Wednesday, January 30, 2008
She's Cast Free!!!
On January 24th and beginning at 5 AM, we trekked across our great land, through the snow and snain, waiting patiently while an accident was cleared off the highway, past the Candle Factory Outlet Store, by all of the signs directing us to Abe Lincoln's birthplace and right to St. Louis Shriner's front door. I felt some relief at arriving on time, but the question of what was to follow made me a bit nervous.
Laura was fully expecting to have her casts removed and new ones put on. I was fully expecting to walk out cast free but knew that reality might fall some where in the middle. At the very least, I expected talk of an AFO to come up. Or even a mandate to wear her SMO's all of the time, long after Laura would have felt the need for them.
Laura did her usual fussing as they sawed off her casts. Then I spent some time massaging her legs and cleaning them, just in case they decided she'd need more casts. And we had her feet photographed so they had some documentation of her progress at that time. We even got to visit with Shannon, her hubby and Ava, her daughter, who was being cast that day to recorrect one foot. Laura visited with Ava and spent some time coloring while we waited to see Dr. Dobbs. When it was our turn, Laura walked back across the cast room with Dr. Dobbs watching from the side and Mommy silently praying for a cast free return home.
And it seems all is well!!! Laura returned home cast free, with a directive to return in a month or so for a check up. Meanwhile, we're to use her FAB 12 - 14 hours a day which means just for nights and naps for her. We can also use the SMO's as we see fit and he thinks they are a good idea to keep her feet from rolling over too much as they have a tendency to do. But most of all, he said he thinks she looks great. And she does! The Lord answered our prayers and her foot looks wonderful. Even Merri Jo, her PT, says it is better than she's ever seen it. I am so thankful for good Drs who are willing to try casting on older children instead of heading right to surgery. Dr. Dobbs has earned our respect, our friendship and our admiration as he worked with us over the past four months to see that she's able to walk correctly without further surgery.
Here's a comparison of how her foot has progressed.
Our initial picture sent to Dr. Dobbs in September of 2007:
Here's how her foot looked at the end of the first series of casting. We were thrilled with the progress but things still weren't completely corrected. Her tendency to slop over and roll was still very strong and we wondered if it could ever really be corrected.
Here are Laura's feet today. Notice how straight her heel is!!! And it still looks that way today!