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.
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.