Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Plates and More Plates

They keep us hopping our two little boys from across the ocean.

There is never a dull moment with them!

Since Aaron has been home we have chosen to get all of his orthopedic help at the Shriners Hospital in Philly. We consider his doctors to be the best and once we met them have never considered going anywhere else for his treatment. 

Shriners is a 4 1/2 hour one-way trip for us according to MapQuest.  It is a rare day when we can come close to making it up there in that amount of time.  A normal trip is about 6 hours up and 6-7 hours back.  Some days our return trip has been a lot longer because of rush hour traffic. 
We have traveled with Aaron to Shriners about 34 times.
Aaron's lower extremity doctor is so popular that the waiting list for a new patient just to SEE him is over a year. That's just to get your foot in the door. If you need surgery you could wait up to 2 more years. 
Last year after meeting John we immediately called Shriners and got him on the waiting list.  Even though John couldn't see Aaron's doctor, last May we took him to Shriners  to meet the scoliosis doctor who was kind enough to go ahead and order X-rays of his hips and legs in anticipation of John eventually being able to see the lower extremity doctor. 
We came home and his X-rays have sat in his file without anyone ever reading them.  I called three weeks ago to make sure his name was still on the waiting list and it was. 
About a week after calling I started thinking.  Were we foolish to be waiting? Should we get his X-rays and go somewhere else?
I didn't want to throw in the towel on Aaron's doctor because he is so good, but we also didn't want to sit around wasting our time if there really wasn't anything he could do for John.  So I did something I never do. I boldly e-mailed him.  I asked him if he would have the time to look at John's X-rays and give us some idea of what we should do. Was it hopeless to think that John would ever walk better than he does? 
I didn't honestly expect a response.
When you have so many patients that you are a year backed-up, when would you have the time to even look at a file of an unknown child? 
I sent the e-mail not really expecting a response.
He responded within half an hour. He pulled up my child's file and looked at it and wrote us a sweet letter back with words of encouragement and hope.
The next day Shriners called.
Aaron's doctor had contacted another doctor up there and spelled out to her exactly what he wanted her to do in the short-term for John.
So last week Rob and I drove John the 6 hours up and 6 hours back. Next Monday John and I will travel up there again so that he can have surgery on Tuesday. His surgery will involve removing a plate on his right femur that was inserted several years ago, plus inserting small plates into his growth plates on that same knee in order to straighten the leg. 
Plates, plates and more plates!!
We've done the growth plate surgery with Aaron, so we know a bit about what to expect. This surgery will pave the way for future surgeries on John's hip to hopefully get his leg oriented in the proper direction.  Aaron's doctor will do the bigger surgeries but for now we have a short-term plan with a very nice doctor and for that we are grateful.
This surgery absolutely needed to be done. And now.  That's the amazing part of this story. The plate that is currently in John's leg has bone growing into it.  The plates they want to put in his knees are going into growth plates which are soon not going to be there due to John's age.  If we didn't do the growth plate surgery now then he wouldn't get it done.
He was on borrowed time and we didn't know it. If I hadn't e-mailed Aaron's doctor we never would have known.
Only God!
So if you think about it next week we would definitely appreciate prayers for traveling mercies and for John's surgery and his recovery.
Aaron's going to miss his partner in crime.
It's never a dull moment with our little guys!!
We wouldn't trade them for the world!
But we sure could use help keeping their toy room clean!!!



  1. As always, God's timing is IMPECCABLE, isn't it?~~~God knows~~Praise Be To God. During the surgery and recovery, may our everlasting Father hold John in the palm of His mighty hand. Travel mercies to and fro.

  2. Wonderful!!!

    Without being too personal/intruding, I would be interested to know how John is doing in other regards - language, bonding, etc. Have followed for a long time and it's such a thrill to see him and Aaron and their million dollar smiles!!!


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