Friday, September 3, 2010

Looks Like the Jokes on Me...

This is a picture of the shoe lift that Carter was wearing when we came to PALLI for our limb lengthening surgery, 13 weeks ago.
And this is what he looks like today.
His legs are nearly equal, only about 1 cm of separation.
Pretty Impressive!

So, here's the story... about why the jokes on me. When we met with Dr. Paley on Wednesday, he indicated that Carter would need to lengthen for another 2-3 weeks in order to obtain our goal of 8 cm. However, he directed us to decrease the amount of distractions to 2 turns each day. This was a decrease from- the already decreased- number of 3 turns each day. You see, lengthening is an art (I've learned all this from Paley, just so ya know I'm not making it up) and part of the art is knowing when the body is telling you to slow down, so that you don't risk permanent damage.

Carter has been having pain in his ankle and foot for the last little while. So, even though Paley told us to continue turning, he told us to report back to him because the pain he is experiencing can be an indication of nerve pain. Yesterday we reported back and, after a few options were considered, we decided the best decision was to stop lengthening. Carter will be reevaluated by Dr. Paley on Monday and hopefully the pain will be gone. Otherwise, he may need a small surgery to decompress the nerve before we leave. That means, if we get the green light, we should be home by the end of next week rather than the 2-3 we had planned.

If you know me, you are probably guessing that I didn't want to stop short of our goal. And you'd be right. My initial reaction was to keep turning and get that blasted last centimeter no matter what it took! But, after I had some time to process everything I realized what an enormous feat we've already conquered. Carter has gained nearly 7 cm of length! Now, after a well fought fight (with his muscles and other soft tissue), he is tired and hurting and the decision to stop lengthening truly is the best thing for him. And, not to be a downer or anything, but he's going to need another surgery so everything should work out in the end, as it always does- we are learning.

The moral to my story is... avoid satire in the title of your blog post when you are in WPB lengthening with Dr. Paley. 'Cause it might come back to bite you, but at least it's a good bite. We're headed home, friends!


Jared and Katie said...

That is SO awesome! CONGRATULATIONS CARTER! 7 cm of length is quite a feat! I am going to have to tell all of my PT/OT friends about this. :)

Prilla said...

Horray!!! What amazing progress Carter has had! Way to go!

Our little family said...

7 cm is amazing! And 1 cm means he can put a lift inside his shoe instead of needing the external lift! As long as Dr. Paley says it's all right, of course. I have a 1 cm discrepancy, and I just buy a plastic wedge, and wear it. I also have orthotics, and the one side has a 1 cm lift. It only fits in sneakers, but at least maybe he won't need the external lift, and no one will know! Yeah for Carter! You are both so strong.