Rodney and I before had
laughed over the chit-chat the ladies were having back and forth over
Henry when I formerly had told him about the goings on around the man.
"Did you find a partner
for the dance?" He asked me this morning as he was getting ready for
"Well yes," I answered.
"You will never guess with whom I tripped the light fantastic."
"No, who was it?" Rodney
"Henry!" I laughed.
"What? You mean the
infamous Henry?" Rod was interested.
"Yes, and would you
believe he is nothing like he has been painted. His manners, gentlemanly
ways and respectful treatment of me was nice. I enjoyed visiting with
him and he was anxious to meet you, too. You two have something in
common. He is an electronics engineer. I told him where you work and he
may drop in on you."
"Well, okay." Rodney
seemed pleased with the prospect.
All good things always
seem to be short lived and again suddenly we were in a state of a
decidedly unhappy situation with Rhondaís therapy.
Again I was like that dog
circling around and around on a bed trying to find the most comfortable
place to rest. Rhonda had suddenly become dissatisfied with wearing her
Every morning it was a
battle to get her to put them on her legs. She would literally fight to
keep from being laced up into the heavy steel bars. The velcro straps
with her one able hand she grabbed and jerk, jerk and jerked again until
they were undone. By the time the struggle was over and she was off and
gone on the bus I was exhausted. This went on until I decided it was
time to go to the school, Carroll, she attended so I could understand
why she had suddenly become so difficult and was fighting against the
"I heard you drive up,
Mrs. Flood." Rhonda and one other child, who was blind, were in the
"Now just how did you
know?" I was puzzled.
"You drive a Ford," the
little girl told me.
"Okay," I laughed. This
child was undaunted in her quest to live. She was a beautiful little
girl with long dark curling hair. Her mother was a happy person in spite
of the crushing weight of her little oneís disability.
The therapist wasnít all
too friendly as I tried to engage her in conversation. Finally she was
honest with me, "She doesnít want to wear her braces," the woman spoke
I had no answer. I better
than she knew Rhonda did not want to wear the braces. Every time I tried
to put the braces on her it was the same old battle. Rhonda was sick and
tired of the pain, discomfort, and hopelessness of them ever working for
"Can you see how these
braces are throwing her whole body out of a natural alignment. The heavy
belt around her lower back is causing her torso to bend back and that
causes her to have to pull her head and neck forward. As a result she is
getting this tongue thrusting. The hard won speech therapy is just being
thrown out the window. She canít talk with her mouth all filled with her
tongue being pushed forward." I kept trying to find someone who could
help me with this dilemma.
Everyone who might have
advised me didnít seem to know how to answer my questions. In the
meantime, Rhonda was still fighting me daily. She absolutely refused to
put the braces on her legs even though I would take them off the minute
she came in off the bus.
"Oh my! Just look these
cruel things have rubbed a blister on your hip." I was so upset when I
called the doctor I was practically crying.
You are going to have
blisters or sores. It isnít that much of a problem." He told me.
"No, it isnít a problem
for him," I thought. Heís not the one with pain.
I hung up the phone and
was determined to do some research on what? I didnít know where to go.
As I spoke to a kind librarian she was all too ready to find me whatever
I wanted. She especially recommended the book called "Karen." It was a
story about a mother who had fought with the braces for years only to
trash the whole effort. The author said it was such a joy to see her
daughter pleasantly going about her life from the ease of her wheelchair
and not to have to be struggling along on tortuous heavy, steel braces.
At the same time Readers
Digest came out with an article on the work of Doman and Delacatto. It
was a different kind of therapy and they claimed it was working much
better than anything else for paralysis.
Probably, since the
doctors believed in those braces, I would have been still with them
other than I couldnít stand the thought of torture in the way of the
sores and then there was all the time put into speech therapy that was
simply being lost.
Again, I walked away from
a potentially productive lifestyle, or maybe not. To follow my heart and
desire to see we did all we could for our disabled daughter was my
single and only goal. Nothing wily of destructive, of insidious little
devilish schemes stood in my way in regards to that.
"You donít miss having a
household helper in your home?" A friend asked me. She knew I had given
up our Dallas easy life of all things good and beautiful.
My mind went to the
beloved girl, Ruby, who worked hard for me and was so dedicated to our
familyís well being but, as in all things, unlike Lotís wife, I never
"We are the adults with
the charge of our children put upon us. Not the sweet, comfortable life
style of Dallas or anything else will keep us from that duty.
Little did I know there
were times I wondered if I would be able to live up to the words I so
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