may 2006: layla takes her first steps
january 2007: layla, in the process of potty training, decides that, not only does she not want to poop in the potty, she does not poop AT ALL.
february 2007: layla STILL refuses to poop. you can read all about it here, if you feel the need. however, in reading over that post, there was a very significant sentence: she walks around on her toes. this was in an effort to keep her poop in. this whole poop-phobia thing lasted only about a month, but apparently it was long enough to imbed toe-walking firmly in layla’s muscle memory and it became a habit.
december 2007: dave’s gramma gives layla a shirt with a tu-tued dancer on the front and the words ‘future ballerina’ because she has apparently noticed that she is always on her toes.
sometime in the general 2008-2010 span of time: when visiting layla’s doctor for well-child checkups, I ask about the toe-walking. he examines her legs and ankles, checks her heel cord flexibility, etc., and determines that the toe-walking is voluntary and nothing needs to be done about it at this point. she would probably grow out of it.
july 2011: one day, layla wakes up in the morning and says her ankle hurts. that resulted in this whole scenario, which you can read about here.
october 2011: and… it happens again, and is documented here. her doctor determines that the injuring and reinjuring of the ankle is likely due to the toe-walking, which should at this point, be addressed. so we see an orthopedics intern at childrens who prescribes PT.
october 2011: layla begins physical therapy. she goes once a week for about a month to stretch her heel cords, hamstrings, and strengthen her hips and legs. we also do a series of stretches at home, as her heel cords are very tight and her right foot cannot be stretched even to ‘neutral’.
november 2011: the PT determines that the stretching and therapy is not doing enough to help. she confers with another PT at the seattle childrens who has more experience with toe walkers. we discontinue PT with her and set up an appointment with the new PT.
december 8, 2011: meet w/ new PT in seattle who determines that serial casting would benefit layla, followed by wearing orthodics with her regular shoes for an indefinite amount of time. we went ahead and scheduled the casting, which isn’t to begin until march – the soonest they can get her in.
december 20, 2011: went to a previously scheduled doctor’s appointment with an orthopedist at childrens. the second PT recommended we keep this appointment to see what she thought. this doctor is not in favor of serial casting. does not think it helps long-term. she wants us to return to PT once or twice a week as well as continue a more disciplined regimen of stretching at home. she also prescribed orthodic braces for layla to have formed for her feet that she will wear at night, to stretch her while she sleeps. if those things do not improve the situation, she is in favor of a minor surgical procedure which cuts and lengthens the tendons, followed by a 6 week casting during healing. we meet again in 3 months. I scheduled her follow-up appt. with this doctor 2 days before she is scheduled to go in for her first casting appointment – which I did NOT cancel… PT scheduled to resume tomorrow. you know, because I love driving to bellevue all the time.
can I just say the following:
seriously. why can’t there be any clear cut direction here? one says one thing, the next says something completely different! nobody seems to agree on anything and I’m SO THOROUGHLY CONFUSED!
honestly, if it weren’t for the stupid ankle-swelling injuries, I would have just left well enough alone. she could walk, run, jump, play soccer, do whatever she darn well wanted to do, ON HER TOES, and she could do it all JUST FINE. it was only because of the injuries that I started to think that this might be a problem that should be addressed. (of course, plenty of people over the years have expressed concerns over it or suggested treatment or shared anecdotes about people they knew whose kids had been toe-walkers and what they had done about it.)
so, for now we stretch and drive to bellevue. awesome.