It’s a fancy word for leg or ankle braces, really. Namine had an appointment today to get fitted for her new leg braces. What we’ve been calling her “braces” are just the lower halves of her casts. In order to begin therapy to build strength in her legs – the ultimate goal being to see if she will be able to walk – she needs real braces, with hinges and that provide real support.

If we were pretty sure before, we are absolutely positive now that Namine associates the hospital with pain and misery. She started crying when Jessica pulled up to the front door of the clinics building. She calmed for a moment, lip quivering, when she saw me (I met them at the hospital, having come straight from work). But as we took the elevator up, she started crying again. She cried harder as we walked toward the prosthetics/orthotics clinic, and when we were brought back into a room, her cries turned to throaty screams.

I would say that her cries were for the most part plain, naked fear, but as the doctor had to push her feet into the exact position needed for the braces, I’m sure there was some pain. Especially when he got to her left foot (which perhaps he should have done first, in hindsight); the incision and healing tissue from the infection she’d had make that poor foot look a bit like hamburger. It is healing, and we are glad for that, but it’s still quite painful. We pray it heals quickly.

But as with all things – good and bad – this clinic appointment, too, came to an end. We put Namine’s half-casts back on and came home. Namine, who’d gone the day sans nap, fell asleep on the way home. What was planned to be a family trip to church for the Advent service ended up being Jessica going with her sister. I stayed home with Namine, who slept until a little before 7:00. She is now playing on her laptop as I finish this post.

We have to go back to the clinic the week after Christmas, because her new braces should be ready by then. Can’t wait!


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