Steven had two appointments this week at Shriners--one with Sonya for physical therapy and the other with Scott, his prosthetist. Both appointments went really well--Dr. Jones even came down to meet with the prosthetist with us. Talk about going the extra mile! I am feeling really good about this new leg--that it will really get Steven walking.
When Sonya first saw Steven and had him do some exercises, she was amazed at how good he looked. She felt like he was better off now than he was before his break, with maybe a few minor exceptions. She had him standing in his brace and he was holding himself up just fine. Scott was also impressed with how straight Steven can get his leg. Of course, this new position is going to require a new prosthesis, so we have now officially started that process. It will be almost four weeks until he gets his leg and get started walking with it.
All in all, it was a hopeful feeling. When Steven first broke his leg, I never would have guessed that it would end up benefiting him in the long run. I suppose time will tell if that is true, but so far it looks like it is so. Either way, I have been feeling much more laid back about the whole walking thing. Every time I go to Shriners and see other kids with a variety of problems, it makes me realize that no matter what the child's ability is, they find ways to compensate and do just fine. One little girl at therapy didn't seem to have any use of her legs. She was scooting around on her hands and getting around well. I thought about Steven and all his crawling and scooting and how he has really made do, and really, I am feeling like he will be just fine, even if he can't run around like a normal kid. For example, he was thrilled to report that the activity in PE this week involved hopping on one foot--and he is a hopping pro!
There is something really special about Shriners and I am so grateful for this amazing hospital and that we have one so close by. Where else can I carry around a prosthetic leg and not even get a second glance from the people around? Many people have asked me about Shriners, and I don't know if I have made it clear on my blog about how their services work. Shriners is a charitable hospital for children. It specializes in orthopedic condintions, but I believe there are some other conditions that they treat--very specific conditions, I don't remember what they are. To qualify, the child must be under 18 years old and have an orthopedic condition. Then, the hospital will treat free of charge to its patients. If you have insurance, they will bill insurance (that is a new thing--just a few years ago, they didn't even bill insurance), but the patients families don't ever have to pay. It is the charitable branch of the Masons--and I don't really get all that, but hence the masonic hats in their logo.
I just think it is an amazing thing--I knew nothing about Shiners before this experience, although I think I had heard the name. Never would I have anticipated being so indebted to them. We are blessed to have health insurance and I'm sure we could do this without Shriners, but when I was reasearching prosthetics and rotationplasty prosthetics in Utah, I really felt like this was the place where Steven would get the best leg. And then the physical therapy there is so much better for him, simply because it is a pediatric environment and the therapist works directly with the prosthetist to get what Steven needs. But then, I don't have to pay any copays to go, or pay for the part of Steven's leg that insurance won't cover. So, really, it has been a huge blessing. If any of you need a worthy organization to donate money, consider Shriners hospitals. I'm sure you won't be surprised if I do some fundraising for them when we get back on our feet (pardon the pun!).