On Tuesday, Levi received a new pair of braces. They were recommended by the physical therapist as a way to keep him from walking on his toes. This is a pretty common occurrence once the child’s legs become stronger. His old braces just went above his ankle. As you can see from the photo above, these braces will go about half way up his leg.
Day one with the new braces wasn’t without its challenges. First of all, they are difficult to get on. In order for them to be effective, his heel has to be completely flat. He makes this difficult because he tends to fight us a little bit when we try and put them on.Secondly, he keeps taking the right one off. It is obvious that he doesn’t like them and they are probably a little uncomfortable. Hopefully he will get use to them quickly.
Lastly, we figured out that we can no longer easily get him in or out of a restaurant high chair. Since the braces come up much higher than the other ones, his legs don’t flex enough to get him into the right position. So we need to either take the braces off or we are going to have to start putting him in a booster chair. Sitting in a chair isn’t a problem for him. It’s sitting in a chair for the entire restaurant experience. If anyone has any suggestions, I am all ears.
Needless to say, Tuesday was a very frustrating day. Wednesday was more of the same. We were hoping to get some advice from the physical therapist but of course, she is out of town this week.
Caroline decided to speak with the occupational therapist at UCP during his Thursday appointment. She said we were in luck because a representative from West Coast Brace (where we purchased the braces) was on site. This gentleman, who has worked for WCB for quite some time, was happy to take a look at Levi.He made some great suggestions. First, he will be sending us a couple of pairs of these specially made knit socks. They will come up higher on his legs and act as a second skin. He said WCB doesn’t usually push these as they are expensive. He is going to send us a couple of pairs for free. He also recommended that we have an ankle strap added to the brace as his ankle pulls out when he walks. Finally, the top of Levi’s foot gets red from wearing the braces. He told us to check and see if the redness goes away after 15 minutes once the braces are removed. If it does, then he is fine. If the redness doesn’t go away, it is creating a pressure point and we will need to look at other alternatives. We felt very luck and blessed that the representative from WCB was on site today. We really want these new braces to work out.
In all the drama surrounding the braces, Levi also received his first pair of Benix Shorts. These neoprene shorts are designed to keep his hips turned outward. They really have the same purpose as the Thera Togs he was currently using. One main difference is that these go on the outside of the diaper. (You know where I am going with this.) Also they seem a little easier to take on and off. My only concern is that they are hotter and bulkier. Hopefully he will get comfortable with these quickly as well.I’m sure this isn’t the last time we will change things up. Hopefully this process will become easier with each new experience.