Working on Posture
The past few weeks have been good. In addition to her physical exercises and swimming almost every day, we have been tackling some of the non-physical issues with Jian, which is going well. As we were completing her round of intensive physical therapy, it was recommended that we take her back to follow up with the orthopedist since we have not been since she first came home a year ago. The big pink elephant in the room all along has been the fact that her left hip is contracted, and her left leg is shorter than the right. She has gained confidence, independence, strength and balance this year, but her postural and alignment issues remain. Of course, the orthopedic surgeon is recommending surgery.
We really didn’t want to hear it, but what he said has been ringing true in the back of my mind all along. If we don’t correct it somehow, it is going to cause lots of problems in years to come. Her current gait pattern is really taxing her right (stronger) leg and hip and causing her spine to curve in order to compensate for what is going on with the left side. Today’s doctors have not worked with polio patients and really don’t know the best recommendation. This one surgery could lead to several, may not be effective, and could cause her to lose the strength that she currently has on the left side. But if we don’t figure out how to line up her pelvis, I know that she will always have to walk with her crutches to be efficient, which she does not want to do. The surgery would require 8 weeks in a body cast. Our plan as of now is to do everything we can non-surgically to address the issue. Stretching every day. Wearing special shorts that help hold her legs in a better position at home. Talking to our chiropractic and massage therapy friends to see if they may be able to help. I have even asked about doing splints/serial casts on her hips/pelvis without the surgery to see if that prolonged stretching may do the trick.
If we do the surgery, we will probably wait until she is out of school again next summer. I really didn’t even want to bring any attention to this problem, but I think if lots of people pray for Jian and guidance for us that it will be helpful. I was reminded today that there are lots of adoptive parents all over the country who bring home older children facing sometimes very critical medical problems who are having to make difficult decisions as well. We will know the right thing to do at the right time. This is keeping me in practice of living one day at a time and casting my cares on Him rather than anxiously trying to figure everything out myself. Thanks so much for your continued concern and prayers.