Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Iowa - Week 2

This week's trip went pretty well. The kids behaved much better in the car than last week, so that was a huge relief! The weather was beautiful for the most part (there were a few showers here and there). We decided to do a progressive lunch in the car and that seemed to work really well; plus, we arrived at the RMH by 3:15 central - meaning our travel time, including diaper changes, gas station trips, and rest breaks was less than nine hours. Not too shabby!

When we arrived at RMH we unpacked and headed straight to the playroom. We got to see little guy's dad (little guy's name is Lee). He was saying that Lee was getting a tenotomy on Monday and then they were headed home (it's a 19 hour drive for them!).

We went out to eat then came back and played in the playroom for a while longer. X-Man just loves playing with Lee. I think it's neat for him to see another child in casts. I also met a couple from Iowa who were staying in the house because their baby (who was born 3 weeks ago at 26 weeks gestation) was in the NICU. They were a really nice couple and were told they would have to stay until January. I'm looking forward to hearing more about their baby in a couple weeks when we head back. They also took some time to show me around the kitchens (last week we stayed in a suite with our own kitchen, so I didn't know where anything was!).

On Monday morning, we went to University of Iowa for X-Man's appointment. We saw Lee and his dad at the check in desk. When Lee saw us, he got really excited and started yelling for his dad to look over. I'm going to miss them the next time we go to the house and they aren't there.

We also met a family with an older child who was there for his annual checkup. In the cast room, we met a preteen who was getting new casts for his clubfeet too. I think X-Man liked him.

Since we got a plaster cast with fiberglass on top last week, X-Man had to have his casts cut off with a saw. He was so scared. The saw is super loud, and the plaster was flying everywhere. After a few minutes (and Daddy blowing bubbles), I think X realized that the saw wouldn't hurt him and he started to calm down. They gave me rags and soap to clean his feet and legs - I missed seeing his legs last week!

We spent some more time in the waiting room and X played with some older children. The one child wore a back brace, but he was so proud of his back brace. I hope X has this attitude as he gets older.

After being taken to the examination room, Dr. Morcuende and his med students came in. He said there wasn't a lot of improvement since our last visit, but that this is typical. He said that by week three or four, there's normally some noticeable improvement. They also took Ben, X-Man, and my DNA to study more about clubfoot; they're hoping to locate the gene that causes clubfoot so that they can maybe prevent it in the future.

X-Man was a mess from the time we entered the room. He didn't want to lay on the bed and he didn't want new casts. He cried the entire time; not because he was in pain, just because he didn't want to be there. It was tough. When they asked him which color casts he would like, he just said "no!". Luckily, he already picked out his colors in the cast room. He decided on one orange and one black (as you can see). Unfortunately, he wouldn't let me take his picture without making a sour face!

After his appointment, we headed home. I think we arrived home around 10 pm. It was a long day.

Today we drew on his casts with black and silver markers - he loved that. We also booked two flights for his next two appointments - we were able to find really great rates.

His next appointment is November 9. Ben and X will be flying out together, I think it'll be a nice experience for them; I'm just sad that I won't be with him the first time he rides in a plane.

The past few weeks, people have been so kind and generous to us, and we are so thankful for that. We are so incredibly blessed.

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