You know that scene in Forrest Gump, when young Forrest gets fitted with leg braces? And then he gets teased by kids and he starts to run in those awkward things - as he goes faster, the braces start falling apart with screws, metal, and leather straps flying every-which-way. Run, Forrest, run!
It feels kinda like that around here lately.
You see, Reed wears a brace (called an AFO, or ankle-foot orthosis) on his left leg. He has a mild form of cerebral palsy which causes his left side to be weak and less coordinated than his right side. The AFO helps keep his foot level so the toes don't drag on the ground when he walks. And fortunately for him, they are not like the leg braces of the past, with metal stays and leather straps and such. It is crafted from high density plastic, some velcro, and a few screws. Oh, and it has a camouflage look to it, of his choosing. Very important detail!
So anyway, Reed's AFO has been a lot like Forrest's metal braces lately, practically falling apart at the seams, er, rivets. Screws keep popping out (at school, of course) which means I get to haul it back to the orthotist to get fixed. Not a big deal, it's just a long way from home. And I had to make the trip three times in the last week! Today, I got it back (again) and noticed this time the orthotist actually super-glued the screw in place. Normally they don't do that because the glue can break down the plastic...but apparently he's getting tired of fixing it, too.
Why does our guy keep busting this (expensive) thing? Two words. Growth spurt. Turns out, when I checked closely this afternoon I saw that his toes are off the edge by over an inch. Hmmm. Bad mom for not noticing this over, say, the past 3-6 months! And me with a degree in occupational therapy!