Cast cleanup

In which I talk about the effects of poop and puke on a cast. Consider yourself warned.

The casts for progressive infantile scoliosis have moleskin around the edges for padding, then duct tape to hold it in place and provide some protection for the cast. Here you can see the orange cast (his first), the blue tape, and the moleskin:

A few weeks before getting Luke’s second cast, he had a dirty diaper go up the back of the cast. I took him in to have it checked out, and the options were to have the cast technicians clean it out, or take the cast off until he could get a new one a couple of weeks later. Thankfully they were able to clean it well enough and didn’t have to remove it.

Then last night, three days into Luke’s second cast, I had to almost completely change out the duct tape and moleskin. Not fun. Thursday, he had thrown up on me, and got some on himself. I looked him over, and while it got his clothes, his cast and silver shirt underneath looked fine. Last night, he had a poopy diaper that got the silver shirt and a bit of the moleskin. I pulled off some of the duct tape to get to the moleskin, and the sticky side of the tape was soaked. I kept pulling, and pretty much the whole back was like that. Most of the moleskin underneath the tape was wet, and one of the front edges of the cast itself, the plaster stuff inside, felt fairly wet. I re-applied moleskin to most of the edges and taped it down, and left the wet areas open to dry. They seem fine today, which is encouraging, and I’m going to talk to a spine nurse next week to make sure they’re not concerned. Hopefully everything will be fine and we won’t have to have his cast replaced already. The current plan is to keep him in this cast for two months, do another two month cast, then have him fitted for a year-long removable brace.

Luke’s second cast

Luke got his second cast for his scoliosis on Tuesday, and everything went great! He had fun playing while we waited for the doctors.

Peekaboo!

He was pretty fussy the last 45 minutes or so beforehand, and didn’t get why I wouldn’t just feed him already. Then when they took him back to put him under anesthesia, we got to go back with him. They don’t usually let you go back when the baby is under a year, so we didn’t go last time. We looked pretty funny in the suits we had to wear over our clothes.

We went down to the cafeteria and got a snack while we waited for the procedure to be over, then I held Luke while he woke up. He was pretty hungry by that point! We had to wait a little while to make sure his oxygen levels were stable, then the cast was rubbing a bit under his arms, so they cut it down some. He was terrified of the cast cutter. I felt so bad for him, and it made me glad they waited until he was under anesthesia to take the first cast off. After that, we took him down for an x-ray, then we were clear to leave.

He was great once we got home! Back to his normal self and crawling all over the place. He didn’t let the cast change slow him down at all. This cast is a bit heavier than the last, but it doesn’t come down quite so far over his hips, which is nice.

He’ll be in this cast for two months. His x-ray results looked wonderful, getting his curve down to 10 degrees or less, which is the end goal! Next, we’ll either do another two-month cast, or he’ll switch to a removable brace for a year to help maintain the straightness. We’re waiting to hear back on which the doctor wants to do. If we do a brace, they would remove this cast, take a mold of his back, then put him in another cast for a month to maintain things while they have the brace made. Either way, things look wonderful, and he’s responding beautifully to the casting.

Birth Without Fear giveaway

Birth Without Fear is having a 3-year birthday celebration giveaway! I love the support they give pregnancy and birth. They show how natural it really is, yet realize medical interventions are needed at times. I appreciate that they share birth stories of all sorts, rather than just the horror stories of things gone wrong. It’s a much more honest and balanced approach, and more encouraging for pregnant and new moms. Their open approach to post-partum depression is encouraging as well, and information that needs to be more available to moms who are struggling.