A Wheelchair Update

August 4, 2018

Written by

Just thought I'd update you all...

 

Back in February, I had a wheelchair assessment to find out whether I could use an electric wheelchair with my foot, and I found it fairly easy; much easier than using head switches (I have used these since I was about four years old), but one thing stood in my way: AFOs (Ankle-foot Orthoses). Why were they an obstacle? Currently, I wear fixed AFOs to keep my feet at right angles, my AFOs come from under my feet to just below the back of my knees. With these AFOs, I can't flex my feet at all, so it was extremely difficult to drive the wheelchair with them on. I have to wear my AFOs because it would impact on my ability to walk if I didn't.

 

To compensate not wearing fixed AFOs, the OT suggested getting hinged AFOs, which would enable me to flex my foot to control the wheelchair. At first, my physio said that they wouldn't be appropriate for me.

 

After a lot of back and forth conversations, I think I'm winning with the wheelchair situation... This Thursday that has just gone (02/08), I had an appointment with an orthotist, the physio and the doctor who is helping me. They observed me walking with my AFOs and then without. We had a long discussion about foot controls and AFOs...

 

End result: It sounds like I might be getting short hinged AFOs that are at a slight angle, with a stopper, so that I can't flex my foot too far; just enough to enable me to move the wheelchair. I think I'm going have longer ones for walking.

 

I'm glad I'm finally getting somewhere. Hopefully, it will keep moving forward, and hopefully, I'll get my wheelchair soon to help me become more independent! For once, the wheelchair services are not the main issue...

 

I can't wait to get it, it will hopefully give me the independence that I've never had...

 

Thanks for reading, and come back next time. 

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