Today was the big day. Another “follow up” visit with the orthopedic surgeon. We’ve been worried about it for a while. Not worried because we thought something was wrong. But worried because we are parents. “Have we really been getting the shoe strap tight enough”? “What about the laces”? “What about those times when we accidentally buckled the shoe with the sock wrinkled underneath”?
And then there has been all of our detailed observations of his foot. “Is his pressure point healing ok”? “Do you think this foot looks different?” “What about his toes”? “Does this heel look right”? “Is that a bruise”? And so on and so on it would continue until bath time was over and the brace went back on. Even though Mike’s club foot correction has really gone remarkably well (with the exception of the two weeks before the tenotomy), it took remarkably little to convince us that things were surely going awry. And as the appointment with Dr. Crawford approached, the more convinced we were that Mike’s prognosis wasn’t really great (it was merely good – or maybe it wasn’t even good, probably not even mediocre – in fact, the prognosis will most likely be bad – or maybe even horrible).
So – here it goes. Today is the day. Time to load up and head out to see Dr. Crawford. We arrived at his office, signed in, and waited for our name to be called. A short 2 minutes later, we were following the nurse back to the examination room. She tells us to go ahead and take the brace off and that Dr. Crawford will be in shortly. By “shortly”, she meant 30 seconds.
Dr. Crawford walks in the room – and for a fraction of a second, our over active imaginations were convinced that we would be heading directly over to Children’s Hospital for a complete foot re-construction surgery. Dr. Crawford walks over to the table where Mike was lying. He holds his little foot in his hand, takes a breath, opens his mouth – here it comes – he’s going to tell us that we’ve been horrible parents and have been doing it all wrong - “why have you been putting his brace on backwards”?
ohmygoshohmygoshohmygoshohmygosh!!!!!! Here it comes! What is he going to say??!?!?!?!??!?!?
“WOW! His feet look FANTASTIC! I mean, they look really, really good! And both feet are so supple – no pronation. They look great!”
Whew – that’s a relief!
And we would have been happy with just that information. We had a few questions that we were wanting to ask Dr. Crawford, and he quizzed us on how things had been going. And then he dropped the big bomb on us.
“Since Mike’s feet are so supple and aren’t showing any stiffness at all – I think it’s ok for him to start having a little time out of the brace during the day”.
What? No more 24 1/2 hours a day? He can spend some time with his little feet free?
And as excited as we were about this – there simply aren’t words for how excited Mike is. Up till now, his absolute FAVORITE time of day was right before his bath when we would take his brace off and let him play and kick for a few minutes. There is simply no other time of day where he laughs as much, “talks” as much, wiggles as much, or has as much fun as he has during that 15 minutes. And now that 15 minutes gets to be stretched out to HOURS at a time! It makes me smile just thinking about it…