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Mike's Mom
02-22-2004, 07:59 PM
Hi,

I'm new & in desperate need of advice. My son, Mike is 14. He has a 40 degree curve at the top of his spine & a 26 degree curve in his lower spine. He also has mild Autism & mild Cerebral Palsy. He has weak & poor muscle control. He can walk & do normal activities, but is slower than normal & extra sensitive to things. He goes to normal school, but special ed.

He received a Milwaukee brace on Friday. How in the world do people wear this thing 23hrs. a day?!? It is so scarey to even look at, let alone put on a human body!!! My son cried & cried. He hates it & so do I!! I have to force him to wear it, I feel like I'm torturing him!!!!!!! He can't go to the bathroom w/o help because he can't pull his underwear over the thick plastic hip things. He can barely walk or use the stairs. HELP!!!!

Sorry for losing it, I just love him so much! He has to wear this brace 23hrs. daily for 1 1/2 yrs. Will we make it? Can anyone give me any suggestions? What do you wear for pants? They have to go up so high?

Thanks for all your time,

Mary
02-23-2004, 06:53 PM
1 year ago I was asking the same questions. My daughter is 12 and had her 1 year Milwaukee brace anniversary last month. It is a tough thing to wear, but may provide the best treatment for thoracic curves.
When she began to wear the brace, it was like torture for a couple of weeks and then she just started to get used to it, only God knows how. The first month the things that got her through it were:
Alcohol pad wipe down where the brace may cause a rash; a very special bathing time with different soothing soaking salts, lots of attention; a new watch with a stop watch-timer on it to time when she took the brace on and off to bathe and exercise; whatever she wanted at the mall for a spree on things other than clothes.
We bought pants 2 or 3 sizes bigger than withhout the brace just to get them buckled. She goes to a junior high that requires standard dress (khakis and polos) and I can't tell you how much that helps to conform to the others. Try your hardest to get Mike to be compliant and wear the brace. Amanda has had good xrays for the past year and she's grown 3 inches with no curve progression. She still has to continue wearing it 2 more years minimum - maybe longer.

Alison
02-24-2004, 05:43 AM
Hi Mike's mom,

I've got lots of suggestions for you, emailing them too you would be easier as it is a rather long list :-) its a culmination of my ideas, my sister and my friend (who are fourth year occupational therapy students) and it would be a very long forum post but I do want to help you. I'll post it on the forum if would be more easier for you.

Alison