We’re still driving back from Minneapolis as I write this. It’s a wonder what modern technology will allow! We’re on hour 13 of traveling today and are still 120 miles away from home with two tired babies and an exhausted mom and dad. Tomorrow, we start the beginning of our work week and work through the weekend.
Overall, the trip was successful. Yesterday we managed to get through over a three-hour fitting and x-ray analysis with two 2 year olds and today we are all still alive! It was quite the process and I can’t say that Hailey was very impressed with her “super suit” that we had bragged up over the last two weeks. Then again, a stranger was fitting her with a brace while we constantly took clothes on and off, braces on and off and took subsequent x-rays.
We have a brace that fits relatively well, but will most likely have to be worn over her clothes because of her very small size. I’m hoping to fashion some layers so that it isn’t as noticeable and the other kids won’t be able to tell. The post x-ray showed improvement in the curve and a level pelvis while the brace is on. Without the brace the curve is almost twice as big and her pelvis is not level. It’s definitely showing improvement.
Chiropractically and medically speaking, this is good news. The brace fits, it is working and it shows promise to protect her growth plates as she continues to grow, possibly help correct some degrees of the curve and hopefully prevent progression. We won’t really know how effective it will be until a little farther down the road.
Chiropractor overview: This is great news. The best news we could ask for. It gives us a relatively non-invasive way to try to control the growth of her spine and make changes early, which gives us an advantage. This is what we hoped for from purely a chiropractic stand point.
Mom overview: It makes me really sad that she has to be in a brace. It’s a lot bulkier than what we thought because we had to use different parts to make sure her little hands can’t tear it apart and that it stays where it’s supposed to while she is running around like crazy. Also, it makes it real. Very, very real. Dr. Pappas assured us it is not the worst case he’s seen, but there was no question as to whether this brace was needed. The likelihood of progression and damage to her growth plates and nerves is very high because of the large bone deformity.
We couldn’t keep her in it to travel, so we are waiting until the weekend to start full-time. We need to wash it a few times to soften the material and give her a break from the ridiculous change in routine. She was so overwhelmed yesterday that she just cried the whole time. It’s going to take some training for daycare and anyone that watches her as it has to be removed every time a diaper is changed and it is going to make potty training difficult. It’s going to make a lot of things difficult. It’s a strong tug at my emotions because on one hand, I’m very thankful that this is available to help her. Anything is worth it if it helps her in the long run. On the other hand, the last thing I want is for her to be in a brace for the next 20 years. Dr. Pappas assured us that in three days, it’ll be just like putting her shoes on and she won’t even flinch. I’m crossing my fingers.
The extremely long week and utter exhaustion probably allows this post to be a bit more transparent and less optimistic than I would usually be, but it’s been a really rough week. I’m thankful for great friends that extend their hospitality and support through all of this. I apologize if I haven’t returned calls or texts. It’s been all we can do to get through the week.
The next step: We have a re-check in Chicago in a month. Any adjustment to the brace will be done then. If we’re still having good results, we keep going and doing follow-up appointments to monitor progression. Six weeks from now, we fly out to Idaho to see Dr. Joe Betz who is a top researcher and specializes in scoliosis. We’ll be determining structural integrity of her spine, evaluation and home care methods as well as weighting and specific adjustment techniques. We were initially going to go see him in two weeks, but this trip has taken too much out of all of us so we’re pushing it off until after the next check for the spinecor brace.
We’re still thankful for having non-surgical options and the ability to speak with doctors that we have professional connections to and trust. We’re still very hopeful that we can correct some of the problem and that we can give Hailey a normal adult life without pain and restricted lifestyle. This trip was successful. It went very well and as soon as we can wrap our heads around what this means for our family, we’ll be celebrating 🙂