Thursday, January 26, 2012

2 Week Post Op Checkup - DRAMA

***WARNING: THERE ARE SOME PICTURES OF DYLAN'S STUMP AT THE END OF THIS POST. THEY AREN'T TOO GRAPHIC, BUT THEY ARE A LITTLE BLOODY AND RAW/HEALING STUMP LOOKING. FEEL FREE TO READ THE STORY AND THEN STOP SCROLLING IF YOU DON'T WANT TO SEE THE PICTURES.***

Yesterday was Dylan's 2 week post op checkup and it was quite comical...in a "I can't believe that happened" kind of way. Thinking about it this morning I smile, and shudder. Let's just say, yesterday's checkup did not go as we had planned. But I'm kind of glad it went down the way it did.

So we went into yesterdays checkup with the knowledge that there was a small possibility that they would change his cast, which would mean that we would see his stump for the first time. We were nervous about that. All of our fellow FH friends who have already been through this have said that it's hard to see the stump for the first time. And it's understandable. When the cast is on, it's almost like you don't accept reality that the foot is, indeed, gone. So seeing the stump for the first time makes it all very real. We were kind of preparing ourselves for it, but at the same time they said that they would probably leave the cast on. They would only change it if it needed to be changed. Anyway, so we didn't want to get too worked up about it prior to knowing for sure if we would actually be seeing it.

So we gave him some pain meds prior to the appointment like we were told to (just in case they did need to do something with the cast, he'd be more comfortable). We headed in. We were brought to our patient room and we waited. Dylan was being super cute and we were having fun playing and singing songs with him while we waited for the doctor. Our nurse, Molly, came in to see how we were doing. She has called a few times within the past two weeks to check on us and Dylan and she knew of our struggles at night and has been trying to help us figure that issue out. So she wanted to talk to us about that. We chatted about the night issue and she gave us some advice. She said they would be doing the x-ray with the cast on and then asked if we had any other issues we wanted to address at that appointment. I pointed out that his cast was quite loose (his leg was swollen right after surgery and so now that the swelling has gone down, his cast has become pretty roomy). She checked it and agreed that it was loose and said she would go grab the lady who does the casts to see if she thought they should recast it after x-rays.

She walked out. Literally 30 seconds later, Bryson was holding Dylan and had pulled him up to tickle his belly with his mouth. Dylan was laughing and kicking his legs and THUNK...his cast falls off his leg and lands on the ground. I jumped up and shrieked, "HIS CAST FELL OFF!!!" Bryson looked down and we both stared at his cast and his stump for like 2 seconds with mouths and eyes wide open in shock. I honestly couldn't look at his stump too much, I'd glance at it quickly and then look away, over and over. It was bloody and so raw looking. But there it was...ready or not, we were seeing it! (By the way...when they warned us at the hospital right after surgery that there was a possibility of the cast coming off, they said the dressing would stay on so we wouldn't see raw stump...wrong!) I shot out the door and said I'd go find Molly. I frantically started looking for Molly. It was taking everything in me to not just scream out "MOLLY!!?!?! WHERE ARE YOU!????". :) I was freaking out a bit. I finally found her in the nurses station room, stuck my head in the door and said, "HIS CAST JUST FELL OFF!!!!" She looked at me shocked and said, "WHAT?" We ran to the room.

The cast lady had just barely walked in and we all stood there nervously laughing about what just happened. Molly was so sweet making sure we were emotionally okay. At this point his pants were on and covering his stump. We carefully took his pants off so they could check his stump out, plus they would need to be off for x-rays. Dylan looked down at his stump once we took his pants off and started crying. That was heartbreaking. He just stared at it for awhile and then softly started to touch it. He clearly understands something happened there. :( They checked his stump and said it looked good and then put some gauze on it to keep it protected until they could recast it. I was nervous about his broken bone...should he be moving his leg? What if he hit his leg on something before they could recast it? We were being super extra cautious trying to keep him from hitting anything. They said it would be fine and that he could move it and be just fine, as long as he didn't whack it too hard. He LOVED being able to move his leg. He kept straightening it and bending it and rubbing it on things. He loved the freedom to move it how he pleased.

We got x-rays done. He was pretty cooperative. It was still nerve wracking trying to get his leg positioned right for pictures, but being scared to forcefully move it too much or touch it too much. After x-rays we went back to our patient room and Dr. E and his PA came in with Molly shortly after. They took the gauze off and checked out his incision. They said it looked really good. That was when I first really looked at his stump. It was hard to see. Partly because it looked so raw and bloody and painful and also because it's the first realization that his foot really is gone. :( But at the same time, seeing his stump to me was seeing what would make it possible for him to walk with a prosthesis. So that made it a little easier. They said the x-rays look good. His tibia is pretty much completely healed and is healing really well. They said they wanted to keep him in a cast for another 4 weeks. They said that was probably overkill, but they would rather have him casted a week too long than a day too short. This will give his tibia a chance to heal 100% and also give his heel bone (which is at the end of his stump for weight bearing) a chance to connect to the end of his tibia really well. The only small issue was the pin that they have in there (through his tibia and out his stump) was pushed a little far up into the bottom of his stump. So they had to pull it out a little bit and put a piece of felt between the anchor of the pin sticking out of his stump and the bottom of his stump. It wasn't that big of a deal, but they said that was probably uncomfortable for him. Poor guy.

Dylan did awesome. He let them mess with his leg without putting up a fight. And then when it was time to recast it, he laid still and let them recast it. It was so nice and peaceful, which I think helped the whole situation as well. It wasn't too traumatic with him screaming and fighting or anything. He was okay with it all, so we were too. I'm glad this whole "stump reveal" happened the way it did. There was no chance for us to really build up any anxiety over seeing his stump, like there would have been if they were slowly removing his cast and undoing the dressing. It was just there....like it or not, ready or not...STUMP. I'm just glad his cast fell off at the doctors office and not at home. Considering how much I was freaking out at the doctors, I can only imagine if that had happened at home, I would be a complete mess. Now I feel much more prepared. So if it happens again, which there is definitely a chance that it will in the next 4 weeks, I feel like I will be able to handle it with much less stress (less stress...not no stress. ha!)

So in 4 weeks at his next appointment, he will be getting his cast taken off for good. The prosthetist will be there to do his first fitting for his prosthesis. Then within a few weeks after that he will be doing a final fitting and then receive his first leg! My guess is that by mid-March/end of March he will have his first leg. And then begins the journey of getting him used to his leg and able to use it. We're excited!

And now for the pictures...STOP READING NOW IF YOU CAN'T (OR DON'T WANT TO) HANDLE A LITTLE BLOOD...AND A MISSING FOOT. :)
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{Video from shortly after his cast fell off. We were still in shock! This is after Molly had checked it and she was out of the room getting some gauze to wrap it up before the x-rays}
video

{After getting x-rays, waiting to make sure the ones we got were good enough. Don't you LOVE Bryson's mauve x-ray vest. hee hee}


{One of his x-rays. You can see the pin. It looks like it's way up in his stump, but it's not. It is, indeed, poking out of the bottom of the stump. You just can't tell in this angle. You can see where the tibia was broken and you can see the cloudy white matter around that site. That is indicative of bone healing around the osteotomy sites.}

{Checking out his stump after x-rays. They had just taken the temporary gauze off. The yellow thing attached to the incision in the first picture is part of the original dressing. They hadn't peeled all of it off yet. Also, the incision on his shin is where they went in to sever his tibia to straighten it. I have to trust the doctors when they say it all looks good...cause it looks so bad to me still. :) I love the picture of Dylan holding his leg up so he can get a closer look. He was very interested in everything.}
 

{Recasting. He did SO good and just laid there quietly. Such a trooper!}
 

{There's a leg in my purse!! We got to keep his old cast so we could show Kaden and it just looked so funny to me sticking out of my purse. :) }

{His new green cast. It's smaller than the first one since his swelling has gone down and he doesn't need quite as much cushion around his leg now. We can probably even get normal pants and jammies on him instead of only stretchy sweats!}

{Is he not the most beautiful little boy!?! Okay, I'm biased, but I think he's pretty handsome!}

14 comments:

  1. Katie!! Thank you so much for posting this update! I just can't believe how it all went down at the doctors office! I'm not gonna lie, you had me laughing a little bit! Dylan is the CUTEST kid!!! He is such a trooper, I especially think it's amazing that he was still and quiet for the recasting. Holy cow!? I'm glad everything is healing good, I am so excited for March to get here for you guys!!!! Such an exciting time!

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  2. You guys have been in our prayers! Dylan is such a handsome little guy. I hope things continue to go well for Dylan.

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  3. So glad he and you are doing well!

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  4. he IS beautiful Katie. I love this. Thanks for sharing.

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  5. He is such a little stud! I can't get over it...and YOU--YOU are amazing and such an example! I love the picture of him checking out his stump...curious, smart little bugger!

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  6. Thank you for such great documentation! I also loved the picture of him holding up his let to examine it. So matter of fact. Go Dylan! Every day is one "step" closer to him taking his first steps! So excited for you all! Teary excited :)

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  7. This made me laugh and cry! He is such a sweetie to be so good through it all! That has to make it 100 times easier for you! It will be so great for him to learn to walk on his new leg at such a young age. Go Dylan!

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  8. It is so hard to see your baby "hurt" isn't it? The first time I saw the actual hole that my daughter's trach goes in, I just cried and cried. Same with the first time I saw her hole for her feeding tube in her stomach. You are grateful that such things can be done, but it's still hard. And I'll be honest, my stomach still does some flip flops when I see either hole sometimes. Even after more than 6 months, but it has gotten much better with time. I know our situations are very different, but probably still experience a lot of the same emotions as mothers to children with special needs. Glad the first time is out of the way and glad everything is healing up so well!

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  9. I'm just so impressed with Dylan! Nothing can stop that kid - look at him standing in front of the TV in a newly cast leg!! Such an awesome little guy!

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  10. Once again, our stories are so similar...my sons cast fell off to reveal a bloody stump, too. IT was such a shock. It happened to me at home. You were lucky.

    He's a cute kid. Sounds like Dylan is doing well.

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  11. Katie,
    Dylan's story has been so inspirational to me. Your pictures and stories alone have encouraged me through a time when I needed a boost in my faith. God is so wonderful, and you are so blessed! Please know that your story does not fall void, and you and Dylan have made an impact on so many lives. Thank you for sharing the updates and pictures - it touches my heart so deeply to see Dylan's smile through all this. As a mother of 8, I see your heart and feel your struggles - you keep strong because the Lord has blessed you with opportunity to touch an innumerable amount of lives. I found the link for Dylan's Leg Fund on a sewing blog that I follow (makeit-loveit.com), I encourage you to add it to your blog. I know you are humble, but you should allow people to bless you. FOR THOSE OF YOU READING WHO WANT TO DONATE TO DYLAN'S LEG FUND - YOU CAN SEND A PAYPAL DONATION TO: bryfish@computerconceptslv.com, BY COPYING AND PASTING THIS URL INTO YOUR BROWSER: https://www.paypal.com/us/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_flow&SESSION=C3fb0DYONTa9ExhJN7sJdaHE1nmxpGVkPB-JX7C3HaUKervZEExSYdnPWSC&dispatch=5885d80a13c0db1f8e263663d3faee8d4026841ac68a446f69dad17fb2afeca3

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  12. I just found your through Make It and Love It. Your little Dylan is so beautiful! I'm so glad the surgery went well and that he's healing. I'll keep you all in my prayers.

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  13. Sweet Dylan, One step closer to being able to walk! You are so handsome. And I can't wait to continue following your progression. You are such a trooper.
    You are in my prayers.

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