Tilly’s Physiotherapist managed to work her magic and Tilly was invited to see the Podiatrist as he had had a cancellation. It meant calling Rolf into the equation, so that Tilly could still go swimming and I could do my “Talk” to the Health Visitors and School Nurses. Everything was possible with just minutes to spare.
Tilly had a splendid swimming session with her class, without a hitch and without her parents. I’m still beaming at that achievement which sounds so simple, but has taken years and careful management to pull off.
I was whizzed up to do my Talk by Jenny, from Special Matters Support Group for families with children with disabilities. It is so important to us that Special Matters are still part of the project to enhance and improve the role of the Health Visitor and School Nurse when they are working with families with disabilities. ‘Working in Partnership’ has become rather a worn out phrase lately, but to see it in working successfully in action is worth striving for.
My input seemed well received as I compared the journey of families at the time of diagnosis to a re-routed flight from the anticipated ‘Italy’ to the unscheduled ‘Holland’. Following a previous remark that ‘Middle-class and Professional’ families don’t really ‘suffer’, I explained at this meeting that these ‘flights’ are filled with all families from all cultures and backgrounds, and that even health professionals sometimes find themselves on this route and they too will struggle, in spite of their experience and training. It should never be assumed that families are coping because they are working. There were many nods of agreement in the audience.
I bailed out of that meeting and was scooped up by Rolf and Tilly to meet Tilly’s new podiatrist because Tilly’s current foot splints are causing more harm than good. The view was that Tilly’s feet are really ‘on the move’ and will probably need surgical intervention at some point down the road. Tilly was cast for inner-soles to try and prevent too much further damage, and it was recommended that Tilly be recast for some better splints. We will try and arrange for this to be done at Oswestry if possible as we have lost confidence in the local department.
The highest highlight of the day was that Tilly needed to go out and buy some supportive boots that would hold her feet until the inner-soles are ready. The greatest joy for this little ‘shoe-aholic’ was to enter a real shoe shop and slide her little feet into real boots – not orthopaedic ones, or big ones that fit over her splints. The ladies in the shops were so accommodating and shared our delight as Tilly’s delight exuded from every pore. We found a pair that she loved that fitted her like a glove.
Tilly danced all the way back to school feeling a million dollars!