After an unsuccessful attempt at treating Stephen’s toe-walking we scheduled Stephen for surgery to have his heel-cords lengthened on January 16. The night before we went to Mike and Kathy’s for dinner and left the other four boys there to spend the night. Driving home, with only Stephen in the back seat, he asked, “Can you turn on some music or something? It’s too quiet.”
We left for the hospital early the next morning. We were passed by Aunt Miranda, Sam, and Erin who were on their way to school and work and waved happily. We checked into the new outpatient surgery unit at Children’s hospital and waited for our turn, passing the time talking. Mike came to visit and joined in a game of cards with us. Before we knew it, it was time to go back. Stephen was very brave and went without hesitation, choosing his laughing gas flavor as he went and making known his color preference for his casts. I was reminded that whatever illusions I have about being able to protect my children, there are things really beyond my control.
After a while I was paged and put in a room to wait for the doctor. It kind of felt like being called to the principle’s office as I sat there and waited. Soon the doctor came in, explained things went fine, but he also had to lengthen the ligaments to his toes as well. A short time later we were on the way to the room.
Isaac, when he had his surgery, slept a good bit of the day. Not Stephen. We talked and Adam and I read to him and we worked puzzles. As evening came on I was getting tired, but he wasn’t, so we snuggled in his bed and he watched a movie while I took a nap. The evening was a bit rough as the pain block wore off, and I was glad to see the morning come. Stephen impressed the nurse with how much he could eat. She also was impressed at his choice of cast colors, one green and one blue, and stated that in her 23 years as a nurse she had never seen anyone choose different colors and said he must be quite creative.
His recovery involves two weeks in a wheelchair without bearing weight on his feet. He has had an amazingly good attitude about it. Tomorrow ends our two weeks and he gets walking casts which he will wear for two weeks. Then he will wear velcro immobilizers off and on as he regains strength.
His brothers have enjoyed pushing him around. He has gotten quiet good at maneuvering. He has also enjoyed a better seat for movie night. The wooden cutting board my dad made me made a perfect wheelchair tray.