We have settled into our room here at Birmingham’s Children’s Hospital. Needless to say, it’s been a long day. Cole has really done well. Right now he is trying to rest and the pain seems managed. He has had a few meltdowns – one in recovery and then one with us here in his room. It’s hard to tell if it is frustration or pain, but we think it is frustration. He wants out of the cast already and asked when he can go swimming. We didn’t have the heart to tell him that he has a long road ahead of him in his cast. He has a bit of a sore throat from being intubated, but he’s enjoying popsicles and Sprite.
Dr. Killian felt good about the surgery. He ended up having to do the more extensive of the procedure options. First was the tenotomy to lengthen the tendons that have shrunk as his femoral bone compressed. This will hopefully (after physical therapy) give him a better flexibility, range of motion and strength in walking/running. The second procedure was the osteotomy of the femoral head. Because his had flattened, it had to be cut and turned for the best hope for regrowth. They took his existing bone and turned it so that one of the rounded sides would sit flush with his hip socket. The more damaged, flattened side rotated and prayerfully will start to regrow in this next phase of Perthes. A titanium plate and 6 screws were placed in to hold everything in place. These will be removed in 2 to 3 years.
Cole then had to be fitted with a one and one-half hip spica cast. It looks very similar to this image other than his extends much higher on his chest and his 1×1 wood spreader bar runs on an angle from left thigh to right ankle. As I mentioned, he is not a fan of the cast. At this point it looks like he will need to stay in it for 4-6 weeks, which is longer than we were praying for. We will have a recheck at 2-3 weeks and to have part of the cast removed so that the stitches can come out (he has a larger incision on the left side of the hip and a smaller one on the groin side). Then the cast will be reformed.
His pain is being currently managed by IV and an epidural line. These will stay in throughout the weekend. If everything progresses, we could be discharged on Sunday.
This would be a good time for me (and I’ll speak for Brooke) in thanking each of you for following our journey and more importantly standing with us in prayer. I don’t know if it would be possible to feel more loved and well supported by our community of friends and family. The power of God’s presence in answer to prayer has been tangible for all of us. And thanks for all the emails, texts, phone calls, visits and FB messages/comments. We most certainly echo Paul’s sentiments in Philippians 1:3, “Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God.“
We aren’t exactly sure what’s next. But we know who does know and who promises to meet us in the next. And we know we are walking arm in arm with great friends like you who will discover what’s next with us! Much love to you all. Soli Deo Gloria!