Friday, April 8, 2011

6 Weeks Of Freedom - Cast Removal Day

Dear Little Angel,

Today marks the start of your first day of six weeks of being cast free after completing eleven weeks in casts.  Early this morning, awaking you from your cozy little bed, to prepare you for the drive along the base of the snow capped Wasatch Mountain Range to the Children's Hospital to have your broomstick cast cut in half and stripped from your dry itchy legs.  Immediately, upon lifting you from your bed with the face of a child on Christmas morning, you questioned me, "Daddy, I go swimmin?"  "Yes, Nena, after we get back from the doctors and they remove your heavy yucky cast, you can go swimmin," I replied.  You must understand for the past three days while visiting your mother and new born sister in the hospital, your vision of desired activities to fill the hours while at the hospital, consisted of walks in the spring sunshine down around the duck pond on the south side of the hospital.  Whenever you caught a glimpse of the deep emerald green pond with the water fountain shooting a column of water high into the air, right away you begged daddy, "I go swimmin?" This line of questioning has continued for a total of three days.  With each passing day the intensity of questioning has dramatically increased, and our little daughter finally could see the possibility she would be able to play in the water.

Once at the doctor's office, we waited for our number to call us back to the x-ray room to confirm your hip bone was still holding strong it our desired position to support continued development of your hip joint.  Previous experience has taught a learning father that our little angel always want to know up front what is taking place.  As we traveled down the hospital hallways, once again I began to explain we are going to take pictures of the baby's bones. I inquired if you wished to be carried to the x-ray room or wanted to walk.  Before I could finish the question, a determined two year old replied, "I walk!"  Following the nurse down the long hallways at a quarter of my normal speed, I held your hand as each step you lifted one casted leg, pivoted forward, then switched to the other leg to repeat the process.  Half way down the hall your surgeon met us, inquiring directly to you how you where doing.  "I walking!", answered our determined toddler.  Recognizing your determination to not be assisted or carried your doctor responded, "That is the type of attitude we love to hear from our tiny heroes, nothing is going to slow you down."  With the x-ray taken a quick review  of the image was explained to our curious daughter as the doctor traced the bones, pointed out the screws and plates still in your leg bone.  Then turning to a waiting father, gave the thumbs up and a high five as she unveiled, "Perfect, her hip joint is right where we want it.  Let's get that cast off!" 

Two nurses worked feverish to remove the cast from each leg, one nurse splitting one side of a leg and the other working on the other.  Unsure of the vibration the oscillating cutting wheel created, you would cry, then scream, then slightly smile.  When a comment was made concerning your sutle smile, immediately you responded by crying once again.  Removing the cast only took a few minutes.  With the cast removed, the damage to your skin was now exposed.  Both legs had layers of dead cracking skin and sores from eczema left untreated for weeks.  The size of your leg muscles had remained unchanged, due mostly to all the walking you insisted on doing while in your cast.

With little legs now available to tiny hands, you began rubbing and scratching the dry skin.  I explained to you you needed to rub with your hands not scratch with your nails.  Once or twice rubbing your leg and I was enlisted to your cause.  "Rub, Daddy, rub!"  I would rub your dry patchy legs for a few minutes then stop, only to be re instructed by a little voice containing a low growling noise with each word, "Rub dad, rub....I told you!"  I can image how long the dry patchy skin has driven you crazy.  I only know after many nights of waking to itchy legs, our little angel was now going to take advantage of the access to exposed areas of irritation.

With legs now free, your attention once again turned to the toy filled room at the top of the elevator.  "Daddy, I go upstairs and play?", came the inquiry.  Stepping into the elevator, followed by a short ride up one floor, we exited to a room filled with cars, scooters, and playhouses that had once been off limits due to the crossbar in the leg of your cast, but with the cast removed an old familiar world had once again presented itself to petite girl. 


Tatton's said...

YEAHHHHH,!!!! We are so happy she gets to be free for a time and gets to go swimming!!! She has an determinaton that is truly inspiring!

Zoe said...

That is so awesome!! My dtr. also walked within 24 hours and it truly is a sight to see. She starts ballet tomorrow! Good luck with the rest of your surgeries. It will come to an end soon. She's beautiful!