I check my blog stats now and then, and in doing so - I can't help but notice that I get a substantial amount of hits from those people who are googling the words, spica cast.
I remember how our experience turned our lives upside down for a bit, and how we learned more thru our internet searches and from those who've gone thru it themselves, then we did from the doctors or the hospitals. So, in hopes of making things that much easier for someone else - I'm consolidating all of my spica cast posts onto this one page. If anyone has any questions - please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Hang in there.
Our journey began in March of 2008. Our just turned three year old had been jumping off the back of the couch and onto his sister when we heard the snap. Here are the ongoing posts that followed:
The day of - the break
In the hospital - presurgery and feeling guilt
Post surgery - Brian still sleeping
hospital stay extended
home again and a parody of mishaps
The first night (nightmares/pain/after haps of the anesthesia)
also - just wanted to insert, as the photo in that last post shows - we let him do a lot on his mattress. We found that simply laying a towel down as a mat, or a large cookie sheet when playing with play-doh, markers or coloring, gave him lots of freedom to play and be a part of things.
Also - something I wish I had done right from the get go, and what I recommend for those going thru this with someone in diapers (this tip came from my friend, Lisa) every time you change - get as high up into and down into that cast as you possibly can with those wipes - and use a blow dryer (set on cool or warm) at least once a day to keep things fresh and dry. I also used a lot of baking soda.
The nights suck
Random thoughts and a photo of his cast
A custom made chair
Getting out (wheelchair)
adjusting - learning to move/crawl
Our frustrating hospital stay and the start of a rash
A funny in the middle of it all
Drying out the cast
Also - another note here, it was at this time I realized that a tub would be impossible, so I lay him on the floor and gave him a buzz cut. He's a boy, and three, so this was ideal. I had given him the choice of being held over the sink to get his hair washed, or getting the buzz. Washcloth scrubs were so much easier
For us, we needed this fort as the picture plainly shows. We have a smaller home, and we had a 15 month old. By creating the fort, he had his own space but was still a part of our family and could see everything we were doing. By flipping the small couch to face into the fort - one of us could sit there with him, hold him, read to him and be with him. It wasn't until the sixth week that the baby learned how to get over the fence and we took it down.
It was sometime during the third week that Brian began regularly pulling himself up on the fence, the window sill, the couch.
He also slept here, on his mattress. His nights were often uncomfortable, and it seemed routine to do a little adjusting or to hold him for awhile at 3am. One of us slept on the other couch so as to hear him.
The book shelves in front of him were loaded with the gifts that he received in the mail, his changing supplies, his sippy cup and all those things that made his daily living easier.
Hospital bills and debt-proof living
becoming more needy
and during this time, we all had strep
his plans to jump again (plus standing w/ cast photo)
ballet moves and cast removal day
Recovery took a little bit longer than I had expected, but we let him just take it at his own speed....
Some of the things we had done to help aid his recovery - got him a tricycle (it was about time, anyway) and brought him to the local pool to work those legs. Lots of tubs. Let him go at his own pace.
After several weeks - I was noticing that he was still limping, and I was eager to get him into therapy. We went for four weeks/once a week - and it was all he needed to get him back on track. He completed his last theraphy session the very end of July and now, the beginning of September, you would never know he broke his femur.
Therapy involved a lot of steps, a lot of ball kicking, crouching and picking things up, rocking on planks and see-saws, balancing, and running. He loved it and will sometimes ask to go see those ball playing doctors again.
To end - I'll share another great resource. I remember bumping into this blog when Brian was still in his cast, and feeling a sort of companionship on our trial in that someone else was going thru the same thing at almost the same time. In looking for her blog to link to this morning, I see that she, like I did, created a consolidation page - she also links to several other blogs that shared the same experience. Again - I hope that this makes the journey just that much easier for somebody else.
Edited to add: I've started an FAQ post, because while I try to answer every email, I'm not always available right away, and then I feel badly. I'll add to this post as I remember more frequently asked questions: FAQ Post