Tuesday, March 29, 2011

You're kidding, right?

A while back I made an appointment to get resting hand splints.  Common in ALS paraphernalia, they are just what they sound like...splints for your hands while you rest (in this case, sleep).  The intention of the splints is to keep your hands from becoming contractured, like this:
I knew I might be in trouble when, at the "fitting" appointment, the clinician brought in a splint similar to this:
See the problem with that????

After returning home and finding what I needed online, I emailed the tech to have him order some resting hand splints, which he did.  Today I went in to have them "fitted" and they were obviously too large.  After watching him fumble with the velcro (including trying to attach the "fuzzy" side of a strap attachment to a non-velcro part of the splint) and try to convince me that they weren't really too large (they extended  well over an inch beyond my longest finger and were a good 1/2 inch wider than the widest part of my palm), I finally politely asked that he order the next-smaller size.  Now, this is a certified orthotist, professional, presumably college-educated person... but when he went to put the splints back in their respective (right, left) boxes he held up the splints, looking at them, turning them around and upside down, trying to tell which was which.
Not a huge confidence builder.  Hopefully, I'll get the smaller size and be all set next visit.  Amy and I got a good laugh out of the whole thing!  Just another day-in-the-life.........

I need a particular piece of equipment to adapt my surroundings.  I know what I need.  I asked a "patient services/equipment" specialist at a national organization about where/how to get it (loan closet).  They referred me to a therapist who deals in that sort of equipment.  NEITHER of them had any clue what to tell me to do/what I needed specifically.  I went online and found PART NUMBERS and photographs for what I needed.  Took me 20 minutes...tops.  Moral of the story:  you're on your own.  I'll be pleasantly surprised if the loan closet has what I need.

I wonder why I don't participate in the national organization's fundraising activities??? Hummm.

1 comment:

Stephanie said...

Oh boy do I ever know what you mean. I have been SO dissapointed with these national organizations.

I have thought my husband has needed splints for a while now on his left hand, it is contracting pretty badly. The PT at our last ALS clinic told us no, to just lay the hand out flat when he is sitting. I kind of gave up on the idea, but seeing your splints, I would love to know where you got them.

With ALS, we are on our own, but we can be on our own together :)