Sunday, August 23, 2015

New Swag: Grace's First AFO (Plus Shoes)

Grace's cerebral palsy is labeled "right hemiparesis" - so, our emphasis for therapy is concentrated on her right side. As a preventative measure, she got her first AFO (ankle foot orthotic) for her right foot. Both of her physical therapists recommended it, and it came just in time for Grace to start taking her first independent steps! Her AFO supplier is called SureSteps - it's rigid enough to supply support, lightweight, and help keep the weight evenly distributed because she feels like she can trust her right side more. She needed a prescription for it, and her doctor was happy to write one.

The fitting was... full of tears. Grace doesn't mind shots, but she abhors being measured. (Head measuring still ranks as all-time worst.) She liked picking out the pattern too!

Three weeks later, we went in for the fitting and - a couple minutes of crying later - she was up! Notice how she is initially still leaning on her left leg.

She felt very comfortable, which is important, and it fit very well. She starts to shift her weight over a bit; it looks more equal.

She even put weight on it almost immediately! Huge improvement already.

Downside: Her current shoes do not accommodate the AFO; and while shoes are not necessary on carpet, they most certainly are on hardwood and tile (plentiful in our rental).

Upside: Happy Grace! Loving her posture improvement.

We're going on a week of wearing it now, and Grace is doing really well. She wears is twice a day, for 30 minutes. We won't be pushing her to wear it more (like we do her patch), per instructions. She doesn't cry either when we put it on, which helps me. We'll even have her stuffed animals wear it too, when she's not. Gotta share love around here!

The next day, we went shoe shopping! In Three Bears fashion, the first shoe's strap was too short. The next shoe's strap was longer, but barely velcroed over the brace. The third shoe was perfect - stretchy sides and a stretchy strap across the shoe. Affordable ($15) and super cute (muted gold with detailed bow) -- thanks, Target!

We received a lot of recommendation for shoes - here are a few: StrideRite; Robeez, Osh Kosh at Target (the ones we tried did not reach far enough); Health Tex at Wal-Mart; Toms; Pediped.

The other advice we got was to buy a wide version of a shoe - that works too! Fortunately for us, this shoe had stretch built in, which allows this shoe to be used outside of brace time. 

As you can tell, wearing an AFO is not cramping Grace's style.

I could not find this actual shoe on the Target website (??) - but here is a similar shoe. Ruffled socks are a must as well.

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1 comment:

  1. She looks so happy! :) Glad she is adjusting well to it! I demand more videos of her walking. Am I allowed to demand that? ;)