Now, to clarify: she cannot yet stand up on her own; she needs something to hold on to, but she is able to pull herself up with more ease each day. But Namine had never before attempted to stand up in her crib, and she usually doesn’t try to stand unless either Jessica, a therapist, or myself are present. The fact that she is willing to attempt it by herself tells me a few things: she is becoming even stronger, physically; she is becoming more independent; and perhaps most importantly, she is becoming more confident in her own abilities.
I see each night that Namine is also gaining more control over her pain management. I have been refraining from giving Namine her nightly Motrin* until after her foot stretching and putting on the braces. She used to complain, sometimes cry, at the foot stretching. Now, she almost never complains at all. Usually, Namine dives right in to counting to ten. Sometimes I will catch a glimpse of her wincing, but she seems to catch herself in the act; sometimes she’ll fold her hands, sometimes not, but she will almost always begin to take deep breaths.
When I let myself think about it, I feel bad that I had to teach Namine pain management at all. Unfortunate as it is, however, it is necessary. Namine has been through hell, and she has more coming. It’s good that not only can she handle pain, but also that she’s pretty self-sufficient. She has employed distraction methods before (I don’t mean like her jaw distraction, I mean taking her mind off the pain), and since I taught her some of the breathing techniques I learned in martial arts, she’s become better at managing her pain.
* I know that there are people who dose their kids to put them to sleep. Before anyone accuses me of doing that, know that Namine is in constant pain. The mere fact that she is not constantly crying indicates that, for the most part, she is in control of her pain. But in the night, she is not as much in control. There have been nights when, despite a dose of Motrin being in her system, Namine has awoken with screams such that we were convinced that bones must be broken. Besides, even with a dose of Motrin, she will still only sleep when she is ready. More than a few times, a Motrinized Namine has been up past 11:30 at night.