I wrote this last Monday, but never got a chance to post it here:
Um, wow...I just got back from the orthotists. Praise the Lord. I have been using a reg. Aspen collar for well over a year now and I know it's been not the greatest, but I had no idea how bad it was!
When I saw Dr. B May 2, he told me to junk the old Aspen and get the new Aspen Vista and wrote me an rx for one (plus the new Johnson CTO)... The orthotist is 75 mi away. I figured I had to go there, get fitted and come home, then go back (who knows when I could do that because of my husband's foot surgery this week) and get my new collar.
I so messed up getting there, I've never been there before and don't know the city that well. I googled the place and printed out directions and a map, and we ended up in a residential district-- all houses. I didn't even write down the orthotist's phone number! And I forgot to bring my prescriptions! And the claim adjuster's phone number!
I pulled over (well, my dh did) at a gas station to use their phone book. Holding my cell phone in my hand, I dug for quarters for the pay phone. My injured brain has been doing this a lot lately, going to the "old way" of doing things. I got the number and called and got directions, we were close.
And thank you Lord, everyone was so nice and professional in the office, the orthotist came in with the new Vista collar!! Unbelievable! I thought I'd just get a fitting! The Johnson will have to wait. Anyway, even tho I didn't have the scripts or authorizations, they treated me royally and I came out with the new Vista collar. My complaint of the old Aspen was NO occipital support and I need that so badly since I had atlanto occipital dislocation.
The old collar seemed to cause my head to "schlump" backwards onto the posterior of the C1 and then put me into a painful sleep, or just make me feel neuro and horrid all over! This new collar is a breath of fresh air! It's lighter, looks neater, has a bigger hole in front for air flow, is a prettier color (green) but best of all, it supports my head exactly the way it needs to be.
I've had it on now for three hours and I love it. I'm not saying it is comfortable! But I can stand that if it keeps all the neuro feelings at bay. And so far it does. My biggest hopeful thought is this: If this good collar can make this big a difference, how much better will I feel with the hardware of a fusion, with the extraction having taken place first? I'm really thrilled! Anyone in the old Aspen, ask your doctor about the new Vista, it's all that and a bag of chips (well, at least for me.) thank you Lord Jesus!
Today, as I post this, it is 4 days later and the collar is still a big hit. Tomorrow, my husband goes to the big city to get his foot/toe operated on, and I know this collar is going to help me a great deal.