This afternoon we had an appointment at Scottish Rite to pick up the "body cast" that was custom made for Miduk at our last visit. Kartika met us there to help with the translation, which was really helpful. We wanted to make sure that Miduk knows that wearing this cast is not going to help heal his hip in any way; it is simply a diagnostic tool that will simulate what it would feel like to Miduk if he had the hip fusion surgery.
The orthotic fits his torso pretty snugly, with a bar down the side that restricts the motion of his hip and fastens around his thigh. I think it's pretty safe to say that he wasn't crazy about it. It was very difficult for him to sit down (as it would be if he were to have the surgery because the hip would be "fixed" at a particular position permanently). They also placed an orthotic in his shoe, giving him an additonal 1 1/2 centimeters of length on the side where he walks on the ball of his foot because it's shorter than the other. This also is an attempt to simulate what it might be like post-surgery. Right off the bat we could tell the difficulty will be in sitting in a chair (at the dinner table, for example) and sitting on a toilet seat or squatting, tying his shoe. At home in Indonesia they sit on the floor to eat, to watch TV, and to sleep. Miduk continues to tell us that he has NO PAIN ("Sakit", our new buzz word that means "pain" in Bahasa)at all. Even after walking the entire outlet mall for close to four hours, no pain and not tired. He said his hip actually feels better here than it did back home. We wonder if it might be because he is now sleeping on a bed with a mattress, as opposed to sleeping on the floor back home? And sitting on cushioned chairs and sofas instead of sitting on the hard floor? Just a thought....
Miduk was a trooper at the fitting today. Kevin the orthotics guy was very patient and did some shaving on the cast to make it fit as best as it could, but explained that he can't make it "comfortable" because that would not give Miduk an accurate feel for the limitations he would have if he had the hip fusion surgery. I think at this time Shelby and I tend to lean towards not having the hip fusion surgery. Too many negatives that will impact Miduk's future in the long run. But we will continue to explore all available options. We plan to let Miduk wear the cast as long as he can stand it, daytime only-we will give him a break when he sleeps. But we also agreed not to start having him wear it until after Christmas. I want him to enjoy every minute of Christmas and not be frustrated or aggravated with the cast.
And notice the emblem he chose for the chest piece - a cross! At the last visit he looked through a big book of lots of different symbols he could have put on the cast, and he immediately picked the cross and never considered anything else. We told him he looks like a superhero!