Friday, October 7, 2011

Our 1st Appt. with the Rehab Dr.

Yesterday, we had our 1st of many appointments to assess Mei Li's spine and foot issues. Dr. Charlie Law, who specializes in rehabilitating children (and adults) with special orthopedic (spinal) needs, gave Mei Li a thorough check-up. He first noted that there appears to still be a fatty tumor on her spine and in the next couple of months, we will be scheduled with a neurologist for an MRI of her spine at the Spina Bifida clinic. The concern with this fatty tumor? Tethering of the spine--which could cause paralysis and incontinence. We definitely don't want that for our Mei Li, so we hope to get that MRI scheduled as quickly as possible.

Secondly, he took a look at her little foot. Although there is a scar from a previous surgery done on her Achilles tendon while in China, they did not do anything more to correct the club foot. As the foot is currently, Dr. Law says it will be very difficult to brace. It turns in too much and is not very flexible. He said that he guesses that surgery will be required to correct her foot. However, he said he would not expect them to do any kind of surgery to correct the clubbing of the foot until her wound is completely healed. It is a pressure ulcer, caused by the plastic orthosis. This orthosis is a generic one just pulled off the shelf. He said that for Mei Li (and her foot's position), she would have to have a custom-made orthosis. The one that they had for her did not fit her foot properly--and would certainly cause that kind of wound. Then, he removed some of the dead tissue on her wound so that it could breathe and have a chance to heal. A pressure ulcer will only heal if pressure is removed. Her walking on it causes pressure. And the dead tissue causes pressure. Basically, in a perfect world, she should not walk on it at all. Ha!!!! Try explaining that to my little live-wire, Mei Li! ;-) AND, she weighs 32 pounds---a SOLID 32 pounds. Mommy's back and arms are not strong enough to carry her everywhere. Whew!!
So, he scheduled us to have an appointment with Dr. Corey, an orthopedic surgeon, this coming Monday at 10 a.m. Dr. Law says that it is possible that Dr. Corey may want to cast her foot right now to make it impossible for her to walk--to allow that wound to heal. We shall see. We will also find out if Dr. Corey thinks surgery is required to correct her foot, OR if she will be able to be casted and corrected.

Mei Li is doing great in her new home, and it is obvious she loves her family. It goes without saying that we love her too!!! And, she did amazingly well at her first Dr. appointment. We were lucky enough to have Shyenti (our Mandarin teacher and dear friend) go with us to the appointment, so she was able to talk with Mei Li and explain (in her language) what was going on. I believe that made a world of difference in keeping Mei Li calm and happy. We are ever so thankful for our friend, Shyenti and her sweet family!!! Her friendship is only one of the many ways God has blessed us on this journey.

I know many of you have been wondering about Thursday's appointment, and I will update again once we have our meeting with the orthopedic surgeon on Monday!! Have a great weekend, everyone!!


Anonymous said...

I have loved following your journey!! So glad that your little one is finally home. Dr. Law and Dr. Khoury are both amazing doctors with good bedside manner. They will take good care of your little lady. If you see a neurologist, request Dr. Mathisen. He is the best!

White's Journey to Taiwan said...

Daphne, thank you so much!!! I always love to see the pictures and hear the updates on your handsome little fella!! I will certainly keep you updated with what we learn on Monday. I'm so glad you posted a comment, because I had your blog listed on the side of mine and would check it every time I got on. But, for some reason, I don't see it listed now. I couldn't remember the URL, so now I will go and make sure I list it back again!! :)