falling is a part of charcot marie tooth disorder. people with CMT tend to have drop foot and a high arch. zach has the drop foot but not a high arch. CMT has affected his hands much worse than his feet. he still has to wear leg braces to compensate for his drop foot. before zach was diagnosed, he used to fall a lot. i used to say “he is like a puppy that hasn’t grown into his paws yet”. if you know me, you know i love animals, and i compare people to animals a lot. what can i say? I’m quirky. since zach has been diagnosed with CMT, he doesn’t fall as much BUT when he does watch out!!!
zach is a big kid. he is 6 feet tall. lets put it this way…his position was nose tackle when he played football. if you know anything about football, thats a big boy!!!! when zach falls, he falls hard. the anger, frustration and embarrassment he is feeling is translated into him yelling at me. i freeze when we are together and he falls. i don’t know what to do first. whether it be help him, calm him down, or do anything at all, nothing seems right.
the last couple of months zach has been falling more. his leg braces are broken and until his new ones are ready he has to be more careful. like any other teenager, he doesn’t pay much attention to what is going on around him. he fell the other day. he was with his friends, the sidewalk was uneven and down he went. i was not there with him. he hurt his hand and his pinky finger is bruised and black and blue. my heart drops into my stomach anytime he falls. a panic goes through me.
teenage years are just as difficult on a parent as it is on the teenager. as a parent all you want to do is protect your child from any hurt (physically or mentally ). as a mother of a child with a disability that “protection” is magnified. as kids get older, we cannot shield them from everything. it’s impossible.
let them fall and get up themselves. our job is to be there for them, not hover over them so they cannot handle what life is going to throw at them. its hard. believe me, i know.