Thursday, October 05, 2006

Our Trip to the Shriner's Hospital

Well, we made the trip to the Shriner's Hospital in Springfield, Massachusetts yesterday. It was a 5 hour drive to get there. We arrived with time to spare for the registration process. Chris had to work so I had to take Alexandra with us as well. She did very well on the drive up.

Being a children's hospital, it was way over-stimulating for Alex. She loved it. She ran away from me to play with other children. She thought it was like a McDonald's playplace in that she could run around where ever she wanted.

We got registered and waited for approximately 5 minutes (which I thought was amazing) when the nurse called us in for Lucianna's appointment. Alexandra was having none of that. She wouldn't come out of the play area. She ran away from me and her pants fell down. She's running around the room with her pants around her ankles and I still cannot catch her. It wasn't until she tripped and fell that I was able to grab her and hoist her over my shoulders to get her to come with me.

We got through the exam and then they sent us down the hall to get x-rays of Lucianna's legs and feet. Alex ran away again and her pants fell down again (2T's are slightly big but 24 months aren't long enough and since she isn't wearing a pullup anymore.....) She continued to run away until she tripped again. She can really run. I really can't run. A nurse from the x-ray department took care of Alex while I helped with Lucianna's x-rays. It was crazy.

I've had not one, but two specialists say that they can see the difference in leg length and her feet. They took the films and measured Luci's leg and foot bones. They are both the same size. There has been a lot of prayer for this baby. I consider this a miracle. She does have a problem. She has the drop foot, which is neurological and will really affect how she walks. Her development at this time is completely perfect and symmetrical. I am so happy and relieved about that.

The good news is bittersweet in the fact that we still don't know why Luci has this birth defect. We don't know how it will affect her walking. All we can do is wait and see. The doctor at the Shriner's Hospital wants to see her again in January. She should be standing in her crib by then and we will see how she stands on her own. We will probably need a brace of some sort to aid her walking.

The people in that hospital were so nice. I cannot tell you how good they made me feel. I saw so many children that were being helped. It was mind boggling to me that access to some of this country's best orthopaedic doctors was free of charge. It's a truly wonderful thing.

I decided to cancel my hotel room for the night because we were in and out of there in less than 4 hours. I drove the 5 hours back and collapsed in bed. It was a very long day.

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