Thursday, February 18, 2016

That Darn Hip: Three Months Post-Op

Last Friday we made our way to Bozeman for Jack's first checkup since the spica cast came off. The lead up to these doctors appointments always gives me anxiety and produces some serious tunnel vision. Life becomes all about Jack, his needs, and his future. Everything else kind of falls to the wayside. I start to feel the weight of Jack's medical issues, the frailty of it all. I never know the next time the rug will be pulled out from under us, so it's a hard balance we are left with. I have to give a shout out to my friends who let me talk about Jack and who understand when I am quiet and anti-social. But we try. This balance of trying to live our life to the fullest, trying not to constantly worry, all the while living with the reality of Jack's needs will most likely be the continual struggle we face.

Leading up to the appointment, we had heard some disconcerting news about the length of Jack's left leg and how that could make walking again very difficult. If you remember, Jack's hip surgery was done on the left side. I didn't give it much thought or even knew it was a possibility after surgery, but Jack's physical therapist mentioned that his left leg is now significantly shorter than the right. This length difference is due to the amount of bone that was cut out during surgery and how the hip was placed back in socket at almost a 100 degree angle. His left leg is now inches 2-3 inches shorter than his right. This length difference was our largest concern going into the doctors appointment.

As always, they did a quick x-ray and then we waited for what seems like FOREVER, for the doctor. When he came in, he let us know right away that everything looked good and that it seems to be healing nicely. Big sigh of relief. However, Jack's left leg is much shorter and will require what they call a "lift". I guess this lift will look like a couple of extra inches attached to the sole of his shoe. I take his shoe in today to get fixed. The doctor also told us that we will need to schedule a much less invasive surgery this time next year to remove the plate they put in his hip because by then, it will be fully healed. So, another surgery on the horizon.

Keeping us on our toes, I tell ya. But I was thankful for the "everything is healing good" news.

Jack is still slowly working on walking. In general, he is not a fan of the walker and prefers us to stand behind him and hold him up as he tries to walk. But we keep pushing. He is getting stronger and I don't think he's in too much pain at this point. I can tell by how grumpy he gets and I usually only give him Tylenol and it seems to do the trick. I now finally realize that the leg length difference is going to make this much harder than previously though. We keep saying our motto: slow and steady.

This next photo shows Jack after his class Valentine's Day party. Sigh.

School is going great. Jack loves it like he always has. I am so glad to have the surgery and spica cast behind us and to have a routine again. And this past month I am extra thankful for the collaborative and helpful nature of all of Jack's team. His school therapists work with all our private therapists. They brainstorm, make phone calls, and come up with plans. His teachers truly care and try to make school the best place it can be for him. He is doing well because of this huge team behind him.

Speaking of Jack's amazing team... off to speech therapy. I'll leave you with my new most favorite photo of all time.

P.S. Thank you to everyone who sponsored, ordered, or spread the word about the new Jackpants books! We totally exceeded our goal. Can't wait to get them into schools, to our family, and to our friends! Love what they stand for, love the message they send. Off to the printers!!
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this previous month I am additional grateful for the shared and supportive nature of the majority of Jack's group. His school advisors work with all our private specialists. They conceptualize, make telephone calls, and think of arrangements. His educators really care and attempt to make school the best place it can be for him. He is doing admirably on account of this enormous group behind him.