Thursday, February 17, 2011

Michael's Doctor Day

I'm going to make this quick, I hope, because I am exhausted.

Today was Michael's big day with the docs. We left for Shriner's Hospital at 6:45 a.m. It snowed last night, so we left early so as to be on time. Because of the weather, we were late anyway. :/

They were super nice and accomodating, though, and went ahead with the gait study as though we were right on time.

We changed Michael's clothes into some spandex shorts. Thank heaven's he is *not* into fashion! ;) Then, he walked back and forth several times, with the technicians taking pictures, videos, and eventually the newest technology was added to make the gait study even more cool!

Some round, ball-like objects, about the size of your thumbnail, were applied strategically on his body with sticky pads. Some on his feet, knees, heel, hips, and the back of his neck. He didn't complain about any except the one of the back of his neck. He said it was "pokey"; we assume that the sticky pad was pulling his hair a bit.

Then he walked back and forth, back and forth again. Big, red lights glowed from many areas near the ceiling. They were "reading" the information that was being sent out by the balls.

In the end, we got to see a stick like image of Michael, walking exactly as Michael does, on the computer screen. The information will help Michael to get the best care available for him.

Next on the agenda was consulting with a pediatric orthopedic surgeon at the children's hospital.

The news was pretty bad: Michael's foot is too contracted for the less invasive surgery to work. We are told how he believes the surgery will need to be done and warns us that if another sinew/tendon/whatever is tight on the foot, it will need to be repaired also. Recovery will be about 6 - 8 weeks, but will leave his leg a bit weak when the cast is taken off. He will need a brace to help him be more stable during the day, and a stretching brace at night will prevent more contractures.

After the ortho doc, we head on over to the physiatrist for the botox shot. We are told the risks that could happen but told that no one has never had any complications at their clinic. There is really no choice at this point, since he is as high on the ball of his foot than he can be, and his toes are starting to curve backwards, so we sign consent.

We are asked if we would like a "music therapist" to come in while he is given his injection. We readily agree, because Michael has always responded well to music. In fact, that is how we have gotten him through many procedures in the past. We later learn from the music therapist that research has been shown to block pain.

(Michael's "ow-ies"

In our situation today, Michael still felt pain, but I do think he was calmer with the therapist playing the guitar and singing to him. (When I counted his puncture wounds from the shot there were 4. Poor baby!)

Then we are finished.

As we leave the building, a man with a black labradoodle dog stops us. Michael pets his dog and we talk about this special breed. They are hypogenic, like poodles, because they have hair, rather than fur. They also have the gentleness of the labradore breed. As we start to leave he asks us to wait a minute. He asks what Michael's name is. He tells the dog to pray for Michael. The dog puts his paws on a bench and lays his head on his paws. When the man tells the dog to say "Amen" the dog barks. It was very precious and left tears in my eyes.

If you haven't spent time at a children's hospital, you should. If you have, you know of the special feeling there. It is a place where everyone truly, deep down, cares for God's little ones. My eyes were brimming over a lot because of the kindness shown to Michael today.

Michael also got lots of prizes today for being good:

A blanket, a sewn ball made of cloth, a dinosaur that opens and closes its mouth, a motorcycle, and a spongebob doodle book.

And then, after a long day, I ate some chocolate (which always makes me feel better after a stressful day) and Michael and Steve enjoyed a bowl of ice cream together while relaxing in bed (I'll overlook the fact that they ate *in bed*, just this once ;)

In the midst of it all, though, I took some pics in the parking garage. The icicles were calling to me :)

(I'd love to know which of the next two pics is your favorite. I have *my* opinion, but I'd like to compare answers :)

The snow and ice were a pain to drive it, but they sure made pretty pictures. :)

And now, it is time for sleep. G'night.


  1. Poor kid... I hope all of these tests will aid the doctors in helping him feel better.

    And the last photo is my favorite. :)

  2. I like the last one, also. And I'm glad everything went so smoothly at the hospital. Thank heaven for those moments when everything goes according to plan!:)

  3. oof - sounds like a loooong day. I'm thankful there are people there to make folks' hearts lighter.

  4. Bless his heart. The story about the dog made me teary too. I like the first and third picture. Were you all at the University of Utah hospital area. I used to work there and it did have a spectacular view.
    ♥ Joy

  5. I like the first pic.

    Ok, I started crying when I read about the dog praying for Michael. That is awesome!

    I have never heard of music therapy while the child receives shot..etc. I must pass this on to my parents. I'm going to be doing research on this for sure.

    I'll continue to pray for Michael...I hope he won't need that surgery, but if he does 6-8 weeks isn't that bad of a recovery. ( I know it's easy for me to say because I'm not in your shoes) I'll say a pray for you as well momma!

  6. Thanks Tammy :)

    Yes! Thanks Maren :)

    It *was* a long day! And I am too, Stephanie. There were a lot of angels set in our paths that day. :)

    Yes, Joy, it is very near University of Utah. The views *are* absolutely gorgeous! :)

    Betty: That dog was so amazing. He was so patient and good to Michael and the prayer was just the icing on the cake. Sometimes I think that animals are so in tune with humans' emotions and they like to comfort. And thanks for the prayers. We need them! We know for sure he will need surgery, but we are hoping for the less intrusive one. And the music therapy was great. Michael has always been responsive to music. I hope that your students can use the info for themselves. :)