Stella’s toes are starting to relax. The yoked prism goggles continue to benefit her, but it’s created a small, surprising side effect. Turns out, her toes have been clenched so consistently for so long that the skin is actually having to stretch out as her toes extend outward. There are now raw, sometimes bloody cracks on the bottom of her toes in the incredibly deep creases that formed where her toes folded and curled over. Her right foot is more affected and cracked. I’ve actually noticed that when walking, her right foot is more consistently flat than her left, which has just a slight bit more reliance on her toes still, though both feet have clearly improved. Stella’s brain is figuring it all out, and it’s fascinating to watch. Well, almost as fascinating as watching her attempt to unwrap and quickly devour a foil-wrapped chocolate chick this morning. Only Kevin Garnett of my beloved Celtics can match that level of intensity.
I’m making sure antibiotic ointment is liberally applied and socks are worn when she is up and about. With those two pieces in place, she’s fine. Otherwise, it’s painful and she limps over to tell me her feet hurt. I apply a thick layer of “booboo cream,” usually tickling her in the process. Then all is well.
Those little piggies have been tasked with gripping the ground tightly in an effort to keep Stella up high. As previously explained, she was positioning her body in a way that made sense for her visual field. The goggles are helping re-wire her brain and create a more accurate map of her environment and her relation to it, spatially. Ten tiny toes have carried much of her weight for most of her walking life! Through vision therapy, her toe-walking is dissipating. When she runs I hear her feet slap the sidewalk. It makes me smile. I’m thinking about making it my ringtone.
And hooray! We currently have a pair of the goggles checked out for use at home, and she’s doing very well as she ramps up to wearing them in the base-down position for 20-30 minutes a day, minimum. She doesn’t mind them so much but still prefers close-up activities for now. Like unwrapping rare bits of candy or making play-dough Easter cookies.
For now, I await the healing of those little wounds as Stella’s toes delegate responsibilities to the rest of her foot. I’m constantly noting positive changes in Stella, including a heightened awareness of her periphery, which I’ll talk about here soon. But most of all, I relish the small but big changes that unfold as her vision therapy enters what looks to be its final phase.
Happy Easter, everyone! I wish you jelly beans in only your favorite flavors, and happy relaxation from head to toe.