On Wednesday Madeleine has a clinic appointment at Children's Hospital. Clinic days are very special and make Childrens great. This is where families with children who have similar issues (in this case a 'limb difference') all have appointments on the same day. The whole team does rounds and the families have the chance to ask questions, meet the surgeon, physical therapist, occupational therapist, prosthetist etc. It is nice to have all bodies present at the same time.
But, the really best thing about clinic is meeting other families. Seriously, when you feel like your kid is the only one inflicted with this 'terrible' issue it is nice to see some other families and giving the problems some normalcy.
Our first clinic was when Madeleine was 5 months old. This is where we met Ava, a four or five year old beautiful little girl with blonde pig-tails. Ava also has fibular hemimelia and Ava walked into our room holding a purse and wearing a tutu-like skirt with her Nikes. I had a hard time talking to her because I had been crying so hard earlier and was still feeling very sad. It was on this day that Michael and I made our choice to amputate. Ava's mother explained to her that this little baby named Madeleine is going to have the same surgery as she did and would have a helper leg too. She explained to her that her leg and foot looked just like Madeleine's when she was a baby. Ava rubbed Madeleine's leg and whispered the sweetest "wow" I had ever heard.
Michael and I will always remember Ava and her mother. She has no idea how much she helped us during such a low time in our life.
We also met a little boy named Michael. He had lovely blonde curls and was interested in doing everything very very fast. We didn't talk with him too much but watched this child run, jump, toss the ball with Dr. Mosca, everything a five year old boy does.
We met my good friend Jenna at a function similar. Although Logan has a different situation than Madeleine they are more alike than different. Jenna and I have formed a lasting friendship she is the only other mother I know who deals with a child with an amputation. Logan is Madeleine's only friend who has a leggie like her. Special indeed. Check out our recent playdate here.
So now it is our turn. We are going to a clinic appointment. We will meet Dr. Mosca again for an exam. He will look at Madeleine's leg and tell us she is fine. He will assess the 'valgusness' of her knee and estimate our next surgery. We will see Greg and he will watch her walk. I will say hi to Cathy (the physical therapist) and Sharon (the occupational therapist). This is all important in Madeleine's care. But what I am most anticipating is meeting other families who have children in this situation. Maybe we can show them some normalcy. Maybe they will feel better when they see our beautiful and capable little girl. Boy, Children's is sure smart is creating 'clinic'. Let families help families since we are the experts, are we not?