Yesterday morning a Podiatrist, Dr. Shuman (I love the name) came to our home to look at Ryan’s ankles and feet. I was going to do a complete write-up on what was covered in the visit, but realized I already did this in an email I sent to Sue. I thought it might be neat to share this. Not only does it thoroughly recap the visit, but it gives you a peek into how we coordinate to care for Ryan. In many ways, it’s not unlike a business servicing a customer. No doubt, we have become very efficient.
Here’s a copy of the actual email:
From: Ken Diviney
Date: July 2, 2012 5:26:54 PM EDT
To: Sue Diviney
Subject: Fwd: New Patient Forms
Here are some forms (attached) we still need to complete and fax over to Dr. Schuman.
Recap of home visit:
1. Extra Depth Shoe. We should go to www.safestep.net and select one. Dr. Schuman says the New Balance 812 is especially good. These would be used during therapies Once picked, we can asked her to write a script to submit to insurance.
2. Stiff Sandal. Brands she suggests are REI, TEVA, and Keen. I think I already own a pair of Keen. These can be worn during the day (non-therapy).
3. Bacitracin. She said this is the best. Continue to use it if there is skin breakdown.
4. Night AFOs. She loves the (blue) ones we use.
5. Day AFOs. Provided Ryan’s skin will not breakdown, she recommends AFOs during the day. She will write a script when we select style we want. She recommends a pair made of carbon fiber and 2 shin straps. See www.allardusa.com/frames/prodframes.html.
For your understanding, “AFO” is an acronym for “Ankle Foot Orthosis”. In layman’s terms, this is much like an ankle brace… on steroids. For Ryan, it has a dual purpose: 1) To support and hold the ankle joint in a neutral position laterally to prevent it from rolling in/out, and 2) To apply upward pressure on the sole of the feet to stabilize/reverse foot drop. Here is a picture of the style we use at night on Ryan:
I sometimes use this during the day as well, but it’s bulk prevents wear during therapies. There’s just no way that Ryan could have this on during cycling, for instance. The idea is to find one that can be worn during the day and can stay on (and actually help) me with his exercises. More precisely, it must fit within his footwear. For this, he will need a style similar to this photo:
Finally, the shoe he wears can go a long way in preventing skin breakdown from rubbing, especially during therapy. Ryan is particularly susceptible at the knuckles of his big toes (from curling them). He needs extra depth. The recommendation is the New Balance 812 (shown below).
In total, this will cost around $2,000 (not including the Podiatrist charges) to pull this off. As usual, we’ll get them and worry about paying later. We will send it to insurance, but it’s anyone’s guess if they will cover it. Our insurance has been wonderful to us from the beginning. They do as much as they can to help. Still, there’s always that argument that it doesn’t qualify as care or treatment for brain injury. Yes, in reality, traumatic brain injury to this extent touches every part of the body. Still, it’s easy to see how it could be a hard sell in the medical world that a person’s shoes are connected to the brain injury.
Carla Liberty says
You’re a Shoe-In for best parents! I’m sure Dr. Shuman would agree!!!
As always, SHSP NGA~
Beth Yount says
My husband wears one of these ankle braces (the combo of laces and velcro straps) to immobilize his ankle due to degenerative arthritis. It is called an arizona boot. It is leather. They made a cast of his foot and ankle and then the boot was built to the cast.
Wonderful information about making a cast of the foot!
Gail Doyle says
Ken, Love the name of podiatrist:) Sounds like all good advice. Yes, what happened to Ryan affects every part of his body and knowing you and Sue will go the whole way in getting Ryan what he needs ,he WILL get better. No place, no rehab ,no hospital could do near what you both have done for Ryan and it sure hasn’t been easy!, but it shows. Many blessings to you both… Always here
The care that Ryan gets in his own home is above and beyond! Ken, you and Sue are better parents than any child could ask for. How very fortunate they are! Nothing is too much trouble when it comes to your kids — you go to the mountain-top. This is to be admired and is an excellent pattern for parents to follow.
Now, Kenneth, we sure hope you had Dr. Shuman look at all those callouses on your feet from dancing. Have you taken time out for a good white vinegar soak? It’s way past sandal time, don’tcha know! 😉
It brings tears to my eyes the extent you and Sue go to in order to make sure Ryan gets everything he needs. The suffering you have gone through is something I know many will never understand. Thankfully, though, by the grace of God there are many who do.
You and Sue are awesome parents.
Many, many thanks to Dr. Shulman for doing such an excellent job evaluating and treating Ryan’s foot issues. It’s interesting to me how the very best in their fields show up to help Ryan. This also bolsters my faith in people in general.
God bless you Ken for everything you’re doing for Ryan. I hope you two have a peaceful day and can get some patio time when it cools down.
Thinking of you all.
Love & hugs, heartfelt prayers
Ryan should benefit greatly from these orthotics. I pray that someday you’ll be ordering another special pair of shoes for him so he can dance with you 🙂 And I love the podiatrist’s name too — perfect!
For a stiff sandal, the best we ever found for my mom was Birkinstock. Highly recommend.
We will take a look at it. Thank you!
Katie I. says
Have you tried contacting the companies (like New Balance) to see if they’d be willing to donate in exchange for some feel-good press on a high traffic website (yours)? May be worth a shot. All companies love publicity!
I don’t think (but not sure) we contacted New Balance. I know we tried Nike a while back, without success. You’d be surprised how little response we get from our requests. Most large companies want to contribute to a cause, and not a person. This is the reason we rely on the Wish List to see us through.