Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Just Call Me the Bionic Woman


I finally made an appointment to see my physiotherapist...it only took me 8 months after my angioplasty to do it.  I was hoping that I would see some improvement in my walking, but unfortunately, that isn't happening...yet.  So I've been reluctant to go to the physio clinic because the improvements aren't very visible.  I know that's a really silly reason NOT to go...and in retrospect, I should have gone immediately after the angio, but hindsight is 20/20!

Funny thing is, when I came through the doors of the clinic, Heather (my physiotherapist) thought I was walking a bit better?? News to me...but then again, I've had other people comment on my walking??  Maybe I'M being too critical??  Maybe they're seeing something I'm not?!


Anyways, I have a new plan.  I've been doing the diet/supplement and complementary therapy piece for a while now and am comfortable with it...now I'm adding the physio/fitness piece.  Really, it's long overdue and I mentally kick myself for not doing it sooner (I'd try to kick myself, but I'd lose my balance trying and probably fall "ass over tea kettle" LOL) So what's the plan??  My focus is to address the spasticity and severe loss of propioception in my legs (focusing more on the right leg...it's the worst).

That's where the bionic part comes in.  I'm trialling the Bioness L300 www.bioness.com.  This device, which straps around my calf, just below the knee, stimulates the Peroneal Nerve which controls the movement of the lower leg muscles, causing it to raise the foot appropriately.  Heather is hoping that it will do a number of things for me:
  1. improve my gait (I have a slight foot drop problem)
  2. decrease the amount of energy I am using to move the leg with the hopes that I can take that effort and focus it elsewhere
  3. stimulate neural pathways with the idea that it may stimulate the nerves in my leg and foot helping with my sense of propioception (or lack thereof)
I have a schedule that I follow that will see me increasing the time I spend wearing the Cuff from 20 min/day to all day over a 4 week period.  After the 4 week period I have to decide whether I think the device is worth paying $6000 for .  Why do medical devices have to cost so much???

I have some reservations about the device and most of them have to do with aesthetics.  I never thought I'd say I was a slave to fashion but...

I have to totally rethink what kind of clothes to wear if I choose to use this device.  Skinny jeans/pants are out (can't pull the pant leg over the device), my favourite pair of Yoga jeans are out (can just pull the leg over the device but looks really stupid), flip flops and my most favourite ballet slippers are out (the sensor has to attach to side of the shoe) and if I want to wear skirts, shorts, dresses, etc. I have to be OK with showing the device.  I'm hoping the wide leg pants that seem to be coming in to style again will stay around for some time...I'm pretty sure the pant leg will slip over the device quite nicely!

And along with the Bioness L300, I have to do leg strengthening exercises and I have to do the balance exercises on the Wii Fit board...every day...I told Heather she had to tell me that my life depended on it, otherwise I'd be inclined NOT to do it.  I'll have to wait and see how that goes.

Other than that, this is Jamie Somers (aka Bionic Woman) signing off!

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