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.
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.