I came across this gem on my Timehop this morning. Crazy to think that Sporty’s first surgery was 8 years ago (and look how small she is, I’m guesing she’s still around 6lbs here!). It’s funny how I remember so vividly her diagnosis but casting and her tenotomy (the name of her first surgery) are all a blur, these were the first 3-4 months of her life and I can barely remember it. For her tenotomy, I basically remember that we walked into post-op at Children’s Hospital Oakland (she had to have it done there due to her being premature and needing anesthesia since she’s bilateral) and there our Sporty was, looking all tiny in the nurses arms waking up from the anesthesia with this BIG BRIGHT HOT PINK CASTS! It’s quite possible that her casts weighed more than she did at this point. I also remember the anesthesiologist wanting to admit Sporty due to her gestational age and her low weight. She had her surgery on a Friday and on Monday we were putting my beloved dog, Homer to sleep due to organ failure. Dr Fluffy Unicorn knew this and knew my desire to spend the last few nights with Homer. Sporty was stable too, she had no issues during surgery or waking up and was feeding fine, so he went to bat for us to let Sporty come home for the night. I don’t remember her pain or discomfort, they sent us home with dosages for baby Tylenol. I vaguely remember her being a little uncomfortable the first few days but she also took great joy in a little game we referred to as the “whale tail.” In this game, Sporty found infinite delight in pounding her casts against any and every surface that she came in contact with, bodies were not excluded from her little game. The scars from her first surgery are gone now, I also remember how worried we were about scars later on on life. Little did we know we had two tendon transfers in our future and these little tenotomy pokes were the least of our worries. It’s funny what our brains remember, isn’t it?
Flash forward 8 years…and this is how we spent our Sunday morning. Unfortunately, Sporty’s first softball game got rained out (she was super bummed, she’s so ready to get out and play!) but we were able to get pictures in on Sunday morning followed by a Hit, Pitch, and Run competition that they hold each year in partnership with MLB. Sporty’s age group can’t move on but they do pick a league winner for bragging rights. Unfortunately, Sporty’s “cheetah speed” hasn’t returned post surgery so she lost some points on the running part, which ironically, was her best part last year. Fortunately, she didn’t seem too upset about being the slowest of her teammates that competed, she also has a cough and cold so she could have blamed that for her slow speed, I didn’t want to bring it up, if she was upset I would have know by her body language and she would have gotten quiet. I don’t want to create self consciousness in her over her feet, she knows what she’s been through and we’re working on self awareness so she knows when she’s tired and her feet need a break. I don’t want her feet to become an excuse for not competing or trying or for not performing how she would like. We’ve always lived normally in spite of her feet and I don’t want this latest surgery to change that. Throwing, however, she nailed, last year she didn’t hit the target at all for the throwing portion and this year she hit it once plus she came within a half an inch for most of her other throws, major improvements from Miss Crazy Arm last year. So while her running score took a little hit, her throwing improved and she said her score improved overall versus last year (I have no idea how she knows this!) and so she was happy with her results, that was her goal she said.
The thing about clubfoot, is you never know what each month, week or even day can bring. One day you could be the star patient, the next day you could be facing regression, it hits fast and it hits quietly and it’s different for each patient and even each time. We say it’s like a Ninja. It comes in and turns life upside down and quite honestly, I hate it. I want it to be predictable, I want Sporty’s “cheetah speed” back, I want to know what her future holds, I want to know if surgery was the right decision, because if her “cheetah speed” doesn’t come back, she may never forgive me.