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3 October 2011

The Cast Curse

By LCC-Catie D, Sunday at 8:30 am

The Cast Curse
Our little Van Gogh's self portrait
Hopefully you survived the first post and have agreed to stay with us for more Suck It, Scoliosis.  You learned from meeting our curvy crew we chose casting as our treatment modality.  Although this method of treatment is the best course of action for infants and toddlers, it is not as widely used for children with juvenile scoliosis.  The science behind casting infants and toddlers is to harness their rapid growth to use as a corrective force in straightening their little spines.  Scoliosis was once thought to be a 2 dimensional curve of the spine.  Through great research and study it has actually been determined to be  3 dimensional with both a curve and rotation of the spine.  With casting, our great surgeon at Chicago Shriner's Hospital for Children is able to place our Iron Will under general anesthesia, place him in full traction where he manipulates his rotation and curve straight and applies a plaster cast  wrapped in fiberglass to his torso to allow him to safely grow with his spine in this straight position.  Iron Will wears his armor for 10-12 weeks and then we go at it once again.    OMG that was way too technical! I was afraid if I told you they knock him out, place him in a medieval torcher device, beat the crap out of his little body then wrap him in plaster and fiberglass I may have lost you.  It definitely is not the vision you want to have of your son but it gives him a fighting chance and at this point we will take a stinky cast kid over the alternative.

Cast #1 came and went with little drama; unless you count learning to crawl and walk while wearing a plaster cast half your body weight dramatic.  To be honest 10 casts and 2 years have passed so those battles have faded into something we did along the way.  The one aspect of casting I will never be able to erase is the curse.  Any parent who has lived it or is living it will tell you the curse will take you on a ride you will never forget. 

At first I thought he must have a stomach virus.  Daycare was notorious for sending home these little blessings.  After cast #2, 3, 4 & 5 all had the same symptoms I started to rethink what was going on.  Some families have problems with vomiting after anesthesia.  We were fortunate not to have this as one of Iron Will's  side effects.  But somehow the mysterious vomiting would appear after about 3-4 days at home. 
            Our first visit from the vomit fairy was enough to keep you on your toes.  Vomit soaked in cotton and plaster is some nasty shit you will never forget.  After cast number 2, I was taking my usual Friday trip to drop my oldest son at school.  I must warn you I am the mom who drops off at school in her Pj's, no bra and houseshoes.  It is not a pretty picture people.  Iron WIll had shown no signs he wasn’t feeling well and until I heard the familiar Blah and scream from my other darling I had no reason to suspect anything was wrong.  As I pulled into the Ring around the Rosary circle, I panicked at what to do.  Iron Will, the cast, his carseat and half my backseat were covered in vomit.  I instructed a stunned older child to run into school and ask my sister, the teacher,  for something so I could clean William up.  A few minutes later came out to the van, still parked in the circle, with several paint shirts and paper towels.  I kissed him and told him 'we would be fine' & pulled around the circle and into a parking spot where I began the clean up for the 20 minute ride home.  Me in my pajama's sans bra  in the parking lot of the Catholic school I pulled Iron Will out of his seat and tried my hardest to take off his jammies and put him in the front seat of the van as I scooped vomit out of his seat.  Thank the lord above I use my mommi-van to hoard all sorts of random crap.  I spent 10 minutes in the parking lot of the school until I felt I could buckle him in the seat and proceed on our merry way.  About 10 minutes into the drive I heard the all to familiar sound again.  Ding Ding Ding round two of vomit in the car.  There was no sense in pulling over at this point, buckle down and get home.  I arrived at home and took William into the house.  There was vomit everywhere.  The smell is still something I can conjour by just writing this horrid tale.  I used a warm cloth and cleansed the outside of the cast as best I could.  For the nasty matter which made it down the front of the cast, I soaked a panty hose in alcohol and fished it through the cast.  As I was flossing, nasty ass chunks of breakfast past  came shooting out the bottom.  This fricking thing is never going to be the same.  I am not going to be the parent to call Linda at Chicago Shriners and tell he their work of art has been ruined.  This was as clean as he was going to get.  I put a new sleeper on, placed a bib over the top and put him in bed. We had repeat vomiting off and on for about a week before things returned to "normal." 
            What we believed to be random on cast number two proved clockwork on cast three and four. For cast number three it came in the middle of the night approximately 5 days after initial casting.  This little jewel lasted approximately 3 days and disappeared as mysteriously as it arrived.  For cast five, it came during a family meal at a local Bar B Q restaurant.  Dinner was finished and I let Mammaw/Pappaw enjoy the boys so I could finally pee in peace.  I wasn’t in there more than a  minute when I heard William start to cry and tables moving.  I washed my hands and opened the door.  Holy crap, my father in law was holding William with vomit all over his back. My hubby and the owner of the restaurant were standing beside him with paper towel and the large kitchen trash can.  William was still crying and vomiting.  I seriously considered closing the door and pretending non of this was happening.  My older son upon seeing me  of course pipes up with 'Mom it’s the curse'!  At this point I was pretty sure he was correct, it was the curse.  Needless to say we exited stage left as quickly as possible.  I ran to the van with William, stripped off the old clothes cleaned the cast with wipes and put him in a sleeper I had in his diaper bag.  Before I could get him buckled into his seat and hubby to the van, it hit again.  This time I was victim along with the only sleeper we had.  I strapped a naked jay bird and a tiny feeding bib back in the carseat and thought fudge, here we go again.  My father in law is a good fricken sport.  He tossed his puke shirt in the bathroom trash and left a big ass tip! We fled the seen never to show our faces again. 
 The curse came and went each cast until cast #6 when i was waiting for the shoe to drop and it didn't.  As with any curse I really don't know if it is real or simply a test Scoliosis sent to make us second guess our decision to cast our child.  The fact we survived the curse and went on to cast again is a SUCK It, Scoliosis moment.   Until next time, Keep it Curvy!
Catie(Scoliosis Sucks) D.
Stay with us for our next post: My First Dear John letter...

About Dr Kevin Lau
Dr Kevin Lau DC is the founder of Health In Your Hands, a series of tools for Scoliosis prevention and treatment. The set includes his book Your Plan for Natural Scoliosis Prevention and Treatment, a companion Scoliosis Exercises for Prevention and Correction DVD and the innovative new iPhone application ScolioTrack. Dr Kevin Lau D.C. is a graduate in Doctor of Chiropractic from RMIT University in Melbourne Australia and Masters in Holistic Nutrition from Clayton College of Natural Health in USA. In 2006 I was awarded the "Best Health-care Provider Awards" by the largest Newspaper publication in Singapore on October 18 2006 as well as being interviewed on Primetime Channel News Asia as well as other TV and Radio. For more information on Dr Kevin Lau, watch his interviews or get a free sneak peek of his book, go to:

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