He had good bone growth around the break so the ortho was comfortable taking the cast off. Caleb still has to take it easy, no weight bearing at all for another month. We'll go back for x-rays in April just to make sure everything looks good.
I'm so glad to have that cast gone. Now to wrap Caleb in bubble wrap so this never happens again.
This has been the longest week ever! The orthopedic surgeon couldn't get Caleb in until today (Thursday) so I've spent the entire week in a state of high stress and worry over this broken leg. Apparently stuff like this is common and no biggie to ortho docs. I think they forget that there is a very worried momma pacing the floors, desperate for some assurance.
Anyway, Caleb is now sportin' a bright orange cast. He will wear the cast for 3 weeks and then we'll reassess. The ortho doesn't want to keep him in a cast much longer than that because it will only make the bones weaker.
I feel a bit better now that we have a plan in place but this week was rough on me. I don't know why I took this break so hard. It certainly isn't the hardest thing we've been through with Caleb. Maybe I was barely hanging on and this was the thing that just pushed me over the edge. His broken leg broke my heart. I cried and cried this week. I really struggled with this one. It just felt like such a setback and it still does. I know we'll get through it. I know this is just a rough season we are in and it will pass. Thankfully Caleb couldn't care less about his broken leg. He just keeps rollin' on like it's no big deal. I wish I was able to do that!
I'm not going to lie, it has been a rough couple of months. Even with the great success of the SPML procedure and surviving 5 weeks in leg casts...Caleb has had several bumps in the road. He has battled 3 bladder infections in less than two months. Every time one infection clears up, another infection comes knocking on the door. We aren't sure why and preliminary testing hasn't shown any noticeable cause.
Then this happened.
See that swollen right leg? I first noticed it early Friday but didn't think much of it at the time. He has had some swelling here and there since the casts came off so I figured he may have just overworked it in therapy or something. So I iced it and had him take it easy that day. But it was worse yesterday and it felt hot to the touch. He even had some pain which was a huge red flag to me. Caleb doesn't have a lot of feeling in his legs so if he is feeling any pain at all, I know it's bad.
I took him to Urgent Care.
Urgent Care sent us to the ER because they were concerned it was an infection in the joint.
After x-rays, blood work, and ultrasound the verdict is a broken tibia and fibula in the right leg.
The ER did a temporary splint to support the leg until we can get in to see the orthopedic surgeon this week.
I'm heartbroken. This was pretty much my worst fear after his casts came off. We have no idea how it happened or when it happened. I suspect it happened sometime between Wednesday and Thursday but I'm not certain. He has been so careful with his legs, knowing that they are fragile. I can't think of anything that has happened in the last few days that could have caused this. We'll likely never know. I'm so very, very sad. This is such a huge setback for him. I'm guessing this leg will go back in a cast for several more weeks which only leads to his bones becoming more brittle than they already are. I'm worried that he will lose the straightness we worked so hard to get and the SPML surgery will be for nothing. There are so many "what ifs" running through my mind right now. I hate this so much.
As usual, Caleb is taking it all in stride. He's not nearly as upset as I am. He's just been through so much the last couple of months and it has to make him weary. I know I'm weary. He was just doing so well, even walking with his KAFO's and walker. This just feels like a huge step backwards. I don't want to go backward, I want to go forward.
I'll post more after we meet with the orthopedic surgeon this week. Hopefully we'll have a plan in place soon. For now, we'll keep doing what we've been doing....just get through one day at a time.
Prayers appreciated. Even when I don't understand the "why" of things, I do believe in the peace that only God can give. I'm struggling to feel that peace right now, but I'll get there.
His legs looked like this. Trying to get them straight was like trying to straighten bent steel. Impossible.
Now his legs look like this.
From 70° to 7°! His legs are so perfectly straight. I can't believe it.
We still have to be diligent about keeping them stretched and straight. He has to wear his KAFO's a minimum of 8 hours a day (overnight counts too). His bones are weak and fragile after 5 weeks in casts so we have to be careful he doesn't do anything that could cause a break, which means no wheelchair basketball for a bit.
His skin looks pretty gnarly after being in casts for so long so I'll wait a bit before I share photos of his incision site.
I could not be more pleased. I really didn't know what to expect because his contractures were so bad. I can't believe we were able to get them almost completely straight. 7° is not even noticeable.
He's almost as tall as me!
Caleb has been such a trooper throughout this whole thing. I'm so proud of the way he handled everything. We still have work to do to regain motion and strength in those legs but now that they are straight, we've got something to work with. I'm so glad we made this decision.
I'll continue to share his progress over the next few weeks.
Minecraft is incredibly popular in this house so our theme for Halloween was a no-brainer.
Our Minecraft Jack-o-lanterns.
Benjamin is a Skeleton and Caleb is a Zombie riding a spider....if you know Minecraft then you understand. Benjamin had the idea to decorate our trunk to look like the inside of a Minecraft house so I went with that. It came out great and we actually won "best trunk" at the trunk-or-treat.
Benjamin loved his costume. I've never seen that kid so excited.
All 8 legs made it through the night which was nothing short of a miracle. Watching Caleb navigate this spider was hysterical. He kept bumping into things and hitting people with his spider abdomen!
A close-up of the trunk. I just painted some cardboard brown to look like walls. I printed out the TNT sign, bookcase, and the Minecraft wall art. I made the chest out of a shoe box and found the torch printables online, I added lights to make them really glow. Our Minecraft trunk was a huge hit. Everyone, kids and adults, commented on it.
Poor kid couldn't see a thing but he had a blast anyway. You can actually find these Minecraft heads online. I just printed out all the sides, made a box out of cardboard, glued the head pieces on, and done! For the bones, I just used chrome duct tape on a black turtleneck and black pants. Of course it was in the upper 80's here in Texas so my boy was hot. Oh well.
The spider face. I added red lights for the eyes which looked really cool once the sun went down.
It was a great night, the boys looked great and the trunk was a winner. It was fun but I'm so glad October is over. I made 26 wheelchair costume kits from my Etsy shop so by the time I got around to making costumes for the boys, I was DONE. I barely had anything left in me these last few days, but it got done. Whew, I'm glad it's over.
Yesterday may have been Halloween, but more importantly, it was Hallow's 3rd birthday.
They hooked us up nice ya'll. Our room was more like an apartment with a huge living area, 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms.
The view. Nice.
One of the bedrooms.
Seriously, our hotel was awesome.
We arrived in South Beach on Monday but after a 6 am flight we were exhausted so our first day there was spent getting settled and checking out the area a bit.
Tuesday was our big Ultimate Jungle Trek at Jungle Island. We knew we were going to get a behind the scenes tour but we had no idea the level of awesomeness that was in store for us.
The best gift ever was the photographer that followed us around and took almost 400 photos. I didn't have to worry about capturing the moment, I got to enjoy every single second and I'm actually in these pictures! That never happens!
First animal encounter....LEMURS! Ya'll there is nothing like sitting on the floor and having multiple lemurs bouncing and climbing all around you and all over you!
Seriously the coolest experience ever. I could have stayed in the Lemur room forever.
My kids will never, ever forget this.
Lemurs like curly hair.
That face says it all.
They have the longest tail. It is so cool. They also have these cute hands with long skinny fingers that are so soft. They also have tiny finger nails on the top of their fingers.
After the lemurs, we headed over to feed the Galapagos tortoises. Things took a comedic turn here. I'll set the scene with pictures.
I was trying to get this big guy to bite the carrot and our tour guide told me to just pull as hard as I could. You can see from the photos that I did what I was told. I hunkered down and pulled with all my might. Guess what happened when that giant creature finally bit through the carrot? I went flying backwards into a small ditch. It was hysterical. Everyone got a good laugh, I swear I even heard the tortoise giggle.
Everyone else managed to feed the tortoise without incident. I think they learned what not to do from me.
Kangaroos were next. They were so sweet and cute.
We met a giant pig named Ace.
Cradling a sweet Kinkajou (a honey bear).
This was taken right after the honey bear peed on Benjamin and I tried to catch the pee with my hands. That's what moms do....we catch bodily fluids in our hands.
This critter was a bit intimidating but oh so sweet.
They even gave us a couple of porcupine quills to take home.
After lunch we went to the bird show. Perfect activity for my bird-lovin' boy.
After the show we got to see a few of the birds up close.
Touching the neck of an Andean condor.
A Great Horned Howl.
Ya'll we got to play with Capuchins!!
There is a Capuchin on my shoulder!!
And if that wasn't enough....we got to cuddle a baby Capuchin!!
Caleb would have taken this sweet thing home in a heartbeat.
Baby Capuchins like glasses.
A baby flamingo. He was probably the softest and fluffiest critter we touched that day.
Ya'll, I'm still not done!! Wait for it....
A baby tiger!!!
(can you say Christmas card photo!!)
Can this by my driver's license photo please?
Stop it. I can't take it.
Nose to nose with a baby tiger! Who gets to do that?
We got about 15 minutes with this cute little fur baby and it was a blast.
Can I keep this face please?
I kept telling the boys (and myself) "you will never get to do this again so enjoy every second".
Hmmm...maybe this should be our Christmas card photo.
My very passionate, bird-loving boy got to hold a parrot like a baby!
I have no words. It was truly a remarkable, once-in-a-lifetime experience. We would never have been able to do this on our own and I'm so humbled and blessed by the generosity of The Rachael Ray Show and Jungle Island. It was just amazing. I get all teary just thinking about it.
So after our wild Jungle Island tour, we still had 3 days left in South Beach. So we hit the beach. Every day.
Some folks cruise the streets of South Beach in a Lamborghini. Nope, not us. This is how we roll. Seriously this thing was a life saver (and a back saver). Our hotel went above and beyond by renting this for us and covering the cost.
Love this photo.
My water baby. You can't keep this kid out of the waves. We had to drag him to the beach just to get him to rest.
I was blessed by some time with a fellow SB momma. Her family drove over 2 hours to have a beach day with us. Benjamin made a new friend in Atreyu. They got to talking about Minecraft and that was all it took.
Ezra wanted to hold Caleb's hand. My heart melted.
It was so fun hanging out with Lauren and her family. The online SB community is tight and it is such a blessing when you actually get to spend time with each other in person.
We spent a lot of time at the beach. That was pretty much all the boys wanted to do. When we weren't soaking up the sun, we wandered around South Beach finding little places to eat and taking in the sights. I was memorized by all of the different cultures there. I don't even know how many languages I heard. There were people from all over the world.
Our favorite place was a little sandwich shop that had delicious shakes. I had 3 espresso shakes while we were there.
Do you see what I see? I spy an....
....iguana. Ya'll this guy was just walking around. It was crazy cool.
We had such a great time. I will never understand why we were chosen for this trip. I'll never understand why we have been so blessed. I had no idea that making wheelchair costumes would lead to this. Life is crazy you guys and God is good.