The next couple days’ plan was straightforward. Today: have Namine see her orthopedic surgeon. Tomorrow: have Namine fitted for new AFOs. Imagine our surprise when that schedule just went out the window.

“AFO” is short for “ankle-foot orthotic.” It’s a specific kind of brace that Namine wears when she’s using her walker. It helps her keep her ankles straight when she walks, and her current ones are getting a little too snug.

Namine sees Dr. Black, her orthopedic surgeon, every six months or so. He’s a bone specialist as well as her ortho doctor, so he also monitors her scoliosis. There is the very real possibility that as Namine ages, the curvature of her spine may worsen. So far, it hasn’t.

Dr. Black told us today that he believes Namine no longer needs to use her braces in therapy. In terms of milestones, this is a huge one. The next few weeks will be a trial run of sorts. Namine is so used to using her braces in therapy, so it might be a bit of an adjustment.

On the other hand, it may not be such a difference to her. Namine has been using her walker in dance for months without wearing her braces; she’s just worn the shoes for each class — ballet, tap, jazz.

All this is funny to me — not ha ha funny, but interesting funny — because back when Namine was little, we were told that due to her having caudal regression syndrome, her legs and feet might (leaning a little more heavily into “probably”) not grow along with the rest of her. I think we’ve seen that proven false time and time again.