• entries
  • comments
  • views

Family's First Public Outing



Made a trip to the shopping mall with family yesterday. First non-medical related outing since the stroke, 8 months ago.


I wish I could say it was fun but I didn't really enjoy it. It made my hubby happy though, being out doing something as a family again, so for that I am glad.


We had a goal to find some Velcro closure sneakers or shoes that would fit over my AFO (Ankle Foot Orthotic). This in hopes of making it easier for me to put on my AFO and shoe without assistance, allowing me to be more independent. This is something I've been working hard on and struggling with for the past 4 days. Good news is I've had a few successful attempts; but it takes forever!


Almost crashed into a child at the mall. Hubby was pushing the wheelchair and suddenly, out of the crowd of people, a boy about 5 or 6 years old walks across our path in front of the wheelchair. He had his attention on the hand-held game system with which he was playing instead of looking where he was walking. Luckily, hubby spotted him in time to avoid a mishap.


Using the public bathroom at the Sears store was only slightly problematic,as I require hubby's assistance in the bathroom, the first thing we had to do was wait for the women's bathroom to clear out. Once that was done, Hubby brought me in while Son stood guard outside to warn any women about to enter that there was a man in the bathroom. Apparently this caused a problem of some sort because just after Son told this to someone, there was a store-wide announcement of a Code-1. That didn't affect my use of the bathroom luckily. The only 'trouble' I had was with the grab-bars being on the wrong side of the toilet for my use.Seeing this ahead of time, Hubby quite cleverly positioned my wheelchair next to the toilet on my strong-right side;I was able to use the chair's arm rest to raise myself up. Washing hands, I needed assistance to access the soap as it was a pump requiring two hands (which should be clear by now, I don't have).


We had a meal in the food court too. I had been wanting the Orange Chicken from Wok USA. I use to love this but because of my loss of tastes, it wasn't as good as I remembered it being. I don't know if I've blogged about my food issues since the CVA or not; before the CVA, I enjoyed a wide variety of foods, but since the CVA most everything I loved no longer tastes good to me. In a way I feel as if I have regressed to my childhood eating habbits. As a child, I hated just about everything (except my mother's Pot de Chinois). The one thing I do enjoy now is too expensive to have all the time... (Japanese - sashimi and a salad with the ginger salad dressing that a local Japanese restaurant makes).


All-in-all, I guess our little outing was successful. I found some velcro sneakers into which I can get my foot and AFO. However,I didn't try walking with them while in the store, which on hindsight I think I should have done. The size is so much larger than what I would wear normally so I hope that doesn't cause a problem for my strong-right side. I'll have to give it a try today. If it is a problem, then I guess the only solution would be to buy a second pair in the smaller size to fit my unaffected right foot.


Recommended Comments

just a fyi--- there are also "elastic' shoe laces - we get our at the medical supply store - we prefer the thicker curly ones --- over the thin ones and they last a long time...

Link to comment

I remember my first excursions "out" and while it felt good to get out it was also nerve-wracking. I think most places try to anticipate and accommodate the handicapped they just can't get it right for everyone. As time went on and I did it more it became more enjoyable and less frustrating. I still won't do busy malls and refuse to go near a Walmart but getting out is a lot nicer now. Like with any venture outside of your comfort zone it gets easier and the closer you come to getting back to normal life, even if its a meal at the food court and some people watching, the better!


I wish you had enjoyed it more and hope you will keep trying.

Link to comment

Asha said it...Walmart is the place but the foot locker sells them too otherwise you have to pay way too much at other places I been and saw them on display. Sounds like all came out OK afterall.


My wife checks at the door of the men's room for me at times when we are on the road traveling.

Link to comment

just a fyi--- there are also "elastic' shoe laces - we get our at the medical supply store - we prefer the thicker curly ones --- over the thin ones and they last a long time...

Yes, thank you, that's what I've been using but they've still been a problem for me. The velcro is proving much easier and fortunately the larger shoe is not a problem either.:-)

Link to comment

Sounds like you had an "okay" time, which is good. If I didn't know any better--I would swear we are twins LOL Our stroke after affects sound so familiar. My weak side is the left and I wear an AFO on the left leg. Just recently got a new pair of velcro closure diabetic shoes. The right shoe is a little too big since the left shoe had to be bigger to fit over the AFO, but it works okay. Your bathroom incident sounds so familiar, no fun when the bar is on the wrong side! And the taste and eating issues... at the hospital they kept telling me, No, I haven't heard many people complain about taste. I knew it wasn't just me, it was the stroke or meds, it has been almost 7 months and some stuff I used to really like, doesn't taste too good now. But when I find something that does taste good I want to eat it over and over until my kids are hollaring--we are sick of that! LOL Just wanted to say, I can relate so well. Good luck on the shoes! And maybe next time you will enjoy an outing more!

Link to comment

My hubby got the Walmart velcro shoes, which resembled space shoes they are for such a fat foot! He has an extremely thing foot, so the good foot was too loose to wear. The guy who made his AFO put special padding in it so his good foot fits snugly. It raises his good foot to the top of the shoe, like normal, which also makes him a hair taller on that side and so is helpful in swinging thru the stroke foot. It also pads up the side a little to keep his foot from swimming around in there. It is much more help than just a few insoles would be. BUT, if you don't have a really thin foot, insoles on the good side might help you take up a little space. If it is a lot big though, ask the guy who made your AFO and save time & money.





About the taste, hubby had it real bad at first, and everything taste terrible to him. He doesn't have that now, but he's found that things he hated before, are now ok for him! For instance, oatmeal. He used to gag trying to eat it, he really wanted to eat hot cereal in the winter, but couldn't bear it. Now he insists on it everyday!

Link to comment

Rose: first off, congratulations on your first "jaunt" - that is what Bruce calls outings. A big step and an anxious one. I do hope that you will do it more and it will become more enjoyable for you.


I don't think I have done more than two malls with Bruce. But his friends and my sister do it all the time - of course they don't have to deal with the bathroom. I just make sure he is extra padded.


I, myself, am more comfortable in smaller, local stores-less confusion and less people.


As Sandy suggested - Bruce's Ortho also made the insert for Bruce's shoes for his non-affected foot. So please do consider that if you find you are having trouble.


Spring is coming - I do hope you will have more jaunts and enjoy the better weather. Debbie

Link to comment
Add a comment...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.