It’s the Tuesday before my Son’s next surgery, and I am trying my best to keep the energy and outlook positive, but inherently the negative possibilities creep into my brain. I think it’s natural when your child is facing any sort of medical intervention that parents worry, so I just keep reminding myself that he’s in fantastic hands at Toronto Sick Kids.
Eddy’s having a surgery to fix the imbalance of muscle strength that is a result of the Brachial Plexus injury (Erb’s Palsy) he sustained at birth due to shoulder dystocia. He is a funny and stocky guy and everyone really loves the way he carries himself when he walks. His arm position when he struts around is similar to a bodybuilder/tough-guy-carrying-buckets hold which gives folks a chuckle because it suites his personality and overall look so well. What many don’t realize is his bent elbows are a direct effect of the injury and he can not straighten his right arm on his own (or even with his mom’s assistance). This surgery will modify the position of his strong working muscles to allow better movement and hopefully avoid a worsening elbow contracture which gives the appearance that one arm is shorter than the other as he grows.
We have been waiting for months for a surgery date and, because the devil fools with the best laid plans, it falls the day before Max’s 5th Birthday and 3 days before his party at the local swimming pool and Eddy has caught a cold which could prevent him from having the surgery as scheduled (sliver lining if that was to occur).
Post surgery Ed, will be in a cast for 8 weeks while his shoulder heals and he will likely have months/years after that where he will be wearing a brace to bed to help keep his arm stretched straight.
It’s an delicate topic for me to broach with Eddy because up to this point he has no idea that he’s different in any physical way. He lives his life like every high energy boy and I am often helping him down from high places. His arm hasn’t stopped him from having wicked aim (considering he’s not a natural lefty) and he’s the Bravest boy I know. As we talked about the surgery with him, he asked in his chipper voice “What’s wrong with my arm?” and even after his big brother showed him how both of his arms can go straight and Eddy tried to do the same, you could see he was confused but oblivious to the “what” and I want to keep him that way for as long as I can. I want to empower his mind to believe he can do anything he sets it too but give him the tools he will need to deal with bulling because (back to that hope for the best, prepare for the worst mentality I was raised on) I can’t help but forecast some rough years ahead.
However, I am sure we all can agree that despite his disability he’s a very lucky guy. Things could have been way worst from this injury…way worst. So I hope everyone can join me in counting blessings and will send out well wishes for Eddy on Thursday!
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