Jack has had the same pair of shoes for the last three years. Why is this significant? Because most of us have multiple pairs of shoes, I myself have upwards of 40 pairs (shhh, don’t tell my husband). Jack only has one pair of shoes. Let that sink in. We are a nation of want. We have too much, want for too much. But owning just one pair of shoes, that’s hard for many of us to comprehend. I love shoes, most women do. I love different shoes from cheap flip flops, to Vans, to Frye boots (which I have yet to purchase). Shoes allow me to add something different to my outfit inexpensively. And if I can’t find something to wear when I’m out shopping because I’m not in shape enough for an outfit, a pair of shoes is a sure thing. I buy shoes anywhere from Dollar General, to the south’s best shop for southern women, Belk, to even hospital gift shops. The fact that Jack has only one pair of shoes is sort of heartbreaking. If he were a typical teenage fella, he’d probably have at least 7 pairs of shoes. There would be church shoes, flip flops, Crocs, tennis shoes, boots, etc. Given the fact that Jack doesn’t get out a whole lot, his foot problems, & the specifications he needs, only one pair is needed. The shoes must be without ties, although he wants lace-up shoes, he can’t physically deal with that & trying to get a lace-up shoe on him is like trying to hogtie an animal. He won’t help at all. He’s too busy trying to get up while you’re trying to get him in shoes. He doesn’t like Velcro shoes, nor can he function in flip flops or Crocs. He walks out of them and/or trips constantly while wearing them.
Back three years ago when I bought his only pair of shoes, Jack was way more mobile than he is now. I purchased his shoes for a specific purpose, to provide support for his unbalanced gait, his ankles that are rolling in, & his really high arches. I purchased Vionic Shoes for his foot issues. All of the problems I listed above are a direct result of Dravet Syndrome. Dravet is not just about seizures & behavior as I have blogged about in the past, it involves the total body from head to literally toe. I know what you’re thinking, his foot hasn’t grown in three years? No, it hasn’t. He wears a size 9 shoe & has the narrowest little foot ever. I call it a fish fillet foot, he got that from my Mama!
Amazingly, Jack has been doing really great with seizure control (knock on wood) & the worrisome behavior issues that were once terrorizing our family has subsided (again, knock on wood). It’s time for a new pair of shoes & this makes me happy as can be. His shoes finally look like they have been worn! His Vionic shoes have served their purpose. They provided the support he needed for three years. It took three years for him wear out a pair of shoes! There were times last year, when Jack wouldn’t get out of the house for months. A pair of shoes wouldn’t touch his feet for 60+ days. That was such a dark period in our lives. I am still taunted by those days. Every time I go to the bathroom, I make sure the door is locked, even when he is asleep. The violence & torturous behavior that we had to deal with is still in the back of my mind. Once you’ve been victimized, you never get over it. Noises that were once not a thought are now alarming. Sudden movements from the person that had the behavior issues put you on defense. Now, I have friends telling me they saw Jack at Walmart the other day & how he talked to them & was being so well behaved. This is such a joy to our hearts. To go from absolute misery to joyfulness is amazing. I can’t say there aren’t moments of bad behavior or slippage with inappropriate sites online, but I can say we fill lighter mentally & physically. Jack goes to his caregivers house several days a week & engages with her grandkids. He goes to Ellerbe’s finest mall, the DG & FD. He’s everywhere nowadays! What a blessing we have received with better behavior, sleep, & overall happiness. Now, Jack needs a new pair of shoes, thank you, Lord! Vionic, you have a repeat customer!
This blog post reminds me of the Christmas song, The Christmas Shoes. 😌🌲👞