Today was my first visit back to the Hanger Clinic since getting my ExoSyms last Wednesday. I was so looking forward to this visit as I discovered the morning after receiving my ExoSyms that there was a very real reason for feeling so uncomfortable the day before – the left one needed some adjustments. It was rubbing in a couple of places and causing pain.
When I put them on Thursday morning my foot really barked. I had a couple of tender spots where the device was too tight or rubbing. I wore them for a couple of hours, but took them off for some relief from the tender spots. Thing is, the other pain was gone with them on, so it was a trade off as it came back when they were off. I didn’t wear them Friday and the pain was less when I put them on Saturday.
I spent all day Saturday moving into the new addition and unpacking the kitchen. By mid-afternoon the tenderness was back and I had to take them off. My feet screamed at having the pressure of my weight back, but I pushed through. When I couldn’t take the foot pain anymore I put the ExoSyms back on and got a second wind. It was like that all weekend.
So today I was thrilled to see Ryan and couldn’t wait to hand them over for adjustment. I resisted the urge to rip them off and run at Ryan with them in my hands. That would have been a little weird, even for me.
Truth be told, Ryan had been on vacation since my last visit, but texted me no less than six times over the weekend to see how I was doing and offer support. This is so much more than good customer service. This is someone who truly cares about the comfort and increased ability of his patients. In all my years of seeing medical professionals, and there have been many, mind you, I have NEVER had a medical professional check up on me like that. Sure, nurses have called to see that I’m not dead the day after I’ve gone home from surgery, but the doctor himself (or in this case, the very person who designed, fitted and sent me home with the device) – never.
Needless to say, Ryan met me right as I arrived and offered to get to work on the adjustments. As Ryan worked on the ExoSyms, Jared met me with his list of exercises he feels will help me develop my core in 12 weeks. Or as I’m want to call it, Jared’s Special Recipe to Make You Call out for Mommy. While my two kids spent quality time with Saint Steve Jobs (the iPads), Jared put me through the paces for about two and a half hours with exercises that pushed me pretty hard.
Adjustments, adjustments, adjustments
Almost everyone needs several adjustments to their devices until they’re perfect. Ryan came back a couple of times and I tried on the devices until we got all the spots addressed. He took a bit off the toe end, widened the foot plate, cut away the spot that was rubbing on my ankle bone and tightened the knee cuffs (that last one he said is very common to do in the first weeks of an ExoSym). He also helped correct my difference in leg length with a little extra padding in the right shoe.
OK, so it doesn’t show as much in the before and after photos above, but in the end, it was so very worth it. The left one felt so much more comfortable, and fit better in my shoe. I did some walking, took a stroll around the outside of the building, and even took on the stairs.
When I left, I didn’t want to lay down and sleep like I did on the first day. I wanted to WALK! I took the kids to a park and we played in the playground. Then we drove home and I stopped off at my husband’s office to visit. When I got home, I stood in my new kitchen and made a nice dinner and even cut up the ingredients and did some pre-prep for tomorrow’s breakfast. THIS is what it was supposed to feel like. I’m feeling a million times better about my ExoSyms now.
Oh, and remember that drawing of Jared’s I forgot to take a picture of last time, the one about how our body mechanics are like a clothes rack. Guess what he had on his board today? Here it is for your viewing pleasure.