A year ago yesterday, we found out that M would be born with clubbed feet. While it was initially a huge wave of relief — we were anticipating an issue, and that was certainly much more treatable than the other options — it was also kind of world bending since treatment for CTEV (congenital talipes equinovarus) is relatively non-invasive from a surgical standpoint but drawn out over the first four to five years of a child’s life. I felt every emotion as I researched the crap out of it that day, and I’m glad, for the most part I did but here are the five things I wish I had known
- No doctor knowingly and willingly compromised treatment and while there are terrifying tales of mistreatment, a lot of the “warning signs” can be totally fine and normal in many cases so it’s best to not listen to armchair doctors.
- Every step taken in this journey is two forward and one back. Except moving to BNB (boots and bar). That’s like 7 steps back into a dark pit filled with ice water and sharks. I mean, it’s doable and all that but it’s a tough learning curve.
- Keep it simple. I totally loved the easy click bar for full time where when it could just click on and off. But the spring-loaded articulating joints were a pain. The straight, steel bar is much easier to pack, to pad and to maintain on a regular basis.
- Everyone knows someone with clubbed feet. And sometimes that person didn’t even know they did until they were much older and happened to mention to their parents about their friends kid and *surprise*!! Obviously, treatment can’t be that badly psychologically damaging.
- You’ll never understand how resilient a baby can be until they’ve adjusted to their casts, their tenotomy and their BNB long before you do.
I am anxiously awaiting the end of part-time BNB in 40-52 months. I’m anxiously awaiting the end of specialist appointments in 15ish years. I know every popped heel, blister, funky toenail and case of athlete’s foot will make me feel helpless. But I also know that most nights, we’ve got this.