Post Op

Recovery from Bilateral Hip Adductor and Iliopsoas Releases with Brace Application challenged our entire family. We were all patient and prepared but had been optimistic that Riley’s recovery period would be short given our dedication to his well-being.

Riley finding a position with some relief wearing a maple leaf brace.

Riley finding a position with some relief wearing a maple leaf brace.

It was difficult to handle Riley with his legs cranked open at an impossible straddle. Bracing is a surgery follow-up necessity to position the muscles properly during the healing process. He was in constant pain had regular muscle spasms despite the medicines. Any sleep was brief and broken. His disorganization made feeding him very difficult and little of it made it down his throat. Riley’s breathing became labored as he could not undergo the normal respiratory vest therapy. Consequently there was plenty more coughing and liquids in his lungs. During the first few days John wanted to remove the brace to see how all was underneath. I strongly disagreed: our instructions were to keep Riley braced throughout recovery and I feared that once we removed the brace we would cause harm trying to put him back into the contraption. My objections won out and Riley maintained the brace, a decision we would all regret.

By Saturday Ronan broke down sobbing having watched his brother struggle all week. As Riley and Ronan are deprived of a normal brotherly bond, playing, arguing, being jealous… it is easy even for us to forget how one may feel for the other. We have been making a more concerted effort since that day to make sure Ronan is well informed about his brothers’ condition.

John's instructions and care center for caring for Riley following surgery.

John’s instructions and care center for caring for Riley following surgery.

Our postoperative appointment with the orthopedic found that the incisions had healed well and Riley’s hips had loosened beautifully. Over the next three weeks Riley was to be weaned off the brace. Once he was home he could be removed for proper bathing. As he was ready, we could return to our regular activities…. perhaps he could even manage school by the August 18th start date. I was hugely relieved.

I brought Riley home, removed his brace and went about moving him and showering him as gently as I could possibly be. I was as careful to not jostle him more than necessary because each movement caused him pain. In the afternoon, Donna Lee visited to give him massage therapy. She was the first to reach around his back and make the unfortunate discovery of a large pressure wound along Riley’s spine.

Riley's stressful pose

Riley’s stressful pose

With the discovery of a wound my heart simply fell when she called me over to Riley. All through the surgery recovery period John and I had spent every moment trying to keep Riley comfortable and healthy yet here was a significant injury. I had completely missed a very important problem which was becoming worse with each day….

To be continued.

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Riley’s Smile

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5 Responses to Post Op

  1. Jim Mulligan says:

    Stace you and John continue to bless Riley with every bit of everything that you have. A shining example of humanity at its very best!

  2. Rachel says:

    Oh my gosh after everything you find that pressure wound. I suspect that is not uncommon but of great concern.

  3. Swanangel15 says:

    Riley is in my prays, I hope everything is alright with him. I don;t know what I would do if someone I loved was like this.

  4. melody says:

    omg. you have moved me to tears. what an exceptional boy and story portraying his family’s love and his personal strength. thank you so much for sharing and i hope you know how truly blessed you are.

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