Thursday, December 17, 2009

No Matter What I Choose, I Feel Like A Bad Mom . . .

**Note** Liam was born with a club foot and has been dealing with treatments since he was 6 days old. First was a series of six casts over six weeks, then a tendon elongation followed by a final cast for 3 weeks. Then came the really fun stuff . . . Denis Brown boots and bar . . . Liam had to wear these shoes 23 hours a day for 3 months and now continues to wear them at night until he is four

Now that you have the back story, here is the problem. Just before Liam got sick the last time (ear infection) he started having difficulty sleeping at night. He would wake up and nothing I could think of would settle him. I wondered if it was the shoes, but then he got sick with a fever a few days later, so I assumed that it was just that he wasn't feeling well. When he is sick or otherwise bothered by something, he has absolutely no patients for the boots and bar, so it came as no surprise that during his illness, he had difficulty sleeping with them on. Knowing that sleep is very important for a sick baby, I would leave the boots on for as long as I could each night, but if he really wasn't sleeping, they came off.

I expected things to go back to normal as soon as he was feeling better. I was wrong. So, the next logical thing to do was to make an appointment with the orthopedics place for new shoes and an adjustment to the bar. Because of the open toe design of the shoes, he was still wearing the same ones he'd stared with in March and his feet are much bigger, and were sticking out the ends. Last Thursday, Liam and Daddy went and got brand new bigger shoes and had the bar adjusted for his current size.

Again, I expected things to be better that night. Again, I was wrong. Maybe, I thought he just needed some time to "break in" the stiff leather of the new shoes, but here we are a week later and things are no better. Liam goes to bed like an angel, going to sleep without any fuss for about 2 or 3 hours and then he starts fussing, crying, tossing, turning and waking up. No matter what I do, he won't settle for more than an hour at a time after that until I give up and take off the boots.

And that's my where my dilemma comes in. If I take off the shoes every night, we risk a recurrence of the club foot (which looks completely normal right now) but we all get to sleep. If I leave the shoes on, the boots do their job and keep the foot straight but nobody sleeps. It is a no win situation. No matter what I do, Liam isn't getting something that he needs. All I can do for now is put the shoes on every night and keep them on for as long as I can stand it. Once we are on Christmas holidays (no daycare for Liam and I from December 25 to January 4th) I am going to have to throw some tough love at him and let him cry it out a bit more during the night and hopefully get used to the new shoes. If that doesn't work, it will be off to CHEO in the new year to beg the orthopedist for help . . .

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