Worse than the Disease

We had all let Riley down: doctors, therapists, orthotists, hospital staff and his own parents. While he was spending his surgery recovery period in a maple leaf brace a pressure ulcer was carving itself along Riley’s spine. I had released Riley from the brace as soon as clearance was given… but it was far too late and the damage was done.

_DSC0055The soonest we could be seen back in the Orthopedic office would be the following morning with our doctors’ partner, Dr. S. Meanwhile I was instructed to leave the injury open to the air hoping to prevent it from becoming “goopy” while watching for heat as a sign of infection. The next morning could not come soon enough.

The pressure wound resulted from the maple leaf brace causing a lack of blood flow: ischemia. Clearly, this was not anticipated. Over the years, similar hip surgery patients were casted during recovery. My understanding is that the move to padded bracing was done to alleviate the frequent wound issues._DSC0061

All these years ushering Riley through the medical maze, not to mention a childhood of my own watching my father practice, and I am still a novice. Being a novice, unfortunately leaves Riley vulnerable. I am angry with myself. I am angry with our healthcare professionals. And then I am not. I recognize that they are human too. Sometimes I hear others determined that good doctors are only at big hospitals. Big city hospitals have let us down too. Over the last couple of years, I have had the conversation with my special needs moms’ peers; we make the best decision we can at the time and then move forward. Our forward now is to take care of the wound.

Dr. S lamented, “Let the treatment not be worse than the disease.”

IMG_20140814_124810_095Now to help Riley become his whole self again… I have much yet to learn.








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4 Responses to Worse than the Disease

  1. Dearest Stacie , know that you have done and continue to do the best that you can with information that is available to you.Riley is blessed to have you as his mama … no one would fight more his comfort, happiness and health than you. Remember he picked you for his mama because you are strong, determined,caring and loving. That wound does look painful … but as you mentioned no one could have anticipated it. Wishing Riley a speedy recovery!!! Hugs and Blessings from Canada!

  2. Lux Ganzon says:

    Wish you and your family especially Riley more strength to get through this.

  3. Stacie

    OMG! Yuck! That’s a terrible thing to have to deal with but Riley is lucky to have you as a mom.

    And yes, “humans make mistakes” — it’s true and not always comforting. Here’s a cyber [hug] and know that it’ll all be okay. You’re doing great, Momma!

    Much love to you and Riley! BOTH of you feel better soon!

  4. Mary says:

    Wishing Riley the speediest of recovery! That wound looks awful painful.

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