Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Cast Removal Appointment

We had an appointment today with Dylan's orthopedic surgeon and prosthetist. He finally had his cast removed and had his first fitting for his prosthesis! WOO HOO!!! The next step has been taken!

Before we get to the fun of the appointment, some morning happenings...

This morning Dylan kept trying to take his cast off. He kept tugging at it, which he had NEVER done before. It was like he KNEW it was coming off today and he didn't want to wait any longer. :)

Bryson and I have been talking about letting Kaden draw on Dylan's cast, but never actually did it. So today after their baths (Dylan's last sponge bath!!), I let Kaden do a little decorating. He was pretty excited. I also let Dylan pretend like he was drawing on it. 

After we were done drawing, I told the boys to smile at me so I could take a picture. Kaden reached over and put his arm around Dylan. Oh my goodness! I LOVE this picture!!!

SO...the appointment....

It was a bit traumatic, not going to lie, but we all survived. He pretty much screamed and cried through the whole thing. He didn't like getting x-rays, he didn't like the saw they had to use when they took the cast off, he didn't like them taking the pin out of his leg (ouch!), and he didn't like it when the prosthetist had to make a mold of his leg. He didn't flail around too much or fight it all too much, just voiced his opinion loud and clear! Once it was all done though (about an hour and a half total), he was good to go and was much happier.

After getting x-rays. He was a little sad, but not to the "I'm being tortured" sad point yet. :) Bryson even managed to get a smile out of him.

We love Dr. E! Dylan may not look like it in this picture, or act like it at our appointments, but he does too. He just doesn't realize it yet. :)

Getting the cast off. I was helping hold him still during the saw part, so no pictures of that. Sorry. (Oh and sorry for all the poor lighting. Doctor's offices do not have the best lighting for pictures.) :) A few things to point out...the black on his stump is some residual scabbing that hasn't had a chance to fall off yet since it's been casted. It should fall off shortly. In the last picture (I apologize for the quality, it's a blown up version of an already blurry picture)...do you see the little stick like looking thing sticking out of the bottom of his stump? That is the pin that they put through his tibia to help it heal straight. That gets pulled out later in the post.

Trying to comfort him after the cast removal.

Then came the pin removal. I couldn't watch...or take pictures. Molly made me sit down, which was probably a good idea, and I hid behind Holly, the lady who took the pin out. It took like a second. I guess it came out pretty easy. It did bleed a little.

After the pin removal we talked with Dr. E and Molly for a little bit. He said that the bone looks good and straight and nice and healed. He said the incision looks great and that the scab will eventually fall off. They said he might be a little tender while his leg gets used to bending and moving again and while his skin and incision gets used to the normal friction it hasn't encountered for 7 weeks. But everything looks great and he was pleased with it all. He said to go ahead with life as normal...baths, play, etc. And so we will!

After we were done chatting with Dr. E and Molly, Jason, our prosthetist came in to make a mold of Dylan's leg and get all the measurements he needs to begin making Dylan's new leg! He explained a little about the type of leg he'll be getting and how it will work. We go back in at the end of next week for a final fitting. He will have Dylan's leg made, but not 100% done. So Dylan will be able to put it on and stand with it and maybe even walk a little if he wants to try and Jason will be able to see where some fine tuning needs to be done before finalizing the leg, which we will get about a week or so after that! WE ARE SO EXCITED!! A little nervous about this next step...it's a BIG one! It's like the next and final step to our new "normal". It's the end of this whole surgery journey and the beginning of Dylan's normal life. We know there will probably be some challenges along the way, which is the nervous part...but overall we just can't wait!

Getting his mold made. He finally calmed down about halfway through the fitting. Jason is great with kids, so we've come to find out, and was able to make Dylan pretty comfortable during the process.

After our appointment, Molly (our most favorite nurse/person ever) was so kind to take some pictures of us. She knows of my obsession with documenting everything and offered to take them. She even found a better place to take them than in our patient room. She's quite the photographer!


After our appointment, we picked up Kaden and headed home (after grabbing some lunch together with Bryson before he had to head back to work). We explained to Kaden in the car that Dylan doesn't have his cast on anymore and that we need to be extra gentle with him for a little bit cause his leg hurts a little. We've openly talked to Kaden about how the doctor's took Dylan's foot off so that he can walk and run better, so he gets it and is pretty okay with it. In the car, Kaden was talking to Dylan and telling him that it was okay and to "tell me if your leg hurts, okay?" It was so sweet.

Once we got home, Kaden was curious and wanted to see Dylan's stump. We tried to warn him that there was a scab on it and so it looked a little owie, but that it was okay and that it would fall off, etc. As Bryson was trying to take the gauze off that was wrapped around the incision to help reduce some friction from the sock until it gets used to it a little more, the tape was stuck and he couldn't get it very easily, which made Dylan start to squirm and cry quite a bit. I think that freaked Kaden out because before Bryson got a chance to get it off, he said, "Never mind! No no!" So we stopped. We let him touch the stump wrapped in gauze to help him understand that it is okay. He touched it and was okay with that.

Then the day carried on as normal. Dylan was fussier than normal the rest of the day, but that was expected. You can tell he is definitely a little tender and we're trying to keep him from totally overdoing it, but he was trying just about everything that he normally does and mostly succeeding. He still hasn't put any full weight on his stump. He's still keeping it in the bent position it was in in the cast most of the time. They said his knee joint is probably pretty stiff right now, but will get more comfortable and loose as time goes on. When he crawls he keeps his leg tucked up mostly and just hops on his good knee. He will put his knee down if he's not moving and put light weight on it, but hasn't actually used his little leg to assist in crawling yet. Same with standing. He used to use his little leg (before surgery and even casted) to get to a standing position, but hasn't done that yet today. He just uses his arms and his long leg to stand. This all is totally understandable and expected. His joints and skin and muscles are all a little tender and sore. He'll get used to it all over again real soon. Even though he is babying it quite a bit right now, he's actually using it more than I thought he would. So that is good. Throughout the day Dylan would occasionally check out his leg and give it a little love rub. It was sweet. He's trying to comprehend exactly what has happened, I think.

We have a new toy. Bryson insisted that we keep the pin that was in Dylan's leg. They put it in a little tube for us to keep. Bryson wants to add it to his collection of screws from his knee surgeries. We just might have to start a mini museum of "Hardware That Has Been In Our Family's Bodies". :)

Check out Dylan playing this evening. I was trying to keep him from overdoing it, but he was having so much fun so I let it go for a little bit and was quite impressed with how well he was doing.

I was also able to get (after MANY attempts) a decent video of him crawling. See how he holds it up while he crawls? (Oh and excuse my super whiny 3 year old, he didn't like that I was using his doggie as crawling bait, but it was the only thing that worked!) :)

As we were getting ready for bed tonight, we had Dylan's sock off and his gauze fell off during some light play, exposing his bare stump. Kaden was a little nervous at first sight, but then handled it like a champ. He touched it quite a bit and helped massage his leg a little (I've been massaging it throughout the day to hopefully help with comfort and have also been bending and straightening it here and there when I get the chance, to help loosen things up.). He was very sweet with him and kept making sure he was okay. He was a little in awe over the whole thing. He kept pointing to Dylan's stump and saying "He has no foot" and kept pointing everything out (Dylan's scar, the scab, the "pink thing"...the small wound on the bottom of the stump where the pin was). We were impressed with out much Dylan wanted to move around with just his bare stump. He did really good! I think he'll be back to normal in no time...just in time to throw another wrench in his normal by putting a heavy fake leg on him. :) (Excuse the bandaid hanging off his stump in the first picture. That was covering his little pin wound, but had fallen off a little.)

Up tomorrow...A REAL BATH...a good scrub of his sloughing skin on his leg! Woo hoo! :)

We are sure proud of this little boy! He continues to amaze us with his go get 'em attitude and being able to succeed in everything he puts his mind to. We look forward to continuing to see him progress!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Pros/Con & Goodbye

I've been smiling the last couple days at a few silly pros of having a toddler amputee...
  • Only one set of toenails to clip! And with the world's wiggliest baby who despises having his toenails clipped, this is a HUGE bonus!
  • I don't need to match up his socks when putting his clean laundry away. He only needs one at a time (for now) so I just throw them all in his drawer loose. Matching socks is my least favorite part of laundry so this is one person I don't need to worry about it for now. Woo hoo!

As for the con...Most days I rarely dwell, let alone even think about Dylan's situation. It's just become normal life. However, the other day we were eating lunch and I looked over at him and it just struck me hard...he only has one foot! There is only ONE foot hanging out of his pants, kicking like crazy. Not that I haven't noticed that before, but since I hadn't thought about it in awhile, I guess, it kind of shocked me at that particular moment. It made me a little sad for a quick moment.

But then I looked up to see this and I quickly forgot that there is anything "wrong" with my little boy. This doesn't phase him one bit.


We get to say goodbye to this cute, little friend on Tuesday...

The green cast...not Dylan. :) We are SO excited!!

Do you know what this means?
  • No more sanding of our toes every time he crawls over our feet, which he tends to love to do (hard cast on naked toes hurts)!
  • No more dangerous diaper changes with a heavy, hard cast being swung in every which direction (it's a weapon, I tell ya)!
  • No more getting him stuck for a moment in his high chair because we didn't take him out at the exact perfect angle for his 90 degree angled leg to come out easily.
  • No more poop leaking out of his diaper only on the leg with the cast, therefore getting poop on the edge of the cast and having to scrub the cast to death to try to get rid of all the poop. (This happened multiple times)
  • No more taking a layer of my nail polish off trying to get his cast in and out of his pants. (The cast seriously acts like a great sander)
  • No more sounding like he's trying to sand any ground he crawls on that isn't carpeted. (Although, it definitely is easier to find him with the cast on because he can't quietly crawl anywhere)
  • He gets to finally straighten his leg! After almost 7 weeks of being in a cast, I can only imagine how happy he will be and how good that will feel!
  • With being able to straighten his leg he will hopefully be able to get back to cruising along furniture and with toys. (Assuming his stump isn't too sensitive to bear weight at first)
  • And what I, as mom, am most excited about.....NO MORE SPONGE BATHS!!
He actually doesn't mind his sponge baths. He loves sticking his hand in the water and splashing with his one leg. But it is kind of exhausting to do. Especially when I have one kid that I can throw in the tub. It would be so much more convenient to just throw them both in the tub. Instead, I have to sponge bathe Dylan (and lets face it...a sponge bath doesn't get in every nook and cranny like a good tub soaking does), then I take him to the kitchen sink to wash his hair, which he does decent with but definitely likes to put up a little fight. Then I have to bath Kaden. So now our bathing routine takes twice as long as it used to. So I'm looking forward to getting back to our normal bathing routine. Plus, Kaden is lonely in the bathtub all by himself these days. And as much as Dylan doesn't mind his sponge baths, he definitely misses his tub baths. Every time I fill up the tub, he speed crawls to the tub and tries to crawl in. I have a feeling he will thoroughly enjoy his first real bath again.

Actually, Dylan enjoys his sponge baths so much that one day when both boys were non-stop whining/crying and I was going crazy, I knew how much Dylan would love to play in the water like during his sponge baths, so I sat them up at the sink and let them have it...it kept them quiet for a good 20 minutes. (No, the water was not running the whole 20 minutes.) It was heaven. :)

These boys sure are lucky to have each other...in so many ways. And they sure do love each other. Oh trust me, they have their moments of torturing each other like most brothers do...but overall, they are very sweet with each other.

And I just have to end with these pictures. Dylan now knows what the camera is...you know, that thing permanently attached to mommy's eye. And he knows exactly what he is supposed to do when it comes out. This is the face I get whenever I first pull the camera out...a HUGE, CHEESY grin. I LOVE it!
{I don't know why I love a good spaghetti face so much! It's so cute to me!}