Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Day 2: ¡Ayúdeme

So, today was the "big" day we'd been most dreading -- the initial casting. Getting the cast made was every bit as difficult as I'd imagined it would be. Admittedly, I've had some experience with this, since a cast is required to make AFO's, and we've been through that three times now. Each time there is screaming and crying, a heroic effort by Simon to escape and plead for help (in both English and Spanish thanks to Dora & Diego), matched by my equally stoic effort to soothe him, hold him down, and keep him from maiming the individual working on the cast.

This time it took four adults. Myself and Brian holding onto him, and two therapists working on the arm. It was a big challenge, he's quite strong for a little guy that weighs only 30lbs, and he is quite adept at wiggling out of tight places. Trying to get the cast on correctly was tricky, and then removing it to prep it further was even harder.

Brian and I are both a little surprised by the cast itself. From photos we'd seen of the program, we were expecting a full-on cast in our choice of rainbow color. Apparently, that isn't how it is being done now. What we have is.. interesting. They use a waterproof material to make the cast (which is great), and then they remove it (very confusing for the small child in question), trim off the rough parts and tape up the edges with a waterproof tape, finally  re-inserting the child's limb and securing it with electrical tape (in our choice of rainbow colors). Practically speaking, I understand that the desire is to be able to remove the cast to check the skin and then re-use the same cast, but the result looks like I tried to set Simon's arm myself with paper mache and duct tape.

But, never fear. I'm working on a cosy for it. So far, I've found a Paul Frank pirate-themed knee-high sock I think may work, if I can trim and hem it properly... Heck, maybe this will lead to me opening an Etsy shop full of cast-cosies.

Yes, I am that shallow.

The BIG surprise of today is that Simon has almost immediately started adapting. As soon as he'd recovered himself somewhat therapy began, with a walk up and down stairs while attempting to hold onto a railing, and then pressing elevator buttons (a favorite task on any day). I expected a fair amount of resistance to using the "other" arm, and honestly, with me in the room there were a lot of tears and wanting Mommy to "hold you." However, after I finally accepted that I needed to go and hide (within earshot), and after a few failed attempts at getting the casted side to do anything (and a bit more crying), Simon just went with it. He is really trying to make this work and I am amazed.

But, I should have known. Is there anything like the resilience of a child? Even under the most trying circumstances, they will find a way to be a kid. To be present in the moment. To play, eat goldfish crackers, and press all the buttons on the elevator.

I have so much more to learn from that.


  1. We all have a lot to learn from children. Absolutely beautifully written. Simon is lucky to have such a strong, intelligent, selfless mom.

  2. I can't even imagine going through that, but I applaud you guys! You're doing great, and sounds like Simon will as well! I hope things continue to look super positive!

  3. Actually, I know you could have made a prettier cast. And I happen to like the cast cosie on Etsy idea. Does that make me shallower? :-)

    You and Brian are amazing and Simon is such a trooper. I love reading your posts and cheering you on from NC. Love you!!!