods finally without discomfort. I can also drive without my arms getting numb. I really only notice the brace when I’m changing positions like sitting to standing, standing to sitting, laying down, or turning over in bed- even then it’s not a crazy inconvenience. My neck definitely gets more use since it’s the only thing I can turn. The part that has been the most difficult is getting dressed everyday. I’ve had to rethink the order in which I put everything on. For example, I put my pants on but not all the way because I have to put my shoe and brace on after my pants. Yet, I can’t put my brace on until I put my shoe and boot on because I can’t bend over far enough to do this in my brace. Then I can finally pull my pants up all the way and button and zip them. Then lastly, I can put on whatever shirt or sweater I’m going to wear over my brace. Sometimes it’s exhausting, especially if I forget and do something out of order.
I had my routine dental appointment and cleaning this week. Nothing like entering the new year with metal sparkling pearly whites. I did ask to speak with my orthodontist while I was getting my wires put back on. I expressed my concern about the tongue tamers not working. I went a lot deeper into my history of severe allergies that resulted in me becoming a mouth breather, sinus issues (concha bullosa and deviated septum) that included surgery, and my grade 3 tongue tie that was released earlier this year before becoming her patient. It’s the trifecta of tongue thrusting, not to mention lip incompetence and a gummy smile. My focus had been on my bite and jaw alignment, but I’ve realized that there are so many factors affecting it, that it’s difficult to sort through them and know what to address first. I use my tongue to create suction to keep my mouth closed, so fixing the tongue thrust puts me back at breathing through my mouth because of the lip incompetence mostly due to my gummy smile. There are a few ways to fix the lip incompetence, one is Botox- two shots just about on each bottom corner of my nose to bring my lips down, but this is temporary and may or may not be enough to allow my lips to close naturally. The second options is using tads to raise my teeth. My orthodontist’s concern is that my teeth might come up too high which would cause them to not be seen when smiling. There is a 3rd option that involves surgery and removing bone, but I don’t want to think about that. My ortho is pushing to try the Botox to see if it helps since it’s the least invasive. We circled back to the tongue thrust and I showed her how the tongue tamers aren’t effective. I flat out asked if I could have a tongue crib, pointing out that I have literally had this habit for more than 50 years. It’s not about reminding myself how to swallow properly, but learning how to do so, even if by force. All the mints and lifesavers in the world have not been helpful. I know where my tongue needs to be, but inevitably every time  I try to swallow it slides forward over my back teeth and tongue tamers. The few times (and I really mean only about two times) that I have been successful in swallowing properly, I couldn’t get all my spit swallowing. I immediately swallowed a second time the wrong way to get everything down. She is hesitant because of how much they interfere with speech. I reminded her that I was retired and a stay at home mom so I’m not really concerned about that. The worst part is that I live in an area that has no myofunctional therapists as an alternative. We finished the discussion with both of us left to to think about things and mull everything over. My next regular appt is in the beginning of February. In the meantime, I’ll be sucking on my mints trying to learn how to swallow properly and eat without pushing my food forward. Whatever goes on while I’m sleeping that was causing my elastics to snap is out of my control for now.
I hope everyone has a very happy New Year, and that any resolutions you may make come to fruition. May 2024 be a better year for all of us!

Offline mr_90proof

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #76 on: 30. December 2023, 13:36:02 PM »
This is a great update!  Thank you!  So glad your ankle is doing so well and your scolibrace has become just an inconvenience at times, and not something that is a constant irritation.

As for the tongue crib, I have every conflicting thoughts.  On one hand I would hate for you to have to go through the discomfort and aggravation of having one.  On the other hand, you do need to train your tongue.  Maybe your orthodontist will agree.  I mean, what is the point of having braces if your tongue is just going to ruin all that hard work afterwards?

Offline anton08

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #77 on: 31. December 2023, 11:41:42 AM »
This was for sure a great update. And a very good one to finish 2023.

I wish you a very successfull treatment in 2024 and all the best!

Offline napacaster

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #78 on: 31. December 2023, 17:11:41 PM »
Best wishes for 2024!

Offline Bracesx3

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #79 on: 06. January 2024, 06:12:28 AM »
Ugh!!  My teeth are killing me!!! I’ve been taping my mouth at night to keep it shut and wake up with two dents on the tip of my tongue from thrusting against the tongue tamers in my sleep. My teeth hurt every morning, then I put my elastics in and they hurt even more as they work to undo the previous night’s thrusting. It’s a viscous cycle. I’m seriously leaning toward trying the Botox to at least be able to keep my lips together, but am concerned my tongue isn’t abandoning its habit anytime soon. I try to work on my thrusting during the day, but can’t control what happens at night. I think it’s time to call my orthodontist sooner than later.
On a happier note, I’m spending the weekend in the Eastern Sierras with my daughter and a few of her friends. Getting around in the snow has been a bit challenging, but I’m being super cautious. The best part is that I was able to make the 5 hour drive in my back brace without my arms going numb! That was huge for me. I hope you all make the most of your weekend and enjoy yourselves. I’ll let you know what happens.

Offline metalfriend

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #80 on: 06. January 2024, 13:47:34 PM »
Hope your ortho can help you with a tongue crib. Have a nice weekend!

Offline Bracesx3

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #81 on: 12. January 2024, 07:24:32 AM »
I had a meeting tonight, so I put on some semi casual business attire. Is my back brace hardly noticeable now or is it that I’m use to it? https://dereferer.me/?https://imgur.com/a/rYBJ1G7
I spoke to my orthodontist yesterday. My next appointment was changed to allow more time to try Botox for my lip incompetence and to troubleshoot my nighttime tongue thrusting. She discussed using super strong elastics to keep my jaws together while I sleep. Not sure what that entails, but it’s clear she is not a tongue crib proponent for adults. I’ll see what she has to say at my next appointment. She wants me to really stay on top of my current elastic use, and push through the TMD flare they cause even considering full time wear to get my bite aligned to be able to proceed with that elastic pattern. I’m intrigued, but not sure it will help given I just caught myself thrusting my tongue beneath my tongue tamers with my jaw closed. Sigh.

Offline anton08

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #82 on: 12. January 2024, 15:46:37 PM »
The photo is impressive, because I could not see anything about your back brace.

And conceerning your orthodontist you may try her way with the elastics, if they do not help, you may try a tongue crip.

Alll the best to you and your family in 2024!

Offline mr_90proof

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #83 on: 13. January 2024, 05:19:20 AM »
Looking at your picture, I would have no idea you are wearing a brace.  Kudos to you.

What about floating the idea of a removable tongue crib by her?  She obviously has concerns about your speech. But what if it was removable and wouldn’t impact your speech when you need to speak, but was there in your down time and when you sleep?

Offline Bracesx3

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #84 on: 13. January 2024, 06:39:58 AM »
That’s a good idea. I’ll ask at my next appointment. Thanks!

Offline Bracesx3

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #85 on: 25. January 2024, 08:07:35 AM »
It’s been a couple of weeks since I last posted, so I thought I would give you an update. Yesterday was the first day out of my boot! My day started off good and it felt great to put my foot in a real shoe for the first time in seven months, even though I have to wear ankle braces (https://dereferer.me/?https://i.imgur.com/RrsWTa2.jpg). The euphoria was short lived when a couple of hours later, the outside of my ankle really started to hurt from my brace. Both of my current ankle braces were made prior to my injury because I noticed an increase of instability in both ankles and wanted to avoid further damage. The irony is there was a delay in getting them and my scheduled appointment to finally pick them up was literally the day after I hurt my ankle. I don’t know if getting them on time would have changed anything. I could Monday morning quarterback the events forever, and nothing would come of it. It’s unlikely that I would have been wearing the Richie braces the day of my injury because I was hosing off my back patio and intentionally wore waterproof sandals to avoid getting my tennis shoes wet, and my ankle braces were mainly to be worn when I would be on my feet for long periods or for walking on uneven surfaces-but I digress. Having the ankle braces made before my injury and now having an extra plate and screws has changed the contour of my ankle inside the custom brace, which became very painful yesterday (and today). The location of the brace hinge is directly over my plate, so it isn’t smooth beneath the padding ( https://dereferer.me/?https://imgur.com/a/lfCXteI ). I had PT yesterday afternoon and brought it up to my therapist. They were able to add a small piece of foam to offer some relief, but not completely. To add insult to injury, a wind storm kicked up and the change in barometric pressure became unbearable. I wasn’t home at the time, as I was waiting for my son at his soccer practice. Every few minutes my ankle would have excruciating intense pain that brought tears to my eyes and profanity from my lips. It was all I could do to finally get home, take off my shoes and braces, and put my foot up with some ice and pain meds. I know I have a lot of rehab remaining to get back to some sense of normalcy with my ankle, but yesterday, with the amount of pain I had, was very discouraging for me- especially since it wasn’t because of anything I had control over.
Last week my doctor texted me with the style of the new ankle brace he wants me to have for my right ankle and my left ankle once all my swelling subsides ( https://dereferer.me/?https://imgur.com/a/xonVB92 https://dereferer.me/?https://imgur.com/a/IgKOdZJ). It’s somewhat sobering to realize my ankles will never be 100%. I had a heart to heart with my doc at my last appointment where we discussed what my rehab goals should be to avoid a 4th reconstruction on the left or a 3rd on the right. I’ve known for years that I will never be able to do the same things I did 20 years ago, but finding that limit without pushing too far is difficult mentally and physically- as clearly demonstrated by having had 3 and 2 reconstructions respectively. Seeing the new ankle brace(s) was disheartening. I think they will definitely provide the support I need, but short of wearing pants the rest of my life there’s no hiding them. It was one thing when my ankle braces had been for certain activities, it’s a whole new ballgame to learn they will need to be a permanent fixture. It also really limits my choices in shoes. I should be thankful that the new braces are still hinged and not fixed, as that would be a whole different level but it doesn’t remove the current dread I feel. Who’s to say a very occasional day in something other than a tennis shoe won’t be ok, right?
In regards to my orthodontic braces, I’m still fighting with my tongue thrust. I’ve developed a gap in my teeth again in spite of the tongue tamers (https://dereferer.me/?https://imgur.com/a/eRDK2fR). I still have two dents on the top of my tongue every morning from thrusting in my sleep. I continue to tape my lips at night and have been wearing my elastics full time. Most mornings, I wake up to at least one of the elastics broken, and have several more break throughout the day. I don’t recall this happening before, but I haven’t used non latex ones previously. Here’s how things currently look: https://dereferer.me/?https://imgur.com/a/FwVXYTe . You can see how my upper teeth are now tipped out to try to address my crossbite by widening the arch wire. I’m not certain it’s been very effective. My next appt is in two weeks.
I have a follow up with my oral surgeon next week for my TMJ/TMD. Full time elastic wear has definitely made it worse, even with all the meds I’ve taken for my ankle. I’m hoping if I can power through this, I can get relief sooner instead of dragging out my jaw pain.
I also have an appointment with my back doctor next week. It’s finally time to have in brace X-rays taken to see if it is correcting my scoliosis properly. Then the following week, I’ll have out of brace X-rays taken to see if any progress in correction has been made. I have to be out of brace for at least four hours before that x-ray. That’s really the longest I can tolerate being out of my brace without my back starting to hurt lately, though I rarely if ever go that long on any given day. Most days I only spend an hour or two out of my brace now, and it’s usually for my physical therapy.
While I will always tell you that I know things could be worse, it doesn’t mean that sometimes in the moment my situation doesn’t stink. I really can’t tell you how much I appreciate being able to share my journey with all of you, and am always surprised to see how many people have taken the time to read my posts. It’s been very cathartic for me, and all your words of encouragement have been uplifting during the times when I’m frustrated with the events of my life and struggling through them. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I’ll update again soon.

Online TrainTrack

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #86 on: 25. January 2024, 15:34:17 PM »
Damn, all of that sucks. I tore my Achilles tendon (again) in November, and the last two and a half months have been chaotic. I just started (very light) PT, and it is very difficult and painful. It is difficult enough for me with just the ankle, but for you to have the ankle, and the teeth, and the back is crazy and a testament to your strength.

I hope you continue healing in all aspects of your treatments.

Offline Bracesx3

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #87 on: 08. February 2024, 00:56:37 AM »
It’s been a busy few weeks. Between my ankle physical therapy, back brace follow up, jaw surgeon and orthodontist appointments, it’s a little crazy. PT is going well. My ankle range of motion is slowly returning, my strength is coming back and my swelling has greatly decreased. My pain is also well managed with only Motrin now. I see my ankle doctor next week to get my new right ankle brace and the mold taken for my new left ankle brace.
I had in back brace and out of back brace X-rays taken early last week. My doctor is not happy with the in brace correction that I am getting, so I’ll have to wait for him to confer with his colleagues to see if I will need a new brace. On a positive note, I have 3 degrees of correction on X-rays after being out of my back brace for 5 hours! I still have a ways to go. I didn’t realize until this last appointment that I not only have S curve scoliosis, but also kyphosis. Not that it matters much, just makes more work for the back brace to fix. It’s reassuring to see actual results no matter how small after putting so much effort into maintaining compliance of 20 plus hours of wear time a day.
My appointment with my jaw doctor wasn’t as exciting as my back doctor. The discussion of jaw surgery came up-not for the first time, but in a more definitive manner. I’ve been expecting it, so it wasn’t a surprise. It won’t be for at least a year, but I do think when the time comes, it will make a difference.
I had my orthodontist appointment today. My orthodontist noticed that my tongue tamers had no affect over the last two months. I specifically asked again if she would consider installing a tongue crib. After a lengthy discussion with me telling her that I understood it would not be easy and all the issues it will cause, she agreed. I go back in three weeks to have spacers put in, then return again to have my bands put on and have molds taken, then finally have the tongue crib installed. In the meantime, she will begin designing it. I asked for my tongue to not be able to get under it, and to not be able to create any suction with my tongue and front lips. She completely agreed those were important features. I had already had my ligatures changed with the same wire when she requested a different wire be put in. The ortho tech ended up popping one of my brackets off trying to get the wire in place, so they ended up putting a softer wire back in with a power chain on top. My teeth have been super sensitive, now they are on fire. I’m relieved the stronger wire couldn’t be used. She kept the same class 2 elastic pattern since my overbite/overjet did not improve. She also didn’t grind down any more if my bite blocks, which I have mixed feelings about. I’d like to be able to chew with all my back teeth, but the bite blocks do slightly still help with my TMJ. https://dereferer.me/?https://imgur.com/a/eGS9LV2  I’ll update again after I get my new ankle brace and/or spacers.

Offline mr_90proof

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #88 on: 08. February 2024, 23:33:03 PM »
Thank you so much.  Sounds like you are making progress.  You have earned it.  I hope the ankle brace helps and that the spacers don't cause too much discomfort.  I am looking forward to your next update.

Offline bracessd

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #89 on: 09. February 2024, 17:55:09 PM »
Thanks for the update @bracesx3 Your powerchains look great

Offline Bracesx3

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #90 on: 13. February 2024, 02:27:18 AM »
Quick update- I had my podiatry appointment this morning and got my new ankle brace  https://dereferer.me/?https://imgur.com/a/5Dxreum .It seemed so big when I first put it on- not in how it fit, but how it looked. I was hoping it would be a little lower profile than my previous ankle brace, but that is not the case. I put the brace on then went to put my foot in my shoe. I wasn’t sure it was going to fit. I got new shoes when I finally got out of my boot, and ended up getting men’s shoes for the extra width. Imagine what was going through my head when I could barely get my foot with the AFO on into my shoe. I don’t think I will have very many footwear choices going forward. Once I did get it in and my shoe laced up, I could immediately feel the extra support. My ankle does still roll out ever so slightly and I brought this up to my doctor. He saw my concern and acknowledged that down the road it might be an issue. The only real option moving forward is to have a brace that doesn’t have a hinge like the Arizona AFO, and he doesn’t want to limit me any more than absolutely necessary. I was given that type of brace 16 years ago by the VA when my first ankle reconstruction failed. It was miserable to not have any range of motion, and not something I want again anytime soon.
After agreeing this was the right brace for where I am in this very long journey, the go ahead was given to get the mold of my left foot and ankle to have the same brace made. I thought you might like to see how it’s done, so I documented the step by step process here: https://dereferer.me/?https://imgur.com/a/NmwhQpX after everything was cleaned up and I put my shoe back on with the Richey brace, the difference in support that the new brace provides was amazingly clear. The small amount of eversion that I still have is really minimal in comparison. The only downside is that I have to put my new ankle brace on before putting on my shoe. I’ve been spoiled by being able to keep my braces in my shoes up until now. First world problems, right? Let me know if you like seeing the mold making process, and If you have any questions, I’ll try to answer them.
Next time I’ll update on getting spacers.

Offline napacaster

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #91 on: 13. February 2024, 03:12:29 AM »
Interesting process. So the sock had resin in it like cast tape?


Offline Bracesx3

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #92 on: 13. February 2024, 06:45:37 AM »
Yes! I would say it has more resin permeated into the sock than casting tape. Also, it comes in a sealed foil wrapper and the sock was rolled up like casting tape.

Offline bdave

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #93 on: 13. February 2024, 13:36:38 PM »
Pretty excited for your tongue crib! Keep posting, thanks for sharing :)
Write in English, please! :)

Offline napacaster

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #94 on: 13. February 2024, 15:59:08 PM »
Yes! I would say it has more resin permeated into the sock than casting tape. Also, it comes in a sealed foil wrapper and the sock was rolled up like casting tape.

Thanks for the info and best wishes.

Offline Bracesx3

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #95 on: 18. February 2024, 06:37:47 AM »
Great news! I found my old AFO for my left ankle from 2013 in a box on the top shelf of my closet! I tried it on, and it’s so much more comfortable than my Ritchie brace. I can’t tell you what a relief it is. I can now wear it for the next month or so while I wait for my new one. Here are some pics to show the differences. https://dereferer.me/?https://imgur.com/a/haYtwoP It’s more solid than the Ritchie brace, and comes up a little higher than both of the other braces. I can’t believe it has held up so well. I previously wore this AFO for 4 years once my first ankle construction failed. It’s been to both coasts of the US and trekking the Freedom Trail and Grand Canyon. I was able to hold out until 2016 for the 2nd reconstruction. Ironically, once I knew the time had come that my ankle had too much instability and I had set a surgery date, I broke my ankle after a misstep getting out of bed literally 8 weeks before the set date. I ended up being in a cast non weight bearing for 18 weeks straight.

Online TrainTrack

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #96 on: 18. February 2024, 06:46:27 AM »
That is great news! It is sort of crazy that it still fits after one (two?) ankle reconstruction(s). Are you going to ask your doctor to make your new brace something similar to this, or are you going to still go with your previous plan?

Offline Bracesx3

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #97 on: 18. February 2024, 06:54:00 AM »
Thanks, I asked my doctor if I could get the same one made this time. It’s not possible for two reasons: the office doesn’t work with that company anymore, and that brace really doesn’t provide the support that my posterior tibial tendon, calcaneous, and talus need for stability. Fortunately (or unfortunately) I still have a few (not many) ligaments and tendons that haven’t been reconstructed or repaired, and I’m willing to do whatever it takes to keep it that way.

Online TrainTrack

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #98 on: 18. February 2024, 06:59:13 AM »
Yeah, I think keeping as many ligaments and tendons intact as possible is a good idea. They’re kind of important things.

Has anything cleared up on the orthodontic side of things? I know your back is going good in the grand scheme of things, your ankle is… going…, and you are getting a new appliance, but how are the braces going? From what I understand, you are getting a tongue crib to replace the spurs, and you also have braces and bite blocks which are there to stay for a while?

Offline mr_90proof

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #99 on: 18. February 2024, 07:24:34 AM »
Bracesx3 you have my utmost respect.  You seem to be making the absolute best of what would make some people so angry or upset.  It can’t be easy.  But you make it sound like a piece of cake.  Thank you so much for sharing with us. 

Offline anton08

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #100 on: 18. February 2024, 11:09:53 AM »
You are for sure a fighter.

Does the old brace have a hinge? It looks very fixed to me.

And all the best for you for the coming tongue crib, I am sure you will get adjusted to it. It may take some time, but you will make it, because there is so much you allready have mastered.  :)

Offline Bracesx3

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #101 on: 22. February 2024, 02:18:16 AM »
Yeah, I think keeping as many ligaments and tendons intact as possible is a good idea. They’re kind of important things.

Has anything cleared up on the orthodontic side of things? I know your back is going good in the grand scheme of things, your ankle is… going…, and you are getting a new appliance, but how are the braces going? From what I understand, you are getting a tongue crib to replace the spurs, and you also have braces and bite blocks which are there to stay for a while?

I had my last ortho appointment 2 weeks ago. I did try the Botox to see if it would help my lip incompetence. My ortho was very conservative and injected only 1 unit on each side of just under my nose. I haven’t noticed but a slight difference in how far down my lip comes over my upper teeth. I still have to strain to close my lips together. My bite bocks are very small compared to where they started, so they aren’t a part of the problem at this point.  I have noticed my upper lip is slightly fuller. I never planned to use Botox or anything of the like for cosmetic purposes, so it’s an interesting development. I think I’m the only one who notices it.i go back next week to have my lip checked again and possibly have another injection. I’ll be sure to get a before picture to have a comparison. I will also be getting spacers put in at that time. My elastics are still the same as before, though they could be changed in the near future. Hope this answers your questions.

Offline Bracesx3

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #102 on: 22. February 2024, 02:24:47 AM »
You are for sure a fighter.

Does the old brace have a hinge? It looks very fixed to me.

And all the best for you for the coming tongue crib, I am sure you will get adjusted to it. It may take some time, but you will make it, because there is so much you allready have mastered.  :)

Yes, the old brace has a hinge. It’s the same hinge as my new brace, just not covered by leather. It is very different from the Ritchie brace hinge in that the hinge connects the foot and ankle portion, but the two portions don’t overlap to create extra thickness or rubbing.  https://dereferer.me/?https://imgur.com/a/PyxApRF  It’s very different from a traditional hinge. It’s more like a flexible piece of metal or wire that has a thick coating of rubber around it.

Offline anton08

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #103 on: 22. February 2024, 08:24:53 AM »
Thank you very much for the explanation and very good luck to you!  :)

Offline Bracesx3

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #104 on: 23. February 2024, 01:47:43 AM »
OK all, I’m freaking out a little right now. I just got off the phone after being asked to speak at a Memorial Day event as the theme of the event is recognizing women’s service in the military. They had interviewed several female veterans, but were not impressed with them and my name came up. This person has heard me speak at a veteran event previously and reached out to me. (I have only ever spoken publicly on two occasions. While being nervous as all get out, my outward appearance remains calm and undeterred.) How can I say no even though there is a pit in my stomach knowing I will have my tongue crib then? Sorry I can’t speak because I don’t know if I’ll be able to speak then? I did not see this coming. I should have 2 months to practice speaking by then. Do you think my orthodontist would consider taking it out for a long weekend? What am I thinking!??? What do I do?

Offline napacaster

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #105 on: 23. February 2024, 03:07:41 AM »
I guess see how you do with the tongue crib. If it interferes with speaking too much then ask for it to be removed for the weekend.

I just hope all goes well for you.

Online TrainTrack

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #106 on: 23. February 2024, 03:16:01 AM »
I would probably take it. As an adult with braces, my orthodontist is very flexible when it comes to my treatment, and from the sounds of it, yours is too. And you haven’t experienced that much negativity thus far, through work dinners and soccer games and so much more. You can also ask your ortho before accepting if it is an issue. Ultimately, it is up to you, and I think you will be fine no matter what.

Offline mr_90proof

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #107 on: 23. February 2024, 03:20:39 AM »
I’d just proceed as is and cross that bridge when you get to it.  I bet by then you will be speaking fine with it.  And if not, then you can have it removed.  That is easy for me to say, it’s not me having to deal with it.  But you will do fine.

Offline anton08

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #108 on: 23. February 2024, 08:02:58 AM »
Where there is a will, there is a way.

I have no doubt about your will, and your orthodontist should find a way too.

As others have already written, maybe by the time you will speak without a lisp or maybe with a little lisp.

If you speak with your orthodontist now, they may be able to construct the tongue crib in a way that allows the taking out and refixing in an easy way for them.

This should not be a big issue.  ;)

Offline Bracesx3

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #109 on: 29. February 2024, 02:55:10 AM »
I promised an update after my orthodontists appointment today, and I’m betting it’s not what any of you expected to read. So here it goes. In all my appointments with my jaw doc, it’s been brought up that surgery would be my best route to get everything corrected that is going on in my mouth and jaw. I’ve been ruminating over this possibility for more than a year. I’ve mentioned after a previous orthodontist appointment that she didn’t want to expand my jaw even though it’s needed. I didn’t mention that she also brought up jaw surgery. Well, my husband is finally retiring, which is great news. The downside is that it means entirely different medical and dental insurance. The insurance our family has now is amazing, we actually pay money out of pocket over what my husband’s employer provides for benefits. While my husband has worked enough years to qualify for free medical and dental benefits upon retirement, the policies are not nearly as robust and would require an inordinate amount of referrals and essentially have me start the entire process all over again to be approved for surgery. With this knowledge, I reached out to my jaw doc a few weeks ago and asked him if I was far enough along orthodontically to have the jaw surgery before our insurance changes. He reached out to my orthodontist and they conferred. He finally got back to me saying my ortho is on board and to schedule to get the ball rolling. I called to schedule an appointment and asked to speak to the person who knows the insurance ins and outs and also does the surgery scheduling. I went through everything, then she let me know that my doc’s surgery schedule is all booked up through when my current insurance ends. Sigh. But she gives me his soonest appointment that has enough time to get the process started at the end of March. So, today I go to my orthodontist. She tells me she spoke with my jaw surgeon and is very excited for me to proceed with jaw surgery. She noted that I still have some tooth alignment and bite correction that needs to be taken care of, but they can be addressed after surgery. She also pointed out that jaw surgery will give my tongue the room it needs, and since that’s where things are going, there is no need for the tongue crib. I asked her if the brackets on my crowns would hold the tension of my jaw being wired or if I needed bands on those teeth, and she was confident that they will be fine. She also mentioned I would need to be in braces for  8 more months after surgery. So the takeaway is both my doctors are of the impression that I am having jaw surgery within the next 2 months even though the surgery scheduler says there’s no availability. My bite turbos were taken out completely for my “upcoming surgery”, but my tongue tamers were kept on? I need to let her know when there is a date so she can do whatever else it is that she needs to do. In the meantime, I have an appointment with her in 8 weeks. Back to the bite turbos- having them gone is good and bad. My lower jaw is so uneven that without the turbos, only the teeth on the right side of my jaw come together. The left back teeth don’t touch. So while I finally have more than 4 teeth biting together, it’s only on one side, and the unevenness is exacerbating my TMJ pain on the left side of my jaw. In the meantime, I am still continuing full time wear of my Class ll elastics. The question as to whether I will be able to get this done before my insurance changes is annoying.I won’t have a tongue crib for Memorial Day, but could have a wired jaw instead. We are also planning a cross country trip this summer for my God daughter’s wedding, and I have to wonder if my jaw will be wired for that as well. This is not the direction I thought this year would take. I’m not even 6 months out from my ankle reconstruction yet. I’ll let you know how things go as I get more information.

Offline anton08

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #110 on: 29. February 2024, 04:19:45 AM »
So there are very good news for your husband to retire.

There is only one point that I do not understand: The tongue is a very strong muscle amd a tongue crip should break a habit of strong pressing. How can an operation stop this habit?

Wishing you all the best!

Offline napacaster

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #111 on: 29. February 2024, 05:00:36 AM »
Wow! That's a lot to take in. Wishing you well and I hope everything works out for you.

Offline mr_90proof

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #112 on: 29. February 2024, 05:31:35 AM »
It sounds like the appointment went well.  No mouth full of spacers.  No upcoming tongue crib.

Things sometimes just seem to work out for the best, in spite of plans, and this sounds like it might be doing just that.  I know you don't want to get jaw surgery.  But I am not sure that having your jaw wired shut for 4-8 weeks won't be easier than having a tongue crib for 6 months.  Either way though, you got this.

Offline Bracesx3

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #113 on: 08. March 2024, 03:10:43 AM »
My husband is finally retired! But we aren’t sure if our current insurance will last until the end of this month or next. The current policy was negotiated by his union, but costs more than the benefit allowance his work provided. That wasn’t a problem this month because the overage is taken from his paycheck, but next month doesn’t have a paycheck to have anything taken out. So, it may be possible to pay the amount separately. We have also discussed the possibility of using COBRA to continue the same policy for the time that I may need it. I would then have 2 insurance policies, while my husband and kids would have three during that time if we aren’t able to COBRA for just one person. Crazy right? Total feast or famine situation.
On a side note, I had my back brace adjusted Monday. I didn’t realize how much my body has conformed to the brace, and I swear it squeezes the fat out of my midsection. A good inch and a half was taken off at the opening and the straps had to be moved out to be able to have enough Velcro coverage. Boy is it ever tight again!
My TMJ is off the charts. I’m limited in my mouth opening again and have been favoring softer foods. I’ve been taking Motrin like I’m back in the military-there’s a reason it’s called Ranger candy. I’ve even resorted to voltaren cream and lidocaine patches at night.
I’m continuing in physical therapy for my ankle, and it’s progressing well. My therapist has been using a Graston tool to break up some of the adhesions from so much scarring, but it’s caused a huge bruise on the top of my foot the color and circumference of a plum, but nowhere near as painful as my jaw. One pretty cool thing that happened is one of the other patients at PT during my last appointment is an army vet like myself that I recognized from having crossed paths with a few times many years ago (like close to 20). It was fun catching up and sharing stories from so long ago. The therapists and staff were surprised to hear us talk about different aspects of the military. I’m pretty quiet for the most part during my appointments, so it was definitely a different side of me being seen. I joke about being an unassuming stay at home mom because anyone looking at me would never guess half the things I’ve done. Next week is my ankle follow up and in 2 1/2 weeks is the big appointment with my jaw doctor. Is it just me, or does it seem like my life right now could best be summed up as a medical 3 ring circus with lots of jugglers?

Offline mr_90proof

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #114 on: 08. March 2024, 03:20:32 AM »
You definitely have a LOT going on.  But you will get through it.

Offline anton08

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #115 on: 08. March 2024, 09:53:14 AM »
Congratulations to your husband for his retirement.

And all the best to you and your treatments.

Offline Bracesx3

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #116 on: 15. March 2024, 07:59:02 AM »
Today was a busy day. I just got home, but I started the morning at my podiatrist appointment getting my second AFO for my left ankle. As soon as it was pulled out, I realized it wasn’t the same design as the first one. I tried it on and found it just as supportive and comfortable - without the strap over the top of my foot, it easily slipped into my shoe. I can leave it in my shoe to put on and take off which is an added bonus. The tech pulled out both prescriptions and saw the first one wasn’t made to the order, which means I will get the correct style remade for my right ankle and be able to keep it in my shoe to put on and take off as well. The best part is that I won’t be forever relegated to men’s shoes in order to be able to wear the AFOs like I’m supposed to. Here’s a picture of both of them side by side for comparison: https://dereferer.me/?https://imgur.com/a/SYrFYHk.
I had another doctor appointment right after the first one that wasn’t across town, but still a bit of a drive. I’ve been struggling with multiple sinus infections over the last year that don’t completely resolve with antibiotics. I’ve had sinus surgery previously that helped immensely, but not completely. I want to make sure that these infections don’t prevent me from having jaw surgery. My ENT decided to use the scope to lookin my sinuses for signs of infection and something to culture. He could see the drainage from of the infection, but nothing big enough to culture. He wanted to do a CT, but I was reluctant because I will be getting a CT at my next jaw doctor appointment and don’t want all the radiation exposure so close to each other. He agreed stating he and my jaw doctor use the same type of CT machine and asked me to bring in copies so he can evaluate them since he can only physically visualize my maxillary sinuses. He gave me a 20 day prescription for antibiotics. At his suggestion, I’m going to wait until after my CT to start them so I don’t mask an active infection that may not completely clear again. If the CT shows signs of infection, I will have to have a procedure 2 weeks before my jaw surgery to have my sinuses cleaned out while sedated to prevent any surgical infections. I appreciate his proactive approach, but am not a fan of said procedure. He will also be involved in my post op care to make sure there are no nasal/sinus complications that arise. He is very happy with my decision to have jaw surgery and believes it will help with my chronic sinus issues as well as the other benefits. He also said my jaw doctor is really good when I let him know who I was seeing. It puts my mind at ease a little.
When I got home, I called the phone number for COBRA benefits that my husband had been given and got some encouraging news about being able to continue my current health insurance for a few more months. It turns out that not every family member has to participate in continuing benefits. It can be just me which will minimize the cost tremendously. Apparently the paperwork for enrollment is automatically sent out once the department is officially notified of my husband’s retirement and health benefits transfer. This game of waiting for all the pieces to fall into the right places is killing me. The 26th can’t come fast enough, if for nothing else than to get a date and perhaps find out how long my jaw will be wired. We have a cross country (drivng) family vacation planned to attend my God daughter’s wedding which I think I previously mentioned. There’s also a cross country team retreat I’m hoping to attend with my daughter out of state, and scout summer camp on the coast. It’s going to be a busy summer. Will these even be possible?
I ran into terrible traffic on my way home from my monthly meeting. The freeway was completely stopped in all lanes due to an accident on my way home, fortunately no injuries. It took me an hour and a half to get home. I’m wide awake, so I thought I’d use the time to share my day with everyone and try to relax. I’ll let you know what happens after I have my jaw doctor appointment on the 26th.

Offline anton08

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #117 on: 15. March 2024, 09:46:27 AM »
All the best for you, I keep my fingers crossed.

Offline mr_90proof

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #118 on: 26. March 2024, 15:56:32 PM »
Good luck with your appointment today!

Offline Bracesx3

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #119 on: 28. March 2024, 01:48:37 AM »
Thanks both of you!
I had a long appointment yesterday. I was looked at and measured, and looked at again and measured a different way. I didn’t even know so many measurements could be taken of the face and jaw. It was a very strange feeling to have my doctor stare at me and write down all my flaws onto a piece of paper- not that I have any control over my facial symmetry or the height of my maxilla, or the placement of my chin. I didn’t feel self conscious because I’ve always felt that nobody has control over their immutable characteristics, but I did kind of feel like damaged goods in a sense after having it all objectively laid out. There are like seven different things that will all be addressed, most of which I didn’t know were a thing. The overall plan remains mostly the same. My lower jaw will be widened first, then the upper jaw to match. Once that’s done, both jaws will be moved forward with the upper jaw height being shortened. The upper jaw may be sectioned into 3 pieces for the widening and to correct the minor open bite that still remains. He also wants to do a genioplasty and move my chin forward, but has to do so in a way that won’t affect the hardware that will stabilize my lower jaw after it’s widened. I’ve never given any thought to my chin before yesterday aside from my teenage years when it had the occasional blemish. I have never been one to stare into a mirror to scrutinize my appearance, but now I’m left wondering about my chin. The discussion over ensuring that I understand that my facial structure will change was brought up a few times. I know this will happen, but all the before and after jaw surgery pictures that I’ve searched through have had very positive changes. In the back of my mind, there’s a bit of fear that I’ll be the statistical outlier and look like Quasimodo or something when all is said and done.
The worst part of all this is that it looks like this won’t happen before our insurance changes. The scheduling and insurance person in the office is still going to try to get authorization in the off chance a date can be set in time. I knew this surgery was complicated and takes many hours, but did not realize it also takes two surgeons, which is what complicates the scheduling.
Today I took a copy the CT I had done yesterday to my ENT and am waiting to hear how my sinuses look, and whether or not I’ll need to have the procedure to have them cleaned out before surgery, whenever that might be. In the meantime, I’ll keep letting my braces do their thing and try to be good about wearing my elastics.

Offline anton08

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #120 on: 31. March 2024, 09:43:59 AM »
Wow! This all will happen during an operation?

There is no opportunity to avoid it?

Long orthodontic treatment is one side, but such an operation is another league.

Wishing you all the best!

Offline mr_90proof

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #121 on: 04. April 2024, 20:16:34 PM »
It sounds pretty intimidating.  And I can imagine stressful.  Thank you for sharing.

Offline napacaster

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #122 on: 05. April 2024, 03:01:13 AM »
I hope and pray that all goes well for you.

Offline anton08

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #123 on: 05. April 2024, 20:26:31 PM »
So do I.

Please do tell us the exact day of the operation.

We will have our fingers crossed! ;)

Offline Bracesx3

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #124 on: 12. April 2024, 08:55:47 AM »
Ugh! It’s been a roller coaster the last few days. My husband got a call from our insurance company yesterday, but wasn’t able to talk to them at the time so he had them call me. They let me know that the county had not paid for our insurance this month. While I knew this was a possibility, I was being told this while driving my daughter to a routine appointment. I was able to explain the situation between my husband’s benefit allotment not covering our benefits completely and us needing to potentially pay the difference once we were informed of what that is. The lady was very understanding and made note of it reassuring me that she made a notation and as long as payment by the county is received by the end of the month, it’s not an issue.
Today, I had my ENT follow up. I did end up taking the 20 days of antibiotics. While my gut is as clean as a whistle, I can’t say the same of my sinuses. My doc let me know that my maxillary and frontal sinuses both show chronic sinus infections. He scoped me again, this time causing a bloody nose. Everything was so blocked on the right side, that he couldn’t get the scope in far enough to visualize anything. I’m now scheduled for balloon sinuplasty at the end of the month. He is confident this will open my sinuses and clear up the infection so I can move forward with jaw surgery. He’s also going to consult with my jaw doctor to come up with a surgery plan that will minimize future sinus problems.
I figuratively ran out of that appointment and headed to my back doctor where I was scanned for a new brace. Yes, you read correctly, I need a new back brace. There are two reasons. First, I’ve lost weight since getting my back brace, so much that the brace does not fit correctly- even after several modifications. Second, during my January X-rays, it was noted that my back brace does not completely correct my scoliosis while in the brace, and does not address my kyphosis in any way. Even though I have had a small curve reduction my current brace will not move my back completely where it needs to be in multiple planes. There will need to be some changes, including using a thicker thermoplastic and some changes to the shoulder portions, whether it be attached plastic shoulder guides, or an added strap between the brace outriggers. I’m leaning towards the Free Spirit design. I know it’s a bold choice, but I really want to get away from the white base color. I like my wisteria, but the padding on the underside make the brace look yellow in those places because of the adhesive that’s used. Having the variety of color will be cheerful, a bit more forgiving with minor scuffs, and not so dark as to absorb heat in the summertime. At least that’s my thought process.
So I’m driving home from this appointment and get a call from the county letting me know about the insurance benefit shortage. In truth, I’m amazed that they followed thru with contacting me given the size of the county my husband worked in, and were super nice about the situation. The amount wasn’t horrible, about $250. It was actually a relief to hear this, as I was super stressed going into my 2 appointments today praying that neither would check my benefit eligibility and find an issue. I mailed the check as soon as I got home. It’s clear that my jaw surgery will not be done before our insurance changes. We have a lot of plans for the summer and I was recently asked to be the guest speaker at our local Memorial Day remembrance, so I need to schedule for after that. I have another ankle post op appointment tomorrow and my next orthodontist appointment is on the 24th, so I’ll update again soon.

Offline anton08

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #125 on: 12. April 2024, 09:54:18 AM »
Again I have to call you a very brave patient and I keep my fingers crossed for you to have less pain and very successful treatments!  :)

Offline mr_90proof

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #126 on: 12. April 2024, 19:37:39 PM »
That Free Spirit pattern would be cute.  A little splash of color without it being so dark it would be more likely to show through on lighter colored clothing.  Maybe I missed it, but how long will it take them to fabricate your new brace?

Offline Bracesx3

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #127 on: 13. April 2024, 06:46:27 AM »
Around 4 weeks.

Offline napacaster

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #128 on: 13. April 2024, 16:38:45 PM »
I hope your new brace is far more comfortable and does its job well.

Offline anton08

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #129 on: 13. April 2024, 20:10:51 PM »
In my humble opinion there may be a contradiction, because being comfortable and doing well the job there will be the problem of not working well being comfortable.

There is this saying no pain - no gain.

Let´s hope I am wrong.  ;)

Offline Bracesx3

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #130 on: 27. April 2024, 05:15:17 AM »
It’s been a busy couple of weeks. We’ve had construction going on at home and lots of carting the kids around. I went to my orthodontist earlier this week, though she wasn’t there. I was asked if I minded seeing her partner, which I had no problem doing. He put in a new wire with a power chain on top and changed my elastic pattern to two boxes on both sides just at night https://dereferer.me/?https://imgur.com/a/Zb9LFqz. He complimented me on my elastic wear noting how nice my teeth are aligning. I went to put my elastics in that night and within 30 minutes, they both snapped. I put more in and at some point in the night, they both broke. I put them in again the next night with similar results. I finally have just decided to wear them during the day for eight hours at a time so I can replace them more easily when they break.
I had an unplanned visit with my foot doctor today. I saw him just a couple of weeks ago, and have been struggling with the pace of my recovery and a few hurdles it has presented. I recently- like in the last week- started have pain on the outside of my foot on the bone that isn’t normal for me. After examining my foot and asking the usual questions, he got an X-ray. I have a stress fracture of my 5th metatarsal. I’ve been having so much tendon pain, I’ve been taking Motrin like it was candy, but had to stop taking it last week because I have my sinus procedure on Tuesday. I was masking the pain and didn’t realize what happened. I’m now back in my boot for the next 4-6 weeks still able to walk on it but I have to really back off on my activity. If I’m still having pain next week, then a more conservative approach needs to be taken. I’m looking at 4-6 weeks for healing. So what have I done while having this stress fracture? I continued physical therapy working on balance and conditioning, substitute taught algebra for an entire day, went camping and got rained out, painted my living room and guest bedroom (which required a lot of ladder work) and cleaned out the shed. I’m in a corn hole tournament tomorrow which my doctor asked if I had been practicing with a boot, so funny. I kind of want to cry https://dereferer.me/?https://imgur.com/a/HHniIaW.
I have my sinus procedure Tuesday. My nasal passage is 80% occluded on the right. Both sides will be ballooned and my septum will be shaved down on the right. I’ve had a more in depth sinus surgery before, and have been told this won’t be as bad. I’m really hoping that’s the case.
My insurance changes on Wednesday. I haven’t received our new cards yet, but have to send them in to my jaw doctor as soon as they come so that they can get authorization to move forward with my jaw surgery.
And that’s where things stand.

Offline napacaster

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #131 on: 27. April 2024, 05:36:47 AM »
Once again, I hope all goes well and this is all over as soon as possible. Take care and know that there are people out there wishing you well and sending prayers.

Offline Bracesx3

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #132 on: 01. May 2024, 04:58:34 AM »
I followed up with my foot doctor yesterday. He wanted to know how my weekend went and how my foot was doing. Honestly, it was brutal. I tried one cornhole game and forfeited-fortunately someone was able to replace me on our team. Sunday I really limited my time on my feet even though I was giving some swimming lessons. I ended up getting in the water instead of standing on the deck. I’m not gonna lie, it was so refreshing. I’ve only been in a pool once since last June. It’s hard considering I swam competitively through college. Everything was wonderful until I had to climb out of the pool using the ladder. My doc knows we are going on vacation this summer and wants to get me healed before then. Once I conveyed my weekend experiences, he suggested I go back in a cast for the next two weeks and stay non weight bearing. Sigh. I have that appointment on Thursday. The good news is that I hopefully won’t be in a cast for the Memorial Day tribute or for vacation.
I had my balloon sinuplasty today. The procedure was done in the office setting with oral benzodiazepine sedation. Last week I let my doctor know that I have a strong resistance to this class of meds. He listened, and placed the order for me to take 2 tablets (instead of the normal 1) two hours before and bring the extra two just in case. Once I was in the room the doctor asked how I was feeling which was fine. I was catching up on emails and sent a few texts. He walked back in 15 minutes later, and nothing had changed, so he had me take the second two tablets. It didn’t zonk me out but did make me feel tired. I did not enjoy the sounds of my sinuses cracking and crunching as the balloon inflated, nor the pain of having my septum reshaped. Needless to say, I was happy when it was over. When the doctor told me I was done, I stood up to walk out the door.  Everyone panicked and did what they could to sit me back down. When my husband arrived, I tried standing again to walk out the door with the same response. My husband said I looked angry about the whole situation. I think he would have felt the same if he went through something only partially sedated.
Once we got home and pulled into the driveway, I opened the car door and started limping in the house. My husband couldn’t turn off the engine fast enough. I made it upstairs into bed with plenty of pillows propping me up. I slept all afternoon and woke up to find I had bled through my nasal packing making a big mess on my face, in my hair, and on the sheets. I cleaned up as best I could and repacked my nostrils with clean afrin soaked cotton pads. It was then time to take my antibiotic and I realized I hadn’t taken any pain meds yet, and am not feeling any extreme pain. I took one just in case there was a long acting local that was used that hasn’t worn of yet.
I’m hoping I don’t get too much swelling or bruising, but only time will tell.

Offline Bracesx3

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #133 on: 14. May 2024, 00:30:31 AM »
My new back brace came in so I went for my first fitting today. https://dereferer.me/?https://imgur.com/a/8bxeP3n It’s definitely a stronger thermoplastic. Unlike my original brace, it has no give in regards to twisting or bending. There are 2 significant issues that have to be addressed. First. The brace is too big and has to be made smaller. While this seems like a good problem to have, iit puts all the overcorrection parts of the brace in a different position than intended. Over 1 1/2 inches need to be taken off, which will require all the straps to be repositioned as well- all before I begin wearing it, which doesn’t seem right.
Second, the outriggers curve away from my body at the top. It’s difficult to see from the angle of my selfie, but it’s pretty significant. It seems like once they are formed to my contours, they will be against my neck.
My doctor is reaching out to Scolibrace to show them the problems. He feels the same as I about the brace not being the right size and wants to send it back to them to make right instead of him making the modifications.
One thing I did notice in the short time that I had it on is that any time I flex my back, the brace opens up around my chest area, even with the stronger thermoplastic. I won’t know for a few days what will need to happen.
If all goes well, I will get my cast off on Friday and slowly begin to weightbear again. I would really like to be walking by the time we go on vacation. A little voice in my head tells me I should take the knee scooter along for the days that will require substantial walking so I don’t cause the stress fracture to return. I’ll make that decision in a few weeks when I have a better idea of where I’m at in the healing process.
In the meantime, the elbow pain that flared up after my ankle surgery from using the knee scooter has not resolved. If you haven’t used a knee scooter, you wouldn’t know how terrible the turning radius of them are. It’s like Austin Powers in a golf cart with every turn. I’ve never had the patience for a 27 point turn, so I just lift the front by the handle bars are put it down in the direction I want to go.  That approach has come back to bite me. I finally had my elbow looked at by the VA. The X-rays showed some changes in the bones, but nothing significant; however, the mri has some unpleasant findings which definitely correlate with the pain and weakness I’ve been experiencing https://dereferer.me/?https://imgur.com/a/ft83Bn1 These results mean that the one tendon is more than 60% torn. I really don’t have the bandwidth to deal with this. It’s just too much. High grade tears rarely if ever heal on their own. The VA has offered prolotherapy or surgery. Prolotherapy can take a year and a half to be effective and it’s really only a pain management option as it has not been known to repair such large tears. I don’t even want to think about another surgery. I want to get a second opinion, but I don’t want that opinion interfering with vacation. I haven’t even shared my mri results with my husband. I want to be cognitively dissonant.

Offline mr_90proof

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #134 on: 14. May 2024, 03:44:48 AM »
That is just too much for one person to be dealing with at one time.  I am really sorry.  I know you will get it sorted out, but damn you are due for some good news.  On a positive note, I like the pattern of your brace.  I am sure they will get the fit right.

Online TrainTrack

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #135 on: 14. May 2024, 04:02:39 AM »
I’ve gotta agree with mr_90proof. That is a hell of a laundry list of things that need to be dealt with, way more than any one person should deal with. Hell, that is more than ten people should share. I also agree that the brace pattern is really cute. I hope you have a great vacation and that things get exponentially better as soon as possible.

Offline napacaster

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #136 on: 14. May 2024, 05:37:51 AM »
I sure hope things get better sooner rather than later! It's all so much all at once.

Offline mr_90proof

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #137 on: 22. May 2024, 18:17:46 PM »
How have you been doing the last week?   

Offline Bracesx3

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #138 on: 23. May 2024, 06:52:40 AM »
Life has been crazy. Last Thursday I had my 2nd follow up following my sinus procedure. I let my doctor know that I was feeling like I was getting another sinus infection, so he gave me antibiotics and the dreaded steroids to take only if absolutely necessary once my boogers turned green. It became absolutely necessary Saturday night when I could feel it moving into my chest. Unfortunately, I had to start the steroids which is a huge complication with my stress fracture- as they cause delayed bone healing. Fortunately, today I am finally starting to feel better. Sigh. So even though I got my cast off on Friday and could start walking as long as there was no pain, I have to be super cautious. I have decided to continue using my boot most of the time and still rely on my knee scooter for any lengthy periods of standing or walking to play it safe. This means both will join us on vacation. I had another follow up with the VA regarding my elbow. The plan is to continue occupational therapy then refer me to orthopedics for treatment. This pushes any decision making on my elbow out until at least August/September. I was supposed to get my new back brace tomorrow after it’s final adjustment, but received a text from my doctor today saying a new brace was coming on June 7th after Scolibrace reviewed the images sent to them of how it fit. I won’t be home when it comes in, go figure. With all this going on, I finally finished writing my speech. There are a couple of things I want to make changes to, but overall, I’m happy with the final product. I just finished sending it off to the committee for review. It runs about 9 1/2 minutes long. I would rather it be a little short than bore people to death as they swelter in the sun listening. And lastly, our vacation plans are just about firmed up. Will be packing in the next few days. Kids have had lots of school activities, performances and ceremonies. My daughter was awarded the female athlete rookie of the year! I have another sinus appointment tomorrow and my orthodontic braces appointment next week. I really can’t wait to go on vacation and have a break from all my doctors.

Offline napacaster

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Re: Double Braced
« Reply #139 on: 23. May 2024, 15:33:17 PM »
I hope you can enjoy your vacation despite all that is going on. Good luck with your Memorial Day speech.