Wednesday, September 25, 2013

so, yeah....the vest works....

no shit.

it really does.  i mean, i aint running...i aint jogging....

no, alas.... my victories and gains from this device are more along the lines of:

1.  i can stand without falling.
2. i can raise my arms above my head, while standing, and do not face plant.
3. i can walk, awkwardly, without a can for short distances...oh, and did i mention? ...without falling.
4. i can march in place.  (yeah, my legs were just a shocked as i was to be marching in place)

theres more, but i am over the whole listing thing.  i am just gonna spew it out.

so, we arrive (after 7 fucking long hours in a godddamn prius) my legs and body were sooo cramped, very tight leg muscles. ugh. tin man needs the oil can....
i get in the room with Craig for the assessment.  I have to demonstrate how i stand from sitting, how i stand, how i walk, a little evoked potentials, etc.

then he tests the lumbar belt, and asks me to stand.  and honestly, even though while i was attempting to stand, as standing from sitting can be challenging...before i knew it, i was standing.  didnt use my hands, not at all.
Glenn was sitting there, and saying WOW....
so, he asked me to stand comfortably...try to look straight ahead, instead of at the floor....try not to hold onto anything....
while i couldnt stand straight, look straight ahead without holding on to something, what i COULD do was stand straighter, with less visible spasticity.  nice.

then, he put the vest on me, asked me to stand, then proceeded in pushing me in different directions to test balance. at one point, i came crashing face first into his glasses. yahoo.

then, he started weighting me. trying small weights in strategic points on my shoulders, chest, torso, low back, etc...

all the while pushing me.

...finally, he could push me, and i could catch myself and regain my balance. yep. no fucking shit.

and, i talked to the guy who made my vest...i already have my own vest.

I saw craig for the assessment on tuesday, he ordered my vest, and we went to pick it up that following saturday.  AND, craig was nice enough to meet us half way....

uber nice.

so, summary:

while walking is still very difficult, it is easier and less scary.  I am very anxious about falling, and this vest gives me a feeling of security. I feel much more centered.
I have wicked bad spasticity, drop foot, and numb feet...all of which are not aided with the vest...but, and this is a big BUT, i am seriosuly hopeful that with could become even easier to walk.

I figure, like crutches. when you first break a leg and get crutches, you can look like an idiot using them...and they are awkward, and foriegn....
but, after a month or so, you are a pro....a fucking crutch master....they become an extension of you....

so, hopefully, in a month or so....i, too will be a vest master.  i wont even have to go and train in a swamp with a little green guy...

well....i am not succinct, and i wander around in, hopefully you can understand my jumbled crap blog post.

the vest shows marked improvement in my mobility....

there. the the point.

oh, p.s.

i played mother fucking CROQUET last friday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

i know, right?  (it probably wasnt pretty or graceful...but i did it.  came in second because my brother had some hidden croquet skill.......................  two games, actually.

if anyone reads my shitty little neglected should get assessed for the vest.


  1. Glad to hear the vest works and it appears to be the real deal.
    I am curious over time how you adjust with the vest on and off.

    Ah to play croquet again... to swing anything without tumbling over again... amazing feeling I'm sure.

    Was the vest covered by insurance or subsided in anyway? I would be surprised if there's not a program/grant or two out there helping patients get these.

    I am happy for ya. I will check it out myself when I get the opportunity.
    Take care.

  2. Hi Heidi,

    I was hoping to get in touch with you about your blog. My wife is a cancer survivor and I was wondering if I could ask you a quick question. Do you think you could email me when you get a chance? Thanks so much.