I’ve made a shield to protect my leg ulcer. If it works I might be able to get out of here, instead of being trapped because I can’t wear my boots. It won’t improve my overall – and minimal – ability to walk, or render the experience pain-free, but my hope is that it will enable me to get out of my wheelchair (or powerchair), to take photographs. For example, getting close to the edge of the lake to photograph the ducks could be dangerous as the bank slopes towards the water. Even with my brakes set either chair could slide given the right conditions (dusty or muddy), as I know from experience. The lake is only a couple of feet deep but that’s more than enough to drown me if it all goes pear-shaped, so I’d be safer on foot close to the edge.
Walking boots – a specific Berghaus model – are all I can wear since I was struck by lightning in 1983 and my feet were, quite literally, fried. However, my ulcer is perfectly placed so that the boot’s ankle cuff puts maximum pressure on it, causing terrible pain and doing a lot of damage.
I made a shield earlier this year, but it slipped in use and did massive damage (as well as causing so much pain my brain just stopped working).
This design is different, in that it has a hard shell (cut from a motocross leg protector), so there is a substantial void between it and my ulcer:-
This is the inside view. The blue strips are foam spacers, cut from a camping mat. They also provide grip to help keep it in place. At 7 inches long it’s just big enough not to put pressure on the ulcer or the painful area surrounding it. The top will be strapped to my calf, the bottom will fit inside my boot’s ankle cuff. I might also put an absorbent dressing pad under the shield, for additional cushioning
This is the exterior. Not that exciting, but it’s smooth, so friction from the boot – if I can actually walk – shouldn’t cause it to move.
And it will have a strap to secure it to my calf. Probably not this strap as it’s a bit narrow – still a work in progress but I hope to find or make a suitable strap today. There will also probably be a smaller foam shield under the strap, as the skin on my leg is extremely fragile. Come to think of it, with a shield under it, this strap would be fine.
And finally, the shield in place. Does it hurt? Yes. But not a lot.