Life’s Little Victories

Me and my girl

Me and my girl.


I have a lot to be thankful for today. Carys has a new physiotherapist. I really like her because she cares about Carys, she works with her, not against her. She smiles and sings songs to get Carys comfortable. After only a few sessions, she has already found out which was Carys’s favourite nursery rhyme.

When she rang me and said, “I’m ordering a review of Carys’s AFO’s. I’m concerned about the marks they’re causing on her ankles, and she’s not walking well in them,” I almost burst into tears… so I wasn’t a paranoid mother, after all. At last, someone was listening to me. It was a small, but important victory.

Yesterday, we had that review, and the physiotherapist actually came with us. It turns out the fit is not right, and the AFO’s have been sent for adjustment. We have a plan in place; if in 4-6 weeks, she is still not able to use them, she will be recast for new ones using a thinner, lighter plastic moulded to enclose more of her ankle.

If you remember, the previous physiotherapist had told me that Carys just had to endure them regardless. I wonder how long it would have been before Carys gave up trying to walk completely because of the pain her AFO’s caused her.

As if that wasn’t good news enough, I was also told that Carys is walking well without her AFO’s, and that she must spend part of each day walking without them. The little victories were coming thick and fast.

When I got home, I rang Conor with the good news. He said a lovely and unexpected thing to me. He said, “To be fair, Ali, every time you have had a concern about Carys, you have been right.”

It’s not very often that I’m speechless, but that did it.

The other day, I found a shampoo online that doesn’t need to be used with water. Who knew you could get such things? You massage it into dry hair and towel dry. Last night we gave it a try; Carys lay on her bedroom floor with her head in my lap, listening to her favourite music, and giggled while I massaged this new shampoo into her hair. Five minutes, job done, hair clean and sweetly scented of apples.

This morning, I showed Carys her toothbrush. She smiled and opened her mouth wide while I brushed and brushed and brushed.

In themselves, these are tiny victories, but their impact is huge. The triumph of many seemingly insignificant little battles often win the war.

44 Comments on “Life’s Little Victories

  1. Pingback: The Politics of Walking Pt 3 Carys is WALKING! | aliisaacstoryteller

  2. Pingback: The Politics of Walking | aliisaacstoryteller

  3. It’s great to read that you have the backup of the new physio. That’s important to find somebody who works with you both. I hope little victories will continue!

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  4. Oh, Ali, what wonderful news! That’s so amazing that so many things are looking up for your sweet girl. I’m so glad you love the new physiotherapist… Life is so frustrating when your child’s specialist doesn’t give you credit for knowing your own child better than he/she does, and when you feel stuck with them for whatever reason, it’s like you’re being held hostage. It sounds like Carys is making great strides. I’m so happy for you! That’s got to be a huge burden lifted from you when she accomplishes those little things that others take for granted. ❤ Congratulations! 😀

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  5. I’m so glad to hear of those successes. There’s no two people who deserve them more than you and Carys. My prayers for many more victories along the way.

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  6. Ali, what wonderful news! I’m beaming with joy now. I can feel how happy and relieved you and Carys are. It doesn’t surprise me that you’ve been right every time when it comes to Carys. You have very sound intuition, and that’s not just because you’re a mom. 🙂 I’m so glad you found a physiotherapist who will listen and gets Carys. What a gift to your whole family. I’ve had a very different journey through life, but even so I have experienced time and again what it’s like to have therapists, teachers, even disability resources staff members have no intention of actually paying attention to what I needed or how they were treating me. It is as you say a real struggle to not give up and keep looking for someone who you can work with, rather than fight with. I’m so grateful that this has finally happened for you. And what the therapist said about Carys and walking is really exciting! Hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Éilis! She has just crawled out of her bedroom, along the hall, and the full length of the kitchen. Shes never crawled so far before! Today she took the paintbrush off the teacher at school and actually painted some marks on the paper by herself. The teacher was so amazed she took pictures and sent them home. She has been practicing standing this afternoon without holding onto anything and she was perfectly balanced for ages. I’ve never seen her do any of this before!

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  7. Little victories, Ali, but they add up to so much more! I am so happy for you I could cry. If you hadn’t found the dry shampoo, I would have recommended Wen. They’ve been advertising it on TV here and someone told me it was great. You are a woman of profound insight and great courage. We are here to support you!

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  8. Well done Ali. Just goes to show that parents who spend long periods with their children spot things that professionals miss in short visits.
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx

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    • Thanks David! That is so true. Professionals need to listen a bit more. In our experience many of them do, but the one who doesnt can have such a big impact. Huge hugs back at ya!

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  9. Great news! Who says mothers don’t know best? Too many doctors pooh pooh a mother’s observation because she hasn’t been ‘trained’ to look for the right things. Good for you, Ali 🙂

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      • I got into a nasty spat with the pediatrician over one of the children when he was a baby. The doctor was being so condescending I wanted to hit him. He was talking out of his arse and I told him so (but politely). He just looked at me and said, ‘I have the impression you don’t like doctors much.’ I replied that I didn’t like doctors who talked down to me, and in addition talked nonsense.’ Needless to say I changed doctors after that.

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    • Oh no! Thats the last thing I want. I know a little about what you’ve been through. I’m sorry if I brought some of that back for you. It never really goes away, does it? Sending a big virtual hug… hope you can feel it! 😀

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        • Oh good! Yes, its amazing what a difference it makes. All the other little things too just all came together this morning to make me feel so positive and optomistic!

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          • That’s wonderful!
            We had nothing but trouble with Nick’s AFOs… thankfully the stubborn sod dispensed with them altogether and we straightened the problems by … well, brute force and sheer bloodymindedness, I suppose. Not an option for Carys, of course. But it helps soooo much when you have the right people onside. 🙂

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  10. These all sound like big victories, Ali. What a great day for the whole family. Carys is making great gains. Thanks for making my morning with this post. 🙂

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