I took Eric to pick up his new braces yesterday, new AFO’s (ankle-foot orthotics or in layman’s terms, leg braces) and a new body jacket (a brace to help in sit up straight). Unfortunately, his AFO’s have to be redone, because they were not made correctly. It’s a silly system really. If you need an orthopedic device, first you need an order from the doctor, then you take the order to an Orthotist who measures and sometimes – as in the case of AFOs – casts the feet. Then the casts or a scan of the cast is sent off to a company where the braces are made. Then they send them back to the Orthotist, who can then make minor adjustments. Years ago, the braces were made right there in the Orthotist’s office, so he/she had much more control over customizations. But now, with the current system, if there is a mistake, the braces have to be re-done. Seems wasteful and time consuming, not to mention getting all of this approved by insurance. Nothing is every easy with Eric…Will have to wait a bit longer for the AFOs.
We did get his new body jacket. It will take some time for Eric to get used to the new jacket. There is a break in period were we have to watch him closely for redness and/or irritated skin. Eric has kyphosis; his upper spine is bent forward from poor posture. Because of his cerebral palsy, he doesn’t have the strenght to sit up straight in his wheel chair, so he wears the body jacket to help support his torso, along with straps on his chair.
I was surprised to see how much Eric has grown in a relatively short time. I think he has had his old body jacket for about 18 months and just look at the difference in size! No wonder I’m having trouble lifting him! (old brace on the left, new on the right – well, obviously;-)