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Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Tenotomy . . . but not in the usual fashion!

So we are having Lilybears Tenotomy today on both of her heels. For those who don't know what I'm talking about, please read the following except from a hand out I received from the IWK: "Tenotomy (needed in 80% of cases) is a release (clipping) of the Achilles tendon – minor surgery – local anesthesia" This process is usually done in the Orthopedic clinic, under local anesthesia. . . But . . . Where Lilybear was much older than most children this is preformed on, we we advised that they would put her under anesthesia, and preform the tenotomy in the OR instead. This would prevent her from squirming, and potentially causing issues while they were trying to clip her tendon. Usually children having this done are a fair bit younger than Lilybear, and thus they do not fight as hard as she does when they try and hold them still. 

So off to IWK, and into a waiting area for pre-op. They weighed Lilybear, and stuck her with an IV. Lilybear was very cranky at this point as she had not been allowed to eat since 7 am. Her surgery was scheduled to start around 12pm, but she ended up having to wait for the OR as they received an emergency call. Lilybear did not get into the OR until about 3pm! Poor little thing was starving, and crying. I can just picture what was going through her head as she was entirely breast fed at this point. . . "Mom, WTF? Your boobies are right there! WHY AREN"T YOU FEEDING ME!?!?!" 

We waited in the waiting room for the phone to ring to tell us Lilybear was out of surgery. Three other families were waiting as well, and of course, we were last to get our call. Lilybear was out of surgery, and in recovery. They told us that Dr. Logan would be out in a minute to let us know how everything went, but advised that Lilybear was doing great, and surgery was a success. They told us that they would come and get us when Lilybear woke up from her anesthesia. Enter Dr. Logan, our hero. He told us everything went perfect, and we may even be able to take Lilybear back to the Ronald McDonald House instead of staying at the IWK for the night, but we had to see what the anesthesiologist said. It seemed like hours and hours before they came to get us to let us see our Lilybear. . . Finally she woke up, and I got to hold her in my arms again, and feed her. She was hooked up to an IV, so wasn't very hungry. Can you tell I was happy to have my baby girl back??

We got the go ahead from the Anesthesiologist to take Lilybear home, and we were on our way. The following morning we left for home, and spent another wonderful night with the Staff and Volunteers and families at the RMH! We love that place! These casts would stay of for a total of 3 weeks to give her tendons time to heal in their stretched position. That was fine by us, no road trips for 3 weeks! SWEET! :) And after taking this set of casts off, which would hopefully be her last set ever, we would move her into a brace which you will read about in my next entry!

Friday, 23 September 2011

A Bedtime Story

One of the challenges of having a baby with club foot, or any new born really is the lack of sleep. With Lilybear we had a few more challenges. . . Her immunizations have had to be delayed due to having casts over her legs where they would normally give the injections. Another struggle we have had to face is sleep, or lack of it really.

Lilybear likes to kick in her sleep. . . wouldn't be a big deal except she has big ol casts on her legs, and a metal rim around the top of her bassinet that she loves to kick. If the clanking wasn't keeping me awake, the leg cramp issues would. Lilybear has had a few leg cramps that make her very irritable, and fussy. She wouldn't settle for us, and we couldn't figure out what was wrong. She wasn't hungry, or wet, or dirty, or too hot/cold. Then one night DH laid her down on the bed and started doing the bicycle motion with her legs. . . and Lilybear laughed! Music to our ears! We had finally figured out why we had such a fussy baby at times! 

We started doing this when she was cranky, and we couldn't calm her any other way. The change was immediate, and we determined she was having leg cramps from not being able to kick her legs on her own. Now if she would only start sleeping through the night.

Another tip for sleeping, we found that she would sleep the best on her belly. So we did this for nap times, and it was a huge success :)

When the Casts come off, I have a different baby!

I had to make a post of this! One of the most heartbreaking things about treating club foot, is seeing how happy Lilybear was when we would start taking off her casts. . . She def knew what we were doing when we started, because we got this reaction:

Soooo happy!!!

Every time we took the casts off, it was like having the happiest baby in the world!! Then a short time passes, the casts go back on and my grumpy bear is back again. Good thing I love you even when your Grumpy :)

Friday, 2 September 2011

RMH, IWK, and a little bit about casting

We had two trips to IWK this week for cast changes. . . But let me tell you, our experiences have been night and day compared to our hospital in our home province! The people at IWK actually love what they do for starters, and the love kids! Eva was very excited this week as we spent our first night at The Ronald McDonald House Atlantic Canada! Let me tell you, Linda and all of the staff and volunteers there made us feel right at home. We met a few other parents there, and seeing what their children were going through . . . Crooked feet seemed like a walk in the park. That's not saying that it wasn't still hard to see my baby girl getting her new set of casts put on, just that I had a better appreciation for the fact that it could be a whole lot worse!

The other great news that we received this week was that we qualified for Irving's Fuel the Care program. They gave us some gas cards to help us with the cost of traveling to, and from  the IWK. :)

A little about the casting process:

Picture this for me, you have a beautiful little baby . . . Your baby is so happy as she/he is now able to kick their legs freely, and squirm around . . . Now picture having to hold down your beautiful crying baby while a Dr. and a Casting tech wrap plaster cast from the tip of their toes to their diaper line, all while stretching his/her foot into what appears to be an un-natural position. This is not meant to scare those of you that will, or may be going through this with your little ones soon, but I read too much information before having Lilybear that sugar coated the process. The most frustrating thing in what I read looking back now was the constant reminder that "you're not hurting them". . . well golly gee thanks, I know we're not hurting her, but making your baby scream and cry still isn't fun. . . . it's actually quite heartbreaking. Now that I've said that, I will also state that it does get easier as time passes, and with every casting your babe will cry a little less, and fight a little less.