Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Follow Up Xrays & The Abduction Brace

Dear Little Angel,

     I have found myself unmotivated to capture the events of the preceding weeks.  In short, after the removal of the designer jean spica, you were returned to wearing an abduction brace full time for a two week period followed by an additional two weeks only wearing it at night.  During this time, we continued to fill our days with typical activities and routines that have become normal to our family.  Each and every night before being placed in bed, we coat every inch of your body with lotion attempting to relieve the itchy and dry skin, evidence of eczema, yet another curse of genetics.  The scars still very evident on each small thigh are inspected, protruding stitches pulled out and vitamin E rubbed in.  As the healing ointment is applied, we continue the nightly conversation where our little daughter explains to me how these scars on her legs celebrate her ability to walk, run and dance once again.  Concluding our talk, you remind us grandpa has cuts too by stating, "His scar kept his heart beating. We both have cuts that match." 
     We hope as you grow older you continue to recognize the blessing in your life of modern medicine.  These four scars will continue to be a visual reminder of the long days spent in hospitals, months in spica casts, and years of treatment to restore your ability to walk, avoiding the crippling affects of untreated DDH.
     Often I find myself setting in front of the computer monitor reliving the events of the past year and a half.  Pictures, stories and videos bring back memories of tender moments shared by your side.  The softly playing music accompanying captured stops along our journey bring you quickly to my lap as we watch the movies over and over again.  Each change of the photo you narrate describing the image and sharing your thoughts as you recount the memories from your perspective of the journey.
     Yesterday, we travel to visit your surgeon receiving updates on the progress of developing hips.  Your younger sister, Alexa, appears to be developing well.  Her journey so far points to follow up visits with only x-rays to document her success.  Your journey however continues.  Waiting in the room for review of the x-rays as the door starts to swing open, we find our daughter taking cover under the chair, hiding in hopes the nurses will be unable to find her.  Upon confirming the person entering the room is your surgeon, you cautiously step out from the safety of the space under your mother's legs beneath her chair.  Renewed courage is demonstrated by parading up and down the hall as your surgeon studies each step.  With the parade concluded, x-rays are brought to the screen as we review the directions provided to continue your treatment for the next three months.  Abduction brace will continue to be a part of your nights and weekly visits to a physical therapist to strengthen muscles part of your days.  Progress of your hips look great as we see the visible outline of the donor bones fade as their bones become your bones.  Three more months until another x-ray.  Until then, you have been cleared to jump in the bounce houses previously denied at every party or social event we have attended.  Even the simple joy of playing in the sand with your sister can once again be yours, now you are no longer required to sit back and just watch.

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