can technology tame the beast?

on the strong advice of my neurologist, even though i have doubts about them, i am going in this afternoon to get casts made of my lower legs, so that i can have braces made that will, theoretically, help with foot drop and, theoretically, make walking much easier. this has been suggested to me in the past, but i never followed through. it seems to me that the problem, at least for me, is in picking up my whole leg, foot and all, and i don’t see how a foot drop brace will help with that. but everyone else seems to think it will, so who am i to argue?

i tried the “WalkAide,” system, and found it remarkably effective. the only reason i didn’t pursue it was that i would need two of them (one for each leg, obviously) and they are rather expensive, and insurance does not consider them worthy. i drove home from my appointment that day singing “if i had a million dollars…”.

i am also going in to get evaluated for a baclofen pump – again, against some misgivings on my part. i have no doubt this thing will work – i take baclofen orally and find it very effective, but the idea of having this hockey-puck sized machine implanted into my abdomen (not that i’m concerned about the bulge, as there is plenty of me in there to hide it), and a catheter implanted into my spine, is not a pleasant one. the idea of surgery of any kind makes me, as my daughter says, oogly. and of course, the idea of any messing around with my spine adds to the oogle-factor.

and even though there are something like 50,000 of these things in use, i am hesitant to rely on a little machine that i have no control over. if the thing malfunctions, there’s nothing i can do about it on my own. and sudden baclofen withdrawal sounds pretty unpleasant.

when i comes down to it, i’m just a big baby. i can get through a colonoscopy fine, but i’ve never been cut open before, and it just makes me break out into a cold sweat just thinking about it. i know, so just don’t think about it. yeah, right. i’ll check back in if i survive.

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