Sunday, Zeke and I headed off for Minneapolis for a visit to Shriner's Hospital. It was just a routine check up, where the hand surgeon was checking the progress of Zeke's new finger. We really didn't have any concerns since having Zeke's cast off 6 weeks ago but we did have a few questions and the doctor wanted to see how the nerves were regenerating. For those of you wondering, right now, Zeke is unable to to use new finger but that's not outside the norm. That said,our questions for the doctor involved the puffiness that still exists on palm side of his hand, under the new finger and the angle at which the finger was sitting. Right now, the finger is kind of askew, not creating a 45 degree angle with the rest of his hand, like fingers do. We assumed this was due to the swelling that was there and that this would correct itself once the swelling went down. We had not seen much of a change though over the last few weeks at all even though the swelling had decreased quite a bit.
After talking with the hand surgeon and getting a set of x rays, it is clear that Zeke's finger is not healing correctly. At some point, it slipped from the correct position and drifted into its current one, at an angle. This may account for why he has not be able to really use it yet because the bones are not aligned properly. Dr. Moran was not certain why it did that other than to say that even though they x rayed the finger after taking the cast off and everything looked good, that the bone could have not been as healed as it should have been and it just slipped off. Or it is possible that he actually broke it at some point but didn't feel any pain since the nerves have not yet regenerated.
Nevertheless, this all has to be fixed. I don't know all the details yet because I need to ask a few more questions but at some point in the near future, we will be returning to Minnesota and they will do some type of procedure to realign the bones. Then Zeke will be casted for another 4 weeks.
Disappointing? Definitely. Not only do I not want Zeke to have to have another procedure with anesthesia, an IV, and a cast, but it is really hard to figure out the logistics of trips, specifically what to do with the other kids. And no one really relishes the thought of more trips that mean 8 hours of drive time, one way.
It is also one of those situations where it makes you fearful that you have made the wrong choice, that somehow this issue will be permanent and that you have just screwed up your kid's hand and foot for nothing. I know on a head level that this is not true but emotionally, it makes me doubt our choice as well as makes me wonder if we could have prevented this. There's also the feelings of wondering if we should have noticed this was wrong earlier and mentioned it to the doctors. (We did notice that it was not lined up but no one said that we should be wary of this type of issue and we assumed that it was just an issue of swelling and perhaps just how his hand would look.) Again, on a head level, I realize that wouldn't have made much difference other than being seen by the doctor a few weeks earlier than our actual appointment. But parenting is like that, isn't it. Irrational fears (or rational ones) feed on your anxiety and grow bigger and bigger the more you think on it. Guilt and insecurity creep in and you are certain you've made a mess of things. So thankful that is not true, even when it feels like it might be.