This is part 2 of our documentary of our son Rilien’s operation.
At 10 months old, Rilien was furniture surfing and constantly wanting to grab our fingers to go for a walk. You’d think an operation on both feet, and thigh high plaster casts reinforced with fibreglass would slow him down. Well it did – momentarily! Granted he couldn’t pull himself up or furniture surf, but he sure learnt how to crawl superfast!
Fast forward 6 weeks after the Operation, and it’s time for Rilien’s casts to be removed. We have no idea what to expect – how will the casts be removed? What will his toes look like? Was the operation a success?
At the bottom of the photos is a link to a video of Rilien standing for the 1st time – 8 wks after his op, 2 wks after his plaster came off.
Click here for Part 1 of the documentary. https://israelsmith.com/general/riliens-operation-august-31st-2011/
These were taken the night before the casts come off. You can see the casts haven’t affected him – he still has a brilliant smile!
Tuesday 11th October arrives. It’s 6am and the household is very excited. Rilien turns 1 today! He also gets his casts off today. Our appointment is set for 9am. We drop Indrani off to a friends to go to school and we head up to Sydney Children’s Hospital.
Rilien has no idea how special this drive is. It’s will be his last in his bright red casts!
On the short drive from Coogee to Randwick Rilien falls asleep. I just love these snoozy cuddles.
On the way to Outpatients. I am smiling here but underneath this is a nervousness I can’t describe. When Rilien was 5 weeks old, I had a freak accident & caught my finger in our back door. It had to be surgically terminated at the second joint & the day I had my bandages removed is too vivid in my memory. I try to block it out desperately. God I hope he doesn’t feel anything!
Wow it’s so fun here – is it really a hospital?
Finally at 10 o’clock we are called through to our appointment. We are moved into a room with about 6 other beds. They are all occupied with kids with plaster in different places. The boy next door to us is just 2 and had broken his leg at the park. He too was having his plaster off today.
The car accident lawyers ask us what’s happening today. We tell them his casts are being removed and the pins removed from his toes. We thought this was just procedure but it turns out the paperwork to do with the operation is not on file. You can see from the look on my face below I am a little disturbed about this. Ok so maybe a little disturbed is a slight exaggeration – I was very disturbed! WHAT THE!
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I couldn’t resist putting the above pic in. I love those big eyes & juicy lips. Sweet little man, still has no idea what is happening.
Just hanging with my dad.
It’s now almost 11am and the nurses have just closed the curtain between us and the 2yo boy next to us. It’s his turn to have his cast removed. The noise of the saw being so close is quite frightening but the screams of the little boy are blood curdling. They bring me to tears. How the bleep am I going to keep it together when it’s Rilien’s turn?
Whir & the saw starts. The nurse reassures us that the saw is safe by putting it on her hand. I remind myself to breathe deeply. Rilien is so brave as the nurse starts to cut down the plaster on the inside of his leg. He is handling it so well.
At the bottom of the cut on the inside leg, I remember breathing a sigh of relief thinking it was all over. Then they asked me to hold him on the side so they could cut down the outside of the leg. Again he was fine but I just couldn’t resist holding him close & kissing him. I so wanted it to be over. This was only the first leg.
The next stage was also a shock. The plaster once cut had to be plied off.
The first glimpse of his little leg – so much skinnier than it was 6 weeks ago.
Now onto the next leg. This time Rilien is aware of what’s going on & he is not quite as happy about it. He squirms & I have to hold him down a bit more tightly but thankfully there are no tears or screams.
Freedom! Rilien checks out his new legs. Next step is to remove these bandages.
The bandages need to be soaked to loosen them from the toes. If I was anxious before, it is nothing on now. This is the part where we get to see his toes for the first time. We’ve been told previously that there will be a metal pin hanging out of each toe & it would also be removed today. Just how are they going to do this without hurting our little man? If only I could do it for him.
Fortunately, as the bandage is removed from one toe the metal pin comes out without the need for pliers. The other pin is still hanging out. My stomach squirms. Our nurse Kate covers Rilien’s feet to stop him from touching them. This is the first & only time our little man cries today. He just wants to touch his toes. Another good fortune happens when the nurse pulls back the cloth to check Rilien’s toes again. The other pin comes out, once again without the need for pliers.
Bandages are off. There are my toes – not looking too pretty but there they are. Now we just have to wait for our wonderful surgeon, Dr Angus Gray to come and see us. It’s almost 12pm when Dr Gray comes by. He is so laid back you can’t help but feel comfortable. He inspects Rilien’s feet & calmly says they look good but they are a work in progress. My heart sinks – does this mean another operation? We have to wait and see how the bones grow. Our next visit & X-Ray will be January 18th 2012.
We’re out of here! We go home happy & relieved at how well today went but also with a heavy heart as the doctors words of “a work in progress” play over & over in my head.
The shot above is not great (taken on my phone) but it’s seriously just 4 hours after having the casts removed & he is already pulling himself up on furniture.
This is Rilien’s first bath in 6 weeks. Boy did he love it!
The first night & he is trying to push himself up without using a piece of furniture for support. OMG the doctors really weren’t joking when they said kids bounce back quickly.
2 weeks after the casts were removed – Here is the video footage of Rilien standing for the first time ever. It may take a little while to load but his squeals of delight are guaranteed to make you smile!
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