Life’s been a blur lately. For real.
We drove up and back to Kansas in one day to have Audrey’s first post-op cast removed and for her to be fitted with a second. Audrey’s cast removal was uneventful and her incisions looked great. The second splint was then cut along both sides just as if it was going to be removed, but then supported with straps for more wear, creating a bi-valve cast.
About half the way home, we realized that the cast wasn’t going to work. So from Friday to Tuesday, Audrey wore Eva’s stretching splint. Not ideal, but fortunately the girls feet are nearly the exact same size. Then on Tuesday the girls’ PT made another cast which looked really good but once we were home, we found that due to Audrey’s foot position, she consistently rubbed along one of the walls.
Sometimes you can create a cast or a splint that looks great and then the body just rejects it. Sometimes, despite a custom fit, you realize that it’s not going to stay fit. Either it’s too loose and the foot moves or that it’s too tight and then creates potential pressure sores. Or the sides are too short and don’t provide great support or they’re too tall and an area rubs.
I will never forget making a splint in grad school that literally fit like a glove. It was gorgeous. For 15 minutes. Then my lab partner noted that her new, gorgeous theraplast glove was creating a very sore place along the styloid process of her ulna, which I had forgotten to “flare out” (basically heating the splint and making a little half bubble around the bony prominence). In fact, I will absolutely never forget because at that point our instructor walked by and decided to use my splint as an example for the class of what not to do. Ouch.
You can have a perfect fit and get an awesome position for a hand or foot only to realize that overtime, your splint will not work out in daily life.
And in Audrey’s case, she essentially has three specific points that we’re wanting the cast to support and maintain post-op with the most neutral position possible:
the heel cord-keep that heel down with the foot at about a 90 degree angle with the leg
the midfoot-keep it straight and not curved in a “C” shape
the calcaneus heel itself-keep it straight down, not curved “inward” like it used to be where Audrey’s point of contact with the floor was only the outside of her foot.
So just imagine how difficult it can be to juggle all those corrections, if you will, with leaving enough room but not too much room. It’s a tricky business.
What we ended up doing was using an extra Dafo 3.5 with a softy shell. Resolving all those foot issues took about a week. The good news is that we’re able to manipulate Audrey’s foot to get it into a good position and keep it that way without too much discomfort on her end. And in another week or so, Audrey’s custom orthotic should be in.
And Sibby finally recovered from her declawing surgery which was just one week after Audrey’s surgery.
Her surgery was performed using a laser which was supposed to be a lot more humane and easier to recover from. Well, I pity the cats who had the scalpel. Laser is bad enough. Poor Sibby was so stressed that she licked herself a couple of bald spots. I read that self-induced alopecia in cats is common after a stressful event, like moving their litter box. In that case, I suppose we should consider ourselves lucky that Sibby only liked off two patches. (For any would-be-haters: Sibby has cerebellar hypoplasia and is not nor will ever be an outside cat where she would need those claws for defense. She will forever be an inside cat where the situation was was kinda like get rid of the cat or get rid of the claws. So. Surgery.)
And we celebrated our nation’s independence.
And we celebrated my dad’s 50th birthday. Happy birthday, Dedu!
And we’re chugging on with summer school, which includes daily lessons from How to Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons and the occasional educational movie.
The girls are picking out words they can read from some of their favorite books and making up the rest. It’s great.
The girls are still enjoying Inquisikids (from Mathtacular) and are learning some very basic air, plant, and kitchen science. We jumped on the plant science bandwagon this week and did some leaf crayon-rubbing, checking out the stems and veins and dancing with notions of chlorophyll and photosynthesis.
Here’s to a relaxing four weeks until Audrey’s next surgery.