Monday, August 20, 2012

Super Joe's First Leg Casts

In one week, Super Joe will be turning two.  How did that happen?  Isn't that what every parent says?  It goes by so fast.  And it does.  And yet, sometimes it doesn't.  That is actually one of the little miracles that go along with an extra chromosome. Sometimes life and time goes a little slower when you have a child with Down syndrome. And that is just one of the many, many amazing perks!

A couple months ago something finally clicked in my head and in my heart.  I was obsessed with trying to get Joey to say "Mama".  I was obsessed with trying to figure out when he would walk.  Then something happened. I wish I could put my finger on it and tell you when or why the change occurred, but I finally settled in to not worrying anymore about when Joey would do these things.  I guess I finally and truly offered it up. 

In just the past six weeks or so Joey has finally started to really trying and pull himself up to stand.  It is incredible to watch. He can now climb up two stairs and back down.  He is trying to climb up onto some of our storage boxes.  He is finding a new world to explore and his motivation has skyrocketed!

At times it is a little heart wrenching and I can feel myself gritting my teeth and my stomach tensing because I so badly want to reach out and offer him a hand to help him up, but I know that this is part of his growth and learning process. I don't know if I have personally ever watched someone work so very hard just to try and stand up. I am so incredibly proud of him every single time he does it.  It is getting him one step closer to cruising and eventually walking. 

Casting Call - Broken Bones Need Not Apply

Today we were finally able to get Joey's legs cast for his first set of orthotic leg braces. 

Since the leg braces possibility came up I had been picturing Forrest Gump in my mind and thought they would be something similar to this:

My imagination has clearly ran amok and instead, Joey's leg braces will probably look something like this:

However, since he is Super Joe and we had a choice of what pattern to have on his leg braces we decided to go with the Superman Option.  It will be fun to see how it looks when we pick them up next week on his birthday. 

Today we took Tommy (aka Batman) with us to the casting appointment.  We decided that the leg braces are going to be an everyday part of our lives and Joey's life and I really believe that by taking Tommy to some of these appointments and involving him helps to take some of the  mystery and intrigue out of why Joey seems to get to so many places (therapy, surgery, braces, oh my!) while Tommy doesn't have quite as busy of a schedule.  I thought that if Tommy could be involved from the casting onward, he would have a better understanding of what was going on.  

We do the same things with therapy sessions.  There are days when I've got a babysitter coming and Tommy just really wants to go with us.  In those cases, we all pile in the car and go together.  I tried to take Tommy with us on my own, but as sweet of a child as he is, he is still a curious 3-year-old (almost 4!) who has a hard time sitting still for an hour while his brother "plays" with fun looking giant balls and toys.  That being said, I'm constantly trying to figure out and walk the fine line of keeping life balanced for both boys and spending as equal amounts of time as possible. 

Quick Tommy Interlude

Tommy went to a great camp about 5 Wednesdays this summer at Romp & Stomp (they have giant inflatable slides and toys).  Each day he came home with a new adventure.  The first day when he told me that someone had peed on the slide and that I shouldn't worry because they are going to clean it up before his birthday.  Then in the next breath how he said, "Yeah, mom.  It was me who peed on the slide."  His best buddy Grant backed him up and said Tommy didn't pee on the slide, but I'm pretty convinced he was the culprit.

Last week he came home and showed me his camp class picture and said, "I don't like that boy in the red shirt.  He is a mean boy."  I asked him, "Why don't you like him?"  He said, "He told me that I was NOT a big boy and that I was NOT really Batman."  Oh, how I hid my smiled.  Two truths, but two unnecessary truths because I tell him every day what a big boy he is and I always call him Batman.

Back to the great casting adventure.  As we sat in the Orthotist's office and he started wrapping the plaster around Joey's leg I started to giggle. I mean really. I found it so incredibly funny that we have two wild and rambunctious boys and yet the first time either of them gets a cast it is not even for a broken bone.  And it's not even just a single cast, but two casts in one day!

First the leg sock/pantyhose he slid over Joey's leg.

Now the casting begins.

I had a bottle and a handful of Dum Dum suckers to try and keep him still.  Yes- we are still using bottles, but a new swallow study is one the list of things to do after the leg braces and his eyes follow up.

One leg done!  One to go!

Leg two.  He's starting to get a little antsy.

The process went by much quicker than we expected and Joey was incredibly cooperative for what had to be a not so fun feeling of having your legs plastered and cold.

He used scissors instead of the saw.  Whew!


Finished product
We go back next Monday on his birthday.  At first we resisted, but ultimately, these braces, like so much of the other things Joey has to work through are going to give him a better shot at living the best life he can possibly live and for that we are grateful.

What are you most grateful for today?

Happy Monday!

1 comment:

Thank you for your comment! We read every comment!