Jacie has been home for 2 1/2 years. She was adopted from the Special Needs Chinese Adoption Program at the age of 8 years old. She is learning and growing in her forever family~

Monday, June 4, 2012

2 Pant Sizes

I am so close to winning the meanest mom award... I can almost feel the silky smoothness of the ribbon in my hands already. Today, I decided that Jacie was done with her walker. Just like that. Done. I have seen her hobble around the house routinely without it and she does fine but she is not convinced. She thinks that she still needs it. I did the same thing with her wheelchair, I got so tired fo seeing her 'need' it all the time that I put it in storage so that it was out of sight. She hasn't asked for it once. I am hoping that the same is true for her with the walker. I would love to move past that part of our lives and go forward.

I have been working Jacie very hard in PT at home (that is the other part of the meanest mom award.) The PT we are working with has found that Jacie actually has her leg almost frozen in the wrong position from before the first surgery in Beijing. We are now working to correct that. It is very hard and ugly but we do it everyday.

This is what she showed me and it makes sense. I will try to do a little diagram so work with me here...

A normal leg should look like this when she is standing- L- the leg directly over the foot. This is how Jacie's left leg looks \_. Okay, I'll admit that is cryptic but I think you get the gist. So when Jacie walks, her leg is frozen in the wrong position (both of her ankles are fused) and she cannot bend so she hyper-extends her knee to compensate. Though I have no real knowledge of anatomy, this all makes sense. In order to move that foot into the proper position, it must be rubbed, massaged and literally pushed into the upright position.

Not one of these things is easy or fun. It is hard and hurts greatly. I am literally pushing that foot into the position that I desire and holding it for 20 seconds. She cries everytime. She also has kicked me in the face several times. Not out of spite but out of her desire to push away from me. I then deep tissue massage the bottom of her foot to try to release the very tight tendon that runs under it.When we complete that delightful part of her 'workout' we move to standing on her left leg with her leg in the proper position. Yup, this hurts too. I sit below her and manually place her leg in the position that it should be when she walks and then she cries while holding her right leg up for 20 seconds. We do this 5 times. I then feed her popiscles. She may walk right by the end of this summer but she will gain 2 pant sizes from my bribes.

The question is, "Will this work?"

 The answer... it definitely should. The PT explained that it is possible to move bones and that is what we are doing. She used braces (teeth) as an example. The braces are made to move the bones in the jaw. It works- so why shouldn't Jacie's? This is quite exciting.

I have had people tell me how strong and brave that they think I am for standing up for Jacie's care, moving her home and now putting her through rigorous PT. "How can you make her cry like that?" I am asked a lot.

The answer is, "It is difficult and not fun."

I am not particularly strong or courageous (remember I am not above bribery.) I just know that if my little girl is going to make it. If she is going to have any normacly, I must lead the way. I must push her to her limit and then push her further. She deserves the best that life has to offer and I am committed to making it a reality- even if she cries.

For those of you who are wondering about her lift situation and orthotics. She is currently wearing none. I have built her left shoe on the inside using gel insoles. They have the give that I want for her but give her a little bit of extra to compensate for the leg length difference. All of her swelling appears to be down now. That, to me, is amazing. I am jsut grateful that I acted on my insinct and took her out of the monster shoe. I think that I will set it up in my room to remind myself how far we have come and where we want to go.

On the China front, we did Skype China Ma and Ba. What an interesting time. I have to say that I went into the whole thing with a little bit of uneasiness. They are an older couple with grown children. We talked to them (mostly the daughter) for about an hour and found out more about Jacie's history. She was found in the orphanage at 3 1/2 months weighing a little over 8 lbs. All of that part of the story was true. The only part that changed was that they knew that she would have to go to the orphanage at 6 1/2 for school. It was then that they tried to adopt her and were denied. I have given a lot of thought to that and decided that I will not let that negative become the focal point of Jacie's adoption- there is so much good to grasp.

I have a lot of thoughts on that matter but will save them for another day. The simple fact is that I know that God is leading and directing all of this and I must only focus on him. I am grateful everyday for the journey that he has placed me on.

~Camo Pants

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