We are back from St. Louis with an interesting update.
First of all, the good.
We were sitting in the waiting room at the hospital. I was reading my book when Matthew said "Mommy! I see my friend D!" I told him, no that I didn't think he would see his buddy there. (He made a friend in St. Louis his first trip there in May and saw him a lot) I looked up and sure enough, there he was! Talk about fate! We had all flown in for an appointment that day without knowing the other was there. The boys were thrilled to be able to see one another again and to play at Haven House later.
The other good... Dr. Dobbs was happy with Matthew's foot. He said it still looked good.
Matthew's heel cord has been getting tight despite all the p/t. Dr. Dobbs thought it would be beneficial for him to spend a week in a cast. Get a good long stretch. Matthew was really upset about this. He really didn't want a cast again. He had some tears when we were left alone. He cried because he would miss swimming. He cried because he didn't want to fly again with a cast. He cried because he wouldn't be able to do the monkey bars. He cried because he didn't want to have to go to school in a cast. But, by the time we made it to the cast room, he put on his brave face and sucked it up better then any adult could. Have I ever mentioned how proud I am of him? :)
Dr. Dobbs intern came in first and had Matthew walk. He immediately felt Matthew's hips. It was like a huge light bulb going off... leg length discrepancy. Sure enough. Matthew's left leg (clubfoot leg) is 1/2 inch shorter then his other leg. The X-rays they took when they removed his cast in May show it clear as day.
Why is this the ugly? Maybe because I am so mad that his surgeon here of 6 years never once measured for it. Never once mentioned the possibility. Never once said that clubfoot with neurological disorders often have leg length discrepancies. SIX years... not once. And Dr. Dobbs found it in Matthew's first post-cast appointment.
What is really ugly is that perhaps, if this had been caught earlier, he could have been wearing a lift in his shoe for a long time and maybe, just maybe it would have slowed his regressions or (maybe this is wishful thinking) prevented some of them.
I was able to pick Dr. Dobbs and Kristina (his nurse)'s brains while they casted him. Dr. Dobbs said that yes, it is possible that with the lift, it could reduce the regression. That his running/walking with his foot turned in could be due to the leg length difference. He also said that one day, Matthew WILL be done with casts. It will happen, he just can't tell me when.
Those were the most beautiful words I have heard in a long time. I told him I was going to hold him to that.
I have to say, Dr. Dobbs and Kristina are such a wonderful team to work with. We have been so lucky to have found them.
So Matthew got his cast (red with a green stripe - his choice) and it is straighter then any of his previous casts. It has made it difficult to move and impossible to reach his foot, but I hope, a better stretch.
Then, off to orthotics to get his brace fixed and to get a lift on the shoe that we had with us. The entire black portion on the bottom is the lift that was glued to the shoe. I have an appointment to take his other shoes in here to have lifts put on them.
Then, back to Haven House to play with his buddy.
What is under the cups? Why praying mantis's of course!
We are now back home and Matthew has not complained once about his cast, save for this morning when he said he had to show me something. I took a peak at his big toe. It was covered in dried blood. The fiberglass was a bit too long and digging into his toe. I got out the scissors and cut it back. He said thank you and ran off to play before school.
Man... that kid is one tough cookie. Makes my heart swell with pride.