Saturday, September 17, 2011

To Philly and Back...

We made it to Shriner's and back in one piece!!  Hallelujah!!

We arrived at 7:00 am even though Aaron's first appointment wasn't until 9:30.  If we don't go that early then we end up caught in rush hour traffic in one of the major cities we have to pass through (DC, Baltimore and Philly).  After breakfast we went ahead and checked in at the clinic despite being too early for any of our appointments.  The waiting room was completely empty. 

They immediately took Aaron back.  Hallelujah!!

Dr. Z came in (arm doctor) right after one of his assistance had removed the cast contraption.  He was well pleased with how Aaron's arm looked from the outside but sent us off for X-rays. 

Aaron was NOT too sure how much he liked having his arm free and clear. 

But as we were sitting there waiting to go back to X-ray (all of 3 minutes) I sat down beside my scared little guy and gently cradled his arm.  I then bent it up towards his face.  He leaned his head down and was able for the first time in his life to touch his mouth with his thumb. 

The look on his face was priceless. 

I wanted to cry. 

Instead I grabbed up his bags because the X-ray technician was calling for us to come get the X-rays.

After X-rays we hustled back to the examination room and Dr. V (foot doctor) immediately came in and started checking out Aaron's feet and braces.

The good news - he doesn't need to go back into casts at this point.

The bad news - his left foot is beginning to revert and we are going to need to be more mean with the night straps. (NOOOOOO!!!!!)

Dr. V. decided to go ahead and get Aaron measured for new braces (Hallelujah) since his feet have grown. 

 He has not quite outgrown the current braces but he is close and having him measured on this trip saves us an extra trip in a month or two.  In the meantime he had the one strapped adjusted to cut down on the pressure sore that Aaron had developed on his left ankle.

Right after Dr. V. left, the nurse came in and opened up Aaron's chart to display his X-rays.

I am NOT a radiologist.  I do NOT know how to read X-rays.

But I was smart enough to read those X-rays.

Aaron's plate had cracked and his little bone was NOT perfectly aligned.

Since Aaron had fallen THREE TIMES on that tiny little arm in the last 4 weeks (all horribly traumatic episodes)... I was NOT surprised by what I was seeing but it just about stopped my heart.

Fortunately I didn't have but a few minutes to freak out before Dr. Z came sweeping in with 4 other doctors in tow (I assume they were all doctors).  He reassured me that all was okay. 

The good news - in 2 years we will never know that anything was amiss on the X-ray.

The bad news - instead of getting a simple hinged brace that would have allowed Aaron to begin using his arm.... he got a solid brace that covers his entire arm.  On top of that he also got another brace over his upper arm to provide more protection in case he falls again.  On top of that he got a sling that will help hold the arm in proper alignment.

Poor little guy informed me quite a number of times on the way home that he doesn't like the new brace. 

I don't much like it either....


Now we just have to figure out how to keep our active little boy from from falling on his arm!!

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU to all those who prayed for us.

We were able to leave Shriner's at 12 noon (Hallelujah).  Considering we saw 2 doctors, had X-rays done, had to go to orthotics for brace adjustment AND fittings and OT had to create an entire brace for Aaron's arm.... I was stunned we were able to leave so early.  We got caught in one traffic mess outside of Philly and were slowed a bit going around DC but despite this - we were home in almost record time!! 
Aaron did amazingly well the entire trip.  I gave him Advil before they began fooling with his arm which helped keep his pain level down.  He slept most of the way in the van on the way up (Hallelujah) and even for a few minutes on the way home (shock)!   He was talkative, happy and in good spirits most of the day. 

Thank you for keeping us in your prayers!!

P.S. - All the pictures taken were from a borrowed camera.  I left mine in my van so one of the drivers lent me his, downloaded them and sent them to me in an e-mail!!  The Shriners rock!!


  1. SHRINERS DO ROCK!!!!!!!!! Love this post, Julia, and reading the updates on Aaron.

  2. I've been watching all morning for this post ... was anxious to hear how yesterday day for Aaron & Mom! Prayers as you all adjust to Aaron's "new normal" ... one thing is sure, Aaron must be blessed with a huge amount of grace in that little body. He clearly doesn't have a choice about the casts, splints, braces, etc., but he adjusts and comes out smiling ... he is teaching us all of the perseverance Paul writes of in Romans 5, when he says,

    "We also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us."

    May you all be filled with the joy of the Lord in this day, knowing that whatever Aaron is enduring today and through this "repair" process on his body is better than anything he would have faced in his previous life.

    God's blessings!

  3. I am going to pray extra blessings upon the man who loaned you his camera!!! And of course lots of prayers for sweet Aaron. <3

  4. Glad all worked out! Have to tell ya seeing the photos of the clinic brought a harsh reality to my gut that we will be there in about 5 weeks. As excited as I am for hopefully this life changing surgery for Bryson, I dread the process. I dread the hospital stay, the flight home across the country in pica cast, the eight weeks in it and the flight back! I have become such a wimp!

    Our boys are so brave!

  5. Wow! So thankful it was a good trip!


  6. I will continue to keep you and Aaron in prayer as you continue treatment for that precious little man:) He is so handsome!

  7. What a little trooper! It looks like Aaron's arm will be much more functional in the end. I'm confused about how well his elbow joint will work, will he have movement there? Also, will he have these procedures repeated on his left arm? Prayers and best wishes, with love the Smiths

  8. What a *wonderful* sight to see the normal curvature of his right arm! A lengthy, painful process indeed, but amazing surgery and transformations taking place!

    The important question we are all wondering is....Can Aaron ride his bike with this brace??

  9. Praise God Aaron is still smiling! So glad it was a productive trip. Hope mine goes that well.

  10. I can't imagine what it must have been like for Aaron to finally be able to reach up and touch his own face. Seriously amazing. Praise the Lord for such a great visit!

  11. So happy to hear the visit to Philly went well. You can definitely see the difference the surgery made. Such a long journey for sweet Aaron and we will continue to pray for him as it goes along.

  12. thanking God for progress, for HOPE, for grace in the process. yes, shriners rock. and so does your young lad. his smile thru these times is amazing.

  13. so glad to hear all the good things at Aaron's appt's today..Sorry to hear about the cracked plate and the regressing foot... but sounds like overall things are good :).. We still haven't figured out how to keep lil man from falling on his arm so if you do find out let me know ;).. I'm so happy he as well as you were pleased with him being able to get his hand to his mouth.. It's a wonderful feeling to see that isn't it :)

  14. I can't help but wonder if he might be tripping because his sandals always look much too big. I'd trip with able legs over the ends of those sandals if I took a step and they caught under themselves. I know with braces you tend to have to buy a bigger shoe size, but every time I look at pics with him in those sandals, I cringe because I remember my sister buying my niece sandals that were too long when she was a tot, thinking she would be able to wear them longer, and all she did was trip over the ends of them and hurt herself. Soon as she was in sandals that were right for her, the accidents stopped.

    I understand his circumstances are a bit different, but either way, those shoes look 2 sizes + too big for him and I can't help but think that has something to do with his falling episodes.

    In in the interest of saving $, buying shoes that are too big aren't the move. My honest and humble observation.

  15. Anonymous - Aaron's sandals and his shoes are too big because of his braces - it has nothing to do with trying to save money. We are extremely limited in what will fit around his braces. His foot without braces is extra wide - the braces make his foot even wider.

    He is not falling because of the shoes. In fact two of the times he fell with the cast on, he was shoeless. He fell constantly when we first got him because he was weak (sitting in a shed does not make for strong children) and was walking on his toes. He doesn't have those same issues today. The cast made him off balanced so that may be why he fell with the cast on. Before the cast - He fell at the same rate most children fall.... the issue is is that HE CAN'T CATCH HIMSELF. Each time he falls is dangerous because he has no way to keep from landing on his head, face or arms.

    The shoes are about 1 size too big. When he doesn't have the braces on we are able to put shoes on him that fit normally. Unfortunately, he is rarely out of the braces so we are stuck with the larger shoes.

  16. Amazing. Little Aaron is on a long journey, but it's going to be so worth it in the end.

  17. How is Aaron's pain? He is on my heart this week. Prayers to the sweetest blue-eyed boy I've ever seen. (and to his family, too)


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