Back in February, Faith had an appointment with an orthopedist. She's been walking on her toes for awhile, and when she had her 5-year old check-up her doctor noticed that it was mostly just in her left foot. He said that was different, actually that he had never seen a kid who only toe-walked on one side before, so he referred her to the orthopedist.
So, I took her for the appointment, fully expecting that he would recommend physical therapy or something to stretch things out. The orthopedist checked her out, tested her reflexes, and had her walk for him. He said that the plan to fix it would be a series if casts, each stretching a little more than the last, a special splint to wear at night, and if those didn't work, a surgery to lengthen things so that her foot can flatten. And then, he shocked me.
He said that she walks on her toes because she has cerebral palsy. He said that the left side of her body is hyper-reflexive, and that she had something called clonus when he tried to stretch her foot. He referred us to a neurologist at Children's to confirm the diagnosis.
We honestly NEVER expected to hear that Faith could have cerebral palsy. She seems totally normal, with only a few slight exceptions. Her balance has never been good. She is fairly timid because of her balance, not really one for adventure. When she took a gymnastics class back in the fall, I noticed that she was far less coordinated than the other kids, most of whom were younger than she was. We've always blamed her bad balance on her surgeries, but have noticed recently that other kids with similar histories don't have the same problem. Her fine motor skills are not that good; she has had a really hard time learning to write. And then there's the toe-walking thing...
But she is incredibly smart. She's been reading since last fall, she does math without even thinking about it/realizing she's doing it. She will be going to Kindergarten next year, based solely on her birthday, although if she was tested and put into a class based on how she did, I am sure she would be in first grade. I have purposely stopped teaching her things, because otherwise there will literally be nothing left for her to learn in school!
So, we saw the orthotics guy shortly after her appointment, and he got her fitted for a splint. God was working behind the scenes, and it "just so happened" that there was a splint in her size on the counter in the room, and it was purple with butterflies on it! She has been wearing it every night for about a month now.
As usual when it comes to seeing a specialist at Children's, we have had to wait six weeks for her appointment with the neurologist. It is finally coming up, next Tuesday. After that appointment, the casting would start at the orthopedist. I've been doing my research, as usual, and we've been talking about what I've learned, and we actually aren't settled on the casting idea, or the surgery. The Orthotist suggested that a brace for everyday wear could actually be an option, and brought up the possibility that if she does have CP, then her natural tendency is for those muscles to be tight, and even if they surgically lengthen them, they could re-contract and the problem could come back. Needless to say, I have a lot of questions for the neurologist.
Faith and I went to a healing prayer/night of worship service at church Sunday night. She stood in front of the whole church and prayed into a microphone, "Dear God, please help my leg feel better, amen!" Then she prayed for a lady with cancer, and then she got prayed for. We are boldly approaching the Throne, asking God for another miracle for Faith- that He would stretch her muscles and relieve the tightness, that her reflexes would all be normal, and that the neurologist would tell us on Tuesday that there is NOTHING wrong with her. Monday morning after she was prayed for, she complained that her leg was hurting... Then I tried stretching her foot, and it went further than it ever has! After that I had her walk, and she was walking with her feet flat, not in her toes! She got SUPER excited and yelled, "God is healing my leg!" So, we will see. She is claiming her healing in Jesus' name, and she definitely has that perfect child's faith, believing without doubt that God is going to heal her without casts or surgery.
I hope to be able to update after her appointment with the news that she does NOT have cerebral palsy, but even if she does, we still see it as a miracle that she has such a mild case that no one had any idea until she was almost 5 1/2!
6 days ago