(Full credit for the title to Julie Magnuson!)
Havyn got her new brace(s) yesterday. She is getting slightly more correction in the brace made from the scanning CAD software than the one made from a conventional fiberglass mold. So that’s the one she’s going to wear.
With the brace on, her main curve is reduced to about 66° which doesn’t seem like as much as Dr. Puno was hoping for but he is happy that she’s getting some correction. There is hope that the longer she wears the brace (and the tighter she’ll tolerate us making it) the better correction she can get.
Havyn’s initial reaction to the brace was so positive. She was excited to see it and try it on. She was so happy with the colors! She can’t wait to show it to you!
We spent an hour or so with Hannah and Billy from the Center for Orthotic & Prosthetic Care as they trimmed and put finishing touches on both braces. They were very patient and did a great job. Then we walked to see Dr. Puno. Havyn got x-rays in both braces and the decision was made on which brace to wear moving forward. After one more quick trip back to see Hannah for another trim to the brace, we went home.
While her initial reaction was so positive, the hours since then have been quite the opposite. The brace is very uncomfortable for Havyn, but she’s doing her best to put on a brave face and push through it. As much as she cries and fights it, we know it’s the best thing for her right now. I put her in my lap this morning and said, “Havyn… I know it’s awful. And I’m so sorry. If you need to cry or get angry, you can and I won’t be mad at you. But no matter how much you cry, we have to leave it on. Sometimes the things we need the most are really hard, aren’t they?”
The first week or two will be the toughest, but we know that she’ll adjust. She’s been down this road before and she’ll be okay. We’ve tried to explain the alternative (surgery) and how much worse it would be, but that’s hard for her to grasp.
So, for now, we’ll do the hard thing. The good news is that she can have plenty of breaks over the first couple weeks while she gets adjusted to it. Eventually our goal will be 23 hours a day.
It is SO hard to make your child do something they hate even though you know it’s the best thing for them. And I can’t help but think about the difficult things I’ve faced in my life… the times I’ve shaken my fist to the heavens and said, “I hate this!!!!” I am getting some more perspective on the Father, who embraces us and says, “I’m so sorry you have to go through this.” While I think we will always struggle to understand the answer to the question of why bad things happen, I am gaining more perspective that the most difficult things often have a way of helping us grow.
I wonder if there’s anything in your life that feels like a restrictive, annoying, pressing, rigid, and unmercifully uncomfortable brace? Don’t you just so desperately want to reach around, loosen up the straps, and throw that thing away? It sure feels, in the moment, that to do so would eliminate your pain and your troubles. It seems like the best choice. But is it possible that the very thing you despise is the thing that’s helping you to be stronger, straighter, healthier, and ultimately avoid something far worse?
We continue to thank you for your comments, prayers, love and support! Come see Havyn sometime soon and ask to see her beautiful brace… she’d love to show you!