Three steps forward, one step back

So after our three hard days of evil AFO adjustment came our breakthrough: Laelia slept through the night and woke up without her face all scrunched up with pain. We relaxed and considered it a victory. The very next night Laelia slept a bit and then woke up screaming. For all our caution the shoes had caused a deep red mark on her left foot. She cried for twenty minutes after I removed the brace. I finally put her in a hot bath and the heat soothed the pain. She stayed in the bath for three hours begging me not to remove her. With a red mark that fierce I can’t put the AFO back on and I can’t tighten the straps. The orthetist can’t see us until Friday to adjust them either. Crap.

I put in mole skin and that helped a bit, but they still couldn’t be tightened. I really did not want to lose three days worth of pain, but didn’t want to make it worse. A friend on Facebook (thanks Martha!) suggested New Skin (the liquid bandaid) to put on the red marks to protect them from the brace. Apparently that’s what ballerinas use when their shoes are rubbing holes in their feet. It was worth a try. I called Rite Aid to see if they had some. They had it at the counter when I ran in. I explained that it was for my daughter’s braces and I’d never used it before. The gal ringing me up immediately tried to stop me from buying it! She said stuff like, “You don’t want this. This is like for burns and stuff. Let’s find something else.” And I was like, “That’s fine. This is what I want. I will… buy it… now… thank you?” Finally she said she would never put this in a child’s mouth and I realized our communication error. “No, it’s for the braces on her FEET, not on her TEETH!” We both laughed. Now that I’m back home and smelling this stuff I want to thank her even more. It’s strong, like an oil refinery. I scratched my face and it burned my eyes a little! ┬áIf this was going anywhere near a child’s mouth that would be abusive!

Thankfully the mole skin plus the liquid New Skin did the trick. She was able to wear her braces. I think the left side is a little loose because it’s hard to judge when you’ve packed it with mole skin, but hopefully it’s fine. I hate this stuff!

And just for the record this has nothing to do with her surgery. This has everything to do with her feet missing heel pads and having been severely clubbed at birth. The ankle foot orthotics (AFOs) are killer because we’re trying to avoid yet another surgery on her feet. Her knees are doing okay post plate insertion. She does not like to bend them though, and that’s probably good because we’re not suppose to work on bending them until they’re straighter. Still when she’s not in her protective KAFOs (that keep her knees straight and secure) then she will hold her breath when I pick her up because she’s worried I’ll do it wrong and bend those little knees. But she is standing again and taking steps (although not as many as in her casts), and she’s getting better everyday.

Well now that Laelia is feeling only a slight irritant instead of major pain, she has become only a slight irritant instead of a major pain. (Come on other mommies, back me up here.) One day I couldn’t take it anymore. She’s been acting out and whining a lot over silly things. Finally I called my husband and said, “I can’t take it anymore!” And I loaded Laelia in the car and we drove somewhere. Anywhere! Just needed to get out of the house. We drove to a fish store actually. Laelia wheeled herself all over the place and the whole time kept gasping and shouting out her discoveries. She loves fish. And yes I bought our family it’s first fish. ($4.99?!! Didn’t fish used to be 20 cents?!)

Meet Rocky!

Laelia’s eyes got wide at the thought of getting and naming her own fish. I was so proud of myself for thinking up a way to teach my child responsibility instead of just staying home and strangling her adorable, annoying little self. She promised to feed it and play with it and love it. We got it home and the first thing she did was pick up the container and start shaking it while loudly singing, “FISHY FISHY I GOT A FISHY!!!” She’s seen Finding Nemo so many times and yet has learned nothing from Darla apparently.

After explaining how to care for her fishy, we got it’s food out. Laelia had to finish all her dinner before she could feed the fish. (We had fish for dinner, is that wrong somehow?) Laelia gave it a few balls of fish food that were the size of dust particles before announcing, “This is boring! Can we feed him the entire bag? Can I play with him? Can we get another one?”


2 Responses to “Three steps forward, one step back”

  1. Kristin says:

    Haha I love the misunderstanding with the pharmacy person… Glad they were thinking of your Laelia but it’s sad to think no one thinks foot braces..I totally love the Finding Nemo reference… too funny and she’s so cute… and yes I totally back you up on that crazy, whiny, falling apart thing :)

  2. Anonymous says:

    Love the fish story! it’s a whopper! (bad joke, sorry). i never get tired of seeing Laelia and her strength. I had fish for my kids, they were an awesome learning experience.

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