Today is day five of Gabe being in a cast and honestly, it's such "old hat" that we don't even notice the cast anymore. His physical therapist is hoping that when he takes it off on Friday we'll be done with casting for a few months. After the last issue we had with Gabe being casted, I really hope that's going to be an accurate statement. He was so emotional the last time around and this time he's been very subdued; very content to just watch tv or play quietly, which is nice, but also kind of odd. He's my loud, bouncy boy and seeing him so subdued for so long is odd.
I've been asked more than once why we continue to do the casting; isn't there some sort of surgery that could "fix" him?
For one, Gabe will never be "fixed"-he has Spina Bifida, it's a life long condition; he will ALWAYS have the hole in his spine, he will always have the shunt in his brain; spina bifida isn't something that you grow out of. I realize that not everyone is well versed in Spina Bifida or the things that go along with it, but I wish they would stop asking. That's like me asking "So will your child outgrow his cerebal palsy?" OR "How long till they outgrow that Autism?"
Two, casting is the least invasive way and most effective way to stretch Gabe's tendon. In all reality, the cast, while annoying, doesn't affect Gabe a whole helluva lot. As the saying goes "If it ain't broke, why fix it?" It works well for Gabriel, yes it's annoying but it works well.
Three, the alternative to casting is surgery. Invasive, painful, long and annoying recovery surgery. The surgeon would have to make "z" shaped cuts in his tendon all along the tendon. THEN (ha ha) He'd have to be CASTED to stretch out the tendon while it healed because the scar tissue would need to stretch along with the tendon. The surgeon has told us that not only would he be casted, it'd be for longer periods of time, there'd be a large risk of infection (because Gabe is very active and when his casts are taken off we find all sorts of things in it-we found a penny once...haha) and we'd be in intensive physical therapy to teach Gabe to walk properly again. AND the cherry on the top of the surgery sundae? Gabe would STILL have to be casted intermittently to stretch his tendon out as he grows. Seems sort of silly to cut him open and put him through all that when he's going to be casted anyway, doesn't it?
As I said though, it looks like this is the last cast for a while; the PT figures that in August we'll need to cast for a few weeks and then get new orthodics for his shoes (Oh yay, those are so cheap, I love buying new orthodics--please note this is all being said sarcastically; his last pair of braces cost us almost $2500 and our insurance paid about $800 of that...by the time we need new braces his old braces should just about be paid off-and then we can start the paying off process again :P)
Let me salvage this ranty post with a picture or two :)