The story is actually quite insightful and inspiring. When we arrived at the brace shop to remove Makenna's cast and be fitted for the brace, we were apprehensive. Mind you, we had removed every cast ourselves - at home. I created an entire "story" for how the cast was removed and how the Magic Scissors would arrive. It was a production. A special event. All of that was taken away as we moved forward to more freedom. My story... it just didn't work for this. They needed her to move immediately from the cast to the brace. Dr. S couldn't sent the magic scissors, we needed to go there. I told her that they wanted to see her in her "hug machine" because she was such a trooper. If I had really been thinking, I would have told her that they needed to see it because she had some magical power in hers and they wanted to pass it to the other children... but, alas, I wasn't quite on my A game!
Our day was set to go like this...
Brace shop at 11:00. Shriner's appointment at 12:30. There were 5 other familes with appointments at Shriner's that day. It was going to take careful calculations and planning to cross paths with each of them. Inthe end, we met only one family. I have faith that our paths will eventually cross with the others...
When we arrived at the brace shop, I was prepared for a long visit. I had talked to other moms who had shared similar stories. The visit was not short. I walked in with the intent on making the visit as short as possible. After all, I was trying to catch as many families at Shriner's as possible :) I would not ask frivolous questions and I would protest long waits.
But here's what really happened. The orthotist came in the room. There was a pair of "scissors" on the counter. Dave jokingly said " Pass me those scissors and I can have this cast off in a heartbeat". The orthotist replied with "You can't cut through that thing... I was there when they put it on.". Up until this point, I had no idea there was an orthotist in the OR when the cast was applied. So, now my interest is peaked :)
I stand and shake his hand as I introduce myself. "I'm sorry, did you say you are in the OR?"
Apparently, there are two orthotist at the Chicago brace company who alternate with duty in the OR at Shriner's for the serial casting. They have worked hand in hand with Dr Sturm from the onset of casting and have a vested interest in it.
This man is willing to give me more information than I could ever have hoped for. When I start asking questions, he leads us back into the "workshop" ` which is exactily that, plywood subfloors, workbenches, messy tools, rolls of plastic... and a new casting frame. I knew what it was when I saw it. I've seen pictures before. This man has bought in full board, believes in the treatment and is helping to make it available to others!
So, clearly my visit is not going to go so fast, but it is ALL my fault!!! When he brings Makenna's brace and I ask questions about the type of brace... Wilmingtion vs. Boston, etc... They are alll TLSO's, but what is the difference. Makenna is getting a Willimington. He takes the time to go back and get a Boston brace (or "baby boston" as he called it, since it was for a toddler), and show me the differences in the braces. Makenna's brace has no support for correction. She doesn't need it - her curve is close to zero, so it's not neccesary. As we are talking, he allows me to ask questions about CAD/CAM application in brace molding, and whether or not he thinks it's possilbe to make a brace that corrects the curve, and I realize that he has positive confirmed the fact that you can correct with a brace. It is possible to make a brace that counteracts the forces of nature.... but compliance is the biggest issue. Once the child has reached a goal curve of under 10 degrees, then you can relatively control gravity and nature with compliance. But before that stability is attained...it's just not prudent.
So, we are in the brace. We still have hurdles, and there are many changes that I didn't expect. But, I am so thankful that I found the castng treatment and we were able to gain over 13 degrees in correction!!!