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Saturday, April 22, 2017

Disaster Brace

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.

Your turn
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?

15 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Ur-spo,
      Thanks. Wish the woman who put it on a bit of luck, too.

      Delete
  2. I once had a full length partial plaster on a leg. The plaster slipped down inside the bandage that was supposed to hold it on and quickly wore a hole in my heel. It was excruciating. I have also made DIY adjustments to custom orthotics. Having said that, I would be in deep trouble without my podiatrist so I am grateful to her

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. kylie,
      That sounds excruciating. This brace is made to be customized as the metal inside the soft lining can be bent. But, I cannot bend it. Of course, this is not a custom orthotic. I imagine I could have heated the last one I had to make it better. I am just terrified of going to a podiatrist and need to. YOU SOUND EXPERIENCED.

      Delete
    2. I have a neurological disorder which makes me walk funny and in turn caused deformity to my feet so if I walk too much or dont wear orthotics or the orthotic is not properly adjusted I get a pressure ulcer. I have seen the podiatrist every four weeks, sometimes more often, for about ten years. Any little inattention can be almost catastrophic. Last year I had an ulcer for six months and it was infected many times. I started to imagine I might never get better

      Delete
    3. oh and podiatrists are great, i know money is a problem for you but if you can get your feet looked at, you will appreciate it.
      I hope the brace does the job, I know the ones you mean, so silly to say they are not adjustable

      Delete
    4. kylie,
      Sorry about the neurological disorder. But, it sounds like you are taking care of the problems caused. I saw a podiatrist shove a needle from the bottom of the base of my son's toe up to behind the nail. I almost died. My son was crying so and in pain. He had a ingrown toenail fixed. My son just refused to have the other toe fixed. I hugged him and told him he would not have to go through that again. My plan was to find someone less brutal. The podiatrist acted like we were big babies. I guess it is not true, but I am afraid of podiatrists! My mother had both big toes operated on for ingrown toenails. I need the same. Thanks.

      Delete
  3. Kind of a brace to protect my arm after the cast was removed from breaking it. I'm sure you'll get it adjusted since you will speak up. I'm afraid I let those kinds of things slide and I shouldn't.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nan,
      It was five pm on Friday. I had sat two hours waiting for doctor. I had driven/ridden over an hour. I still was very much ill with bronchitis. That office was emptying, and I am sure that nothing would have gotten a good fit. She summarily dismissed me! Believe me, tomorrow I will be on the phone. I usually speak of, but I had three times, and got nothing but excuses so she could leave. That will be addressed also.

      Delete
  4. Hope you get it sorted out tomorrow! Maybe you can call the manufacturer and tell them the problem. They will lose money if the patients will not use their product because the person fitting it will not take the time to do it right.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. tana50,
      The doctor is 50 miles away. I am too ill to drive and hand hurts so to drive. I will call, and calling the manufacturer is a good idea. Exbf will take me back Thursday, if I can get an appointment. The office is small, so I hope they are not too busy.

      Delete
  5. I am not familar with this brace but it sure sounds painful and annoying. I had a cast for a broken wrist and could not wait till I got it off. I wonder if you have a nerve shorting out. And Linda I could not find a story about your fall but it sounds like a real bad one.

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  6. I mean it wasn't where you put the link.

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    Replies
    1. carol,
      I will check the link and redo. A cast would be horrendous. I think I would need sedation to keep me from going nuts. The brace is just fabric with metal ribs and Velcro to close it. The metal ribs make it adjustable.

      Delete
  7. Linda I could not believe how tired that cast made me. On my arm! I could only imagine how a broken leg would feel. Or being on crutches. And this was my left arm and I am right handed. When the swelling went down, I could slip it on and off which gave some relief.

    ReplyDelete

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