Monday, March 6, 2017

First Check Up Since the Brace Went On!

Did you notice the new blog photo??  Look at all of those casts!  It's crazy when you see them all lined up like that!  What a brave superhero we have.  I took a copy of this photo and had it framed to give it to Shriner's.  The quote says "Thank you to Dr. Pete and the Shriners' staff for helping our little super hero beat scoliosis!"  We were able to get it all framed up in time to take it with us to her check up today.

Before we get into her check up, here are some of Savanna's latest adventures...


Highlights from our family photo shoot!

Building a bird house with daddy

Thanksgiving visit to family

Hanging with Anna and Elsa at a friend's birthday party

Christmas Time - some new Christmas presents!  A.J. (formerly known as Spunky and Spunka Wunka) is sporting a matching nightgown to Savanna's.

Grocery shopping with the Catastrophe Crew...

Big snow storm!  The kids (and parents) had a blast sledding just up the road from our house.

Silly times

 Play time

Emerson's Birthday - our little (big) man turned two!!

I think he's getting a little too big for the baby scale!

Brace Check Up Appointment:

This morning we traveled back to Shriner's for Savanna's first check up since she went into the brace.  We are always a little nervous before her x-rays because we are not sure what we are going to see.  However, she has really worn the brace day in and day out, with only a two hour break most days (occasionally longer due to sicknesses), since she got it on.  We have been super compliant with the doctor's instructions.  We think that she has grown quite a bit since she got the brace on maybe due to the brace not being quite as constricting on her, maybe because she was due for a growth spurt, or both.  Hopefully we were able to capture that growth during the wearing of her brace.

X-rays from April 2016 and September 2016, respectively, ranging from 12 to 19 degrees.

X-ray from today below (on the right).  She's measuring at 15.3 degrees right now.  So, not the sought after 0 degrees that all scoliosis patients would like to achieve, but we are on our way!  It's really interesting that her curve seems to move around a bit.  In September it was in the lumbar (lower) region.  Now, it has moved up higher into the thoracic region a bit.  Ultimately, these are good results for a brace-wearer.  Not only is the brace helping to hold her curve, but it seems to be helping her with more correction too.  Her doctor was very pleased and said, "Things are looking good.  What I see in person is what is reflected on the x-ray.  See you in 6 months!"

I am always a little bummed after her appointments because even though I try to keep reasonable expectations, I am always hoping for the results that will help her get out of the brace for good.  We are just not quite there yet.  However, we are doing everything we possibly can right now, AND she is continuing to improve.

After Savanna's appointment with Dr. Pete, we went to the POPS department (Pediatric Orthotics and Prosthetics Services) to get her brace adjusted slightly.  David in POPS gave Princess Savanna/Anna (from Frozen) a new tiara today!

Then, we went to see Arynn in Public Relations to give her Savanna's picture to hang up.  She said they will hang the photo in the surgery waiting room.  I think that is an awesome place for the photo.  I can't wait to see it once it's up.  Also, I can't wait for Dr. Pete to see it too!

Not only did we get to see Dr. Pete again today, but we also got to see Savanna's scoliosis buddy Lyla!  Lyla's mom and I have been online friends for several years now since our little girls both started the casting journey, and today was the first day that I got to meet them both in person!  It felt like I've known them for a long time.  :-)

Lyla is now in a brace too, and has been since last May.  It was awesome to hang out with Lyla and her family today.  Savanna and Lyla were like two peas in a pod, and they had a blast playing together.  They got to meet Sidney, a.k.a. Miss Greer, a lovely pageant winner who has also been a patient of Shriner's (and Dr. Pete's) for the past 11 years due to her scoliosis.  She was officially released as a patient today at the age of 21 after surgery at the age of 12 when 2 titanium rods were placed in her back to help her curve.  Unfortunately, her scoliosis was not found until she was 8 years old, so casting was not an option for her.  She did wear a couple of braces before her surgery, but she was not able to get the correction she needed.  What a great feeling today was for her to be released as a patient and to have no restriction on her activities!

Walking around Greenville with Lyla

"Feeding" coins to a boar (warthog?) for good luck

Saying goodbye to our new friend.  Awww...

Next appointment:

Savanna will have another check up sometime in August, and she will have another x-ray.  Even if this x-ray shows that she is continuing to be stable or improving, I imagine she will keep wearing the brace until she grows out of it.  If her curve is still good at that point, maybe she'll be brace free, but maybe not.  We'll see what her doctor has to say.  I have to keep reminding myself to be patient...

I'll post again after that appointment.  Until then, please have a wonderful spring and summer!!

As always, thank you for reading and for keeping Savanna and all of her scoli warrior buddies in your thoughts!

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