I read an article on the news about a man who lengthened his limbs. Honestly, it angered me to read the article. At 5’6”, the man was unhappy with his stature, so he moved forward with lengthening both legs. Why am I writing about this? Because, it’s the same procedure we could use for Sidney’s limb difference caused by fibular hemimelia. Fibular hemimelia simply means she is missing her fibula bone and the larger bone in front is shorter than the opposite side.
Infection is a very real fear with this particular procedure. In the following sentence, I will describe how the medical procedure takes place. If you are easily grossed out, go to the next paragraphJ “Surgeons break the leg bone in two and implant a state of the art telescopic rod into the middle of the broken bone which pulls the bone apart very slowly, about one millimeter a day.”
In order to manipulate the bone, there are guide wires going into the leg which can easily cause infection. Sidney needs both legs and the thought of interfering, and possibly doing something to cause irreversible damage (amputation,) is a risk we are not willing to take. It’s a hot button topic amongst parents of children with similar medical issues. And in no way do I understand the intricacies of how each parent makes the decision to move forward. I’m not here to advocate against it. It’s simply not for our family. This is also a decision which Sidney needs to make. It’s her choice as a teenager or an adult should she decide to do so. And time and medical technology are on her side. For now, she’s literally dancing in front of me.
|Waking up to a beautiful back yard.|
Her leg is the special need we rarely talk about, because it doesn’t impact her life. She’s limitless, because she’s never been told differently. Nobody was there to intervene in China, outside of Half the Sky, simply helping her to learn to walk. She learned to use what God gave her. And it’s so much more than many children born with similar afflictions. As she grows, the 13% difference between her legs becomes more pronounced. So one day, her left leg won’t touch the floor. This is when a prosthetic lower leg will be necessary.
But, there is always a positive spin. According to our orthopedist, a prosthetic lower leg will be necessary “when she goes out for sports.” I LOVE this! A person is only limited by perception of their ability. Our orthopedists perception is potential. This is why we continue using him. There is no feeling sorry for her, or looking at her from a unique medical perspective. He only sees positive forward movement. And it also helps that he’s been on the bad side of mama bear. Imagine my response to his comment, “she won’t be able to wear high heels.” GRRRRRR!
So for now, we watch and wait as she dances across the living room, and climbs the arm of the chair, leaping off. That’s only before mom tells her for the millionth time “you know you are not supposed to jump off the furniture. It’s not play equipment!!!”