Life is never about One Thing, even when that One Thing is Parkinson's disease that has a terrible way of making itself present in every corner of your daily routine. This blog will discuss a wide range of topics about life and living. Success, love, coping, gratefulness. Parkinson's doesn't stand a chance against these powerhouses.

Friday, 7 October 2011

Foot Support, Head Support - When It's Broke Fix It

Foot Support, Head Support - When It's Broke Fix It.

Because lately, my life seems to be under the influence of 'Murphy's Law'  I want to share our traumatic month of  September with you.  I am a  real believer that when things are as bad as they can be that there is a lesson in there somewhere. Sometimes I have to dig deep to find it.  I guess it's an 'attitude' thing.  I can either have a pity party or knuckle down and find a solution to whatever it is that needs to be 'fixed'.

With Parkinson's and other neurological disease , not to mention the natural procession of aging (because we HATE to admit to that) may come foot and ankle problems.
Fallen arches, excessive pronation (causing the foot to turn inward) weakening of tendons and muscles, may result in an uneven, unsteady gait when walking. All of this can certainly exacerbate an already difficult way of life.    

My husband David had been complaining about pain in his ankle for about a month. Now that got my attention because he never complains. This man could be on fire and would not ask for help . You would not know he was burning until you smelled the smoke.
So, we played 20 questions. Where does it hurt, can you flex it, can you stand on one foot, does it hurt to walk. I had to drag answers out of him and in doing so began to realize that this needed immediate attention.
Being Mr. Indomitable he wanted to 'wait and see'.

By the following weekend the ankle was swollen and felt hot to the touch, David could no longer put any weight on his left foot. The pain was so bad that when I suggested going to the hospital emergency room he actually agreed. One look at his face told me not to utter an 'I told you so.”

From the ER David was admitted to the hospital. Numerous tests followed, including an ultra sound and MRI.
Diagnosis, a badly shredded tendon. He was treated with pain meds, corticosteroids, ice packs and instructions that if he did not take care,  surgery would be needed. It was, once again, a 'wait and see' thing.

I have been classically trained in ballet and danced most of my life. Feet are something I know a lot about. It is very important to wear shoes with correct support especially to help correct an already existing problem. I asked his doctor about the benefits of reinforcing David's shoes . The Dr. stated that this was exactly what he was going to suggest and in addition to medication and instructions of "RICE” (Rest – Ice - Compression - Elevation) he also gave us the name of an excellent orthopedic shoe store .

Two weeks later, pain was minimal, swelling down and now it was time for new shoes. The man who helped us was extremely knowledgeable and sensitive. David selected two pair of shoes. Today's orthopedics are not like the 'old ugly shoe days'. One pair, a sneaker and the other an ankle high hiking type boot are both surprisingly good looking.  
 Modifications were made to both pair. . A customized arch support was inserted in both the right and left shoes. (The right to prevent further damage to his arch.) On the left shoe a 'flare' was put on to keep his ankle from falling inward. This flare is very solid piece of molded leather placed on the outside material of the shoe. It is so evenly matched to the shoe's leather that it is not instantly visible to anyone looking at it. The placement of a 'flare' is individual to the needs of the patient.  David's is on the inside of his foot, just below the ankle bone. Along with the arch support this flare presses against his foot and keeps it in excellent alignment.
 Result, David's said that  the pain is gone and he feels more secure and confident when he is walking.

We are grateful for the expertise of this kind orthopedic salesman and his vast knowledge and experience.   I'm finding that in a world of what sometimes looks like hopeless despair, there is a wealth of helpful people, information and devices that keep us going.   
My man has a Looking Forward Head Support to keep him looking ahead and new supportive shoes to enable him to keep on doing that. What a wonderful world.

These shoes were 'made' for walking.

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