A week ago Sheehan had to go back to the hospital to have his halo re-pinned. Everything went well, but it appears the halo has slipped again. Most likely due to his jaw (which was purposely broken in his first surgery) fusing earlier than planned. When we turn the screw to move his jaw forward, the jaw isn’t moving and is therefore pulling on his halo and putting a lot of pressure on his scalp. On Saturday morning I turned the screw and 10 minutes later he felt a snap. Holy crap, that scared me. Not to mention how much it freaked him out and hurt him. All I could imagine was his skull snapping open. I called the surgeon and orthodontist and they both agreed I should turn the screw one more time that evening, but if it caused him too much pain then stop and we’d talk on Monday at our scheduled appointment.
So we went to the orthodontist this morning to figure out our next step. His jaw has only moved forward 5mm. It was supposed to have moved forward 15-20mm by last week. But it didn’t happen. Only the halo was moving. The orthodontist suggested that he’s a hyper-healer (I actually think that’s a real super power), so his jaw began to heal earlier than typical, meaning his jaw wasn’t budging, but when I turned the screw, the halo budged. Which explains why we had to have the halo re-pinned last week.
So now we’re left with three options, moving forward: 1) Redo the halo and splint procedure, 2) Try an internal-only splint (no halo) or 3) Quit.
- Redo halo and splint. We’d basically go through the entire process again – jaw break, re-pinning of the halo,etc., minus the sores on his lips (which was actually some of the most painful part) – those finally healed.
- Try an internal-only splint (no halo). They’d remove the halo, re-break his jaw and apply the splint directly into the jaw bone. Not quite as precise as the halo/splint, but at least he wouldn’t have to have that stupid halo on anymore. He’d be able to go out in public and get a good night’s sleep. He’d have to have another surgery to remove the splint three weeks after it’s put in. There’s also a chance it could damage some of his molars that have yet to come in (or something like that, I can’t remember because the surgeon called and I was trying to write all these details down as I was getting Autumn out the door for her swim lesson), but the risk of this isn’t as big a concern as getting this procedure done.
- Quit. Not an option. His underbite is so extreme at this point that if they waited until he was 17 to do a similar procedure (which they’ll need to do anyway) he wouldn’t even be in the ballpark to get a good alignment. We need his jaw in that ballpark to set him up for a successful surgery when he’s 17.
And so we’re going with option 2. The surgeon strongly suggested trying this method and I trust him, so that’s what we’re doing. I asked how soon we could get this done since Christmas is Sunday and he said we could do it as soon as tomorrow. So we go in tomorrow around noon for another surgery and we’ll stay one night. We’ll go back in three weeks to have it surgically removed.
I feel stressed. So is Sheehan. He had trouble explaining why he’s stressed, but I’m sure he’s anticipating the pain. Overall, it’s just emotionally draining. I’m glad he’ll have the halo off though.
I’m also glad we’re having a low-key holiday season this year. We knew we’d be home-bound, so that kept us from making many plans. It also kept me from trying to home-make Christmas presents and crap like that that I try to do every year and then get really stressed out and then get mad at everyone around me because I’m the only one doing any work even though it was all my idea in the first place. So I’ve learned a lesson through this whole process. Making big plans is stupid. Sitting by the fire with the family watching The Goldbergs, eating popcorn (or drinking Ensure in Sheehan’s case) is way more relaxing. And it’s made all these recent surgeries just a little more tolerable.
Need a Christmas gift? How about one of my books? The money goes to a good cause – Peppermint mochas for me! Oh and bills and other crap like that. The Bigger Book of Parenting Tweets, available on Amazon. Or try the original, The Big Book of Parenting Tweets.