Today I am at the Orthotics Department of the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital which is in Stanmore, North London. I am here to be fitted for a spinal brace, so a new experience for me. I drove to the hospital as it was quicker and I think easier than trying to go by train. Not a bad drive really.
I arrived and got parked and then made my way to the Orthotics Department which is in s fairly old building.
As I checked in at the reception Donna, who would be fitting me for the brace said hello and soon I was in the fitting room.
Donna explained what would happen.
I was to be covered in a body size length of tubigrip (or shoulderless dress as she called it) and then covered in plaster of paris around my chest and abdomen so that a plastic cast could be made.
Soon I was down to my boxer shorts and the tubigrip was pulled over me, I must have looked a sight!
Then Donna applied the plaster which was thankfully warm and strangely comforting!
I was stood up and had to keep my posture upright for a few minutes while the plaster set.
Before long Donna had her scissors out and cut the mould off me.
The whole process did not take long at all.
I was also allowed to select a pattern for the cast and opted for Camouflage as my first choice, fingers crossed.
I did learn that I would need to wear the brace for 3 months and to wear it all day unless I was lying down.
I imagine it will take some getting used to but it will help with the healing process and help prevent further damage. She did say that the disks above and below my damaged disk (T12) were susceptible to damage and that the brace would help protect them.
I also learnt that Donna fitted spinal braces for quite a lot of cancer patients who were reffered from UCLH. It would seem that spinal problems occurred quite a bit with cancer either with different types of cancer like Prostate and Myloma or by the different treatments causing problems with bones.
The drive home was good and now all I have to do is wait until Wednesday when I pick up the brace and start wearing it!