NeuroExpo17 TalarMade FS3000

Like i said yesterday I was at lucky enough to go to the Neuro convention at the Excel centre in London on 7th June. It was an amazing experience seeing all the new developments in technology that can help people with physical disability to gain more independence. 

One of the stands that I went to, infact spent the biggest amount of time at was a company called Talarmade (www.TalarMade.com twitter-@talarmade Facebook-TalarMade) Talarmade special in orthotics. And this was what interested me:

Here is a little bit of what the website tells you about it and then I will tell you what how I felt wearing it. 
 The TurboMed FS3000 AFO is a revolutionary new treatment option for drop foot. It’s unique patented design acts as an exoskeleton to the impaired limb and provides the user with unparalleled levels of function without discomfort or rubbing.

The FS3000 is a custom build modular ankle foot orthosis (AFO) made from highly durable thermoplastic (warrantied for 2 years). It attaches to the outside of footwear and quickly and easily interchangeable from shoe to shoe.

Unlike many other AFO’s, the FS3000 does not prevent ankle plantarflexion or limit dorsiflexion, making it easier and much more comfortable for patients to walk and run on slopes, stairs and uneven surfaces.

Right now my review. This is one amazing bit of kit. First of all its so lightweight and that was with it already attached to a trainer. It wasn’t an eyesore to look at but to be fair even if it was I wouldn’t care and I’ll tell you why. 

For 2 years since my aneurysm I’ve been trying to find the best equipment to help me to walk again as I have a drop foot and it also turns in ( I can’t remember the scientific name).

So I have a silicone boot made by the NHS which is moulded to the shape of my foot and keeps my foot in the correct position but it isn’t very flexible, obviously it’s not really meant to be that flexible but when trying to walk up steps it isn’t that easy. 

I’ve used a FES machine to stimulate the nerves in my leg to lift my foot which has worked in the past but it isn’t constant. Even when i draw around the electrodes on my leg so that they are in the same place everyday. When it works it’s great and I feel like I’m walking normally but then the next day it doesn’t and it’s so frustrating. Also with all the wires you can get a bit tangled up.

So we come to the FS3000. Well it’s brilliant. Like I was saying it’s sooooo lightweight. I was talking with Simon (clinical director) and he helped put the trainer on my foot. Well…….the FS3000 is incredibly flexible and still so supportive. Once my foot was in the trainer and the velcro was secured Simon told me to go for a walk around the convention. So I took my stick and off I went. Within minutes I had forgotten that i was wearing it. I wasn’t focused on where I was walking or how my foot was placed. I could look at what was on the other stands and not worry. I was leading with my heel. Walking like I used to. When I went back to the booth I didn’t need to say anything as the big grin on my face said it all. I even walked around without my stick! Here is a little video:

I could feel my hamstring and calf working. I had less stress and tension in my left leg. While standing there and talking I could feel my centre of gravity was back where it should be……….in the centre. I wasn’t leaning to my left I was standing level. In such a small amount of time the FS3000 had changed my walk, posture and energy levels. It’s one amazing bit of equipment. There really isn’t anything else to say about this except if you’re a patient speak to your doctor/physio/orthotist or if you’re in the clinical profession get in touch with Simon and his team (info@talarmade.com).

Laters 💋

This week……Tues 2nd-Weds 10th May

Hey folks

SURPRISE!! I remembered to do this!!

So here is the first of of the new blog.  

I’ve had quite a good week. I would rate the first half of the week 8/10 and the second half a 6/10. I’ll explain in a bit.

The start of the week went well things that I had planned I was sticking to and doing. There are still areas that I need to replan with regards to my energy levels and brain fatigue, but I’m slowly getting the hang of that. The days went like this………

Tues 2nd Good,  this was a good day. I was feeling pretty proactive. Kept to my plan of the day. Deb came in from work and I got myself ready and took myself to the gym. The whole process train-walk to gym-do workout-walk to train station-train home takes 1.5 hrs so that’s good. I was really pumped when I got home. We have decided to watch Game of Thrones (GoT) right from the start again. Nothing like a bit of violence to finish the evening. I’d forgotten how graphic it is.

Weds 3rd Good, This was the CBT session were we decided that I was going to you my blog as therapy. The session was really good. Well they are always good it’s just making sure I keep that mentally when I leave. It took me all afternoon but I cleaned the spare room as diane is staying with us for a few days and the spare room had turned into a bit of a dumping ground.

Thurs 4th Good, this is a great day for me as I get to spend the afternoon with my great niece. She is such a little monkey. We kind of have things sorted now though. Becs (my niece) has her lunch all packed in her school bag and I get a taxi, collect her from nursery and then take her back home until Becs finishes work and then Becs brings me home. I had planned to go to the gym when Deb got home but this is what I mean by replanning some parts as for the last few weeks I’ve planned to go to the gym after looking after my great niece but I’m so brain tired when I get home I don’t go or offer to buy dinner for us all (like did tonight) and go to the pub. 

Fri 5th Good, I was determined this morning and Diane dropped me off at the gym.  Then once finished came back home got showered, dress and out for door again this time to go out for lunch. Lunch was yummy at The Sun. Then a bit of food shopping and home. 

Sat 6th Good, I got the short straw today. Deb and Diane went out on a hike and I got to spend the next 3+ hours cleaning the front room floor. Call me cinders except the dog and the cats didn’t help with it, they just kept churning up all that I swept up. That wiped me out. I was very tired after. I went for a lay down at 4 and woke up at 8. Diane and Deb had started their The Hobbit uncut, extended, never ending marathon. I think there is 2/3 discs to each part. So I went back to bed and finished my blog.

Sun 7th Good I was sitting on the train yawning and thinking I was crazy. What are people thinking when they skip a nice lazy Sunday lie in for the gym. When I got to the gym it turned out that not many people wanted to skip a lazy Sunday lie in for the gym. They are the wise ones……….either that or they have a hangover…….na I’m going for wise. After my Sunday session was over I felt awesome so it’s definitely a plan for a weekend plus as I was leaving the place was beginning to fill up. 

So after the gym and shower we went out to Harlow to do a few errands. Well a certain road we had to drive down is nightmare. I mean there was no plan made when this road was built. The roundabouts are appalling, traffic lights are shit and then add Sunday drivers (a nightmare on their own) but add that they have no idea of the size of their car and that equalled a very road raged Debbie!! To top it off this happened as we were leaving a industrial park…….

I mean brilliant 😂😂😂. He could got round the car in front to get on the path but he is a true Brit and waited in the que 😂😂😂 Myself and my aunty were in hysterics. Debbie was a bit 😤 but she did see the funny side in the end. 

I then defeated the object of going to the gym in the morning by going down the pub to have a pint or 3 and watch the footy. Deb and Diane were carrying on there The Hobbit uncut, extended, never ending marathon that had started the night before.

8th Not Great, Slept really badly last night. Was awaking up a lot throughout the night, nightmares, not getting comfortable and pain in my right arm. So needless to say I didn’t do much apart from rest and sleep. Diane went back to Suffolk.

9th Not Great, same again last night. Little sleep so again today was shit. I took Luna out for a walk but that was really hard work as I couldn’t loop the lead in my right hand and trying to hold it in the same hand as my walking stick was a challenge. Had another sleep in the afternoon then it was round the in laws for dinner and a catch up which was nice. 

10th Good, woke up this morning and decided I wanted to see how my hand was after is hadn’t done any CIMT for 4months since my breakdown. Well judge for yourself……….

The arm wasn’t bad today. Actually the best it has been so far this week. I’ll still rest it today and maybe start again in the gym tomorrow.

It all starts here

Hey folks,

Right you might want to go make yourself a cuppa, or grab yourself a glass of wine, a beer, a I’d & coke, a G&T or just a glass of water as this is a little bit of a long blog entry.

I know I haven’t exactly been good at this whole blog business but I’m going to get better at this. I’m sure there are some of you out there who are thinking ‘hmmmmm blah blah yeah ok Claire I’ll read your next post in a couple of months’! Well ha ha ha noooooooo it’s going to be every week and it will be posted on a wed/thurs. Why…….I hear your brains wonder. Well it’s part of  the reason is that to help me (to do with my therapy, I’ll explain in a mo) & also because helping me I’m also helping others out there too who might be able relate to what I ramble on about.

Ok so what has it got to do with my therapy? Well on 8th March I started CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) with a great therapist called Maria. But unfortunately (☹️) it’s coming to and end as I am getting on really well in it and now I need be a big girl and to this all by myself. I’m bricking it a bit but this is where my blog comes in. It replaces my sessions with Maria. So my blog becomes my reflection of how my week has been, good points, bad, it’s everything work out, do things need rearranging to work better. The conversations I would have with Maria I’ll now be having with myself via my blog. 

It’s been amazing to do this. When people have said to me in the past about doing CBT I’ve said no. Point blankly said no. I don’t know why but the only thing I thought I need was a bit of psychology like before over at Danesbury. Erm……..wrongo!

It all goes back to the doctors appointment at the end of Jan/beginning of Feb (can’t remember exactly). Debbie sitting there with the doctor and saying that the state I keep living in can’t carry on. The doctor then referred me to the NHS wellbeing team and at the beginning of March I had an assessment and the following week the CBT started.

Don’t get me wrong it’s been very hard to do. With the help of Maria we decided that it was the health anxiety was what we were going to start with. It’s hard sitting there and telling someone and admitting to yourself the behavioural traits you have got into. From examining your body everyday looking for any lump, bump, mark, spot……….the list goes on to having google doctor in your internet favourites. The cognitive side of things from thinking everything it black & white to thinking that everything has the worse outcome. You go on to start challenging your brain. The way you think, the way you react, the irrationality of your brain, the illogical way of your brain. It’s amazing. A few of my tasks were (bear in my this is my explanation of things not the correct terminology. If any of this intrigues you see a pro)………

Treating a moment where I was having a melt down over a pain, a lump, a bump as a court case you are the prosecutor, defendant and the jury. The hardest part of this was thinking that when you I panicked over something for example my leg being swallow and bark red and panicking thinking that’s it I’ve lost all circulation my leg is going to have to be amputated, that the first step being the prosecutor……..what evidence do you have to prove that’s going to happen………that was always the hardest bit. It was easy to defend the fact is was highly unlikely to happen. Then when you read everything you had written down and the jury that was where you went………ok then seriously let’s calm down that’s not going to happen. Case is thrown out! Next……. Don’t get me wrong there was moments of going actually still want that checked out but I wasn’t so irrational with it and calling 111 all the time.

The next I call time out. I love this one. I take myself off for 10mins a day to look out the window of sit in a quiet room and listen/look at what is going on around me. Birds singing, colour of the sky, smells, planes the list goes on but taking yourself out of autopilot and noticing life. Again focusing on that you take the focus away from your anxiety and forget everything else. 

Then I have been keeping a diary every week of trying to plan my week. We decided that as the depression side scores were still high that I should keep a diary to get me motivated to doing things and then each week we then review how the week has gone at the session. Then we look at any problems I’ve had any thing I need to move to achieve my goals better. It’s been so helpful and I do have some fear over it all coming to an end. It is helping me so much but all good things come to an end and I have to pull up my big girl pants and do this myself.

So that is where my blog comes in. My blog will now be where I look back at my week to see how I have been doing. What issues there was and what I need to change to keep going in the right direction. There will still random stories to and silly moments too.

Right you out there, well done for reading this and not falling asleep. 

Laters 💋

“Hello darkness my old friend”

Hey folks! 

Sorry I haven’t been very active on here for a while. 

As the title tells you I have been back in a dark place.  

It all started just before Christmas. I went to my doctor as the “happy pills” (hp’s) I had well, I didn’t feel any different on them or off them. So we decided that as I hadn’t been taking them for a week that we would see how I went without any.  Well at the time I was thinking “yes” I’m off the hp’s. Excellent I can do this I don’t need hp’s. I’ve got my mindfulness recording for when times feel a bit tough. I’m sorted. Well how wrong was I!! 

Christmas & New Years were ok as Christmas my parents,my aunt & Deb parents were here. New year Debs bro, sis, bro in law, nephew, great niece & friend granny were here. But then all the party time is gone and reality comes back. Everyone is at work, people’s lives become hectic again. This for me ment becoming best friend with the sofa!

Apart from doing the must do tasks of the day, even those were too hard some days, I didn’t do anything. I cannot even give you any reasons. This is because the reasons my head gave me were so lame that they were forgotten in a millisecond and replaced with the next. Then my head played its trump card that ****ed me! “What if it happens again? Why does it hurt in your scar? What is that pain above your eye? What is the pain in your neck and into the base of your skull? What’s that lump? Why can’t you get your arm up high? So not only am I depressed, I’m now full of anxiety and fear. These guys have set up camp!! They are having a ball!! As for me I’m not sleeping, I’m feeling constantly nauseous, I’m either biting people’s heads off or sitting in a puddle of tears over nothing in particular! Deb is at her wits ends!! I’m really pushing her to her limit! But at the time I had no idea of this, not at all. 


I couldn’t go on like this, we couldn’t go on like this, it’s not healthy. Not for me, Deb, our families or friends. So a doctors appointment was made and Deb left work to come with me.  We sat down with the doctor and went through everything that had been going on. I got new hp’s to help with sleep and referral for more psychology and ptsd counselling. Then on the Weds Sarah from Headway came for a catch up. Deb explained what had been going on and she help me make plans on moving forwards. 

My aunt came down and said that there was a highly recommended therapist back in Suffolk who specialises in ptsd. So wanted to plan me going back there for so sessions. As my head was to strong against mindfulness so we needed to try a different therapy. And we will keep trying until we find the right therapy for me. 

So 4 weeks later I’m a lot better than I was. I’ve also cut out caffeine. Not completely but I’ll be surprised if I have more than three cups of coffee/tea a day now and I drink more water. The headaches don’t exist either. If they do they are gone just as quick as they arrived. I wouldn’t say that I was on the right ones but I definitely need them at the moment. I’m back at the doctor on Monday so we can chat and see where we go from here. I have an assessment for some therapy, I’m waiting on the new neuropsychologist to start at Danesbury so I can have an appointment there, and waiting for the Suffolk chap to contact me. 

Don’t get me wrong it hasn’t all been dark. There have been moments of light. I will do another post of these things. Like we I started the CIMT with James, My hol in Suffolk and Headway talk. The little changes that have happened have been great but with my head full of so many dark clouds I haven’t given it 100%. Even though I’ve been thinking I have.

The biggest wake up of all was seeing how Deb has all the financial weight on her shoulders without having to come home and do all the household tasks as well. If you had asked me 2 years ago about housework I would of said I hate it. Now I get a sense of achievement with it. Knowing that I am taking some of the weight of Deb and that I can do these things. Ok it might not be much but to be that’s a quite a lot. 

Laters 💋

The first full day

Hey there folks, 

Just a quick note really to say that my first day of full CIMT and it’s hard. Totally energy zapping too. 

I’m feeling proud, frustrated, tired, strong, weak, useless and determined all wrapped up one one. 

Really weird! 

Some of the tasks I’m lucky if I score 2 points and then I know that all it can do now is get better. So by next mon when we change the tasks I know that I will be scoring 8+!!!

Time for some sleep before a new day and scores to beat.

Laters 💋

New year new me blah blah blah

Hey folks are we all fully recovered from the festivities?

I think I am. 

So today after jumping out of my skin when the alarm on my phone went off (my own fault as I forgot I had it set up on there). Then the feed animals, feed me, drink coffee and take pills, I got dressed and took Luna for a walk. 

Who is Luna some of you might be thinking. Ok well Luna is our sprocker spaniel puppy. We have had her 3months now. Luna is a really good companion to me. Keeping me moving and loving. She is helping to remember to have patience,  to keep calm when things don’t go as planned, toget out of the flat for exercise and just to start living more.


Isn’t she beautiful!! I could fill this blog with pics of this sweetie but I won’t. 

So back from the park I decided that I was going to create some kind of plan in place of how to get better use of the day and not watch the day go past. Ok so I’m not going to be able to follow the plan straight away but at least I have something to aim towards. When when I follow the plan then I will upgrade the plan again. 

I’ve realised that I have these ideas but never put them on paper and then stick them up around the home to remind me. So I have this time. I have goals to achieve, to cross off. 

Had a lovely chat with my sis Emma today it was lovely. Another goal idea there try to call once a month for a catch up. 

Had a visit from Anxiety & Stress this evening but after a chat with my aunty I managed to keep them under 60% control. 40% squeezed through. So a good battle was fought there today. 

Overall a good start to this year. Keep the happy thoughts, ideas and determination gong girl. Just remember that if you don’t achieve your plan for the day don’t beat yourself up over it as that is seriously wasted energy. 

Laters 💋

HaPpY NeW YeAr 

Happy new year people.

Hope you all celebrated well. 

So here we are another year over and a new one beginning. 

So how many of you out there have put never drinking again at the top of your new year resolutions?? 

I’m not one for resolutions (as if i was I would have already one of them with scoffing chocolate), but I am going to focus on staying on track. 

It’s been a bit wobbly over the last few months but time for me to control my mind and not the other way round. I haven’t been working as hard as I could have but the big bullies called depression, anxiety & fatigue keeping me company. Fatigue was kind of working with me in a strange way. Depression had some sweets that it liked. All was well and then the new kid on the block Anxiety, who thought it would be great to shake it all up and ruin the harmony. 

Well it’s time Anxiety found a new home this year. Depression well you need to sit up straight and listen and get better control of things. Enjoy life more. Fatigue let’s look at building our strength back up. I know that it going to be hard but come on, look how we were working together in the 6/7 months of last year. Let’s get back to there.

Well I’m going to sit here and think of to watch the horse racing and try and start making a plan (maybe a cheeky bet or 2). 

Laters 💋