You all remember, I’m sure, the saga of the orthotics. I’ve been talking about it periodically for years, both here and on Facebook.
After Julianna broke her second brace in January, the orthotist sent us back to the PT.
The PT told me she really wasn’t sure what to say except she’d like to see an X ray of Julianna’s bone structure so we have a baseline and know for real what we’re dealing with here. We know she walks with all her weight on the navicular bone instead of the heel, but what’s going on inside?
So I called the pediatric orthopedic surgeon, and on Friday, I took Julianna out of school yet again to go see him.
Basically, he rocked my world.
Her feet are not going to deteriorate.
Her feet are never going to get “fixed” no matter how what kind of orthotics we put her in. These are her feet. They will always be her feet. It’s okay. Don’t freak out about it.
Her hips and her knees are fairly normal, it’s really just the feet, and the feet are not going to get worse. They are what they are.
Unless she’s in pain, there’s no reason to consider surgical correction (not that I went in expecting surgery).
Unless it significantly improves her gait, there’s really not even a reason to have her wear orthotics.
We do think the orthotics improve her gait, so we haven’t taken her out of them. But I cannot tell you how freeing this news is. We don’t need to fight the huge fight to keep her in them 90% of her waking hours, with the knee-high socks and the question of which pants will fit over or under them and oh Lordy getting those suckers INTO the shoes! (You have no idea. Seriously. It gets my heart rate up, muscling her into them some days.)
We can back off to ankle-high orthotics, if we decide to do so.
We can buy a pair of premade flat inserts that will allow her to wear boots and normal tennis shoes.
We can even let her go without them altogether so she can wear sandals and sparkly shoes with bows on them.
We no longer have to worry about what to get her for birthday and Christmas, because pretty shoes will make her soooooo happy.
So maybe the lesson in all this is the same one I apply whenever I am fighting the same sentence or story element for half an hour: if you’re not making progress, there’s a good chance you’re trying to force something that isn’t supposed to be there at all–trying to solve a problem that doesn’t exist.