Thus, we went back to our original, local orthopedic surgeon for a cast today.
Why? Because his right hand - the one that's having surgery January 29 - is completely back to being perpendicular to his wrist. See photo.
Dealing with doctors is a little like dating. We pretty much broke up with this doctor in January 2008, after going to her for a year, because we got in at Shriners. It's not her, it's us.
But now, we need a local doc to stretch the soft tissue in advance of the surgery. And Children's Hospital hand clinic is less than efficient.
J and I were both anxious about this. Would she take us back? Even if we just need her for certain things? Essentially, we're just using her office for casting. Like some kind of orthopedic booty call.
Well, she wasn't available until late January, so we scheduled with the PA for this morning.
Keep in mind, the first time Brody was casted he was 4 months old, and he screamed during and then after the casting for several hours. It was miserable. The pain comes from stretching tendons. They are tight. That's why they are perpendicular.
I dreaded the appointment this morning. But I knew it had to be done. It's better at the time of surgery if the soft tissue around the wrist and hand is already stretched.
First, Brody got to pick his cast color. He picked pink. I vetoed it, because J would have been unhappy and I'd have to deal with people asking me how old "she" is. . . . So we picked purple. I know it's not correct, and I'm genderifying my son, but there it is.
Second, I dosed Brody with Tylenol and Motrin this morning before we even left the house. I remember those hours of screaming. I remember every single other time he's been casted, and how he cried during each session. To hell with that.
Brody got on the table, in my lap. Purple cast picked out, the "sock" went over the arm. At this point, Brody was unsure of whether to be fearful or not. I told him "no owies, sweetie, just a sock on your arm." He didn't seem too sure.
Then the PA started rolling the wet purple cast out over his arm, and the nurse, the PA and I started ooohing and ahhhing about how cool and pretty that cast was. The nurse was holding Brody's arm straight, and I'm holding Brody.
Not one single tear.
Brody just watched the cast being applied. He didn't even whine or complain. Does he know why we're doing this? Does he understand what I tell him?
Then he asked to have a cast on the other hand.
No, sweetie, just this hand.
The PA was amazed he was able to stretch it that much, and that Brody didn't seem to mind at all. The PA said the tendons are actually much looser than they appear, which is why he was able to get Brody's hand straight this morning, and with no complaints out of Brody. (I believe this is because a few weeks ago, I started a new "game" with Brody, where I'd hold on to his right hand, and he'd lean backwards to see how far he could go. Stretching it manually. It made him laugh, and I was kind of hoping it would obviate the need for a hard cast, but it didn't straighten anything. I'm glad at least it seems to have possibly helped stretch something somewhere though).
We left the office. Brody told me the cast was very pretty, then we talked about how windy it is outside.
We go back in two weeks because the PA thinks he can get even more stretch out of it before the surgery. We'll remove this cast, and get another one that actually over-corrects the tendons, so they are loosy goosey for Shriners. (That's my term, not a medical term).
Oh, and the best part has nothing to do with this - but - Brody's started sponataneously telling me he loves me. First time was Sunday. I had just finished tickling the bejesus out of him. He looked up at me and said "Love mommy" on a sigh. Got a "I yuv you mommy" last night without me saying it first. Then another one today, after the cast, when he was leaving to spend a day with his nana (J's mom) . He also told me to drive safe.
This parenting thing might just work out after all.