Kaden has always been a little pigeon toed and likes to walk on his tip toes. In the last few months, we have felt like it has gotten worse. He has always hated, and I mean HATED, wearing tennis shoes. Honestly, I don’t know if they bother his feet, or if it is just a behavior thing. He is usually fine once the shoes are on, but putting them on is a chore! He hasn’t worn tennis shoes all summer. My kids are just like me, they prefer sandals or no shoes at all. Lately, we have been noticing that Kaden is even starting to run on his tip toes. I don’t know how he manages to do that without falling, but he does. A couple months ago, when the kids were in the tub, I asked Kaden to lift up his feet so I could wash them and I realized he couldn’t lift his legs above the water. The other three lift them up and hold them in the air for however long I need them to, so it seemed odd that Kaden couldn’t do it. It continued, and he still can’t lift his legs up too high.
We talked with our pediatrician, who said he definitely felt a tightness in Kaden’s legs, which we already knew. He then used the dreaded word “palsey”. What he actually said was that he was assuming it was a sort of a palsey. I guess I knew that too, but no one ever wants to hear that their child might have a form of cerebral palsey. Don’t get me wrong, he probably has the most mild form of it any kid could have, but still. In a comfort to me, he said that he didn’t feel like we needed to be too concerned about it, since it is pretty obvious that it hasn’t caused him any other delays. His speech is a little delayed, but all three of the boys are behind in their speech, which is normal for quads and even more normal for a kiddo born at 23 weeks! The pediatrician also didn’t feel like Kaden would be needing orthotics. He felt like physical therapy would be sufficient.
Since the kids already qualify for services through EDN due to their prematurity, we were lucky enough to have the Physical Therapist come to our home to evaluate him. She agreed with the doctor that Kaden doesn’t need braces at this time. She did say he is very tight in his calves and hamstrings. Besides the pigeon toes and tip toe walking, he also doesn’t fully straighten his legs when he walks. The fact that his hamstrings are really tight prevent him from completely straightening his legs.
She gave us several stretches to do with Kaden 4-5 times a day. The problem with this, is that he HATES the stretches. Like, screaming, crying, fighting as hard as he can, hates them. It seriously breaks my heart to have to do these stretches with him. I hate being the reason for his tears. The first couple times we did the stretches I’m not sure who cried more, Kaden or me. I know that this will make him better and it will be worth it in the long run, but man, this is hard. We’ve tried making it a game, which worked at first, but then he figured out what we were doing and that didn’t work anymore. M&M’s seem to work temporarily. We can get about half way through the stretches without him freaking out if he is eating M&M’s. The only problem with that, is how many M&M’s should a kid have in one day? It’s not just Kaden that is eating them. All four of them have to have some, because you can’t give M&M’s to one kid and not the others. I guess if everyone gets lots of M&M’s for a while, it will be worth it if we can straighten Kaden’s legs out, right??????
Really, I shouldn’t complain about something like this. It could be SO much worse, it fact, it SHOULD be so much worse. I mean, my kids were born at 23 weeks. Technically, they shouldn’t even be here right now. I should be mourning the loss of my babies, or at least have four babies with serious mental and physical challenges. I thank God everyday for my four healthy, beautiful, perfect little people that I have been blessed with. This is just one of the many bumps in the road that we have encountered. It’s just that, for me, this is a hard one. It’s hard because I have to look at the look on Kaden’s face while I am trying to convince him that he needs to do these silly little stretches.
Thank you for listening to me vent, but this is my journal, so this is where my thoughts go! If anyone has any suggestions for me, please let me know! I’m up for trying anything!