I have not always made the best choices for Bridget. I do not always listen to the experts. It’s not that I do not value their opinion. They are knowledgable but they don’t live this unexpected life. Sometimes I am proven correct, and others….
Well I have to admit when I should have asked better questions.
When Bridget was in preschool, her teachers tried to break her habit of sucking her finger. I did not prescribe to the intent, because at the time Bridget was a frequent visitor of Children’s Hospital and the only comfort she had was that finger.
Another choice, and it was a choice, I made was not to fight Bridget on wearing AFOs. It became too hard and was creating behaviors that, being honest, I just didn’t have the patience to battle. Did it really matter that she walks on her toes? I can get her to be flat-footed with cueing.
Those sound like excuses and justification. Since I hold others accountable for their failures with Bridget, I have to admit my own. I was wrong and should have listened to those smarter than myself. To those who could check the emotions out of the discussion and see the future implications. I should have asked why does this matter? What are the future implications if she toe walks?
Fast forward 10 years, and now Bridget has not only deformed her finger but has calluses on not only her index finger, but thumbs when that finger gets too painful.
And the toe walking? Apparently that had implications that either were not explained properly to me, or that I deliberately did not pay attention to the explanation. Bridget with her toe-walking has not only created calluses on her feet that they are afraid will become painful and limit her future mobility, she has begun to deform her toes and managed tightened her Achilles tendons to the point where she now needs surgery.
On both ankles.
Meaning my child who struggle for so long how to walk, to get out of her wheelchair and pediatric walker is going to be in a wheelchair for up to 8 weeks then have to relearn how to walk again.
All because I did not enforce the AFOs or ask the right questions.
Lesson learned, now I know to ask “why”. Why is it so important that she doesn’t suck her finger? Why is toe walking so bad? I mean there are Pointe dancers that take years to get the degree of being on-pointe that comes naturally to Bridget. How bad can toe walking be, what are the future ramifications?
We are doing the surgery. We know it will be painful for her, and heartbreaking for us. But when I look forward in time, I want to do everything in our power to make sure that Bridget will not to lose her mobility. And not have to write a future post where I have failed Bridget.
She has already succeeded once at learning to walk when someone dared to say she would never. We will make sure she succeeds again.