Friday, September 28, 2007
I think it was during the last week of August that I got my brace. I was quite excited because once I had the brace, mobility couldn't be far behind! The brace is a semi-benign torture devive. At first it was almost sexy in a X-Men superhero kind of way, but I soon tired of the sensation of a 40 lb Cheshire cat sleeping on my chest. But I complain too soon!
In all other provinces than B.C., orthotic braces are covered under the provincial health plan. In B.C., patients must purchase their own. My prescribed brace was $1400. Luckily, my husband has Extended Health coverage through work. I can't imagine what people who don't have the money do - maybe they have to spend 6-8 weeks of recovery time flat in bed with family members turning them every two hours. We may be getting the 2010 Winter Olympics but that does NOT mean we have a more highly evolved government. Who wants health care when you can have a party instead?
Anyways, after I was strapped in to the hard plastic corset that goes from hip to chin, a physiotherapist arrived to help me try walking. After lying flat for 2 weeks I was thrilled to try moving in a different plane. I practically fainted just coming to a sitting position. My first steps with the support of a walker and the therapist were quite panic inducing. I wobbled arond like a rag doll and gratefully returned to my bed after just a few steps. But Ian helped me try later in the afternoon, and I managed a few more steps, and after a couple of days was moving slowly, but confidently. Another big plus of this freedom was being able to use the toilet!
It appeared I had met the basic requirements for release! Able to walk, feed myself and perform basic bodily fuctions and I was ready for the world! I left the hospital for home on September 3.
(While writing this I thought I would look for an appropriate illustration and innocently Googled "neck and head brace". OMFG!! I had no idea that there are people out there who are into "recreational" uses of orthopedic braces! What a sheltered life I have led! Ohmygoodnessgollygosh!!) The picture I chose is by no means representative of what's out there.