So, I'll admit, I was wigged out about the serial casting. Mostly because I was worried about how Max would handle it, but also because I've been generally anxious about his right foot. It's noticeably turning in. I'm full-blown scared the casting won't work and all those years of Max walking relatively fine are going to be history, after all that he's gone through to get there. Walking is Max's special needs strength, his "Screw you, NICU doctors—you were WRONG" trump card and mine, too.
These are the thoughts that kept me tossing and turning last night. I was a zombie today.
I don't know how Max has managed to keep walking around lately without falling everywhere, but that's Max for you, determined and cheerful. I hadn't talked with him much about the casting. I showed him a photo of a cast and told him he'd be getting one to make his foot straighter. "Ur-ul!" Max said, and I didn't dare let him know he wasn't getting one in purple.
I made Dave take him for the casting.
I didn't want Max to pick up on my anxiety. But also, I was being a weenie: I thought I'd get really upset if he got really upset.
Dave is of the anxiety-free variety of human beings. He doesn't worry about stuff like, say, whether Max is going to wig out because the fabric shoe that fits over the cast is blue, not purple. He doesn't obsess. He just blithely forges ahead.
So this afternoon, Dave took Max to the physical therapy center at a local children's hospital for serial casting.
And I called ten times in a row to make sure everything was going OK. No response.
Email #1 subject line: HONEY, IS MAX OK?
Email #2 subject line: HONEY, IS HE CRYING?
Email #3 subject line: WHAT IS GOING ON?!
Email #4 subject line: DAVE! EMAIL OR CALL!
Email #5 subject line: PLEASE GET IN TOUCH WITH ME BEFORE I SELF-DESTRUCT
At last (I think it was only maybe five minutes but it was a very long five minutes), Dave zapped back "He's fine" and this:
And I felt relieved to see the cast didn't look too clunky, but also kind of sad to see Max's cute little toes poking out of it.
Max was a trooper. That emotional maturity I mentioned yesterday surely helped. He cried a little, but then the therapist put on a Cars DVD and he calmed right down. Dave had found him a new purple car at Target, which also helped. Max didn't even seem to care, Dave reported when we spoke, that the cast was white. "He actually asked if he could a cast on his other foot, too," Dave said.
I ran out to the local pet store to pick up some of that pet wrapping tape Hyper Aspie told me about yesterday (THANK YOU!). Mercifully, it came in purple, and I got my son two roles of flexible bandage from a company that bills itself as "The future of pet health." The checkout counter had a dog tag display. One was labeled "Max" and I took it as a sign that 1) Max was going to be OK and 2) there may be more dogs named Max than kids named Max, something I've long suspected. Then I got myself a box of Petite Cocoa Batons from the Trader Joe's next door, because being a neurotic, anxiety-ridden mom is hard work.
Max is usually gleeful when I walk in the door, but he was particularly pleased to see me this afternoon. He kept pointing to his foot and kissing me.
"Wow, that looks cool!" I said. "Did it hurt?"
"Nooooo!" said Max, flashing me a smile.
I got to work on the cast.
First, I whipped out a purple Sharpie, and Max squealed.
"What would you like me to write on the cast?" I asked, already knowing the answer:
And he was quite pleased.
Then we went upstairs and got ready for bed, and part 2 of the cast makeover continued. I whipped out the roll of purple pet tape. Max squealed even louder than before.
"MY foot hurts!" said Sabrina.
"Um, why?" I asked.
"I have a mosquito bite!" she said, and showed me the tiny bump. So I swiped on some anti-itch stuff, then did up the cast.
Project Runway people, ya got nothing on me.
Next Tuesday night, we unravel this cast and Max gets a new one on Wednesday. Repeat for three more weeks. Pray that it works. But so far, so good. Max is sleeping peacefully. Me, I'm going to go eat some Cocoa Batons.