I am mixing myths but the battle waged between competing needs is best described by this title. Here’s the skinny:
All 3 of my younger children have special medical and developmental needs. All 3 joined my family through adoption and were “incubated” within the same cocaine-enriched environment until the pregnancy could no longer hold on. The twins were born at 27 weeks and my youngest was born at 33 weeks. Each of them has a variety of GI (stomach, feeding, bowel) challenges, breathing (2 trachs, apnea) issues, and varied motor challenges related to their lack of access to oxygen during their emergency c-section births.
The Goliath of our family are the breathing & airway issues all 3 share. Each of them has chronic lung disease of prematurity and some degree of airway obstruction related to weak tracheal walls. Our home resembles a satellite clinic of our local children’s hospital. We have “Vest” airway clearance systems, nebulizer machines for 3 and back-up, humidity compressors, oxygen tanks, nasal cannula, trach masks, CPAP machine and ambu bags. We need stock in the major airway medication companies and are surely on their “frequent buyer” list- wish we earned points! Currently we have 2 types of hypertonic saline, normal saline for inhalation, Pulmicort, Albuterol, Atrovent & Tobramycin medications in use some part of every week. Singulair & Advair are on hand for oral medication support of our asthma prevention routine. Breathing is clearly the Goliath need of our household.
Achilles, on the other hand, is a simple challenge in walking. The tendons running from the feet up the back of my kids’ legs are tight across all 3 kids. Adrien has the least challenge managing walking, running and moving through space- her tight heel cords are controlled by higher than normal tone in her legs that is just the right strength to help her without hindering. Tavish has tight cords & variable tone in his legs, with low trunk tone. His physical needs are met through regular Physical Therapy (PT) and strengthening/endurance activities we do with him throughout the week. Keva, on the other hand, has the same body weakness, motor planning difficulty and the tightest heel cords of the bunch.
Keva has done “serial casting” and now has a pair of AFOs that were custom-made for her in April this year. At the end of June or early July, these AFOs began bruising the back of her calves and needing adjustment. As we have tried to schedule an appointment, we have been thwarted by the availability of the brace shop, its location, and the needs of Goliath. Today the brace shop called to try to re-schedule for the adjustment and I am again unable to commit to a date or time because we are still battling respiratory illness (flu in July) and working hard to heal all 3 before returning to clinics where they may again pick it up.
Bottom line: in our house, Goliath defeats Achilles each time. No matter the annoyance of the orthopedist, the admonishment of the schedulers, the toe-walking – Goliath always wins.