Friday, January 25, 2013

Houston, we have a problem!

Greetings and a Reminder:

I write this blog as we go through ET Mehta Casting with our daughter Olivia. The blog is intended to inform, possibly inspire, and raise awareness of Infantile Scoliosis and its treatment/cure. Please share our story. For more information please check out 

Well, I tried to be very optimistic about cast number 4 and have been telling myself that it's fine, and I'm just being an overly worried mom. It all came to a head last night and I decided that I better bring her in to have it checked. It was just too tight around her middle. Last night her stomach was very red and swollen and she cried when you touched it. We iced it and hoped. It was just as bad the next morning so I decided to call. 

The triage nurse agreed with my concerns and told me to bring Olivia in. She also confirmed it with Dr. G's nurse, informed me that Dr. G was there and to bring her in when I could. At this point I was already at work without a substitute teacher in place. My students' parents are absolutely amazing. One of them who is on the sub list came in to take my class for me. I whipped some plans together and I was on my way.

I picked up Olivia and up to Boston we went. When we got there we sat for a few minutes and they were taken to the cast room to look at the cast and her stomach. Dr. G also came in and expressed his concerns with the skin irritation. As he has said her skin has always been a concern because she is so fair. He was impressed that she had made it this long without any skin issues. 

In the end Dr. G had the cast tech split the cast at the waist point to allow the cast to give there. He said that we will have to watch to make sure the cast doesn't become too loose. If that happens then we will go back and they will add a new layer of fiber glass to that area. Hopefully this will work. 

We'll also be putting on a thin layer of hydrocortisone ointment to the skin there to help it heal. I'm just glad we didn't have to replace the whole cast! Olivia seems to be in much better spirits now so fingers crossed. :-) She also had a nice time visiting Miss Kathleen, who is a dear friend of mine who works at the hospital. Whenever we enter the hospital now the first thing out of Olivia's mouth is "Kathleen!" Ha!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Cast #4...

Greetings and a Reminder:

I write this blog as we go through ET Mehta Casting with our daughter Olivia. The blog is intended to inform, possibly inspire, and raise awareness of Infantile Scoliosis and its treatment/cure. Please share our story. For more information please check out 

Sorry this took me so long to write. It’s been a very busy couple of days! When I left you all Monday night I finally went to sleep around midnight only to wake up for the day at 2:30, because I was so concerned about getting to the hospital in the snow. Guess what? We hardly got any snow! That was a plus. We were out the door by 4:45 and got to the hospital on time.

 The little munchkin is such a pro now. She shows them her medical bracelet when they ask, she lets them take her blood pressure. She even talks to the nurses now! (I mean it’s barely audible, but a huge step).

 As always Dr. G came by beforehand to chat with us and look at Olivia. I told him how impressed I was by her back and how I can run my finger right down her spine. He looked at her and told us that he will X-Ray her at 10 months instead of the year. That means her cast might come off in May instead of July!!! This was VERY exciting news! 

Anesthesiology came to talk to us as well and they gave Olivia a scented face mask to play with to prep her for anesthesia. She got a big kick out of this. When it was time to go she walked with her “team” and me to the OR cool as a cucumber. She loves the attention she gets because of her red hair. Multiple nurses remembered her this time from last time. One remembered her because of her allergy to peaches, and others remembered her because of the hair. Ha!

It’s funny. Every time we do this it’s different. This time we laid her down on the table and I held the mask over her face and sang to her till she fell asleep. She cried a little at first, but then was ok. I sang ABCs, Ba Ba Blacksheep, and Twinkle Twinkle (yeah I know…), and then she was out. It took her longer than usual to fall asleep.

We waited our usual hour in the waiting room, I enjoyed my usual breakfast sandwich from Au Bon Pain, and crocheted a flower for her to wear after recovery. While we were in the waiting room Brian got a text from his sister letting us know she was having her baby and that we were needed to watch my niece for a little while. 

Olivia did great and we were off to recovery to wait for her to wake up. She had the same recovery nurse as last time, which I was happy for because I liked her. Last time Olivia was already awake when we got there. This time she was out for over an hour!

She woke up calmly as always and enjoyed a can of apple juice and a popsicle.  I looked over the top and front of her cast and it looked really good. The length also looked good including the bottom. It’s tricky because she is not encouraged to do a lot of moving following anesthesia so I never get a good look at how the cast fits on her until after. We also thought she might puke at one point (she didn't), so we were given a barf bag just in case. Olivia enjoyed her new "hat."

Olivia was discharged and we were off to Ashland to babysit. Olivia had a great afternoon with her cousin. She played and ate and was fine. By 5:30 there was still no baby and we were relieved of our sitting duties and went home. I took a shower and was heading out for rehearsal when I noticed the bottom of Olivia’s cast. It was looking awfully tight and she was getting red marks on her hips from the skin being pinched between the cast and her pants. This made me nervous. We iced it and I warned my mother to keep an eye. Oh! And my sister in law gave birth to a bouncing baby boy! My first nephew!

Olivia slept through the night, which was a first in a month! She woke up VERY irritable and cranky the next day. She sounded congested and just seemed miserable.  Her hips looked much better, though the cast still seemed tighter than usual in that area. I dropped her off at my mother's and checked in through the day. She didn't eat much and just wanted to sleep all day. My sister said that she was also complaining about her belly. I wasn't sure if she was sick, or if it was the cast, or what. When I brought her home she seemed fine. She was pleasant, ate well, and slept through the night again. She was also fine all day today. I think she was still working Tuesday out of her system and readjusting to wearing the cast again. She's such a trooper.

I called today to schedule Olivia's next cast. Dr. G is letting us take it off on a Friday and having the new one put on on a Tuesday again. I had asked because it falls around her birthday. So exciting! She gets to have her birthday party cast free! What an awesome birthday present! I will leave you with pictures of the cast. 

If you are reading this and haven't liked our facebook page yet please consider "liking" it. It helps me to see how many people I'm reaching out to. I have been so pleased with the number of likes we have received. Again, in addition to this blog being a history for Olivia it is also intended to inform and to help others who are going through the same thing. Spread the word! Thanks! <3

Monday, January 21, 2013

Big Weekend!!!!

Greetings and a Reminder:

I write this blog as we go through ET Mehta Casting with our daughter Olivia. The blog is intended to inform, possibly inspire, and raise awareness of Infantile Scoliosis and its treatment/cure. Please share our story. For more information please check out 

Well hello!  Eight weeks already!!! Happily, it was a very uneventful cast. If you remember I was a bit worried that we were going to have problems. This was the first cast where she complained that she was itchy. That will be expected as she becomes more aware, and with the dry winter months. Otherwise we had no problems. It was a nice clean cast. 

We had a wonderful Christmas and Olivia did very well meeting Santa.

Our best Christmas present, however, was where the 8 weeks fell for a cast change. Because it's Martin Luther King weekend her cast came off on Friday and the new one will go on tomorrow! We got three whole days of tubby time, and cuddle time! It was great!

We went to Children's for 3 on Friday, and Olivia is like a pro now. She went into the cast room, had a seat on the bed and calmly laid there while the cast was removed. I was so proud of her. While we were there we ran into another casting family. Their little one was having her first cast removed. She's 10 months old. It is so great to connect with other families!

Olivia's back was pretty clean this time, not as dirty as the last cast. Her skin looked awesome, and she only had redness around her belly. The redness at the pressure point on her spine is less and less each time, which is a good sign. Her ribs and spine feel great. It is such a relief to know it's working. 

When I put her down to walk out of the cast room she made me laugh because she was swinging her torso back and forth, pleased with the freedom her upper half had. I feel badly that we'll have to put a new cast on tomorrow. She's so much more pleasant without it. Hahaha. We're at the halfway point, so the time only gets smaller from here!

After our appointment we went to visit friends where Olivia enjoyed a candle light dinner and some tubby time with her dear friend Oz.

On Saturday we celebrated Papa Rog's birthday! We have also moved on to another new adventure! Oz has been working on his potty training which then sparked an interest in Miss Olivia. Out we went to buy her a potty. Tonight we had a successful run!

We continued our cast free world tour on Sunday and headed up to see Grama and Grampa. Auntie Shan and Aliyah came over too! We are still waiting for the arrival of Olivia's new cousin. We watched the Patriots lose (Boo!), and Olivia enjoyed another tubby time with Aliyah.

We ended our fabulous weekend with a play date at E's house. 

Tomorrow we report to the hospital for 5:45 AM. With the threat of a snowy commute we'll be getting up around 4 AM. That means an early bed time for all. Fingers crossed for a safe trip, and that Olivia won't be too upset when she wakes up wearing her next cast!