I went with Jessica and Namine this afternoon to the orthopedic clinic. Namine had an appointment to have her right brace adjusted.

It cracks me up that Namine is on a first-name basis with the orthotist she sees. She has told me before about how Susan is her best friend (isn’t everybody?) and it was nice to finally meet her.

Namine knew about her appointment beforehand — there’s little we don’t tell her, surgeries notwithstanding.

Don’t get me wrong; we do keep her informed with regard to surgeries. As her parents, we decide on what we feel is best for her, but we also leave some choices up to her — for example, it was her decision to have the second clubfoot repair surgery. It wasn’t necessary, but it would, and does, affect her life. It’s her life, and we felt it should be her choice.

However, it’s also important that we give her time to think about surgery. Time to process. Time to deal with the worry, the stress. That’s not so with clinic or most hospital appointments. Those, we could inform her on the day of, and she’d be totally cool with it. But I digress.

Anyway, back to the orthotics appointment. Susan first put Namine’s braces on her feet (Namine’s feet, not Susan’s) and had her stand up in her walker, to see how they fit. Just as in therapy, Namine’s left foot was planted firmly flat on the floor. Namine’s right foot, however, was tilted at the ankle, so she was standing a bit on the outside edge of her foot.

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Susan had Namine sit back down (good thing her walker has a built-in seat) and took the right brace off. She left and returned several times, and ended up adding padding to the outside of the brace’s sole. This widens the base, making it more difficult for Namine to stand on the edge of that foot, and it encourages her to stand with both feet flat on the floor.

"I don't want to accommodate her too much."

There is a delicate balance to be struck with regard to Namine’s orthotics. This is especially true of her right leg, not just her foot. When Namine stands on her own, it is her tendency to stand with her right knee bent quite a bit. As a result, that foot hits the floor almost directly under center mass, not under her hip as it should.

The difficulty Susan struggled with is how much to accommodate her. She didn’t want to add so much padding to the brace that Namine could still comfortably stand with her foot directly under her; she wanted to add enough that Namine could stand up straight, but with the encouragement to place her foot where it ought to go.

When Namine has physical therapy next week — at least, we’re hoping she’ll have PT next week, as the new therapist is waiting on approval for her state license — we’ll discuss working on Namine’s standing posture. This will eventually translate over to her walking posture as well, and overall it will help her hips to not ache and tire quite so quickly.

That’s the theory, anyway.

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