Feb 15, 2016

Say Goodbye to the Foot

I don't know that anyone is actively following this blog now that we have been home from China for almost two months but a new entry was warranted as we move forward on surgery for Seraphina. For the past couple weeks, she has not been wearing the temporary device she received in China, complaining that it hurt too much to wear it. We are not surprised as it looked painful even when we were overseas.

If anyone thought we might wait for a while before taking action with her congenitally deformed left leg, they'd be wrong. One month after arriving home from China (1/18/16), we had an appointment with a pediatric orthopedic at Levine Children's Hospital. The doctor took x-rays of Sera's foot and then reviewed them with us and recommended a Syme's amputation -- removal of the foot at the ankle joint and then wrapping the "heel skin" around the bottom portion for added durability. Additionally he would straighten the petite femur in-line with the tibia and fuse the two bones together to remove any play in the residual limb.

Based on our own research and talk with parents who have adopted children with similar special needs, we agreed with the diagnosis and began preparations for a surgery date. In the meantime, we reached out again to Prosthetic & Orthotic Associates (POA) in Orlando to get information on what to do post surgery. We spoke with more parents that had used POA and heard of another option for surgery -- the Boyd method -- and asked our doctor about the alternative. He was very helpful, calling us back in the evening to talk at length about the two procedures and why we might choose one over the other. In the end, based on Sera's unique skeletal system, we opted to stick with the original plan.

We also met with a local prosthetist at the request of the surgeon. He felt it would be worth considering the option of having a local source for future needs, and implied that during the first couple of months post-surgery, we would be dealing with him for PT anyway. As it turns out, his contact participates in the same fitness group that I am in. We met with him on January 28 and he took the time to show us the technology and provide a timeline of what to expect as Sera grows. He and Sera hit it off immediately and I think she thought she might be getting her new leg that same day, especially when the prosthetist mentioned customizing the socket with anything Sera liked (e.g. a design on her t-shirt, a picture from the internet) and the option of paintable toe nails!

While we were comfortable with him, we still felt the need to work initially with POA in Orlando. They have been holding out hands ever since we first received a referral for Sera. I am pretty certain we would not have adopted Sera had Stephanie not called me back on Labor Day 2015 and spoken with me for over an hour about her condition. I'm too loyal not to reward that assistance, especially given the glowing references from so many of the families that have used them.

With all that information behind us, surgery is set for TOMORROW -- Tuesday the 16th -- at 7AM. We are told she will be in surgery for about 4 hours and will remain at the hospital for 3-5 days for observation. Once released, we are being told to expect 8-9 weeks for recovery to the point that we can remove the body cast and head for Florida to finally meet the POA staff in person.

Angela plans to stay with Sera most of the time that she is in the hospital while I shuttle back and forth to watch the other 3 kids at home. So many people have offered to help and we are thankful for that as well as all the spiritual support in the form of prayers. Aside from the anxiety of not knowing what to expect over the next several weeks, I think we are as ready as we can be for the adventure.

I may not be able to provide daily updates over the next several days and week, but I'll try to hit the highlights so everyone can remain in the loop. Take care!

1 comment:

  1. Please know that the Riders are here, praying like crazy and ready to step in at a moments notice ... and thanks for the update!