Thursday, July 08, 2010

Squiggle tears...

Today I saw my little girl stand tall... and my, is she tall!
She didn't stand on her own two feet and she didn't stand independently but Eilidh stood up today - hooray!
I'm trying to be positive...  I'm trying so very hard...

Eilidh stood in Squiggles today, sugar coated in pink, but still an ugly piece of equipment which encased my beautiful daughter.

I was out when it arrived and as I walked into the room I was taken aback - a real life elephant which I could not get away from, that I could not avoid.  I didn't know what to say.  I don't know what to ask.  I stood and looked at it. Speechless.  D had had a little longer to get used to it and, dear D, he was sitting there with his lunch - life carries on...  He reached out to touch me and motioned for me to sit beside him - we both needed the other for support and comfort for what we knew was going to be a difficult moment in the acceptance of Eilidh's diagnosis.

Lecky Man demonstrated Squiggles, her range of movement, the straps and padding, her maneuverability and how she could fold.  He talked and Eilidh's physio, had wee bits to add too.  I wasn't able to give them my undivided attention; all I could think about was how Eilidh would be in this contraption and how I would feel having to put her in to it.

She cuddled in to me, unsure of the strange man in the room.  Lecky Man asked me to place her in it and as I moved closer to Squiggles I could feel Eilidh recoil in my arms.  She screamed and cried with huge big tears rolling down her cheeks, reaching up for me to lift her out.  I tried hard to comfort her as my heart was breaking.  I wanted to pick her up and tell her that everything was going to be ok, but I knew we had to do this for her benefit and so instead I whispered in her ear that I loved her and that she was doing so very well.  She looked as if she was being put into a some medieval torture device or a straight-jacket even. She looked uncomfortable and scared and restricted.  She wasn't Eilidh for a moment: I had to look closer, look past the frame and seek out her smile and her eyes and then I saw her again.  Lecky Man slowly angled her forward until there she was, standing tall in front of us.  Her height surprised me - she's going to be tall like her big sister - and then I realised that, for the first time Eilidh was standing... a special moment in my toddler's life, one to be treasured...

Eilidh settled and stayed with Squiggles for about 5 minutes, pacified by silly daddy, stickers and Niamh's magazine.  She was more herself, cheeky and strong willed but, at the same time, anxious too.  I was relieved to take her out and cuddle her, hold her tight and reassure her...

I know that Squiggles will become a part of her day to day life and as she does Eilidh will adapt; as Eilidh adapts we will adapt too.  But today, on the day that Eilidh first stood tall, I came face to face with the harsh reality that my beautiful daughter is disabled... Our journey has only begun; we still have so far to travel...

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