Today we saw the orthopedic doctor for Wesley (and YES, I'd double booked myself but it did work out!).
And of course there was another surprise, since that's just the way things go with newly adopted kids with little medical history and when I haven't got a ton of knowledge about their condition. I will be the first to admit that I know little about CP aside from the fact that I am ready to LOVE and willing to LEARN as much as is needed to help Wesley live a good, happy, healthy, and adventure-packed life! :) I didn't go in totally unprepared, but there's only so much that a book can teach you.
If you have CP or have a child with CP, you'll likely read this and say "yeah, could have told you that!" but I wasn't expecting this, and I'm just on the beginning side of any research, so I'd love to hear if there's "another side" to the story (reasons why not to head on how we're at this point planning to).
Today at the ortho the doctor said that since Wesley scissors so badly, his hips are (as we thought) completely dislocated. His adductors are also so tight that he recommended surgery to release those as well as to relocate both hips. We discussed the idea of leaving the hips dislocated, him saying that we have no idea if it's been 2 weeks, 2 months, 2 years, or even 5 or so years that they've been out. He said that often times if the hips have been out for years, there's very little success in putting them back in. In most cases, the femur has to be broken and the hip socket 'reformed' and it's a pretty lengthy and intricate surgery.
Then he said about 1/3 of patients with dislocated hips have some sort of pain associated with it during their lifetime. He suggested that 'most' of those cases are of kids with a higher cognitive ability, and from seeing Wesley interact with his environment (he was shredding the paper on the exam table), he guesses that Wesley is very aware of his body and surroundings and would be concerned that the hips would become a source of pain at some point.
And so... We made an appointment for 2 months from now to go back into the office, and decided I'd go home and talk it over with Michael. The ortho said he is comfortable with whatever decision we make and since he IS newly home, he's comfortable waiting as long as we want to in order to do the surgery. It's not like it's a new problem that wasn't there for the foreseeable past.
After talking it over, we know surgery would likely be scheduled for April/May if we call tomorrow and say "go". And that puts him in casts until (worst case) June. With the possibility of a need for another surgery in the fall. That seems (weather-timing wise) to be a good timeline... So we think we'll go ahead and do this now.
If you have any info on the surgery, questions we should ask before committing, knowledge of the length of time in the hospital after surgery, or any practical tips to dealing with the spica casts or post-op hip patients, I'd love for you to share your knowledge!
As I said, we weren't really expecting this appointment to be a "let's schedule a major surgery" visit, so we want to get our knowledge base together before committing to it right away.
Also, for bonding and attachment and such... I am comfortable doing the surgery in April/May. It is approximately the same timeline we did Emma's surgery in (home March 08, open heart surgery August 08) and though he's a VERY different kid, I have at least some bearing of how things may be at that point post-placement. That is also about the timeframe that we left James in (to go to Ukraine) and again, he was very much bonded and "a part of the family" at that time.
Any advice, questions I should ask, or other info I wouldn't think to even ask you for?? Thanks in advance for continuing to cover our family in prayer!!
**PS: Wesley is NOT in pain right now with his hips out. He also is not even irritated laying on his side and prefers to curl up (fetal) and lay on his side to sleep. We are thankful that it's not causing him pain right now! Also, fixing his hips will allow him to do weight-bearing which he cannot do with his hips out. Even if he doesn't ever walk, it's still much more healthy for him to be able to do weight bearing exercises and really... who KNOWS what he may be capable of once he has the opportunity!! :)