Tuesday, March 6, 2012

MARCHing on

From January until March, it's been 8 weeks and 2 days since my son, Michael, has been recovering from his broken leg. As you read in my previous post, Daydream Believer, our family has been dealing with injuries for quite some time.  

With this cast being so obtrusive, Michael spent a good 3 weeks on the couch.  School was definitely out for a while so a tutor came to our home each day for a couple hours. I now know what having a private tutor would be like if I ever decided to home school the boys.  The best thing about his home schooling - no homework! It was a tough break - meaning the leg - but it turned out it was a break we all needed.  The pressure of 8th grade, half way through the year, was getting to my son.  This gave him the opportunity to regroup and reorganize his mind, body and soul. Thank you God.

We'd all been dreaming of the day that big old red cast would be cut off, have a smaller one put on and have normalcy come into play, in all our lives.  That day came on the 3rd of February and he was finally moving on.

For the next 3 weeks he made this blue cast part of his new winter wardrobe and adjusted just fine. After this was put on, he was now able to go back to school, sit up in a chair, bend his leg, attend church, sleep without a number of pillows stuffed under his leg and was able to get back to a somewhat normal life.  After being isolated for such a long time, a teen misses his friends and as a mother, I missed the freedom of coming and going as I pleased during the day. This was a very good change for all of us.

The school provided a wheelchair for Michael, along with a book buddy, to get from class to class.  This he liked, but was somewhat embarrassed for the first couple of days. When he realized he didn't have to carry his books and was able to leave class early, he soon got over his social discomfort and took total advantage of others waiting on him, literally, hand and foot.

Then, on February 24th, the blue cast was cut off and discarded.  He was able to start wearing a walking boot, but still needed the crutches to get around.  He was instructed to wear the boot during the day and take it off at night to sleep.  What my son heard was to wear the boot in school and take it off when you're at home. Trying to keep this boot on him was like trying to keep a life jacket on a small child while they are building sand castles on the beach.  

His other instructions were to learn how to walk with one crutch so by the end of the week it would be easier for him when the boot came off for good.  Well, this never happened.  Every excuse in the book was thrown at me.  I would look at him and tell him not to complain to me, "Remember son, I just went through hip surgery. You'll find no sympathy from me."

On March 5th he started Physical Therapy, which will help him.  Due to the constraint of his foot in both casts for 6 weeks, the tendons on the top of his foot have shortened a bit, making it very difficult for him to walk properly. These tendons need to be stretched and worked so his foot can go through it's normal motion.  Michael is also scared of applying full pressure on his broken leg.  I explained to him it's now a mental game and he has to tell his brain the leg is completely healed. I sometimes think he doesn't want to give up the crutches so he can continue to be waited on.  They are still attached to his hands at school and around the house.  He only had training wheels on his bike for one week so I figure after one week of PT, he'll regain his confidence and he'll have to take away yet another safety net.  I just hope I don't break any fingers when I pry the crutches from his hands.

I know he'll do just fine and he'll be back to doing all the activities a normal 14 year old does. I just hope he can retain his brain into letting it know he is capable of doing things for himself once again, otherwise "March Madness" will take on a whole new meaning.



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