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Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Hard Times

So today was very difficult. I got all set up as usual for Hayden's cast removal/bath. Run the bath, water a little too hot so it can sit and cool while I remove the casts. Set up the bottom towel, the top towel, the soap, shampoo, lotion and his diaper and clothes. Remove casts in front of the t.v. so that I can sit down and be slightly distracted from the torment.

It started out okay, but as I got down to the lower cast parts, Hayden became more and more agitated. There was a horrible smell coming from one of his legs and I noticed that it was all gooey behind the knee. He was quite fussy through his bath and was terrified of his legs moving. He was as irritable as he was last week.

We got to the hospital, had a snack and headed up to Orthopedics. It was very busy and we waited for awhile. They called us in and started the examination which now entails flexing his foot and manipulating it. This adds to his distress so he was screaming already and they were nowhere near the casts. They started the cast on his left foot (the worse foot) and it wasn't going well, so Dr. Alvarez stopped and had it removed. They started over and by this time, tears were streaming down Hayden's face, he was bright red and sweating profusely. I finally snapped and started crying. Doug had to take over so I could compose myself. They got the one done and Dr. A said "Let's have a time out and give him a break. We'll go do something else while you guys get him calmed down" and they all left. It took a long time to get him settled down and in the meantime, the team looked at another little one and then suddenly they all disappeared.

When Dr. A returned she told us they had had a conference about him and decided he needs a break from the casts. His feet are not doing all that well, but the real concern was about his skin, which is quite irritated. She felt that this is the major part of his screaming - that his skin is just too sensitive and sore and it hurts to be touched. She told us he will need another Botox, so even if his feet start to turn back in, it will be okay. She also said to Doug that when I start crying (she called me her "stalwart") that it's time to make a change. It was the first time I have cried through any of them, not even the one where he was newborn. So they will check him next week and possibly leave him for another after that. In the meantime, we need to treat his skin with hydrocortisone and try to de-sensitize his legs to touch.

I am very excited and happy to have my "whole" baby and have spent the rest of the day stroking his legs and feet. I had to remove the one cast, which he didn't like, but we got through it alright. I noticed that even though the cast had been on for over four hours, that it was still wet underneath. I thought it dried a lot faster than that and I felt that it must be quite gross to go through that. It's funny how babies are so adaptable - within an hour he was already kicking his legs and not freaking out any more! I can't wait to have a bath with him! I'm happy to have this break!

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