Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Ortho Appointment

Today we went to DC for another follow-up appointment with her ortho surgeon.  All went well.  As usual, they took some x-rays.  Harlie is so cooperative now and stands the way they tell her to and actually holds still.  I am so proud!  That seems like a "big girl" thing to do.

Her surgeon said her x-rays look good.  The hardware looks secure and is most likely fused together pretty good now.  She said that if Harlie had not gotten that infection (which forced her to remove some of the bone graft in the upper portion of the surgical site) she would let her come out of the brace.  Darn it!  It would have been AWESOME if we could've ditched the brace in this summer heat!

She wanted to see how Harlie moved without the brace and immediately she started acting all goofy.  It took all of two seconds for her surgeon to say that she needed to stay in the brace for another few months.  She said she's just too worried that the upper portion hasn't had enough time to solidly fuse together.

I asked her when she wanted to see Harlie again and she said in three months.  Three more months in the brace?!?!  So, I asked her if it would be okay to see her again in two months instead - so that if she felt comfortable then, Harlie could be brace-free for school.  Luckily she said that would be fine.  It's probably not that big of a deal.  Harlie doesn't complain about it at all.  But, the brace does make it more difficult for her to pull her pants up and down and it would be nice if she could do that by herself for school.  The brace comes down past her hips - which means her shorts either have to be under the brace or ride really low on her.  And all her shorts have to be elastic - button-up ones are harder for her to wear.

Anyway, I told her surgeon that Harlie points to her back at least once a day and signs "hurt."  She wasn't concerned.  I guess that's normal.  I just wish I could do something for her.

Since she seemed to be keeping her in the brace for good measure - I went on ahead and asked her if it would be okay to take the brace off for more than one hour some days - so I could take her to the pool.  And she said that would be fine.  She even said we could reduce her wearing it from 23 hours a day to 21.  WOW!  (Said sarcastically, of course.)  But, at least I have her blessing now for the pool, so I don't have to feel all weird about that anymore.

And add this appointment to another doctor visit that didn't include pain for Harlie.  Harlie didn't cry when we pulled into the parking lot (like she did for the last visit) and was completely fine and happy the whole time.



Susan said...

That sounds like a really good appointment as far as these things go.

I wish Harlie wasn't in pain it wouldn't be surprising considering what she's been through. Though perhaps she is trying to say that the brace is uncomfortable but doesn't have a word for that? I can hope.

Smart to ask about 2 months vs 3. Keep your eye on the prize.

Anonymous said...

I know you will be so glad when she gets out of that brace and it has really been so very hot. She is such a trooper. Marcy