I’ve been desperately trying to play catch up with everything after have two unexpected days off this week, due to Hurricane Sandy. I meant to write about Caleb’s first visit with his new Orthopedist last week, but now seems to be first time I’ve had to sit down and write.
Shane was unable to make this appointment so I got some quality time with Mr. C and ventured up to Baltimore with my little man. The timing of the appointment wasn’t perfect and I battled traffic for most of the ride. If you’re more than 15 minutes late, they cancel your appointment, so I was desperately trying to be punctual. Luckily, I got there with not a minute to spare and of course, waited for the doctor for upwards of 20 minutes. Typical.
The pediatric orthopaedist, I’ll call him Dr. S, is not what I would call a young man. He could very well have been pushing 80 years old. He was cordial, but not exactly kid-friendly. During his exam, he was manipulating Caleb’s legs in order to test his ankles, knees and hips. Caleb was not digging it, like at all. He tensed up immediately, and despite my numerous attempts to calm him, he was stiff as a board from head to toe. The doctor kept doing his exam without attempting to gain Caleb’s trust, so he saw the absolute worst of Caleb’s spasticity. I told him that he was witnessing Caleb at his tightest. He expressed a lot of concern for Caleb’s hips and the fact that they were exceptionally tight. He strongly suggested we take x-rays of Caleb’s hips right away and I agreed.
Unfortunately, Caleb’s x-ray showed mild hip dysplegia in his left side. This basically means that his tight hip flexors are causing his hip to develop improperly. “In some children the ligaments around the hip joint are loose allowing the hip to subluxate. This is when the ball is no longer centered in the socket.” I was really bummed to hear this. I feel like I should know by now that when I think things are going great, there’s inevitably a set back just around the corner. Caleb got measured for a hip wedge pillow to wear at night that will keep his legs spread apart to prevent further worsening of his dysplegia. We’ll receive it in a few weeks when we return to Kennedy Krieger for our second appointment with our developmental pediatrician.
Caleb also got measured for his new Jumpstart Kangaroo orthotics. These are “Fast Fit” in that they don’t require casting and are not custom made since Caleb isn’t standing a majority of the time. The braces will help stabilize his ankles now that Caleb is able to pull to a stand very easily when sitting on his step stool! It’s pretty awesome! Not only that, but he’s gaining so much mobility when he’s on the floor. He can pivot around, roll, get up on all fours, rock back and forth, push backwards, move his arms forward and he is SO SO close to moving his legs forward. He has moved forward a few times and we’re confident that he’ll just keep kicking ass. Here’s an embarassing admission… I just can’t stop watching him. Every time he tries to make a move, I just sit there and encourage him and I get SO excited when he’s able to get within reach of his desired toy. I immediately flash back to when he was barely able to sit and it was so difficult to imagine him being mobile, but here we are… on the brink of mobility and I’m just in awe of my determined little guy. So the news about his hip was definitely discouraging but we’re going to implement his new orthotics once he gets them and move forward… hopefully, literally!