Friday, April 6, 2012

Brace Yourself

I have a confession to make. Just because I have accepted my daughter's diagnosis doesn't mean that I'm always happy about some of those "extras" that come along with it.

This week we had four therapy appointments and two doctors appointments. Still not what upsets me. I guess I'm used to the busyness of Addison's schedule. (and explains why even though I'm a stay at home mom, I still don't have a lot of time for "extras" myself)

The topic bothering me today has to do with one of those appointments. In my mind, Addison is a little girl- like any other little girl. I like to put pretty bows in her hair, buy her gorgeous outfits, paint her toenails and let her put a swipe of makeup on her face to mimic what I'm doing and be "just like mommy".

But every once in a while, something happens to remind me that she does indeed need extra help and assistance- things that will hopefully give her a better future, but aren't exactly found on the racks of high baby fashion.

For example- the infamous glasses incident of 2011. (BTW, in case you're totally judging me because she is NEVER pictured here with her glasses on....she flat out REFUSES to wear them. I have tried everything. EVERYTHING. I have four therapists and a PCA who have helped me along with the best pediatric opthamologist team in the state. Our conclusion? She will wear them when her world expands beyond what she can hold in her hand)

But this week's drama? Getting Addison braces for her feet/ankles.
When I posted on facebook that we were going to get molded for them a few weeks ago, I confessed that it made me feel sad.

I couldn't figure out why. I love her. I want the best for her. But I didn't want her to have to deal with one more thing that might set her apart from her peers as different.

It all started when we took her skiing and then she decided to start walking after wearing the boots for an extended period of time.

Our PT (which Addison has had since she was 6 weeks old and we LOVE) made us an appointment to go see an orthotics specialist to see why the extra support was helping her so much.

After a rather intense examination (side note: apparently the doctory of feet is a very intense subject. Who knew?) it was determined that her feet's current walking motions will lead to deformity, bunions and a lot of pain in her future. Translation? Awkward gait, no running, probably no ballet or other such sports.

But with almost constant wearing of her SMO braces over the next three years, her feet COULD grow correctly and allow a much more pain free future for her.
SMO (Supra-Malleolar Orthosis)

She's starting with these braces and then going back in for new ones that separate her big toe from her other toes which means she'll have to wear special socks under them. (Seriously, I can't even keep regular socks together. Now I have to keep up with medically prescribed socks? The pressure is too great)
You'll notice that Addison ALLOWED the glasses as a necklace accessory for these pictures. ha.
We've decided that these braces can be worn with a lot of style and attitude.
They are what you make of them.
For us they hopefully will avoid a lot of problems for Addison's feet in the future
and will maybe push her over the edge into "full time walker" (she is SO close already).

So we will wear them and accessorize them with pride.

I'm sure the famous "Addison attitude" won't get in the way. ahem.
BUT she will not be wearing them with her Easter dress. Don't judge. We're still breaking them in and wearing a fancy dress is a good a time as any to give them a break. (-:

So yeah...Addison fashion now includes braces. But while sad at first, I'm now happy that we were able to catch the problem in time. Poor girl has already been through enough. A pain-free future for her feet is worth a little style inconvenience for now. Totally. (And this might just be mommy pride speaking, but she is completely rockin' out her new look!)


  1. What a great thing that they DID catch it in time. That is quite a difference in prognosis. And you know what? They're kind of cute too (especially when paired with this ADORABLE outfit and hair bows!!!!) As an aside, this is odd, but my friend's daughter (19 months) just got contacts after refusing to wear her glasses. I know, crazy right?! But she's wearing them, and her strabismus (spelling?) is better and now she can actually see. Go figure. Can't wait to see her progress with walking!

  2. The first two sentences of your post could be mine!!

    Thanks for sharing, sometimes it's so nice to hear that you're not alone with these kind of feelings.

    By the way: I love the way you dress your kids: they always look adorable.

  3. Bubba wears those too. Don't feel bad about not having her wear them for Easter. I have come to the conclusion that the doctors "prescribe" wearing time, but it is all ultimately up to you and Addison how much she should wear them. Some days WILL be a breeze. Those days make everything seem possible. They will get here, just hang on. Other days will be terrible. Just take them off. She obviously needs that break. <3

  4. She's adorable! At least there are shows that fit her feet. Ellie hasn't gotten her orthodics yet, but her feet are too short/chunky to fit in a standard baby-shoe!

  5. Gosh they are cute as ever, and hardly noticeable... but the question is do they feel good to her? If they don't bother her and she realizes they help her get around better, she might like them.

  6. She is so adorable! Those expressions are priceless.

  7. My Elizabeth has been wearing very similar orthotics for several years now (she's 5) and I think it was more of an adjustment for me and Daddy than her by far. She's on her fourth pair now and it's second nature. We also give them a break on Sunday mornings for church. :-)

  8. You are such good parents. I like the ribboning around the orthotics. So girly!

    The way I see it, Deanna, is you have happy, healthy children. This means you and your honey are doing a great job.

    A blessed Easter to you and your lovely family.

  9. She is beautiful no matter what she wears. I can't say that I know how you feel, but I can say that you roll with the punches with more than your fair share. Good luck. She seems to be more willing with the braces than her glasses. Just a thought, but have you looked on-line for glasses options. Just an idea. Read your e-book week before last. Loved it!!

  10. She is so cute no one will even notice them while marveling at her adorable smile and cool style. It may even catch on for the playdate set - moms all over will be asking where you got them.

  11. don't feel bad about the glasses. We've purchased 2 pairs already & Hope still flatly refuses to wear them. Putting contacts in her eyes would be a feat worthy of an olympic champion due to the fact that she's STRONG when she doesn't want something. So...we're with you. :) No orthodics yet, but as Hope is only 15 months and nowhere near crawling let along walking, I'm sure we'll be joining you at some point. I'm encouraged reading your blog - thanks for sharing!

  12. and you can hardly see them peeking over her adorable shoes.

    Honestly, they look like some new ankle fashion statement. You should invent some childrens' boutique where you "found" them. :)

  13. Maria from SpainApril 6, 2012 at 3:56 PM

    Chubbs looks sooo cute.Love the shoes and the glasses are the typical ones little children wear here ( have seen them in blue too). I like the glasses she's (not) wearing more than the rectangular frame you were searching for.

  14. I sympathize with you. Hannah is wearing boots right now to see if she doesn't need braces later. I've been lamenting the Easter dress and black boot look that she's got going. Becauase of the season, all we could find were black.

  15. The design strap looks like it'd be easy enough to switch out to match whatever she happens to be wearing. And with that body attitude she's rocking in the second to last picture, who's going to be looking at her feet? Lol. Hope this is the final push she needs to become a full-time walker!

  16. She rocks them. They do not take one ounce of her sparkle or pizzaz away from her. And if they do so much good, all the better!

    I don't know how you feel, I couldn't without walking your shoes, but maybe similarly, I know how it feels to have to deal with new, "different" things - and how that feels. My son has a rare disease, and everything new, that he has to do or have done to him, it all makes me sad as it takes him one step farther from the visions I used to have of his life.

    Addison is awesome. I think she gets more awesome every time you post. Honestly, when I look at the pictures of her, I don't really notice the braces, they're pretty subtle. I don't see the Down Syndrome either though (Sure I saw it at first, but it Addison is Addison!). I just see a really cute little girl (who's brother looks a whole lot like her), with tons of spirit and feistiness. With way more stylish clothes than I will ever have. I don't know if any of that matters to you - but I thought I'd mention it. You are such a great mom, and there is clearly a reason you are HER mom. You've taught me a lot too, just a random reader. Thank you for that.

  17. I understand what you are saying. I guess that all girls love new accessories, but this isn't what you had in mind. She is adorable no matter what she is wearing and will rock those braces like a rock star (and hopefully the glasses too...someday!)

  18. I think she is rocking those cutesy bootsys!! Wow, mommy talk overload...sorry about that! So glad you are back to regular posts, makes me a happy gal!

  19. I totally get where you are coming from Deanna...Sometimes it's the smallest things that make me the saddest for that brief moment when things like this pop up with Russell. Russell just got inserts for his shoes the other week, if they don't work we move on to something similar to what Chubbs has. But whatever helps him walk, will be well worth it.

    P.S. Russell wants Chubbs to know she looks fabulous and just as beautiful as ever with her new shoes :)

  20. She's rocking them! I wish I had caught my daughter's feet problems in time. She has really bad bunions at age 12 but we're hoping they don't get worse. She wears orthotic inserts and calls them her "Cinderella slippers." Great attitude and she doesn't seem to find them painful.

  21. She's adorable (and I actually think they are quite cute).

    And you know, I have the same kind of sadness with my "normal" kid who is now wearing an eye patch daily. I know it is for the best and she'll be happy we did it later. I also found awesome sparkly patches with girly stuff on them.

    But it makes me sad because she's not perfect.

  22. Those red shoes are crazy adorable! The cute ribbon on the braces makes them look like an accessory too. I expect my daughter will be getting braces in the next year or two also. I'm trying not to think about it yet though. One day at a time is all I can manage! Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I think it makes a lot of us feel less alone.

  23. They're bonus sock decorations!

  24. I hear ya loud and clear, it was the other way around for us though...we got the SMO's first...then the it was the glasses that put me over the edge! I also felt like it was one more thing to add to the ways she is different, but you know what if it helps her, then that's what I need to remember :-) Incase you are looking for tennis shoes that fit with SMO's that are supper cute...the skechers brand makes a totally rockin' pair of canvas lace up shoes that have lights, neon colors, and peace signs and all kinds of things on them and we get so many compliments on them from other kiddos so you know they must be cool ;-)


Thanks for reading about my Everything and Nothing. I would love to hear from you!