First Trip to Shriners...First Casting

Today Joshua had his first visit with Shriners in Philadelphia.

Kevin, Joshua & I left yesterday afternoon in order to be there for his appointments beginning at 8:30am.  Thankfully, I had been prepped by other bloggers that this would be an almost all-day affair.

They do as much as they can in one day, knowing the distance many people have to travel.

Joshua was born with Arthrogryposis which affects all 4 of his limbs, so he got to see both the upper and lower limb doctors today.

Dr. van Bosse (lower limbs doctor) had helped us a great deal when we were reviewing Joshua's file, and now 8 months later Joshua sat in his exam room!  What a blessing! 

We saw the upper limbs doctor first, who had a wonderful bedside manner.  He was very good with Joshua and encouraging about how well he is presently doing.  He was very understanding of Joshua's need for time to bond with us and encouraged us that the best OT right now is loving on and playing with him since he's doing so well!  And more good news...no more hand braces for now!  Not that he was leaving those on anyway...

One of the most refreshing things for me personally was to hear and learn that there was no new information, so to speak.  What we had researched and observed about Joshua and presumed would be the course of action all turned out to be exactly what occurred.  

And that course of action began today!

Dr. van Bosse began serial casting of Joshua's bi-lateral club feet right then and there! 

They put some soft gauze wrap on before the plaster.

And then they began wrapping...

I did my best to keep Joshua's hands out of the way, which really wasn't hard.  He found it all quite interesting.

He was such a good little patient and only wiggled a teeny bit!

See the angle of the foot in the picture above?

The feet will be casted bit by bit further and further out to stretch the muscles until his foot is pointing almost unnaturally in the pointed out direction.  How's that for technical jargon?

They won't stay that way permanently...it's just for stretching purposes. 

Still smiling!
Now on to leg #2...

If we lived closer, Joshua's casts would be changed every week!

Since we don't...we have 2 options.

1) Come every other week for new casts

2) Stay at the Ronald McDonald House and follow an accelerated schedule of new casts twice a week.

(Dr. van Bosse and his resident hard at work.)

At this point, we will begin with option 1...every other week trips to Philly and see how his feet respond and how Joshua handles being in casts.  If it becomes clear that he will be in casts longer than we feel is ideal I will seriously consider option 2.

Joshua chose to go with green for his casts.  His sisters ooh-ed and ahh-ed over them when we got home!

By the time we were done, I think Joshua was starting to wonder about these new 'boots.'

We were forewarned that the first day in casts can be difficult due to the muscle soreness, but that he should come around in a day or two.

Poor boy was just miserable on the way home.  He just could not get comfortable and was sooo tired, but couldn't sleep.  We tried every manner of propping his legs up.  Motrin, Blue & Curious George helped for a little while, but we're hoping that a good night's sleep and the chaos of home will be the best distractions of all.

Pray for our boy...he's such a sweet, tough trooper.

In Him,


  1. Sounds like an awesome appointment! So glad you got to see Dr. van Bosse (he reviewed Katee's file too and was wonderful about answering our questions). Will pray for your sweet boy tonight as he is in pain. So hard! :(

  2. Hi Mandy, give big kisses and cuddles to your beautiful boy from me (Not that he would remember me). We prayed for him tonight. Much love to you all. I hope you don't mind but I've shared your blog on my FB page. I hope that's ok. Are you on there?
    Terri xx

  3. Oh I forgot to ask. did they say anything about his teeth? Can they fix them?

    1. Terri,

      Thanks so very much for praying for him! He needs it. He's soooo tired and unhappy right now. :(

      As for the teeth, it doesn't sound like Shriner's can do anything, but we are seeing the Lord moving to find Joshua care that won't cost us what a used car could! I'll keep you posted. Please pray for this!

      In Him,

  4. We had the sme nurse! She was so nice! Did you know Shriners will reimburse your hotel and gas? E-mail me and I'll tell you how if you need.

    A for the teeth, our gal was 4 when she came home and her teeth looked the same. I took her to a dentist and after 2 sessions of high water powered treatments the teeth were clean. As far as cavaties go.....the teeth will fall out. :(