Team Tredwell went into yesterday's appointment with Dr. Paley expecting x-rays, a substantial wait, a little face time with The Man himself and a date for next year's lengthening surgery. Well, we got all that and more! (I feel like I'm writing for an infomercial. I need to get some sleep. Or hire new writers. Either one.) Emily, who had been having a smashing time all week sweating her way around the sunshine state, naturally turned a corner when it was time to get some work done. X-rays came at a price, as she wailed away while Daddy struggled to hold her in place. In the end, she managed to keep it together long enough to get the pictures we needed. This was followed by a lengthy stint in the lobby/playroom as people from all over the globe waited for the attention of one of the top doctors on the planet. Emily returned to her normally charming self, organizing games of duck-duck-goose in the hallway with other kids and even attempting to rope some staff members in to the game as well. (Admit it, Caroline. You wanted to play.)
When we finally got moved to an exam room, we got a little time with our man Servando who looked through Emily's x-rays like a kid on Christmas morning. As a simple gym teacher, I don't understand much in the field of orthopaedic surgery, but I know what the words "fantastic" and "beautiful" mean, especially when they pertain to my daughter's x-rays. He was genuinely excited to see the hardening of the hip socket, creating a more stable joint and the potential for continued progress. He also noted the discrepancy had decreased by a tiny fraction as a result of last year's Superhip which was obviously good news.
When Dr. Paley arrived, he echoed Servando's earlier statements, although in a much more relaxed way (note to self: never play poker with Paley.) As he looked at the x-ray, he clearly saw something noteworthy, turning to us and asking "how long are you staying?" A brief moment of anxiety was quickly wiped away when he explained how the hip looks excellent but, in a highly unusual circumstance for a child with PFFD, the growth plate is still open. In the majority of cases, the growth plate is completely closed, meaning any extra length will only occur through surgery. In Emily's case however, there is still the possibility of more growth. Her right leg won't catch up to the left without surgeries, but perhaps the road just got a little less bumpy.
Of course, to allow that growth to occur, Dr. Paley needed to go in and remove one screw which kept her hardware attached to her hip joint. To do that, a five minute procedure was necessary involving a tiny incision, a screwdriver and a single stitch. Piece of cake! (Emily disagreed.) Still, it was amazing to watch the team snap into action as he turned from the x-rays and began doling out assignments. "Get them on the schedule for tomorrow morning. Call the insurance company and get approval. It's 4:20 right now. You have 40 minutes." Seriously, it was awesome.
And now, it's 10:20 AM. Kate took Emily in about two hours ago and we should be able to see her anytime now. She was clearly not on board with this whole idea (waking up at 5:30 AM probably didn't help,) but rallied with the help of a little medication. Nothing but smiles and giggles as they wheeled her away. This kid is incredible.
I'll keep you updated when I finally get to see her.