We are finally here! A visit we've anticipated for quite some time, and frankly, even feared for some time. We're in St. Paul, MN for Kasidi Joy's two-day Gait Lab and Motion Assessment at the world renowned Gillette Children's Hospital!
A little background. We have an amazing pediatric physiatrist back home, Dr. Wright. What's a physiatrist? Well, he's an extraordinary doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of neurological, musculoskeletal and orthopaedic issues in children, particularly with cerebral palsy and spina bifida.
Kasidi Joy is super extraordinary because while she was born with a thoracic region meningocele (spina bifida), she has the muscle spasticity of cerebral palsy. At the recommendation of Dr. Wright, we've taken every measure from non-invasive medication, botox injections, serial casting, bracing and stretching, to two surgical spinal cord de-tethers, to address the spasticity in her super special legs.
At our last visit in November, Dr. Wright suggested we consider a more aggressive approach in light of the fact this girl is growing by leaps and bounds. Since her muscles are so tight, they aren't stretching and growing as fast as her legs are, and will likely cause the bones to rotate, leading to more discomfort and extensive orthopaedic surgery.
And so here we are. Wednesday morning Kasidi will spend about three hours in the gait lab. She's never been afraid to give her all, and we're praying that tomorrow is no different. After a lunch break, she will spend the afternoon with the physical therapist for further assessment.
Then Thursday morning we will go over general health history and meet with the team of neurosurgery, physical therapy and physiatrist to receive the assessment results and their recommendation for treatment. We sort of know in our hearts what the recommendation will be, and that brings new fear. But it also brings much hope. Hope that Kasidi's gait will improve, causing her to use less energy to walk, ensuring that her hips are aligned, and avoiding orthopaedic surgery.
We're choosing not to worry about the unknowns. We'll leave this in the hands of the One who loves Kasidi even more than we do. He has given her a sweet spirit and incredible courage, so whatever we need to do, we'll put one foot in front of the other and move forward.
Meanwhile, this girl has proven to be a superstar traveler.
And we learned that when the airline loses your stroller, you get to "shop" their mountain of unclaimed strollers, with no upgrade fee :)