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Derek’s Foot Injury Is Worse Than We Thought

Here we are, over a year after the foot injury, and I feel very much the same way I did the day it all occurred.  My heart is empty and my eyes are full of tears I don’t dare let fall for fear that they won’t ever stop.  It wasn’t that long ago I had a little boy, so full of life and energy and athletic promise.  While that same little boy is here with me today, a fact I am so eternally grateful for, I am deeply saddened by the fact that his childhood is forever changed.  He is still so full of life and energy.  He is still full of athletic ability, but he will now be forever compromised and hindered.

As we walked into the doctor’s office today, I expected what I considered to be the worst case scenario.  I figured we were going to have to endure a serious foot reconstruction surgery that would take at least one or two surgeries to complete.  I envisioned lots of wires and screws holding his foot together, and I was anticipating at least a month, if not longer, of recovery time.  As bad as that sounded, and as much as I was dreading that time, I was looking ahead and thinking that, by the time he was about 5 years old, he would be living a relatively normal life.  The wait was interminable.  We were in the waiting room for about 2 hours!  With a 4 year old and a 2 year old, that can feel like a lifetime!  They finally called us into the room where we were to talk to the doctor,and we waited yet another hour.  By now it was way past lunch time, and the kids were losing their minds.  At least the nurse brought in snacks.  To their credit, Derek and Ashley handled it relatively well, though Ash did have one small meltdown.

toddler crying, toddler meltdown, little girl, tantrum

Ashley’s meltdown after waiting hours at the doctor’s office. She rolled under the examination table and cried fora minute or two, but then she recovered and all was well.

When the doctor finally came in, he was obviously having a tough day, but he was kind, patient, and gracious.  He brought up the MRI, and started to show me the bones in Derek’s foot.  At first it sounded like it was going to be good news. He told me that the the bones in his big toe are actually growing normally, and that there are no problems with his toe outside of the fact that he is missing a tendon.  Then he showed me the bump on the top of his foot, and showed me where the car had scraped the bone.  In that area, a new bone had erupted, and was growing like a ball in his foot.  He called this bone the “Interloper,” and the other bones in his big toe the”Innocents.”  The “Interloper” is growing and causing the bump on his foot, making it hard for him to wear a shoe.  It is also pushing down on the big toe, causing it to push down into the ball of his foot.  It is this action that is causing Derek to walk more and more on the side of his foot and is causing him some pain when he walks.  The “Interloper” is also pushing forward on his big toe, causing it to push out much further than the rest of his toes.  Because of this action, and the fact that he can’t lift his toe without the tendon, unless he is wearing shoes, he will trip and fall over that toe more and more often.  Jason and I have noticed an increase in his falls lately, so this made sense.  So in summary, this ball of bone inside his foot is growing as he grows in a spherical direction, causing a bump on the top of his foot to grow larger and larger until he can no longer wear a shoe.  It is also pushing down on his toe, making him walk more and more on the side of his foot until walking is just too hard, and it is pushing his toe outward, making him trip more and more over his toe when not wearing shoes (which is hard to do because of the bump on the top of his foot).

foot injury, scar, pre bone

The “Interloper.”

It was at this point I started to get the feeling that this was going to be bad.  The doc sat heavily on his chair and leaned back.  He sighed deeply and said, “Soooo….what can we do about this?”  I just looked at him, anxious to hear the answer.  He said, “The problem is that, this particular bone that is causing all the trouble has another terrible characteristic in that, I can’t stop it from growing.”  (That may not be an exact quote, but you get the idea…)

What???  What does that mean?

He continued on, telling me that because he is so young, and has so much growing left to do, we are going to have to just manage the problem until he is done growing.  We are going to have to find shoes that he can be relatively comfortable in, maybe find some inserts or something to help him out, and do the best that we can for him until he can no longer wear shoes, walk, or stand the pain.  At that time, we will have a surgery where he will remove the growth from the foot by shaving it down to normal levels.  This surgery will most likely require a night in the hospital, and then a significant amount of time for recovery. I wish I had asked this question at the doctor’s office, but I didn’t.  I can’t find much in my research, but I am finding a recovery time from 3 weeks to 3 months. I am guessing it will be somewhere in-between.  In other words, this is a much more significant foot injury than we originally thought.

a carefree boy, toddler boy, blonde boy, carefree boy, toddler boy

Here is my Derek before he was hit by a car, changing his life forever.

The problem is that, after the surgery, the “Interloper” will begin to grow back.  As long as Derek’s foot keeps growing, so will the “Interloper.”  This means that every year and a half to two years, he will have to have this surgery, and for most of the time in-between surgeries, he will have to endure pain, discomfort wearing shoes, and tripping over his toe.  As he gets older, he will also begin to feel the pressure of not walking normally, and not having a normal foot.  No longer is the worst case scenario a major surgery on a foot injury and then a regular life.  Now we are talking about multiple surgeries throughout his childhood, as well as difficulties doing what the rest of us take for granted.  No mother envisions their son or daughter’s childhood being plagued with such discomfort, trials, and tribulations.  It was all I could do to keep from breaking down in his office.

At the end of the consultation, we set up a surgery date for March 6th, and a check-up for February 24th.  The check up is to see if the surgery is necessary at that time or not.  I was confused at first, because I was thinking we already needed it. But then I realized…in order to spread out the surgeries and to keep him from being out of commission for so long so often, he was going to have to endure so much more than he already is.  That realization really stung.  It has hit me pretty hard, and is not relenting at all.  He is already complaining of pain, and hating shoes.  How bad will it be in 6 months???  I can’t imagine what all of this is going to be like for him, but I have already made up my mind.

son and mother, mother and son, sonon mother's back, piggy-back-ride

This is my favorite picture of Derek and I.

Derek is tough and strong.  In no way do I want to take that away from him.  He rarely complains, and he runs around like nothing is wrong.  When he falls, which he does quite often, he just gets right up and keeps on going.  I plan to put him into sports like I had planned to do before he got his foot injury.  I will quietly watch him, and keep an eye on how he runs, walks, and moves, but I will refrain from asking him about it much.  I will wait for him to say something to me.  I will do everything I can to create comfortable shoes, be it a custom made sole made from inserts we find in drug stores cut down just right, layered, and fit into shoes two sizes too big, or orthopedic shoes that are made just for kids like him.  I will allow him to push himself through it as far as he wants to, and I will let him decide what is too much.  I will be careful not to put into his head that he is damaged or handicapped. He is not.  He is a kid that can adjust to his situation and continue to thrive and be successful, and I plan to let him do just that.  Like Jason said, if this had to happen to someone, we were lucky it happened to Derek, because he is a kid that will overcome it.

Well, that is where we stand.  I know the pain in my heart will subside, and life will continue on it’s regular course.  Derek will do fine.  If you would, please pray for Derek.  He may not realize it, but he could probably use God’s help.

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Fall Arts and Crafts Activities

Hi folks!  With the fall season upon us, and the weather doing all kinds of crazy stuff, I think this guest post about fall arts and crafts activities has come just at the right time.  Ryan has all kinds of great ideas for things to do with kids.  He was kind enough to offer a post with some of his ideas that I think you will find to be fun and interesting.  I hope you enjoy them!  I would love to hear some feedback from anyone that tries these activities, so don’t forget where you got the ideas from!  

Kelly

Fall is known for the crisp fresh air, apple picking, Halloween, and of course, the vibrant colors that take over nature.  With crafts and activities like mini-Jack-o’-Lanterns, creating your own fall trees, and making marbleized autumnal leaves, you can celebrate the season even if you don’t live somewhere that the leaves change color.  Here are three ways to have a blast this fall, no matter where you may be.

 

  1. Mini-Jack-o’-Lanterns for a Mini-Halloween

 

Nothing says fall like a Jack-o’-Lantern on your porch.  If you want to get a jump start on Halloween, (without worrying about a decaying pumpkin sitting in front of your house when the big day comes), you and your child can make acorn mini-jack-o’-lanterns as one of your fall arts and crafts activities.  To make one, collect a few acorns with their stems attached and wash them off.  Then, cover them in orange paint and once it has dried, paint the tip of the stem brown.  By now it should look like a pumpkin, so it is up to you and your child to “carve” them.  Use a fine tipped marker to color in a face as funny, fierce, for fearsome as you want.  If you mess up, you can always coat it in more orange paint and try again.

acorn pumpkins, halloween projects, halloween, jack-o-lanterns

These are such adorable little projects! Finding the acorns on a walk can be as much fun as painting them! -Kelly

Once everyone has their little jack-o’-lanterns finished you can get on to the really fun part — a trick or treating trail in your house.  Put an acorn jack-o’-lantern in front of each family member’s door.  Then for a little Halloween practice, your children can go down the hallways and knock on a different door each night to get a piece of candy (after dinner!).  To make the activity extra realistic, they can put on a different costume each night.  The costume can be as simple as a character themed set of fun kids pajamas, pretending to be a Jedi by putting on kids bath robes, or it can be as elaborate as they would like.

 2. Create a Fall Tree

Many people consider fall to be the most beautiful season.  Animals are scurrying around to fatten up before hibernation and trees’ leaves light up in a fiery display of red, yellow and orange.  You can bring this brightness into your house without worrying about branches scraping the ceiling or bird nests making a mess by creating a Fall Tree with your child.  For this, you will need twigs, a glue stick, a poster board, and crayons, colored pencils, or magic markers are optional.

sticks, twigs, branches

There are all kinds of twigs and sticks that can be found while on a walk or just in the back or front yard. -Kelly

Take a walk in the woods with your child and find about 10 twigs that can lay flat on a smooth surface.  They should all be different lengths and widths.  Clean any dirt and loose bark off the twigs so that they can be glued to the poster board, then carefully arrange them like a tree.  One tip is to put the longest and thickest twig as the tree trunk, then make the branches out of shorter, skinnier twigs.  Once you have arranged the tree, glue it to the poster board.  Then, go outside and find some of the most brilliant and brightly colored fallen leaves (if you live somewhere that doesn’t get good leaves for this activity, you can also use cut up bits of red, orange and yellow tissue paper).

fall leaves, Maple leaves, pretty leaves, leaves for a project

Maple leaves are great for lots of color, and for variety of color, but they can be kind of big for a project. It may be better to use smaller leaves, but the choice is your and your child’s! – Kelly

With a glue stick, you and your child can add these leaves onto the tree you have glued to the poster board.  If the leaves are tiny, you can add them right on to the branches with a glue stick.  If they are big, cut or crinkle them before gluing them on.   Then, just keep doing this until you have filled up the tree with awesome autumn leaves.  You can use the remaining space on the poster board to draw yourself and your family doing fun fall activities, like going to a pumpkin patch, trick or treating, or even going apple picking.

 

  1. Marbleized Fall Leaves

One of the most disappointing things about the beautiful fall leaves is that they only last for a week or so before tumbling off the tree to be raked up out of your yard.  Fortunately, you can make your own beautiful, marbleized fall colored leaves with white card stock, shaving cream (get a white cream kind, not the gel), a baking pan, and red, yellow and orange food coloring.

The first step is to create some card stock “leaves.”  To do this, trace a few different leaves that you and your child pick from your backyard or a park onto the card stock, the bigger the better, and maple leaves tend to have a great distinctive shape.  Then, cut out the cardstock along the traced lines so it is in the shape of the leaves.  The next step is to cover the baking pan in about a ½ inch of shaving cream.  Then, use a straight edge, like a ruler, to even out all of the foamy hills and valleys on the shaving cream.  Once the cream has been evened out, drop two or three drops of each food coloring onto it.  Then gently mix them around with a paintbrush.

colorful card stock leaves, shaving cream paints, shaving cream projects

It is so awesome how these are made with shaving cream! Can you imagine how much fun the kids would have with this! You may end up with marbleized kids, but that is what makes it even more exciting! :) -Kelly

The colors should first swirl and blend into a tie-dye, marbled pattern, but if you do it too much, they may all just become brown.  When the pattern looks good, gently press the card stock leaf onto the pan, pull it out and let it soak in the food coloring for a minute.   Finally, scrape the shaving cream off the card stock and you should have a brilliantly colored leaf in red, yellow and orange.

Fall can be full of activities from hay rides to pumpkin patch picnics.  However, if you live in an area without a full fall season, or if it is a rainy day, you may not be able to fully enjoy it.  Fortunately, with these fall arts and crafts activities, you and your family can have a fun fall no matter the weather.

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Cranberry Bread Taste Test

When I was in college, I was absolutely addicted to this cranberry bread they served in one of the cafeterias.  I know that sound weird, but trust me.  It was awesome!  After making banana bread so much lately, I started to think of other breads to try, and I remembered my old friend from school.  I immediately set out to find the recipe, and realized I had no idea exactly what I was looking for.  So many of these recipes called for orange juice and orange zest.  That sounded good, but not really what I was looking for, but sine I wasn’t really sure, I settled on one, and went shopping!  I was so excited to try it.  I made it Friday night.  Result, delicious!!!  But not what I was looking for.  I filed that recipe away, and looked some more.  Last night I found what seemed like the recipe that was eluding me, so I made it!  Right then and there!  I had already started dinner, but while waiting for things to bake and simmer, I made the cranberry bread, which is a testament to how easy this recipe is to make!  With four kids running around and dinner in the works, I threw it together, and it was amazing!!  Old memories from a time long gone flooded my brain with the first bite.  After one slice was eaten, the flavor stayed in my mouth for a while.  I turned to Jason and asked him which one was his favorite.  After some time, and some hemming and hawing, he finally gave me an answer.  We both agreed.  I will share these recipes with you first, and then I will tell you what we decided, but folks, BOTH of these are amazing!  They are mildly sweet, tangy and tart, and have a flavor that memories can stick to, making them great breads for Thanksgiving or Christmas, for example.  With no further ado, here they are!

Cranberry Bread

sweat cranberry bread, tart cranberry bread

 Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 bag (12 ounces) cranberries
  • 1 tablespoon turbinado sugar, for topping (optional)

Directions

1)  Preheat the oven to 350º  F

2)  Grease and flour a bread pan

3)  In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and whisk them together.  Set aside.

4)  In another bowl, add a lightly beaten egg, melted butter, and milk.

5)  Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients, and mix well.

6)  Fold in cranberries***.

7)  Place bread into the oven for an hour and 15 minutes.

8)  Let cool for 10 minutes, and then remove from loaf pan and continue to let cool.

***Since cranberries are not in season right now, using dried cranberries is a great alternative.  Just place the dried cranberries into a 1/2 cup of juice, ( I used cranberry-cherry juice in this recipe, and orange juice in the one below…both delicious!) and then, using a straining spoon, scoop them into the dough.  Allow some of the juice to drip into the dough as well, for a touch of moistness, but not too much.

Basic recipe came from Martha Stewart.  Thanks, Martha!

Orange-Cranberry Bread

Orange Cranberry nut bread

I made two loaves, one with and one without nuts. Both were delicious, though my husband prefers the one with the nuts. This bread is darker in color to the one above, and has a more citrus-y flavor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 Tbsp. grated orange zest
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Directions

1)  Preheat the oven to 350º  F

2)  Grease the bread pan and set it aside.

3)  In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda.

4)  Cut in the butter until it looks like course crumbs.  Set bowl aside.

5)  In another bowl, combine egg, orange juice, orange zest, cranberries, and walnuts

6)  Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients, thoroughly combining.

7)  Fold in cranberries and walnuts.

8)  Pour into loaf pan and bake for 65- 70 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

9)  Cool for about 10 minutes, then remove from the loaf pan and continue to cool.

This recipe came from Posed Perfection.  Great blog!

Both breads are delicious!  I have eaten then cooled and on their own , and warmed with butter.  Both ways are amazing!  Which one was the winner in our house???

It was a TIE!  Boring, I know.  Jason leaned towards the orange-cranberry bread, and I went with the cranberry bread.  Try them both, do a taste test at your house, and let me know which one is preferred at your house!  I want lots of comments by people who have tried these, so get baking, folks!  :)  Enjoy!

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Derek’s MRI and Shots

Monday afternoon, I received a phone call from Children’s Mercy South.  The nurse asked me a bunch of the usual questions, and asked me if I understood the rules about what and when he can eat and drink solid foods and then clear liquids.  I did.  Then, she checked to make sure she had the physical we just got done last week still on file, and realized that the MRI appointment she was calling me about was cancelled!  She asked me if I had cancelled that appointment, and I told her I had not.  I was starting to get irritated, but I asked her if maybe it had been cancelled because we had been moved up to an earlier date.  She asked if she could call me back.

making an appointment, alligator, wrestling, fighting

What it felt like to get this MRI scheduled. That probably had more to do with my impatience than anything else, but still!

About ten minutes later, she called me back and told me that we had indeed been rescheduled, and asked if we could come in tomorrow (yesterday)!  I said we could.  I started to get excited.  We were scheduled at 11am, so we had to be there by 10am.  Of course.  That is the story of my life.  Why?  Well, the older boys have a half day that day, and need to be picked up by 12:30, and Jason is working.  I accepted the time anyway, and decided to figure it out later.  I just wanted this MRI done ASAP!

frustrated mom, frustrated, frustrated woman

Me!

So, after I got off the phone with the nurse, I went into panic mode and decided how I was going to solve my kiddo problem.  Jason was working, so there was no way he could pick up the kids.  I thought about who else could get my older boys.  I called my mother-in-law and left her a message, asking if she could go get them, but I feared that she was working as well.  I thought of a mother whose son is a friend of Troy’s that lives a block over.  Maybe my boys could walk over to their house after school?  I was only going to be gone an hour or so past 12:30…but I was not sure that was going to work either.  I figured I would try her after I talked to my mother-in-law.  Last resort?  The boys get a day off from school.  Once I reached that conclusion, I realized problem was solved, just not yet resolved, and so I felt better.  Thankfully, my mother-in-law was not only willing to get the boys and take them to her house until I could come get them, but she even left work early to make it happen!  She is a God-send.

two hearts, hearts, heart, valentines day

Thanks, Mom!! :)

OK.  So the next morning, I take Ashley (yay) and Derek up to the hospital, check in, and go straight to the waiting room.  Within minutes, they call us into the prep room where they take his vitals.  And then they did something bad.  At least I and Derek thought it was bad….let me back up a sec…

The night before, Derek asked me if he was going to get a shot.  I told him that they were NOT going to give him a shot, but instead they were going to tell him to smell some yummy smelling gas, like gum flavored or fruit flavored gas, and then he would fall asleep.  When he woke up, they would have taken lots of pictures of his “aye foot,” and we could go home.  He was happy with that, so he went to sleep unafraid.  That was good.

laughing gas, gas mask, going to sleep, putting one under

The method of sedation we were expecting…

So back to the prep room where they did something bad…they brought out the “rocket ship” as the nurse called it, and poked his hand so fast,I didn’t even have time to figure out what the “rocket ship” was!  Derek looked at me with a small scowl, letting me know he knew I had lied…except that I hadn’t.  The “rocketship”  was, I believe, Lidocain to numb his hand.  I asked her why they were numbing his hand, and she looked at me funny and told me it was to keep the IV from being too painful.  IV????  I told her I needed a moment with Derek.  I explained that we thought he was getting gas, and she understood.

lidocain, topical anesthesia, shots for kids

The “Rocket ship” shot. It is relatively pain free, so this wasn’t so bad. It was the IV that got him going.

She walked out for a few minutes, and I turned to my now skeptical son, and said, “Hey Buddy!  Remember when I told you that you wouldn’t be getting a shot today?”

He nodded his head with a scowl.

“Well, it seems that Mamma was wrong about that.  The rocket ship was a small shot, and that didn’t hurt too much, right?”

He nodded his head a little bit.

That is supposed to make it so your hand doesn’t hurt when they put another shot in your hand.  They have to do that so they can get the medicine into your body and have you go to sleep.  It shouldn’t hurt very much, OK?”

He said, “I hate shots.”

“I know, Buddy, but sometimes you have to have them in order to get better.  Do you want your foot to get better?”

He nodded.

I told him that I was going to be there while he got the shot, and I would hug him and hold his hand until he went to sleep, and I asked if that would be alright.  He just nodded his head, and the nurse came back in.

angry boy, boy about to get a shot, getting a shot, getting an IV

You can see how he really feels about these shots!

I thought the worst part was over.  This is only an MRI, right?  Sheesh!  How bad can this be?

Never ask that question.  Ever.

A second nurse came in and held his legs down.  I was hugging him and holding his hand.  The first nurse put the IV into his hand, and Derek tried SO HARD not to cry.  His face turned bright red, blew up, and THEN he cried, but only a little.  I was watching the nurses, and they were moving the needle all over, and saying things like, “Hmmmmm….” and “Uh oh.”  Not what you would want to hear as someone is putting an IV into your son’s hand.  Finally, they said, “Sorry, Buddy!  That one didn’t work!  We are going to try again in your arm.”

anesthesia through an IV, sedation through IV, IV

Derek is gettng the injection of anesthesia through his IV here. You can see the yellow band-aid where the first attempt was made. They did a great job on the second attempt at least!

OK…so we went from no shots, to a poke and an IV, to two pokes and two IV’s?  Poor Derek!  What made it worse was that right after she put the shot of Lidocain into his arm to prep for the second IV, she told me she didn’t think it worked on him.

Sooo…why are we doing it then?

Well, another few minutes went by, and they did the second IV. This time Derek was pretty mad, so he let them know exactly how he felt as they put the needle in his arm.  And then, about a minute and a half later, he was asleep.  I even tried to get a picture of his loopy eyes and face, but he was asleep before I even got the picture taken.

sleeping boy, boy under sedation, MRI

Derek was asleep before I even got the picture taken after the anesthesia went into his IV.

And then there was peace.

Ashley and I went into the waiting room and colored and read books for about an hour or more.  Finally, the nurse came out to get me and tell me that Derek was waking up.  It was after noon, and the poor boy had not eaten anything since the night before, so I had brought a box of Nutri-Grain bars for him to eat when he woke up.  The nurse gave him a Sprite, and I gave him a “fruit bar,” and he was a happy boy.  A VERY happy boy.  In a kind of a weird way…

waiting room, girl in waiting room, waiting, coloring, reading

Ashley coloring and reading while we wait for Derek

Derek would smile at me, then scowl and bury his head in his blanket and try to go back to sleep when we first walked into the room.  After he had eaten and had a drink, he was more awake, but he still had this bipolar attitude.  One minute he was telling me he loved me, and the next minute he shooting me daggers from his eyes.  When he was ready, we started to leave.

They have these wagons at Children’s Mercy that you can put your stuff and your kids into, and just pull them along, making it easier to cart the whole “load” with you in one trip.  I used one of these wagons to get Derek out to the car, with all our stuff and Ashley in there as well.  When we got to the van, I put Ashley and everything else into the van before I got Derek.  When Derek stood up, he staggered sideways like a drunk at the end of a long night out!  He looked at me and giggled in a drunken giggle.  He insisted on getting into the van on his own, so I started to allow it, but he just kept falling over!  On the way home, he kept telling me he NEEDED candy.  He was absolutely serious, too!  After all he had gone through earlier, I was OK with the idea, so we stopped to get candy before we headed over to my In-Law’s house to get my older boys. The whole way there, Derek was giving me that drunken smile.

loopy, medicated

Derek right after he woke up

When we got to my In-Law’s house, we went in, and Jason and Troy were inside painting.  Derek and Ashley wanted to join, in, but we needed to get going, so instead we convinced the kids to go out and play while the adults had some much needed adult conversation.  My father-in-law gave them popsicles, and that kept them outside, kind of.  Ashley came to the door about 104 times to let us know something of great importance, but for the most part, they played outside.  Not too long afterwards, we left and went home.  The rest of the day, Derek was just not himself. He got grumpier and grumpier.  I let him watch TV while his brothers did the chores and their homework, and then they all had to take a quick shower and eat dinner because I had a room parent meeting for the PTA at the school.

apple, room mother, PTA

I am the room mother for Troy’s classroom.

When we got to the school, Derek was running around, and reminded me of a sidewinder snake…you know…the ones that slither sideways in the desert?  He would run forward, and then all of a sudden, he would run off to the side for a second or two.  He was talking in a seriously over-focused manner, like he was trying to prove he wasn’t high, but apparently, he still was, at least a little.  He was also still grumpy.  When we got home, I put him into bed, and he argued with me for a minute or two, and then he was out like a light!  And slept like a baby all night long.

sidewinder, snake, snake moving sideways

This is pretty much how Derek moved about the house last night! It was pretty funny. :)

Tomorrow I am going to call the Orthopedic’s office and see if I can get the results.  I am not sure why I have to wait two whole weeks to learn the results.  As far as I know, the only reason we have an appointment on the 24th is to go over the results and set a date for his surgery or surgeries.  I would like to get that done ASAP.  If they still want to see us on the 24th, fine, but at least tell us what is on the MRI and set up what ever we need to do next.  I will keep you posted!

911 tribute, 911 remeberance

Never Forget those we lost on 9/11/01

 

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Our MRI Experience

Actually, that is not the best title, because our MRI
experience is yet to come. Yep. We got the physical on
Tuesday from the doctor because the one he got in January was too
old. He had to have one that was within 30 days. I am
glad we waited until the last minute, though, or else I would have
had to go and get another one. You see, we drove all the way
out to the hospital (in rush hour traffic, of course), and got
checked in. Then we got to Radiology, and got checked in
again. We waited about 15 minutes, and then they called us
into the little room where they prep him for sedation. It was
there that he started to cough. Not a bad cough. Not
even a constant cough. Just a cough that happened from time
to time. I had mentioned it to the doctor when we got the physical
yesterday, and they told me it would not be an issue. style="text-align: center;"> href="http://www.kiddosandpups.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/stock-photo-medical-x-ray-imaging-of-hand-fingers-used-in-diagnostic-radiology-of-skeleton-bones-38877295.jpg"> class="aligncenter size-medium wp-image-3179" alt="radiology,
x-ray, foot"
src="http://www.kiddosandpups.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/stock-photo-medical-x-ray-imaging-of-hand-fingers-used-in-diagnostic-radiology-of-skeleton-bones-38877295-300x256.jpg"
width="300" height="256" />

Wrong. The
anesthesiologist came in and checked him over. Derek told him
he had thrown up. While moderately true, the reason was
because he hadn’t had anything to drink since last night, and he
was thirsty. When he coughed, it was a dry cough, and he
gagged a bit. Nothing really came out, but maybe a tiny bit
of phlegm that would have fit in a tissue. That was the final
nail in the proverbial coffin for this trip. They said we
would have to postpone the MRI experience for another week, which
of course means way longer because there is nothing a week out,
open on the schedule. As his mother, this was the absolute
worst news possible. I was SO frustrated. href="http://www.kiddosandpups.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/0511-1011-3019-4461_Frustrated_Woman_Pulling_Her_Hair_Out_clipart_image.jpg.png"> class=" wp-image-3180 " alt="frustrated mom, frustrated, frustrated
woman"
src="http://www.kiddosandpups.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/0511-1011-3019-4461_Frustrated_Woman_Pulling_Her_Hair_Out_clipart_image.jpg-219x300.png"
width="131" height="180" /> Me! You see,
they were worried that he may be coming down with a cold. If
that was the case, while he was sedated, he would have not been
breathing as fully, and the bacteria or virus could sit in his
lungs for that hour, causing a simple cold or mild illness to
become something much more serious, such as Bronchitis or
Pneumonia. While it is a wise decision, and a practical and
necessary precaution, I wanted this thing done, like, yesterday!
I want to know what is wrong so we can schedule a time to fix
everything. I hate all this waiting. It turns out that we now
have to wait until September 20th, although, starting on the 11th,
we are put on a “move-up list,” meaning that if someone cancels
after the 11th, and before the 20th, they will call and see if we
can make it. I guarantee you, we will be there. Unless
he has a cough. href="http://www.kiddosandpups.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/cough11.jpeg"> class=" wp-image-3183 " alt="cold, cough, sick"
src="http://www.kiddosandpups.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/cough11-300x281.jpeg"
width="180" height="169" /> Stupid cold.
Since the new MRI is scheduled for the 20th, I wanted to make sure
we could get into the Orthopedic Surgeon as soon as we could.
The original appointment was scheduled on the 17th, but
seeing as that is before the 20th, it
would be a total waste of time, so I called to reschedule it for
the 24th. Ultimately, I have to wait a total of just one week
longer. As his mom, it feels like an eternity! I tried
to keep our appointment for the 17th in case we got the MRI
experience a bit earlier, but they wouldn’t let me hold that
spot “just in case.” Bummer. href="http://www.kiddosandpups.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/surgeon.gif"> class=" wp-image-3181 " alt="surgeon, doctor, surgery, orthopedic
surgeon"
src="http://www.kiddosandpups.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/surgeon.gif"
width="197" height="194" /> Our Orthopedic
Surgeon So I guess I will have more MRI experience
results for you on the 20th. I am going to wrap Derek in
bubble wrap to make sure he is perfectly healthy that day! href="http://www.kiddosandpups.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/bubble-wrapped-boy1.jpg"> class=" wp-image-3187 " alt="safe kid, protected kid, protecting
kids"
src="http://www.kiddosandpups.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/bubble-wrapped-boy1-225x300.jpg"
width="158" height="210" /> Derek for the next two
weeks. Like my blog? Don’t forget to vote!!
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Guess Who Got Roped Into Being A Cub Scout Den Leader?

I took the boys to the Cub Scout registration last week.  They met a lot of the other scouts, and some of the Den Leaders and Scout Masters, and other Leaders.  They played kickball in the gym while I went to the meeting and filled out the paperwork.  By the time we left, they were hooked!  They are so excited to start!  Troy is a Tiger Scout, and Jason is a Wolf Scout.  As an added bonus, Jason’s Den Leader happens to be an old and wonderful friend of ours that was in our wedding!  His son is in the group, and he will be leading Jason along his scouting journey.   It was great to have him there to help guide us along during the first meeting.  Troy did not have a Den Leader yet.

boy scouts, scouting

Cub Scouts!

The following Tuesday was the Pack Meeting.  We also had Open House at their school that night, so it was super crazy, but we made it.  We got to the school early enough that the rest of the parents were still in the gym, listening to the Principal give his spiel.  I skipped that part and went directly to the teachers and the kids’ classrooms.  I know Troy’s teacher because she had Jason last year, so I didn’t need to know much from her other than how Troy was doing and to sign up for pretty much everything!  I signed up for two field trips and I am the room mother.  Then I went to Jason’s class and signed up to bring a treat for the Halloween, Christmas, and Valentine’s party, and to talk to his teacher about 2nd grade.  I asked her about Jason, and got the standard response about how good he is and that he isn’t a problem and his grades are good.  Well, good enough.  As long as everything is where it should be, I can get the details at conferences, which I also signed up for.

back to school night, meet the teacher, see the classroom, 1st grade, 2nd grade

Back To School Night!

Once I signed away more time than I actually have, I gathered up all the kiddos and off we went to Cub Scouts.  Jason had to work, of course, so I got to bring all the kiddos, not just my scouts.  We sat through the meeting, and learned about how it goes.  The boys had a blast!  It really seems like a great group of boys and parents.  I am really excited about this troop!  After the meeting, I had to pay our dues (ouch!) and the Pack Master asked if all us Tiger Cub parents would stay late for just a few minutes.  I agreed like a dummy.  I should have seen what was coming, but I was focused on trying to keep all four kiddos in check, and didn’t think it through.

microphone, Den Leader, Cub Scout Den, Wolf Den

Jason’s Den got to read the ticket numbers for the cake raffle. It was one of the first things Jason got to do with his new Den!

At first, one of the parents asked if I would be their Den Leader.  I was surprised, and laughed, and told them I was just going to sit back down in the wolf den who happened to already have a leader.  Then the Pack Master came over, and asked if anyone wanted to be a Den Mother.  I just sat there.  He looked at me and started saying how fun it would be, and how necessary.  He also looked at the woman beside me.  He asked her, and she stammered a bit.  Then he looked right at me and asked me.  I also stammered a bit and hemmed and hawed.  I had sworn to myself that I would not do it this year, but I am too weak to say no.  He suggested that we be co-leaders, and that seemed more palatable, so I agreed, and so did the woman next to me.  And so there it is.  I went to just being a mother of two Cub Scouts, to having a Wolf Scout and a whole Den of Tigers!  Oh boy…I think I am going to have to find a way to get organized super quick, or this is going to be a looooong year!

emblem, cub scouts, cub scout, tiger scout

The emblem of a Tiger Cub Scout

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Skin Reconstruction

In light of Derek’s new developments, I thought it might be a good time to post a wonderful guest post by Jennifer Huyenh – Cho.  I have received many comments and emails regarding Derek’s skin graft and the procedure.  Since Jen is a terrific medical writer, I thought it would be interesting, and informative to share some of her knowledge with you all.  I hope you enjoy the article and learn a lot!  Thanks Jen!!

Kelly

Skin is our largest organ in the human body. It guards the underlying system of muscles, bones, ligaments, and our internal organs. Skin is also our first line of defense again the environment and has many important functions that keep us living. Functions include protection again pathogens, excessive water loss, insulation, temperature regulation, sensation and the production of vitamin D. Skin may seem like a last thought, we see it every day, it’s what you see in the mirror, you moisturize it and protect it from the sun, but what else? Why else do we have skin? A major function that skin provides is the ability to transplant and grow skin for reconstructive uses. Our bodies cannot last long without the skin’s protection.  This post will dive deeper into skin reconstruction and the major uses for skin reconstruction.

skin, anatomy

A diagram of the skin

Types of Skin Reconstruction

Skin Reconstruction is the use of skin for reconstruction; this includes skin grafting and tissue expansion used for the purpose of reconstruction. These procedures are all available through plastic surgery and are usually covered by health insurance as they are for reconstructive purposes and not cosmetic. Those who seek skin reconstruction are those who suffer from breast cancer or skin cancer reconstruction, severe burn wounds, hand injuries, bedsores, and treatment of diabetic ulcers.

Skin grafts: Skin grafts are often used for burn patients, patients with extensive wounding, and extensive skin loss due to infections. The surgical removal of the damaged skin is first required before the actual skin graft. The skin grafts serve two purposes for the patient, it reduces the course of treatment needed and it improves the function and appearance of the body which receives the skin graft. Skin grafts save thousands of lives every year but they are excruciatingly painful. While the pain of a severe burn is almost unimaginable so is the destruction it can cause. Large open wounds are highly susceptible to bacterial infections and if the body cannot regulate its temperature and hydration it will go into shock. This is why skin grafts are used and although very painful, they serve a greater purpose. There are two types of skin grafts: autografts and allografts. In all skin graft procedures, skin must be removed from site A then attached to the wounded area or site B. The most preferred source of skin for any skin grafting procedures is from the patient himself.  This is called an autograft. The body’s immune system will ultimately try and reject foreign skin which is why sourcing from the patient himself is the best option for long-term treatment. In some cases, the patient may be too injured for the doctors to perform an autograft in which case doctors may place a temporary skin covering to slow down the chance of infection until the patient can regain strength for the autograft.  The second skin graft procedure is called an allograft, skin that is sourced from another human or a cadaver. Allografts can last seven to ten days before the body will ultimately reject them. A similar graft, Xenografts, are temporary skin covering from animals (usually pigs) that can only last three to five days before they are rejected. Allografts and xenografts are primarily used to buy time for the patient. In most cases, they can provide enough protection to allow the skin to regenerate on its own. When autografts are necessary, there are three major types to choose from. Deciding on which autograft method to use is dependent on the amount and depth of the skin loss on the patient. A Split-thickness graft is used for the shallowest wounds, those that affect only the epidermis and part of the dermis. It is called a split-thickness graft because the doctor removes only a few layers of skin from the donor site. Similar to split-thickness grafts, full-thickness grafts require all three skin layers, the epidermis, dermis and hypodermis, to be removed from the donor site. Full-thickness grafts are often used in cases where the cosmetic appearance of the injured area is very important. Full-thickness grafts differ from split thickness as they include hair follicles, sweat glands and blood vessels that allow the graft to look more natural. They also heal much more quickly than a split-thickness graft and is also less painful. The third skin graft method is called a composite graft; this is used for wounds that include bone, tendon, cartilage and the loss of muscle. For a nose reconstruction, for example, the surgeon would be required to harvest a graft that includes supportive cartilage tissue along with the skin layers.

skin graft procedure, major wound care

Image of a skin graft

Tissue Expansion: Tissue expansion is literally what it sounds like. Similar to a women’s skin during pregnancy, skin is stretched under the skin near the area of repair. This allows your body to “grow” extra skin for the use in reconstructive procedures.  Surgeons will accomplish this by inserting an instrument known as a “balloon expander” under the skin. Over time, the balloon will be gradually filled with a saline solution slowly causing the skin to stretch and grow. Once the skin has grown enough, it is then used to correct and reconstruct a damaged body part. Tissue expansion has many advantages as it has the most natural affect, skin color and texture are a perfect match for the area in which it is needed and little scarring results since there is no skin removal from one area to another. The major consequence of tissue expansion is the length of time needed to grow a sufficient amount of skin. This procedure can take as long as four months. While the balloon expander grows, so will the bulge under the skin, leaving undesirable affects for one going through scalp reconstruction but maybe desirable for those undergoing breast reconstruction.

tissue expansion, cancer, breast cancer

Diagram of Tissue Expansion

Skin Cancer and Breast Cancer Reconstruction

There are many major problems that skin reconstruction can alleviate; the most used includes burn victims, breast cancer patients, and skin cancer patients. Skin grafts are commonly used for burn patients as we explained before, however, breast reconstruction and skin reconstruction after skin cancer are not as known. Similar to burn patients, skin cancer reconstruction uses skin grafts to protect a wound and promote healing. First your surgeon will perform an excision biopsy to diagnose and remove skin cancer under a local anesthetic. During an excision biopsy, your surgeon will remove the cancer and a border of healthy tissue around it, taking time to ensure the tissue does not contain any cancer cells.  Once this is done, a skin graft or skin flap is taken from the donor site, usually somewhere hidden by clothes such as the inner thigh, and applied to the wound. Skin flaps are taken closer to the wound and are partially connected to its original site allowing it to be continuously connected to your blood supply. This allows the wound to heal well once placed and looks more natural. This same process is used for breast reconstruction following a mastectomy immediately or delayed. There are a few types of breast reconstruction, the use of breast implants, natural tissue flaps, or a combination of both. Skin grafts and tissue expansion are readily available for women in need of breast reconstructive surgery. Pain in both of these procedures will be very likely and your surgeon will recommend days and weeks of rest to strengthen your body for healing. Your surgeons will also tell you how to care for your surgical site, medications to apply or take orally, specific concerns to look for and when to follow up with your surgeon.

breast implants

Breast tissue expansion after a mastectomy

New advances in skin reconstruction are made every day because of their incredible value. From burns to infections to cancer, skin reconstruction saves thousands of lives. It is important to know our options and although these health concerns may seem cringingly horrible and painful, reconstructive procedures are available to save lives.

Bio: Jen is a writer for a medical reconstructive and cosmetic surgery center in Kansas City. She has two kittens and loves to write about all things beauty, women, health and fitness! She spends her days outside and at the center where she learns as much as she can from the board certified surgeons. This plastic surgery center specializes in breast augmentations and breast reconstruction.  Jen also has a personal blog Littlefurrymusings.tumblr.com where she writes about all kinds of things that she thinks others would enjoy.  

 

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Attitude Makes All the Difference

Having a child hit by a car is one of the most terrorizing and heart-breaking events that could ever happen to a parent.  I still see Derek’s eyes looking at me, begging me to help him the instant before the van hit him.  Those eyes will haunt me the rest of my life.  I had come to grips with the fact that my son was always going to have a slightly deformed foot.  I knew that there was the likelihood of future surgeries or procedures, but I was still caught off guard yesterday.  When I learned that there are some serious problems still left to deal with, my heart broke.  For a short time, I may have even given up on the idea of Derek having a normal life.  But after further reflection, I realize that I was just feeling sorry for myself, and not really thinking about Derek.

depressed, sad, distraught, upset, down

Now don’t get me wrong.  The injuries he has are just as serious as I have stated, and the problems that are in front of him are real.  Everything I said yesterday still stands, but my attitude is better. Last night, I started thinking about Derek, and who he is.  I watched him play with his brothers and Ashley and even the dog.  He climbs up on everything!  He runs, jumps, and plays all day long.  He is the youngest of the three boys, has one shoe on, and an injured foot, and he still keeps up with his brothers in just about every way.  My mother reminded me of a story of when we were in Colorado.  My mother and I were at the house, and Jason and my Dad took the three boys on a hike to find a cave.  When they got the the area where they started the hike, Jason noticed that Derek only had on one shoe.  At that time, we were trying to get him to wear both shoes, but he hated wearing one on his hurt foot.  Jason just let him go, and figured he would carry Derek if it got too difficult for him.

brave kid, strong kid, kid crossing on a log

With only one shoe on and an injured foot, Derek makes it across this log with no problem!

As they went along the hike, the terrain was not cleared out for hikers.  It was just land taken over by nature.  They had to cross through trees, sage brush, rocks, cactus, and other crazy things.  They even had to cross a creek by walking along a fallen log.  Not only did Derek cover the entire trail on his own, without any help from anyone, but he was the first one to the cave.  He was the one at the top, trying to hurry along the others!  Here he is, the youngest, wearing only one shoe with a foot injury, and he was the one that made it to the top first.  Everyone else was taking their time, watching where they were going, but Derek charged ahead.  Nothing holds that kid back.  This story amazed me at the time, but it brings me great hope now.

rocky mountains, rocky terrain, cave, cave in Colorado, beautiful hike

You can see the rough terrain that they hike in. Derek was the first to the cave, and only had one shoe and a hurt foot. He is soooo tough!

You see, Derek is not one to give up or feel sorry for himself.  He is not one to over analyze and over-think his situation.  He is a smart, energetic kid that has a unique ability to adapt and adjust to his situation.  Rather than let his injuries slow him down or stop him, Derek is going to find a way around the problem.  It may be a lot harder for him to accomplish the same things as other kids, and he may have to work harder, and dig deeper to get to the finish line, but Derek will not only get there, he will get there first!  Because he has such an amazing attitude, never complaining or whining about his pain or circumstance, I am going to continue to enroll him into sports, put him into the same activities that I planned on putting him into, and see how he does.  I am going to give him the same opportunities that I planned on giving him before the accident.  Why should I limit him?  Why not let him figure out how to solve the problem?  Why not give him a chance to do everything everyone else can do?  He may eventually find his limitations, but I want him to determine those limits, not me or anyone else.  I will always be there to help him through, guide him along, and soothe his pain, but I am also going to support him in everything he attempts to do.

Cricket, kid gun, kid shooting a gun

Derek is shot so well in Colorado! Here he is with only a little guidance from Daddy.

All this being said, I think it will be wise to take another piece of advice from my mother.  Derek was a great shot in Colorado.  I think it could be wise to continue to pursue shooting as a sport since problems with his foot will have very little if any effect on his ability to shoot.  He loved shooting, and felt great competing against his brothers, whom he almost beat at four years old!    My belief is that Derek truly can do what he wants to do, and can go as far as he chooses to go.  Who am I to stop him just because he got his foot hurt?  Coming to this realization has given me peace again.  While I wish he didn’t have to overcome so much and go through all that he must go through, I am proud of the boy he is, and I think he will handle this problem better than any of us can imagine.

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Derek’s Foot Injury Update Is Not At All What I Expected

When  walked into the Orthopedic’s office today to get Derek’s foot injury looked at, late as usual, I was not nervous, but instead, a little excited.  That bump on the top of his foot was driving him crazy, so it needed to be taken care of.  I figured the doc would take a look at it, decide that yes, it need to be shaved down, and we would set a date to get that done.  The sooner, the better in my mind.  The more we can get taken care of, the happier we will be.  But that is not what happened.

hurt foot, growth plate, broken leg, bone injuries

Derek waiting for the doc to come.

Jason and Troy were at school, so it was just me, Derek, and Ashley.  After we signed in, a very kind volunteer woman came over and read a book to the kids, and had them very entertained.  She was great at it!  In no time, we were called in.  Derek went back and got the X-rays taken, same as every other time.  Within minutes, he was back.  I don’t even have to go with him anymore.  He is an old pro!  He walks back, all proud to be able to do it himself.  It was really cute.  When he came back, we all went to the room to wait for the doctor to come in.  The nurse came in first and just asked some basic questions, and then she left.  No big deal.  Then the doc came in.  He took a look at Derek’s foot injury, and got very serious.  Usually he is very upbeat, and has an attitude of, “Yeah, this is a bummer, but no big deal, we can fix it and everything will be fine.”  Today was different.  My radar went up.

feet, pond, foot, water

Derek dipping his feet into a pond.  Everything seemed fine for the most part…

He first asked Derek to walk up and down the hallway so he could see how he was walking.  It was obvious that he was favoring the outside of his foot.  He told me that he could see that, so when we went back into the room, he took Derek’s foot into his hands and started feeling and inspecting it.  He showed me how Derek actually had two bumps:  one on the top of his foot, which I was aware of, and one on the bottom, which was harder to see.  He said that it was this bump on the bottom of his foot that was causing him to favor the outside of his foot.  He also noticed that his toe was growing irregularly.  He said that all of this irregular growth is likely caused by damage to the growth plates on the bones.

My heart stopped.  Growth plates?  That is bad, right?

Yes.  That is bad.  Very bad.

The doc explained that if we didn’t take care of this problem, it could be very bad for Derek.  It would seriously affect his ability to walk, put on shoes, go to school, play sports, etc.  The problem is that the affected areas are not bone, but cartilage, which does not show up in an X-Ray.  He needs a better picture of his foot and toe to see what is actually going on before we can decide our next move, so he ordered an MRI.

skeleton, skeleton of foot, bones of foot

Here is a chart of the bones in the foot for reference.

This is the part where I need you to bear with me.  I have a degree in Biology, but it has been a long time since I have been this engrossed in anatomy, and the doc does not get this technical with me, but I am going to attempt to explain the issue in detail for you because I think it makes more sense that way. It may turn out that I have some of my details incorrect, but if that is the case, I will correct them when I find out.  This is how I understand the issue:

There are up to three areas that have irregular growth.  The first area is where the bump on the top of his foot is located, and that is at the tarsometatarsal joint.  The second area is at the other end of that bone, at the joint between the metatarsal #1 and the phalange of the big toe.  The third area is somewhere in the big toe, but I am not exactly sure where.  Possibly between the two phalanges.  He needs to look at the MRI to see where the irregular growth is occurring, and then see what type of treatment can be done.  Because Derek is only 4, and therefore has at least 10 more years of growth left (and most likely more based on his genetics), we can’t wait for him to grow first and then fix it.  We are going to have to go in surgically and use screws, wires, and maybe other stuff to change the direction of growth.  Right now, the growth is causing angulation and an irregular curve in the arch of his foot.  Also, his big toe is growing faster and in a weird direction, compared to the other toes, causing him to fall down and stub his toe constantly.  (While writing this post, he came in from outside with a cut on the top of his foot cause by him falling down again…).

angulation, growth plate in foot, injured foot and toe

You can see the bump on the top and the bottom of his foot in this picture. If you drew a line from the middle of one to the middle of the other, you can see the metatarsal #1 bone, and the angle it is growing at. It is clearly not growing as it should.

So what does all of this mean?  That is what I am not terribly sure about.  Obviously we will have to endure some surgeries.  My hope is that we can stay on top of it and solve the problem entirely, but when I asked the doc if this will definitely cause problems with his ability to walk, play sports, etc., he nodded his head emphatically, and said, “Yes!”  My stomach started turning knots.  I thought about it later, and I am wondering if he meant that it would definitely be a problem only if we don’t do something about it now, or if he means it will no matter what, but the severity depends on how quickly we can get it treated.  Either way, it is obvious my baby boy is no longer going to grow up like every other little boy.  Until he is an adult, there will be issues we have to keep an eye out for, correct, and take care of.

arches of feet, irregular growth in foot, child's foot

When you look at the arches of both of his feet, you can see how much of a difference the irregular growth of his injured foot has made.

The MRI is scheduled for September 4th, and then we go back to see the doc to get answers on September 17th.  As fast as time seems to go these days, that still feels like an eternity to wait!  I want to know so many things!  How many surgeries will there be?  Will he need help walking, like with a brace?  Will he need it forever, or just a little while?  Will we need to have surgeries every year, every few years, or just at this time?  How much pain is he in now?  How much pain will he be in later?  And the questions keep on building.  I am so sad and scared for my baby boy.  This was not what I expected to hear today.  I thought the worst was over, but it seems like maybe it has not even yet begun.

big toe, injury to big toe, irregular growth in big toe

You can see how the irregular growth of the metatarsal #1 has affected his big toe, causing him to trip and fall and stub it a lot.

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Moving Up A Dr. Visit Regarding Derek’s Injured Foot

Tomorrow morning, I will be taking Derek to visit his Orthopedic Surgeon.  In the last update, I said that he has a growth on the top of his foot was made of what the doc called, “prebone.”  That growth has continued to grow, and makes it very difficult for him to wear shoes.  As a matter of fact, it has developed skin growths that resemble a pimple, but are more firm to the touch.  I have also noticed that his big toe has grown longer on the injured foot than on the other foot.   He is also favoring the outside of his injured foot, which tells me that the inside of his foot, which is where his injury is, hurts him a lot.  He is falling down often, and he stubs his big toe all the time.  It just seems like the problems are getting worse and are progressing faster than we had expected.  I called the doc to ask if this was what they were expecting, or if we needed to come in and be seen.  That was about two weeks ago.  They agreed that it would be best that we come in early because they believe the possible problems we had foreseen are occurring more rapidly than was anticipated.  We were not supposed to go in until the first week of December.

 

(His feet are dirty in the pictures below because he was playing outside).

foot injury, toe length

You can see how his right toe is so much longer than the left toe.

 

foot injury, scar, pre bone

From this angle, you can see the growth on his foot, and how much it has grown.

 

irritation on injured foot, hurt foot

You can see the pimple-like growths on the bump on top of his foot.

 

I am going to have to talk to the doc to see if he is observing the same thing that I am.  When I had Derek stand straight, with his feet together, his right leg, the one that he hurt, was bent.  He immediately tried to stand with his legs spread a bit so he was more comfortable.  I investigated this a bit more.  It seems to me that the right leg is longer than the other. I know that the possibility of one leg growing longer than the other was a concern discussed when we saw the doc the last time in June, but I didn’t expect to see anything until he was a bit older.  Now, Derek was more interested in getting the toy that was on the desk near us during this “examination,” so he was a bit squirmy and not completely compliant, but I am pretty sure  got a good look and saw a discrepancy.  We will see what the doc says tomorrow.  Until then, pray for us!  I hope the problems are small and easily fixed.  I will keep you posted!

 

Longer leg, LLS, longer leg syndrome

This is how Derek prefers to stand. While it is not all that different from the rest of us, it seems his reasoning behind having his injured foot in the back is because it is longer than the other foot.

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