Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The long-awaited update

As I was so kindly reminded recently, it has been a while since Jack's blog has been updated.

So, what has happened the last year? Honestly? Not much.

Since the conclusion of casting in December of 2008, scoliosis was on the back burner. The brace was updated regularly with scrapbooking stickers, featuring everything from Mickey to Toy Story. Last May we celebrated the end of this journey with two of the forbiddens - sand and water - when we took a Disney cruise to the bahamas. Jack loved the crystal blue bahamian water and was treated like a prince at every meal.

It wasn't until recently that we began to notice the brace was significantly tighter. The orthotist left the straps and the body of the brace oversized so that there would be room to grow - and grow Jackson did. He was 43" today at the same orthotist's office. (and 39 pounds) Our local surgeon is kind enough to work with Dr. K in Birmingham and get the appropriate x-rays in digital format so that we can email back and forth. (What did we do before technology?) Although local doc's all booked up, they were able to put in a radiology order at the children's hospital. We bypassed the appointment, went directly to go, did not collect $200...

While we waited, the radiologist was able to burn the images directly to a disk with the new equipment and we took the disk today to the orthotist. Apparently, they were one step ahead of us because his local doctor also emailed the images directly to the orthotist's phone this morning. I'm telling you - I cannot fathom facing a condition like this without the benefits of technology.

While we've put in a call to get the numbers, I managed to calculate the cobb angle myself. I believe what we're looking at, as seen above, is a 7° reduction in curve! Now, there is a 5° margin of error. But, I'm telling you - this is correction in the providence. Of course, 43° is still not good. But it's below 50 - the mark of a surgical curve - and Jackson is now 4. He has no instrumentation, no growing rods, no surgical scars. Each month, each year is a victory as he grows closer to skeletal maturity and the inevitable fusion - a road we will cross, with the grace of god, years from now.

The new brace should arrive in three weeks (knowing K, it'll be more like a week) and Jackson chose "trucks and cars" this time. I'll do my best to update you when we have in-brace numbers and thank you for keeping us all in your thoughts and prayers. It is hard to believe this June will mark the third year since his diagnosis.

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