Saturday, February 19, 2011

Foot Casting, Round... ??? What round is this???

Yesterday, when they asked us what set of casts we were on, I just stood there. I had completely lost track. When we rallied and remembered that it was Round 7, the nurse gasped. The highest number on the cast count form is 9. It looks like they may need to create a new form.

Removing the casts yesterday and getting Aaron on the floor made it obvious that we haven't quite attained the ultimate goal - getting his feet flat to the ground.  His right foot is almost down but his left foot will not bend to a ninety degree angle.  Here's the bottom line - they measured Aaron for braces and will design them as if his feet are flat.  He can't get out of the casts and start wearing the braces until his feet are flat to the ground.  So we will be treking up to Shriner's every single Friday until we have reached that goal.  Sigh - Sigh - Sigh.  Aaron's doctor went rounds yesterday working on those stubborn feet.  There were not happy sounds emitting from the casting room but we could tell a difference when the new casts dried. 

It was a LONG travel day.  We left our house at 2:30 am and returned home at 8:00 pm.  Aaron does not like to sleep in the van.  When he does take a quick cat nap he always wakes up so proud of himself saying:  "I sweep in the van."  Yeah right!

BUT - it was worth traveling up to Shriner's for one more very precious reason: We got to meet Tracey Schalk in person.

If you don't know her, Tracey is a 22-year-old who shares Aaron's AMC condition. She's been through it all, and continues to go through it all, and she shares her knowledge and experience with everyone.

She knows more about AMC than most doctors. When she's at Shriners Hospital, she's more like a member of the staff than a patient. She seems to know every single AMC patient there, and she has the run of the treatment rooms as her many friends undergo various assessments and procedures.

Beyond that, she was a big help in bringing Aaron home. Between our first and second visits to the Uk***ne, when we had met Aaron but hadn't yet convinced the judge to let us adopt him, Tracey helped us. She sent us "before and after" pictures to demonstrate what good medical care could do for a kid like Aaron. We put the pictures together on a page with some captions, which our facilitator translated for us. We think it made a big difference. The judge was impressed with what Tracey shared and with the whole idea of Shriners' Hospital, the likes of which does not exist in her part of the world.

On top of all of this, she gave Aaron a talking Thomas train that held his attention for much of the ride home! We can't say enough about how much Tracey has helped our little fellow. He now has special girl friends in both New York and Ohio. It's so good to know he has people who love him. He's going to need them.


  1. Hi there,
    I would really like to donate a beautiful necklace w/ matching earrings as a "give away" for chip-ins for Jonah's fundraiser! Please email me! Dara.

  2. Sorry to hear the trips are taking their toll. Do they have the equivalent of a Ronald McDonald house in Philly that you could maybe stay at to make the trips a little less stressful? It might mean taking 2 days per trip instead of one, but it might be worth it if it is easier on you all.(?) Just a thought. By the way, I can see progress on Aaron's feet just from the pictures you have posted. Hang in there!!

  3. Aaron the ladies man... who knew? :)

    Keep on keeping on guys. Aaron is awesome, and so are all of you...

  4. How amazing...that young lady sure is special:)

  5. I have never met Tracy but she always sends encouraging words for Bryson. Hoping you are near done with casting. I know how exhausting it can be. Bryson has relapsed and is back in them. I am learning that arthrogryposis is a fluid condition, always changing. You take five steps forward and one back. IS Van Bosse going to have him in a bar at night time once his casts are off?

  6. This once "forgotten boy" has so many Angels around him, both in Heaven and on Earth.

    Many Prayers and Positive Thoughts!



  7. I love how God always puts people in our lives when we need them the most. Your family has been very blessed and I thank you for showing us all how much God really does love us. Aaron's smile melts my heart every time I see it. No wonder he has so many women who love him :)

  8. I got a text from a very excited Tracey today!!! We both agree we adore the Nalle family and AARON!

  9. I'm glad you have a blog and write about Aaron's treatment and condition. It's informative. One of the children we're considering for our next adoption is a 9 year old child on Reeces Rainbow who also has Aaron's condition.

  10. oh I know the feeling of forgetting cast counts :).. that's so great you guys got to meet tracey :)... hoping that they can get that stubborn left foot down more :)

  11. God is so good!!! How wonderful that you all were able to spend time with Tracy. Still praying!

  12. Yeah, God!! Yeah for Tracey!! Yeah for Molly!! How awesome the way He is surrounding Aaron with those who truly are His provision in the moments of your days... : )

  13. I just read about a product which could help Aaron during his time in casts. It is called a cast cooler and attaches to a vacuum cleaner to draw out moisture and dust from the cast liner to reduce the itch, sweat and smell.


Loving words from kind people make our hearts glad!


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