Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Last of the Casts

              Phew!  I'm glad that's over and praying it's our last visit to the hospital aside from removing the casts once and for all.  Every time we go there, I have to say, I am more and more impressed.  Maybe I'm just out of touch with the medical world, but regardless I'd say we have a pretty wonderful children's hospital here and I feel blessed for that.

              I waited, this morning, until the very last second to wake Levi since all I really had to do was get him dressed.  I shouldn't have been surprised that he still woke up and smiled at me, and never complained about not being fed....he is seriously an angel.  After our typical merry go round of trying to figure out where we're supposed to be (what is wrong with me?!!) we were checked in and ready to go.  Levi quickly became a celebrity, everyone coming in to comment on his eyelashes, his "movie star" name, and how sweet he was.  You would have thought it was the greatest place on earth as he reveled in the attention and then became even more excited by the room of toys!

               Sadly the fun had to end at some point and I carried him back into the operating room, held him until he fell asleep, gently laid him on the table, kissed him goodbye (I love how they tell you to do that before you go!) and went to wait.  For a short time I was the only one in the waiting room, but slowly it began to fill up with dads.  I thought it was interesting that all the dads took their children in, until one by one the tearful mothers started to show up and sit beside them.  Apparently I missed the memo on the recommended two adults and was the only one there by myself (which was completely fine nevertheless).  The doctor had assured me that Levi's procedure was nothing major, not even really quite considered a surgery, so I really was not too worried.

             The plan was to do a heel cord lengthening where they release the tendon and to then cast both legs for the final time.  It's hard to believe he has already had 7 cast changes (this being the 8th) and is almost finished with the clubfoot treatment.  These two casts will remain on for 3-4 weeks and then he will move into braces, or special shoes with a bar connecting them.  The shoes will have to be worn for 23 hours a day for about 3 months (AHHH!).  Levi is an extremely joyful, persistent little guy and he has certainly not been slowed down by his cast so far.  I am praying that two casts for a longer period, followed by the shoes will not break his spirits in any way.  He was extremely frustrated today when he tried to crawl and realized how much more difficult it was....but he also just got home and needs some time to get used to them!

            When you arrive with your child, they give you a card with a number and a code.  In the waiting room is a screen with all the children's numbers, color coated, so you can see what stage he/she is in.  As the  hour mark approached I started to get antsy (they said it would likely be about an hour) so it was nice to be able to check where he was at in the process for some reassurance.  The doctor came in when he was done to talk with me about how it went and what was next.  As throughout the entire casting process, he was impressed with the results and said he was happy with how things had progressed.  Levi is not the oldest child he has treated with clubfoot, however he is the oldest that he has treated from start to finish.  Most children have come in having had some form of treatment, where as Levi's left foot had been completely untreated.  He said that it took less time than he expected considering these factors and his age, so he was pleased (and so are we!).

             Shortly after, they call you on a phone in the waiting room and let you know you can go back to recovery to see your child.  I walked in to see him all cuddled up in a nurse's arms being fed some pedialyte (he couldn't drink fast enough!).  They were so sweet and jokingly said they wanted to keep him, but then allowed me to sit and hold him.  Other than just before bed time, he doesn't like to be held so much anymore, so I thoroughly enjoyed the chance to hold him close and give him a bottle.  He was still pretty groggy, but after some extra fluids and being checked several times, they allowed us to head home.  He perked up a little when we arrived and he saw he was back home.....I think he's always a little relieved when we come back home to all that's now familiar to him.

               I wish I could make things move even faster so that he could be up and running tomorrow, but I'm thankful that the process has been smooth and successful, and that he likely won't remember any of this anyway.  As always, thanks for all those who have been praying, we appreciate it so very much!  Can't wait for the day I'm posting a video of this little guy up and running!

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