Hey, guess what? 4:40 am still feels exactly like 3:40 am when one is disturbed! (mutters..."stupid time change"...mutters)
Well, two posts in two days? I'd better not get your hopes up!
Since it was snowing like a mother trucker yesterday, I decided it would be best if Hayden and I caught rapid transit to the hospital as it goes straight there...if you get the right train. Not having been on the Skytrain in some time, I was merrily riding along and then suddenly realized I was on the bridge over to Surrey in the complete wrong direction of the hospital. Sigh. Get off at first available stop, walk across platform, wait for another train, get on and ride back to previous stop where I should have transferred were I not on the correct train, which I was not.
As that particular stop is not a walk across platform, I had to drag Hayden down a flight of stairs, walk across to the other side, back up another flight of stairs and wait for the next right train. We made it to the hospital about 15 minutes late. No big whoop since we would never have gotten in at that time. That's what I am telling myself. At least, thankfully, the overhead walkway has returned to that stop. They had removed it to put in a building and had erected a steel staircase forcing you to go down about 50 steps and then walk up an excruciatingly steep hill.
Registration was a nightmare. I have never seen it backed up like that before. Where I usually pluck number 5 or 6 from the box, I got number 31 and they were on 23 when I arrived. In fact, it was so busy it took me quite some time to notice the man who was handcuffed and shackled sitting in the corner with his two corrections officers. I wondered why I didn't spot his bright red jumper earlier on? While waiting, I took a peek at the clubfoot clinic waiting room too see how bad it was and it was bad. Basically the waiting area is a hallway and it was full to capacity.
Once we finally got into the waiting zone it was almost 12. Our appointment was for 11. I proceeded to feed Hayden all of the snacks I had brought and ran to the gift shop for some other things. I was too afraid to head over to the Tim Horton's as I kept expecting them to call for us. Turns out, I could have gone there a couple of times because we didn't get called in until 3. Yep, in the afternoon. Let me fast forward this a little bit.
More waiting inside the clinic, doctor comes and shows in two students who he leaves with us for awhile, finally he returns. After examining Hayden's feet, he informs me - to my absolute shock - that Hayden has lost ground since the last visit in July. WHAT??
It turns out that Hayden has lost about 5% of his dorsiflexion on both sides, which is not good. It's not dire either, but it will have to be monitored. (To know what dorsiflexion is, stick a foot out in front of you and point your toes up - you are now dorsiflexed) There were even some changes in his x-rays and that was surprising, too. We haven't changed anything about what we have been doing over the last 8 months, except for very recently he was having the occasional night out of the brace. We can only guess it is because Hayden has grown quite a lot in the last six months. At the beginning of the school year I bought him size 4 pajamas and he could now easily wear a 5, if not a 6.
So here's where we stand. I felt that based on what Dr. Pirani said to me that he was going to release Hayden from the brace in June anyway. The risk of relapse falls only another 5 percent after age 4 and never drops to 0, until they have reached skeletal maturity (age 15). There will always be a risk of relapse for Hayden and what the doctor said was if he is going to relapse, he's going to relapse, whether we take him out of the brace now or in June. He left it in our hands, basically. He also cautioned that taking him out of the brace now would make it harder to put him back in it later. I am okay with this as I am well versed in the machinations of preschoolers and their torture methods. My skin is thick if that ends up being the case.
Now, after I saw him, I had a discussion with Lisa, the orthotist (who I love). She was a little more optomistic and said that she felt Hayden is a 50/50 kid and there is no guarantee that he is going to relapse. She suggested stretches and exercises designed to stretch out the Achilles' tendon, which we will definitely do. Also, running around on the beach in Hawaii will be excellent for him, so maybe we can write this trip off as medical? Har.
Here's the thing. Hayden's feet were terrible at birth. Here is a photo:
We are lucky to have come this far without more complications. If it is the case that he will relapse, I am 100% confident that Dr. Pirani will do everything he can to avoid surgery, as he has already done. He would recast, re-do the tenotomy if necessary and re-brace him before he ever cut open his feet. So, whatever happens, happens. We will do our best to avoid it, but it really is out of our hands.