A Positive Encounter With a Stranger Who Has CMT

I was leaving a café recently when I noticed a man who had the characteristic “CMT gait”.  Curiosity emboldened me to ask the question “Excuse me, I don’t mean to intrude, but do you have a neurological condition in your legs”?

His response was “yes” and he added that it was a condition called CMT.  I responded that I am also a member of the “CMT family”. He then invited me to sit down for a chat. He did not know about the CMTAA and with the exception of drop foot supports on both of his shoes he didn’t have any CMT management strategies.

He shared when he was diagnosed and that his brother had also been diagnosed with CMT. He also told me how he and his wife had made accommodation choices that assisted in prolonging mobility without undue risk. I mentioned there are numerous management strategies and aids that can enhance daily quality of life. These were discussed with him and I explained what I was currently using and how they were very beneficial and worked for me. Aids such as under-toe supports, special orthotics, shoes for maximum support and stability and regular personalised exercises from an Exercise Physiologist.  I gave him the CMTAA website details and also the name of a podiatrist who had a practical understanding of CMT and whom I had found very helpful.

 He had a positive attitude and it was a mutually encouraging experience.