Tuesday, March 2, 2010
New legs...part 3
After about a week of having Israel's new prosthetic legs we went back to Shriner's for a Physical Therapy evaluation appointment. This is so we can learn how to properly work with Israel in terms of getting him used to his new legs, wearing them, adjusting to having them on, moving around and such things. Right away the physical therapist noticed that his legs were way to long for him! Here's the deal. For a baby to have prosthetic feet is purely aesthetic. They have no functional value. The feet are really for the parents to feel some sort of normalcy with their not so normal child. But the truth is, it is much better and easier for the child to not have the feet on, and here is why. A prosthetic foot adds about an inch of unnecessary height. Plus there is a bolt which holds the foot into the prosthetic legs which adds another unnecessary inch. So to have feet adds two inches of unnecessary height. And with a baby who has shortened arms and legs, to have extra long legs helps nothing, but actually makes things even harder on him. So we did a few adjustments to make life a bit easier on Israel. We took of the prosthetic feet and turned the bottom of his legs into what we call "stumps". They are now two inches shorter and are actually more stable for him in terms of standing. Plus now they are not nearly as heavy (and long) so when he is sitting he can actually pick them up and move them around...which is wonderful! He seems to like these legs much better! For me...honestly...it's hard. I know it sounds selfish, but when we got his legs I went out and bought Israel real socks and his FIRST pair of shoes. You should have seen the delight on my face as I carefully picked out just the perfect pair. And now, the shoes are back in their box waiting to be returned to the store. Sometimes, it's just the little things like buying shoes, that make a big difference to me. But I know this is what is best for Israel. And someday, I am sure he will get feet again and at that time I can buy new shoes. For now, I am finding delight in watching my baby standing and discovering this new world of prostheses.