During Mason’s time in his cast, we celebrated his first birthday and his ability to overcome adversity each day. Around week four, he mastered an army crawl to maneuver his way to a favorite toy. After learning the words “momma” and “dada”, “hot dog” came next as he kicked his free leg along to the dance with Mickey. He slept through the night and adjusted beautifully. October 16 approached quickly, and we were back at Scottish Rite to remove what would hopefully be the one and only body cast he’d ever wear.
Have you ever experienced a 12-month-old deprived of food and milk for more than 14 hours? A 1:00 PM time slot was all that was available. I felt like the worst mom in the world, but knew I was protecting my son from further complications as he went under anesthesia for yet another time. When he was finally called back, I didn’t have to pass him off to a nurse, I was able to walk back with him and hold his sweet hand until he drifted off to a sleep designed to prevent him from experiencing the noise accompanied by cast removal. My husband and I waited in our room for what seemed like forever until his surgeon tapped on our door with a smile that relieved my fears. His hips were stable and he was being fitted for a rhino brace; the cast was gone.
For the next two weeks, we adjusted to life in the rhino: a brace designed to keep his hips abducted to allow for stability, but one that could be removed for baths and diaper changes. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, but Mason wasn’t phased. He continued to wear the rhino for another 10 weeks at which point we returned for an x-ray to determine his progress. However, something else was brewing in our household, something not mentioned to-date.
Halloween 2014 – I underwent arthroscopic hip surgery to repair a labral tear that had been misdiagnosed for two years. In January of 2014, after Mason’s two attempts at the Pavlik Harness, an MRI confirmed a tear in my left hip that had made my pregnancy and mid-twenties miserable. What was the fix? Surgery. Guess who operated? The one and only “hip guy” who was and still is caring for my son. My left hip bone was shaved down to smooth out the bumps (FAI) and to prevent additional tears in the future. I was sent home on crutches for six weeks.
You may think it’s ironic that I too would struggle with hip issues. My diagnosis was completely unrelated to Mason’s: I had too much hip (FAI), Mason had too little.
“There are times in life when we are faced with situations that seem dark; Situations that cause us to question our faith in the promises we have received from God’s Word. Sometimes we struggle with circumstances in the world that cause us to be distracted away from God as we try to battle and win by our own efforts, ” (Wrestling with God, god.net).
Take a look at Genesis chapter 32: Jacob wrestles with a situation that causes him fear as he prepares to face his brother, Esau, for the first time since he stole his birthright. As his family traveled back to his father’s land, he sent his wife and children ahead of him to cross the Jordan river. Left alone, he struggled with a ‘man’ until daybreak.
“When the man saw that he would not win the match, he touched Jacob’s hip and wrenched it out of its socket.” Gen 32:25
The ‘man’ pleaded with Jacob to let him go at daybreak, but Jacob refused unless the ‘man’ blessed him.
“…Your name will no longer be Jacob,” the man told him. “From now on you will be called Israel, because you have fought with God and with men and have won.” Gen 32:28
I don’t believe in irony, only in the fact everything happens for a reason. I believe that I was able to take the dysplasia from Mason’s left hip so that we were only faced with surgery on his right. I believe that during the first two months of Mason’s life, I wrestled with the Devil who tried relentlessly to persuade me to give up hope and lose faith in the only being who could possibly see us through. I believe that 2014 was the year I learned more about myself, my marriage and God than I ever thought possible. God never promised a life with out storms, but he did promise the rain would stop.