Ren went to the doctor yesterday to have her splint removed and a new cast put on. While there, she needed an x-ray of her leg. It was during this time that T texted me to tell me he was pretty sure she had a fracture. Um…..what?! My heart stopped and I instantly felt sick to my stomach as memories of her almost two-year-fracture cycle came rushing to my mind. You see, when Ren was about 18 months old, she had hip surgery. She was in a spica cast for 6 weeks, and the day she had this removed, she fractured her leg. Long story short, every time she had a surgery, she would fracture her leg within a day BECAUSE her already-weaker-than-a-normal-kid-and-the-size-of-your-pinkie-bones became even weaker while sitting in a cast for so long. This surgery-fracture cycle lasted almost two years before she was totally healed up. Though I was not originally afraid of this same thing happening during this particular surgery – because (as the surgeon also explained) she is much older, and has much stronger and denser bones since she has been weight bearing for a much longer time nowadays. So, when T told me this, I was confused, yet so, so upset. I wanted to cry, imagining her going through that cycle again. However – it had a good ending this time. After the surgeon came in, he explained to T that it was not a fracture, per se, as, though the x-ray (see pic) definitely looked like a fracture, it was instead the place where he had CUT her bone, to allow her leg to rotate. Though I had to fret on the fracture news for an hour at school, I was not too upset with the husband on his error because I was so relieved at the good news.
So, Ren is in a short cute leg cast for four more weeks. The picture below shows what her leg looks like underneath. Those are PINS in her heel there. Fortunately, she cannot feel any pain down there, nor much anywhere else below her hips. Also the reason she recovers fairly quickly from leg surgeries. Though…..I have recently discovered that she seems to recover fairly well from ALL surgeries. I mean, I always thought she did, but it was confirmed recently in a conversation in a Spina Bifida Facebook group, where someone asked how long it took for their child to recover from MACE and mitrofanoff surgeries. Ren had these surgeries a couple of years ago. It was a pretty major surgery. For the mitrofanoff surgery, the surgeon took her appendix and made a channel between her bladder and belly button, thus allowing her to cath through her naval. (It has been a LIFE SAVER!) The MA CE surgery involved the surgeon taking some of her large intestine to create a channel from her colon to the outside of her abdomen, about two inches across from her naval. This allows us to flush her colon this way instead of….her bottom. We do this every 2-3 nights, because she can’t, well, poop on her own. So, onto my story. In this conversation, people on average were saying that their child was in the hospital for 8 days, recovery taking a month to six weeks, including staying at home during that time. I was like…um…my daughter was in the hospital for 5 days and back to school the next week, I think.
Back to her cast. She needs this on for four more weeks, then they will remove it, and we will need to decide if/when we want her to be in a two-week long therapy program at the hospital. She’d be there the whole two weeks, receiving like 3 hours of therapy a day, plus other stuff to fill in the days. They said it is kind of like camp for the kids, and they all love it. We live 40 minutes from the hospital, so…we will see.
Thanks again for all the prayers. We DO appreciate them so much.