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Thread: Questions for "Full-Time" Walkers

  1. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by uscmolly View Post
    Julie, why is this? I can't see a reason to keep them on if I'm not going to be out walking.
    If you have orthotics, then whenever you put a shoe on, the orthotic should be in that shoe. Otherwise it defeats the point of having them--it's just the way they work. Orthotics correct your feet so to put on the shoe with the orthotic in it and then come home and switch to a different shoe, with no orthotic because you're just kicking it at home, you are kind of defeating the point of having the orthotics in the first place.
    If the only time you have shoes on is when you are out and about, then you're fine. You can get orthotics custom fit to one particular shoe, but you can also have the insoles that you can put in whatever shoe you want to wear. Do you already have orthotics?


  2. #12
    Senior Member uscmolly's Avatar
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    Julie, I think you're talking about the kind of orthotic that are solely shoe orthotics, like special insoles, right? With that kind of orthotic, it would definitely make sense to wear them all the time. I wear ankle-foot orthotics (this one: http://www.allardint.com/products/bluerocker.html), so they aren't doing any special correction to my feet like an insole would. I only wear orthotics to be able to walk, so if I'm using my chair I'm not going to put my AFOs on, just to have them on. Plus, if I want to wear a cute shoe, it wouldn't even be an option to wear them. Hope that makes sense
    Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will. -Mahatma Gandhi

  3. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by uscmolly View Post
    Julie, I think you're talking about the kind of orthotic that are solely shoe orthotics, like special insoles, right? With that kind of orthotic, it would definitely make sense to wear them all the time. I wear ankle-foot orthotics (this one: http://www.allardint.com/products/bluerocker.html), so they aren't doing any special correction to my feet like an insole would. I only wear orthotics to be able to walk, so if I'm using my chair I'm not going to put my AFOs on, just to have them on. Plus, if I want to wear a cute shoe, it wouldn't even be an option to wear them. Hope that makes sense
    An AFO! Of course! I know what you're talking about. Do you have tendonitis or flat foot? Because in that case it wouldn't be bad to wear your AFO even when in your chair. I mean, asking your orthotist is your safest bet.


  4. #14
    Senior Member uscmolly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Julie-Bug View Post
    An AFO! Of course! I know what you're talking about. Do you have tendonitis or flat foot? Because in that case it wouldn't be bad to wear your AFO even when in your chair. I mean, asking your orthotist is your safest bet.
    I have no dorsiflexion or plantar flexion on my left and no plantar flexion on my right, which are primarily issues for walking. No tendonitis or flat foot, thankfully! My orthotist didn't say either way about wearing them in the chair, so I'm just going to go with what's comfortable and gives me flexibility with different shoes
    Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will. -Mahatma Gandhi

  5. #15
    Senior Member uscmolly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by darkeyed_daisy View Post
    3. I use baskets, bags and whatever else to carry things around the house. I did recently purchase a laundry cart like they have in laundry mats and it is wonderful (from amazon.com). At work I purchased a file cart and I am debating on getting them to order one for the house. I hang on to it like a shopping cart and can walk without my cane. It has a top basket and bottom basket and would be perfect for the house.
    Which laundry cart did you buy? Both the laundry and file carts are great solutions to moving stuff around the house!
    Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will. -Mahatma Gandhi

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by uscmolly View Post
    Which laundry cart did you buy? Both the laundry and file carts are great solutions to moving stuff around the house!
    http://www.amazon.com/Whitney-Design...5516878&sr=8-3

    I use it for all kinds of things and it is sturdy.
    T12-L2; Burst fracture L1: Incomplete walking with AFO's and cane since 1989

    My goal in life is to be as good of a person my dog already thinks I am. ~Author Unknown

  7. #17
    Senior Member uscmolly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by darkeyed_daisy View Post
    http://www.amazon.com/Whitney-Design...5516878&sr=8-3

    I use it for all kinds of things and it is sturdy.
    That's such a great idea, thanks! I think my husband would like using it too!
    Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will. -Mahatma Gandhi

  8. #18
    USCmolly -
    I know you know me but to introduce myself to others, I am an incomplete T12 paraplegic 7 years out from injury with a cauda equina injury and wear one AFO. My good leg has all motor groups. The "bad" leg has nothing below the knee (thus I wear an AFO) and I have no hip stabilizers or glut or hamstring on that side. I can walk 50 ft without any cane or crutch although it ain't pretty. Look okay walking with a single cane. And I can walk with forearm crutches at 2.5 miles/hour for a few hours. I agree that you have to force yourself to walk, even if it is not the most efficient way to handle the day. It is the only way to gain the necessary leg endurance to make walking a more viable option.
    Are you at the point that you can leave your wheelchair at home and always use crutches/canes outside of home? That is a good way to force yourself to walk. The other thing I did to increase my endurance was to say to myself that I won't use a wheelchair for a whole day. Wake up, put on AFO and shoes and absolutely not use the chair all day. Inefficient and exhausting, yes it was. But it did raise my leg endurance level.
    That being said, I use a wheelchair once my AFO is off which is during 2 times a day. One - getting into and out of the shower and Two - at the end of the day. If I have to move boxes around, I have to use the wheelchair or get my wife and son to help me.
    So my wheelchair is not leaving my house. I also do 'crutch walking' with Jasper the dog for 1 to 2 hours every other day.
    Try going away for a weekend and don't take your wheelchair. That will be like trial by fire and force you to ambulate.
    But I know that I will never fully 'graduate' from a wheelchair, in fact as I age, the percentage of time in a wheelchair will go back up (like WFE) till they bury me.
    People see me out with a cane will say, "Oh, I see you have graduated from crutches and a wheelchair". I tell them , "No, I still use all the above. Depends how tired I am" It isn't a linear progression, more like increasing and decreasing percentages of time with each modality.
    I keep my wheelchair in the bedroom, forearm crutches in the garage next to Jasper's leash, and canes scattered throughout the house.
    Molly - how much time are you spending out of the chair?

  9. #19
    Senior Member uscmolly's Avatar
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    First, let me say "thanks" to everyone who posted on my thread and who PM'd me! I really appreciate the feedback. I feel like I'm in this weird gray area of SCI...not a full wheelchair user, but not a walker either. What arndog said about people assuming stuff when they see you out walking happens to me all the time. If I'm walking, my friends and family assume that's all I do and I must be "all better", or if I'm using my chair they want to know why I'm not walking more. I guess I can't blame them...they don't know the intricancies of SCI recovery and how extremely complex the process of walking really is. I didn't get it before my injury either.

    Quote Originally Posted by arndog View Post
    Are you at the point that you can leave your wheelchair at home and always use crutches/canes outside of home? That is a good way to force yourself to walk. The other thing I did to increase my endurance was to say to myself that I won't use a wheelchair for a whole day. Wake up, put on AFO and shoes and absolutely not use the chair all day. Inefficient and exhausting, yes it was. But it did raise my leg endurance level.
    That being said, I use a wheelchair once my AFO is off which is during 2 times a day. One - getting into and out of the shower and Two - at the end of the day. If I have to move boxes around, I have to use the wheelchair or get my wife and son to help me.
    So my wheelchair is not leaving my house. I also do 'crutch walking' with Jasper the dog for 1 to 2 hours every other day.
    Try going away for a weekend and don't take your wheelchair. That will be like trial by fire and force you to ambulate.
    But I know that I will never fully 'graduate' from a wheelchair, in fact as I age, the percentage of time in a wheelchair will go back up (like WFE) till they bury me.
    People see me out with a cane will say, "Oh, I see you have graduated from crutches and a wheelchair". I tell them , "No, I still use all the above. Depends how tired I am" It isn't a linear progression, more like increasing and decreasing percentages of time with each modality.
    I keep my wheelchair in the bedroom, forearm crutches in the garage next to Jasper's leash, and canes scattered throughout the house.
    Molly - how much time are you spending out of the chair?
    Jon, here's my current situation. I use the chair 100% at home, mostly because of the carrying issue and not wanting have to have shoes on all the time. When I go out anywhere that requires short distance walking (restaurants, PT, friends' houses, doctor's appointments), I'll mostly walk. Longer distance stuff (shopping, Disneyland, etc) I'll take the chair. I've been thinking of the same idea about not using the chair starting for a whole day, then a weekend, etc. I just need to commit to it and do it! The chair is comfortable and easy for me at this point, so I think that is what's been stopping me. But really, worst case, I have a hard day, right? Also, thanks for the shower info...confirms my own suspicion that this is one area that the chair will always come in handy for!
    Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will. -Mahatma Gandhi

  10. #20
    Molly - I think you are doing great and it will be interesting to watch your percentage of chair use at home decreases over time. Wouldn't it be a personal satisfaction to spend 24 hours without getting into the chair and reporting it back here? But like you said, we will never not need the chairs once the afos come off. What is the worst that will happen if you fail? You will be exhausted, your body will hurt and you will only get stronger and do better the next day.
    Do as much crutch walking as you can - it will get your upper body stronger too. Hey, what about using a rolling walker at home and then you could walk and carry stuff on the rolling walker which has a basket. Do you have a rolling walker, you know what "old" folks use?

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