Thursday, March 25, 2010

Some notes I should have included in my last post...

Okay, so I tend to get a little overwhelmed by this whole blog thing. I wait forever to post and then forget to say what I wanted to say. Here's a few notes that I either forgot to list or just felt to lazy to type:

1 - If physical therapy doesn't help with flexibility, Dr. Morcuende suggests that we look into getting an AFO for X-Man to wear during the day, then bracing at night and bedtime. He would prefer not to go this route because X-Man already has severe atrophy of his calf muscles and the AFO could cause this to get worse. So for now, we spend an hour at PT each week and then do exercises daily and stretching twice a day. We go back at the end of May, so we're hoping and praying that we good get results! Of course, he's already had AFOs and it really wouldn't be a huge deal - I'm just as happy as can be that we're not even discussing surgery at this point. It's amazing how much different the treatment is from a true Ponseti doctor compared to one who just claims to be.

2 - So, X-Man somehow broke his foot. We noticed after his initial Physical Therapy consultation that he was turning his left foot out and hyperextending his knee when he walked. He would also scream whenever we tried to move his foot or put them in shoes. I emailed Dr. Morcuende on a Sunday afternoon and he had emailed back by that evening (how amazing is that?!). We emailed back and forth and he recommended that we either come out to Iowa or see a doctor here in town. We took him to our pediatrician and they wrote an order for an X-ray. The X-ray showed that he had a reaction to an occult fracture in the shaft of the third metatarsal. I emailed the report to Dr. Morcuende and he said that it was likely a hairline fracture that would heal on it's own in 7-14 days. Luckily, that was the case and X-Man is walking great again with no pain (thank you, God!).

X-Man just finished week 4 of PT (week 3 with his "physical parakeet Windsey" (PT Lindsay)). He loves PT, not a big fan of stretching, but normally I can bribe him with some sugarless gum. His ankles are already feeling looser. They're still very stiff, but it's progress, and we'll take it!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

A month later...

So, obviously I am not the most consistent of people, at least in terms of blogging. X-Man had a follow up visit on February 15, so a month later, I figured I'd update you all on how the appointment went as well as other happenings.


So, we heard that it was supposed to snow on Sunday, the 14th, and maybe a little bit on the 15th (although our local meteorologist said the snow should miss us on Monday). We decided to head out to Iowa on Saturday evening and then spend Sunday in Coralville enjoying Valentine's Day together. The drive to Iowa went well. We ate in the car and changed diapers at gas stations. Outside of gas-stops, we only stopped at one rest stop. We made it to Iowa in a little over 9 hours, which is excellent time.
The kids as usual had a lot of fun at the Ronald McDonald house. We ran around and played games. A local church made us some delicious dinner and dessert. X-Man and Little Lou played in the playroom and we checked out the new library (they got brand new furniture and it looks amazing). Ben and I stayed up for hours playing chess. Ben and I have been together for over seven years, and I never knew he played chess (quite well!).
Sunday was Valentine's day. We headed into Coralville and spent a few hours at the mall. The babies LOVED watching the ice skaters (we're going to try to get X-Man into speed skating soon). We also went to the Iowa Children's Museum.

X-Man showing Little Lou how to get to the museum
The kids loved the exibits, and it was wonderful to get out of the house and do something different as a family. I think we'll have to do this more often during our Iowa trips. We came back to the house and played and then went out five to seven games and only won two times.

The appointment

We arrived for X-Man's appointment on time. Nurse Maria saw us in the waiting room and said "Hi X-Man (only she said his real name :))!", I think it is amazing that she remembers us by name. It just goes to show how much they really do care. When we went back to the room, X-Man didn't cry or fuss at all, that is, until I tried to get him to sit on the table! He wanted to sit on my lap the whole time, and luckily they were able to examine him on my lap.
X-Man was a little shy with Dr. Morcuende. This time, he had a physical therapist from Australia with him. I just love the education and awareness that is spreading about the Ponseti method.
Dr. Morcuende said that his feet were looking pretty good. Unfortunately, X-Man has complex clubfeet, so many of the rules of bracing don't really apply to him. His magic shoes were at 40 degrees (typical clubfoot is normally set around 60 degrees). but due to some sores, they decreased the angle to 30 degrees. Luckily, we have moved down to only 16 hours of bracing each day.
Dr. M wanted to see X-Man walk. I bragged about the fact that this is the best X-Man has ever walked. He doesn't limp or hyper-extend, he walks like a little boy with normal feet.
His dorsiflexion still isn't very good. He's got seven degrees in one foot and zero in the other (on one of my earlier posts, I mistakenly noted he had 15 degrees of dorsiflexion). The stiffness is likely because of the tendon lengthening surgery he had at 18 months of age. Unfortunately, at that time, we didn't realize that this surgery was not part of the Ponseti Method. Also, because of this surgery, a second tenotomy will not be possible. Dr. M does think that Physical Therapy could help with flexibility and strengthening.
Dr. M recommended that we find a Physical Therapist in our hometown to help with flexibility and strengthening.

Coming Home

We headed home after the appointment. The drive was going very smoothly until we got about three hours outside of our hometown. Then the snow started falling. We drove for about two hours (and traveled the same distance we normally travel in an hour and a half) and stopped at my favorite pizza place. It was nice to sit and relax. There was only two other people eating in the restaurant. As we ate, we realized that the snow was accumulating at a very rapid rate. We decided to pack up and have the babies eat their pizza in the car.
The rest of the drive was traveled at no faster than 40 MPH (in a 65 MPH zone). It was very scary, the snow was so heavy that you couldn't see where the road started and the shoulder began. We prayed quite a bit and made it home in about two to three hours. We saw many cars that had wrecked and even saw some that had flipped over (including a semi-truck). I was so happy to have made it home.

All in all, it was a wonderful trip. We got to spend some time together as a family, had wonderful new at X-Man's appointment, and stayed safe. What could be better than that?