Dr. Dobbs is by far one of the most amazing specialists we've seen in our ongoing saga of 'Laura's Life'. He listens, understands and counsels with such a gentle spirit that I find I am in awe of him even though he doesn't intend for that to happen. I'm thankful he's available for us and I feel very confident putting Laura's feet, and her future comfort and abilities, in his very caring hands.
I didn't know what to expect from our follow up appt. yesterday, but I felt that everything would be okay. As I packed, I prepared for more casting and Laura even realized that it might be a possibility as well. Last week she started talking about it and the conversation went something like this:
Me: We're going to St. Louis this weekend to see Nana and then Dr. Dobbs.
Laura: Yeah! I get to sweep at Nana's house in my new sweeping bag!!!
Me: Yes, and then we'll go see Dr. Dobbs.
Laura: I don't want to see Dr. Dobbs. He'll put casts on me and I don't want casts. *slight pause* I want pinked ones dis time! Can I have pinked ones dis time, Mommy?
Me: *amazed at the quick transition she can make when faced with having pink legs again* Yes, you can have pink ones again. I'll be sure to pack a dress that will match.
So I went about getting ready, confident that her little brown skirt would work well with possible pink casts. Little did I know it wouldn't matter.
We were at the Hospital bright and early Monday morning. Kristina came in to say hi and I gave her a big hug. She works so well with Dr. Dobbs and cares about the patients just as much as he does. I'm glad she is there for us, too. Soon, Dr. Dobbs came in and he checked out Laura's feet, did some assessments and evaluated where we were. He asked some questions to clarify her previous care and I prepared to hear the word osteotomy in his conversation. However, it never came.
It seems he thinks she might have some nerve damage and that is what is preventing her foot from staying corrected. His plan is to have a Neurologist conduct a nerve study to verify it and then to proceed with some form of tendon transfer to help her muscles and such work properly to help keep her foot corrected. He also told us to quit using the SMO's - can you say shoe shopping??? - and not to use the AFO that we'd been told to use, and measured for but had yet to pick up, last fall. He wants her to learn to use and depend on her own muscles and not use the SMO's as a crutch any longer. They've apparently served their purpose well but it is time to move on.
I remember floating out of the office and back in to more wonderful sunshine. I know that we have some difficult times ahead as they'll have to put her under for the nerve study and she'll have some form of surgery yet ahead of her, but all in all I'm thrilled. He told us that indeed she'll have good, workable feet and that she'll really be fine in the end. It is what we've dreamed of, prayed for and dared to dream about from the beginning. I feel like the end just may be in sight.
Meanwhile, I think I'll go shoe shopping. :)