So, how exactly do you sell the idea of a spinal brace to a five year old? "We hope it might mean you won't need surgery on your back until you're a bit older" doesn't really cut it, when the short term consequences are that you're going to find it impossible to bend, much harder to self-propel, it's going to be hot and sweaty and probably won't work anyway. "It's red like your school uniform" doesn't really help much, especially in the school holidays. And "Your big sister had one just like it" isn't terribly reassuring when you don't really remember your big sister all that well any more.
"We're going to go and do some nice things and then have lunch in a dinner shop before we go to hospital to pick up your brace" works to get her out of the front door at least; always useful when the cleaner is trying desperately to clean around a small, tantrum throwing tornado of a child.
Looking at children's clothing and just mentioning that the brace will be big, and that she'll probably need new T-shirts and maybe some new jumpers too proves to be quite the incentive, especially when actually buying them is banned until the brace is on.
And, by the time lunch was ordered at the not especially nice dinner shop but the one which does sausage egg and chips, which is what the brace-wearer-to-be fancied, the brace was a fairly exciting prospect. Job done.
And then the phone rang. "Sorry, Mr Orthotist is off sick today, so your appointment has been cancelled." It's rearranged for next week, but that means missing an afternoon at school, and it means we missed out on meeting up with friends today for no reason whatsoever.