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Looking at the Bright Side: 5 Ways Elvie's Brace Has Helped Me
Tomorrow, I will take Elvie in for an appointment with her orthopedic surgeon, and we are hoping that she will be able to stop wearing the big, rigid brace she has been confined to for the past six weeks as she has been healing from surgery. It’s been an uncomfortable time for Elvie, and a time of increased work for me. It is much harder to care for a toddler in a brace than it is to keep up with my active girl when she is on the move. Everything from diaper changing to meal time has presented extra challenges, not to mention keeping her occupied and keeping her spirits up, and we will all be glad to have this time behind us. We are so grateful for all that has been done for Elvie in her surgeries, and we know that the brace is part of that, and we don’t take that lightly. Excellent medical care is a huge gift for our family. However, when the day to day grind gets frustrating, I find that what helps more than recognizing the big picture is thinking of the little, silly ways that having Elvie in a brace has benefited me personally. Here are my top five little reasons to smile about having the privilege of caring for a toddler in a body brace.
Beyond the Obvious
We know that Elvie’s brace is helping her heal, and that it will open up new doors for her as she moves (literally) forward. However, day to day life with a toddler in a brace can be hard, so I’ve thought of five ways that her brace helps me out.
No need to go to the gym!
Lifting and holding Elvie in her brace is quite different from holding her without it, and it gives me quite the workout. Not only do I lift the additional weight of the brace, but Elvie can’t help me by holding on, so there is additional resistance. My arms have never been so toned!
Toddler messes are more confined.
Because Elvie can’t move as quickly as usual or reach as high, many things that I clean actually stay clean for more than five minutes. While I’ll be happy to have her making messes again, it has been nice to look out across my living room and see books on shelves and knick knacks in place. I’m also not finding as many secret messes.
I've got to ask for what we need, sometimes loudly.
I prefer to just go with the flow, and sometimes I’ll let things slide because I’d rather not confront others. But when we’re out and about, I need disabled services to get Elvie’s big stroller everywhere we need to go, and I have to both ask for those and tell people why we need them. It felt like a huge deal the first time I had to assert our right to use the bus lift, and now it feels like no big deal.
I fall asleep in five minutes flat.
I’ve suffered from insomnia off and on my entire adult life, but with all the extra physical work involved in Elvie’s care right now, I am so tired by the end of the day that falling asleep is never a problem.
Things are about to get much easier.
Life with kids is hard whether there’s specialized medical care involved or not, but having this time of increased work will make the weeks and months afterwards feel much easier. I’ve already got a list of places to go and things to see with the kids, and I know we can do it, because if we can get all the places we need to go and do all the things we need to do with Elvie in a brace, then we can do even more when she is free from it. Life will be a piece of cake. I can’t wait.