It was closing time on a Friday when I was wheeled to the brace room. If I had walked, it would have been an hour past closing.
Everyone in the room was scurrying to get ready to leave. I had a brace installed on my right hand. I say "installed" because it sure did not fit like it would if I had been fitted for a brace! I mentioned it hurt in a certain place and she said, "That is how it is supposed to be." I complained my hand was tingling after 30 seconds. She said, "It has to be this way to immobilize the thumb." NO, it does not. I said it hurt in a different place. She said, "It will stop hurting after a while." NO, it did not.
During this I mentioned it could be adjusted. She commented that there was no adjustment, that this was an off-the-shelf brace. Well, I watched a doctor ask specifically where the brace on my left arm hurt and watched him force the metal to fit me like a glove. It can be done. This ain't my first rodeo! This old woman knows how braces feel and can be fitted.
When I told her the best brace was the kind that is a slab of plastic-like stuff that was heated and molded to my hand and reheated in the places it was too tight and chaffing. She called the name of it and repeated that this was an off-the-shelf brace and the other was a custom brace. Still, I am not new to this and watched real fitters make one that supported wrist, reduced motion, and did not hurt at all.
Oh, by the way, I could stick my hand in the brace along with the arm since it is so loose there, one reason it chaffs, all the motion.
Well, I will have a custom brace! I now have sores where it sits hard in the wrong spots. I am chaffed where the top and bottom of braced were tightened. And, that is after just sitting in the car and riding. I know I could relieve all this with gauze, but how easy is it to treat yourself one-handed, especially when you must work with left hand only? Sure, it can be done, but with a "professional" doing the work, it should be done correctly. Well, it was a few minutes to 5 pm on a Friday evening.
Actually, I could get as much relief from putting my hand in the cardboard box the brace came in and taping it to hand and arm. Monday, I will complain. This brace is not worth over $200. Plus, I read somewhere that I have ten days in which to return it. I will.
Have you ever had a brace on arm or elsewhere? Did the tech readjust to get a good fit? Have you ever had the kind that is molded to your arm after heating? Do you hate it when people assume you know nothing and just lie to you?