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Olivia’s prosthesis

Olivia finally got her prosthesis on Thursday, October 27th. (She was 16½ months old.) She didn’t like it. It didn’t hurt her … I made sure of that! But she just didn’t like it on her. Before she got her prosthesis, she was a pro at crawling and pulling herself up to standing. Now she would have to relearn those things all over again.

Because of the shape of her leg and the requirements from Dr. Paley, Olivia needed more than just a lift attached to the bottom of her shoe. Her leg slides into a hard shell and her foot is supported in something that looks like a hard plastic slipper. Attached to the bottom of the slipper is an extender with a fake foot at the bottom of it. The foot is basically the same size as her foot on her other longer leg, so she doesn’t have to wear two different size shoes. The prosthesis goes part-way up her thigh and is held on with a Velcro belt that goes around her waist (over her diaper but under her pants). As she walks, this prosthesis is supposed to help straighten out her leg and ankle.

On Day 1, all she would do basically was sit or lay down on the floor. She couldn’t crawl (because the prosthesis doesn’t allow her leg to bend except at her hip) and this caused her great frustration. She would be sitting there and to me it looked like she wasn’t doing anything, but she would just start crying or pouting. I think she was trying to move her short left leg and couldn’t. But since I couldn’t actually see anything, I can’t say for certain.

On Day 3, she started to crawl!! I couldn’t believe it. I thought it would take a couple of weeks.

On Day 4, she pulled herself up to standing! This only happened once that day, but still it happened.

By Day 7, she didn’t mind putting her prosthesis on anymore. No more tears and tantrums when she saw it.

It’s now been 2½ weeks and not only is she pulling herself up, but she’s also cruising along the furniture and with the help of toys. She’ll stand all by herself for ½ a second and then fall. If she holds onto my fingers, she’ll walk with me. My husband and I are thrilled at her progress. I just know that she’ll be walking on her own in no time.