So today's appointment went very well with the new Orthopedic Surgeon. He was very quiet and exuded this aura of calm that instantly made you feel relaxed. We discussed Hayden's issues and he examined his feet. He told me that Hayden's feet were not ready to be in the boots yet and his recommendation was as follows: two more casts, a tenotomy and one more cast, then the boots. Hayden was an absolute sweetie through the whole thing - only fussing a bit when he did the dorsiflexion, but not the screaming that he has done in the past. Dr. Pirani told me that his primary concern is the baby's comfort and showed me on my hand how lightly he touches - it was feather light. He explained that Hayden's feet should be able to move out on a seventy degree angle and the left foot was only at thirty degrees. I think the right was at fifty. It was all very delicate and gentle. Hayden sat in my lap for the examination and I was able to nurse him. He only stopped nursing to look suspiciously out the bottoms of his eyes at Dr. Pirani a couple of times. The best part was that he had the skeleton model of a foot and showed what should be happening. He also had models of the casts as they should have been done. I wanted really badly to tell him to proceed, but without hubby's blessing I couldn't go on with the fear of causing big marital troubles. (And with two prior failed marriages, this is a very real fear for me) When I talked to hubby later on - he could tell that I was very comfortable with this doctor and we are going to go forward with him. I just wished that we could have started today. I feel very good about him. He even told me that when he started out and the babies were crying, he called Dr. Ponseti and asked him what he was doing wrong and Dr. Ponseti told him he was being too rough with them. Dr. Pirani also had some opinions about the Botox treatment, which weren't exactly positive.
All in all I feel very confident that we can get Hayden on the right road. In addition, I watched other kids as they came in and I could tell they loved him.
For anyone that is wondering, the tenotomy is no more or less invasive than the Botox. It is done in exactly the same fashion - topical freezing, a quick nick in the tendon with a scalpel and then a cast. Done. In fact, it seems even quicker to me than the injection which was rotated all around the tendon while it was inserted and looked to be quite nasty. Judging by Hayden's screaming it was.
So down another road, but a more hopeful one.