You never want to watch your baby struggle. Especially when you aren’t sure what the problem may be. Then comes the feeling of isolation. Realistically you know others probably have similar struggles, but it sure can feel like you are the only one going through that particular issue.
My daughter was a late walker. When she finally got it, she was around 15-18 months old. Initially we just thought she was a bit lazy as I watched other older children and those kids plus my son always did everything for her.
Then we realized she complained of her feet hurting nearly every day. So much so that I would rub them every night. And after watching her, noticed she would walk on the inside ankles of her feet. Just seeing it looked painful.
By the time we got a referral, she was 2 and we did therapy for a year. We also tried orthotics for a little while, but they seemed to make little difference. Then they suggested we get x-rays for her hips as she was doing great, but still not progressing at the rate they would have liked to see.
A year and a half into the ideal, we get a referral to a pediatric orthopedic doctor because her hips definitely do not match and look a little off. The diagnosis? Slight hip dysplasia. Now we get to return when she turns 4 because they prefer not to do anything one they start walking until age 4.
If by some miracle her hip fixes itself, then we get a green light. But otherwise we get to discuss options come December or January this year.
Finally having some answers and knowing that something can be done while watching her progress from being in dance class and swimming has been amazing. Witnessing the family come together to support and encourage her has filled my heart as well. The issue may not be large, but the impact has been.
My tips for dealing with unexpected occurrences:
- Positivity: This can be difficult depending on what you actually are up against, but it really truly does help. Your attitude seeps into every crack and crevice in your life, so finding silver linings can make or break you.
- Roll with the Punches: even before we knew what was wrong, before therapy even, we encouraged her at her own pace. Every child hits milestones on their own timeline. Comparison does nothing more than stress everyone out. Where she took her time walking, running, etc, she showed us her wits and soared in her knowledge.
- Accept Suggestions/Help: I have compiled everyone’s tips and notes and experiences so each time I went to the Dr I was prepared with questions. If it weren’t for the referral to physical therapy, she would not have come as far as she is now. Without family and friends, dance likely would not have been a priority. Then, if the physical therapist had not suggested an x-ray, who knows when we would have gotten further answers and closer to a better solution.
Despite having to go through everything, I am truly grateful for the experience and connections I have made because of her troubles. And watching her determination and ability to overcome has been inspiring!!
I would love to hear any of your own stories if you feel compelled to share them.