Wow. Long long long day!
The drive was short today, only an hour and a half. (Gotta love those 1pm appointments!)
Lucky came along (of course!) to get her cast removed too. She was a huge help playing Mario Kart.
We arrived and were fairly quickly ushered into a room. Amy took the opportunity to give me a glimpse at what her teen years would look like, ?
Sunnyvale doesn’t have a cast room, so we chilled and waited for the cast technician. While we waited, she had me check the room to make sure there was no cast saw. Twice. ?
The technician arrived, and she immediately reminded him that she didn’t need a saw. He promised, and brought out the scissors, and the super fashionable not-quite-paper-not-quite-cloth shorts they have for leg patients.
Scissors turned out to me more of a hindrance, so he ditched the scissors (and the gloves) and scratched up a corner of the soft(ish) cast material. Once he freed enough fiberglass to grab, he was easily able to unwrap her candy-cane cast.
Then, he just had to do the big unveiling. I have zero idea while I like seeing casts come apart, but even though this is her thirteenth one, it’s still super cool!
So… what’s inside? Her scar-turned-incision. I tweeked when I saw it at first, because I thought that the placement was different.
It also seems larger to me. What do you think?
Anyways, this time she wasn’t shell-shocked about seeing her scar, so I was really grateful for that. I was also really grateful that once I was able to see the whole thing, I could see that the incision is exactly in the same place. So, only the one new scar on her hip. Way to go Dr. Frick!
So, as he’s taking the cast off, he warns her that her knee might be sore for being at a 90 degree angle for the last month. She’s like, “It doesn’t hurt at all!” Excellent! Then I notice something completely weird, a whole bunch of casting cotton was stuck to her leg. No stockingette? Oh well.
The technician left and and she tried to straighten her leg for the first time. All I heard was *gasp* and her eyes welled up in tears. That was where today’s fun ended. She was suddenly in a LOT of pain, and there was nothing I could do to help. She couldn’t fins a comfortable position, and every attempt to help was met with a “Don’t touch me. DON’T TOUCH ME!” I was able to talk her into a dose of Tylenol though.
Then the x-ray technician showed up. Uh oh. I put her into her wheelchair, and ohhhhh man, did she NOT appreciate transferring from the exam table to her wheelchair. Worse, one of the legs was broken on her chair, so I had left both in the trunk. (More on that later) So her legs could freely swing. This hadn’t been a problem for the last couple weeks, but now it was making her very uncomfortable. (All aboard the guilt train!)
We slowly and smoothly made our way to x-ray where she cried a little more upon realization that she would have to get on another exam table. Then she bawled as the technicians had to straighten her leg. I have never heard so many apologies! Those poor women, you could tell they felt awful! They gave up at one point, they couldn’t bear to keep torturing her. They got her leg semi-straight, and said it was good enough.
Unfortunately, this is the AP view. Next we had to change positions for the lateral view. Cue renewed tears, pleas to stop touching her, and heartbroken technician. As soon as the lateral view was done they exclaimed, “We’re done we’re done!” HUGE sigh of relief from Amy.
Not from me though. “Um, don’t we need an Oblique?” I asked. First, they offered to get me a job there, (lol) then said that the order only had the two views. I asked if they were sure, because the last several appointments had all had AP, Lat, and Oblique views, and if we needed the third, I really didn’t want to move her back to the room again.
The peanut gallery weighed in, “No more! No more pictures!” Poor Amy. 🙁 One of the techs ran off to double-check the order, just in case. Guess what? One more view was needed. After some fresh tears, the oblique image was clear, and we wheeled her back into her room.
Moments later, our NP appeared. Nurse Harris. (Why can I not remember her first name? Ugh! Next time I will remember. She is so nice!) She came in, asked about any questions we had, pain, did we have her brace, etc. Then, did we want to see the x-rays? Seriously? OF COURSE!
2nd McFarland Bypass (12/10/19)
4 weeks post-op Lateral view
Nothing really new here, but it is kinda cool that you can see the drill-holes he made to help the marrow seep in and out. I still see that “fracture” line that Dr. Lerman pointed out. So relieved that it is just an artifact of her bone and not a fracture! Anyways… yup. Seen it. Next!
2nd McFarland Bypass (12/10/19)
4 weeks post-op Oblique view
So, here’s that third view that I reminded them to get. Obligue’s are had to get, because finding that same angle to compare can be tricky. Guess what? We missed the boat on this one. Oops! Oh well, we’ll try again in 6 weeks.
2nd McFarland Bypass (12/10/19)
4 weeks postop AP view
Straight to the point, I wasn’t really impressed. It looks pretty much the same to me, of course all the fuzzy stuff (that’s the graft from her hip) is new, but that’s all I really saw. “You don’t look impressed.” she remarked. Would you like to see a comparison? She did not have to ask twice. Oh man, check this out!
HEALING! Okay, NOW I’m impressed! God is so good! Wow… it’s just a really astonishing difference. Other than the fuzziness in the middle though, nothing super fun is happening there. That’s the part when Dr. Frick popped in. Said everything looked great, Poked her leg, poked her side, tickled the girl, gave a high-5, and asked if I had any Qs. The only one I could think of was to ask when we might see results from the graft. When would we know if it was taking or not?
He said he wanted to see us back in 6 weeks. In 6 weeks we should see new bone forming… or we could see her body starting to reabsorb the graft. In 6 weeks we’ll either start seeing more white, (good!) or more black. (bad) 6 more weeks so see what direction the pendulum will swing. Yikes. In the meantime, get her back in her brace, weight-bearing as tolerated. He told me to hang in there, and shook my hand. High 5’d the girl again, and he vanished. Our nurse clipped off the little fishtails of the ends of her stitches, and handed me about 30 alcohol swabs to get all that cotton nastiness off. That was fairly quick and easy to accomplish.
Then I put her sock on. There was a minor protest, but she tolerated it. Then I put her brace on, and there was a all out revolution. I caught a passing nurse to ask for help, because Amy was legit screaming. I couldn’t get the brace off her fast enough. She in turn got the cast technician, who felt the brace was too tight, but didn’t feel confident in his opinion. He, in turn tracked Dr. Frick and his nurse down. They came back and felt the brace would be okay with a major adjustment. (If we have to get a new brace like I originally said, I will seriously laugh SO HARD!!!) They told me to call Hanger ASAP, and in the meantime, just leave the front-plate off. He said she could walk in it… Buuuuuuuut I’m gonna say hard no on that one.
Just looking at it on her leg makes me nervous, her bow is 100% unprotected. Anyways, I got one shoe on, she begged me not to put the other on, and that was when I realized I hadn’t put her pants on yet. (LOL!) This is why I am not a doctor. So, pants and one shoe on, we gathered our things. At the front desk we made our next appointment, Feb. 17th, dropped off our badges, and out the door we went.
Next stop: ITC Medical Supplies in San Francisco. Why? Remember that broken wheelchair? Yup. They had said to come on in after her appointment, and they would see what they could do for us. Remember, we did a rental for this chair two years ago, and after a year, we changed it to a rent-to-own contract, AND they gave us a brand new chair, fresh from the box. So, I’ve technically had this chair for less than a year. I was super hoping that it came with a warranty, and/or repair was covered by insurance. It’s a great little chair, and she could have a LOT more use out of it. (It fits kiddos up to 48″ tall and Amy is only 43″.) But the handle is broken and will slide up at the most awkward of times, (on stairs!) and the calf-rest fell off. Plus both calf-rest mechanisms were SUPER loose. Repair was long-overdue.
So, after an hour-long (30 mile) drive, we arrived. We found out the warranty is only 90 days, and it covers the frame only. We can get the repair covered by insurance, but we need to leave the chair. I asked what I was supposed to do without the chair, and she asked if I could just be without it for a week. A WEEK?! But… school?!? So we come up with the plan that we can get a loaner chair, while they fix it, but I need a prescription for the loaner chair, and I have to come back in a week to swap back. (Aw maaaaan!) By now it’s 4:48pm. Offices are closing, so I put in a call to Stanford Orthopedics. I was on hold for a long time while they tried so hard to work magic for us, but in the end it was no good. All they could do was put it in the system to have the prescription signed and sent out the next day, which didn’t do me much good.
These women at ITC really were top-notch… and I think they were about to let me swap chairs while we waited for the paperwork.
But Amy frantically was trying to get my attention. She needed a bathroom. NOW. Did they have one? Yup. Where? The 2nd floor. Where was the elevator? Over there… but it was out-of-order. SERIOUSLY? Well, what’s a mom to do? I (gently) picked her up in a fireman carry and headed for the concrete stairs. The women were a little frantic. “What are you doing? Is that safe?”
“She needs a bathroom, do you have a better idea?” Silence. “It will be fine, don’t worry!” I headed for the stairs, and they fell all over themselves to open the could doors between us and the stairwell. Bathroom business was achieved, and we made if safely back down the stairs. I put her back into her wheelchair, and was ready to nail out this plan – whatever it was going to be.
Then, guess who breezed in the door? Their chair technicians. PERFECT! Since they were there, and we were there, she decided to try to repair the chair, well, right then and there. If they had to get parts, we would work out a loaner chair. If it was unrepairable, then we would need a prescription for a new chair. If they could quickly repair it, they would do it then and there, FREE OF CHARGE, and send us on our merry way. SERIOUSLY? I’m impressed!
After an hour and a half of these really nice women offering us coffee, tea, water, chocolates, and conversation, we were on our way. Amy’s chair is good-as-new. (Okay, maybe Good used condition) Total cost? $2.55 for parking plus gas to drive us there. Hell of a deal! Happy mama. “Can we PLEASE go to McDonald’s now?!?” said an impatient voice. Once I said yes, I had a happy baby too. 🙂
8:45pm, we FINALLY made it home. Traffic wasn’t too bad, but I was beat. But we still had two orders of business. First, a bath. Amy sunk into the water, and all I saw was rapture on her face. She was determined to remove every steri-strip from her leg, so she did just that. She said the hot water felt really nice on her knee too. Her incision looks so funny to me though, because I see this 2 year old scar, but also brand new healing incision. I think it’s going to scar very nicely! (Again)
I also offered up a prayer of thanks for dissoluble stitches and medical glue. Truly a wonder. I am so thankful. Then Amy insisted on putting on PJ pants under her nightie. Why? Apparently she can only straighten out her knee if she is wearing pants. When you figure that one out… you let me know, because I’m at a loss. But if Dumbo needs her feather, PJ pants it is!
Then it was time for our last order of business: Exogen treatment.
I hadn’t really asked about Amy’s treatments during her appointment, so I had a receptionist ask for me as I was scheduling her appointment. He said that they were unnecessary, but that they wouldn’t hurt, so it was up to me. Well, the machine is bought and paid for, and it works! So guess what? Treatments. 🙂 I’m not sure how many more we have, (I think 90 or so?) but I’m certainly going to continue for the next 6 weeks. Why not? I decided to place it right in the middle of her leg because it works in a 3 inch radius around the transducer. So that should cover the whole leg. (I really hope I’m not remembering wrong and it’s actually 3cm radius!)
Next step: Orthotist. She didn’t have any appointments until next week, but I begged, so she squeezed me in on Thursday. I’m severely freaked out about sending her to school in only 1/2 a brace… so I don’t know what to do about that. I may just keep her out two more days. I’m not really sure, I just know that we’ve worked too hard to have all our work spoiled now by [insert accident here]. But at least we have her chair in working order!
TLDR; So far, she’s healing! Let’s celebrate that! (Is it Thursday yet?!?)