Thursday, March 15, 2012

Back to school

It's turned out well, thank you very much!   We picked up Catherine's brace in February and spent a loooong 5 hours getting it cut down to size. Although the brace was made from a cast of her body, the brace comes out of the mold with room to spare, and there were necessary chopping and bending to get it to fit. NEVER in my life would I have thought this would take FIVE hours, however. And we sat and sat and SAT in an empty room looking at old issues of orthodics magazines and Catherine drained my cell phone battery dry.

At first, she hated it. HATED. It was tight. It rubbed. It made it hard to walk. But she persisted to the point where she was wearing it 15 hours a day (including sleeping in it at night). The addition of a foam memory topper mattress pad made this bearable.

We went back after four weeks in brace for an x ray and the orthopedist said her bottom curve was now straight and the top had a 20-30% improvement, which he declared good. The top curve is the hardest to fix. The resulting pushing (the brace has large foam pads inside it) causes Catherine to lean to one side a bit. The doctor told her to try to compensate by leaning the other way. This is not as easy as it sounds.

The doctor also insisted she wear it to school. And so this past Monday was DAY 1 (and it turns out NOT the "worst day in the world"). We got a note excusing Catherine from PE, and we bought her lots of new tops to fit over the brace. So far, so good. Her teachers said they don't notice it. Catherine hasn't complained about anything except it is hot (she is sweating under it despite the obligatory cotton stretch camisole). I'm not sure what can be done about that except let her take it off for a few minutes to change after school. She's encased in a hard plastic shell after all.

Oh, and we named it. We call it "Shelly" and she wants to give you a BIG, ANACONDA hug.

If we can't laugh we'd cry here in suburbia.

We came home with this bad boy

and promptly went out to buy new clothes

There are three large straps that you need help adjusting.

From the front. The round cut out on the belly is supposed
to keep you cool. It doesn't really.

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