We took the kids to the University of Michigan Medsport in Brighton, Michigan today to meet with Dr. Li for their 4 month checkup. Only our daughter needed x-rays this time – our son will get them next time, at one year from the previous x-rays. However, the Scoliometer showed that his degree of rotation is still the same as last time, a low 2 degrees! So, he seems to be maintaining the improvement that he got by wearing his brace full-time for a year and will continue to wear it at night.
Our daughter had an x-ray, and the good news is that her curve has not worsened. She has a lot of growing to do, but at least we feel that we can hold off on surgery until March of 2014, which is what we hoped to do. We want her to be able to play Middle School Basketball in November and also be ready for basketball in 2014, so we thought March would be a good time for us. Hopefully all will go well at the October checkup and we can stay on track for that. Dr. Li still hopes to focus on just a Thoracic fusion, and after she heals, we will go back to Luke for a brace to be made – she will probably brace until she is full grown, but if we can keep the fusion to just her Thoracic, we are happy to keep bracing. To prepare for the x-ray, our daughter had to stay out-of-brace for 24 hours. A wonderful coincidence is that this fell on a day when she was scheduled to go to a birthday party at a water park. Usually she feels bad about all the out-of-brace time, but she said “yeah, today I get to be like a normal person!”. So, she enjoyed her day out-of-brace, but her back was very achey by evening – she said it didn’t hurt, but that it ached and she was ready to put it back on after the appointment this morning. Dr. Li also wants her to have more physical therapy to strengthen her back and core muscles and to work on hamstring flexibility, as our daughter is very tight in the hamstrings. Dr. Li said that any work she can do to strengthen before surgery will reduce recovery time afterward, so we are all for it. I gave my husband the task of taking her to therapy and incorporating her workouts into the existing weight training regimen he has her on for basketball. Our daughter is in good spirits, but nervous about the surgery. It’s a long way off, and she is handling the idea bravely, but she is nervous nonetheless. I think anyone would be! But, I assured her she is never alone – if I am not there, God is, and learning to lean on HIM is the best lesson ever.