5am Abigail awoke, very scared and nervous. I think suddenly everything had become very real, very quickly and she knew today was the first of our hospital visits. She had already written a list of her questions for Dr Park at home but she wanted to add to the list. By the time she had finished she had two sides of A4 paper ready for him! At breakfast we met the other family, I had been in contact with whose daughter, Pola is scheduled for surgery the same day as Abigail. I can't tell you how important it is to be sharing your emotions with someone who is going through exactly the same worries.
We got the shuttle bus provided by the hotel to the hospital and again took the obligatory picture of us standing outside the hospital for the first time. Our first appointment was with Joan, physio therapist, and I had a very special gift for her from a wonderful man, Marty. A hug. Marty, who lives in Buffalo, was 29 when Dr Park performed his SDR surgery. He's now 35 years old. Marty is very special to us. After measuring Abigail's stretches and answering some of our questions Joan explained that Abigail's current splints do not allow her foot to achieve normal muscle growth, this is caused by the additional support the splint gives. The impact of the additional support is that Abigail's ability to control her foot is restricted which has a direct knock on impact on her ability to balance as the feet along with the hips are crucial to achieve this. This was extremely interesting for us as we had always assumed balance was mainly controlled by the hips and this was one of our concerns over how much SDR surgery could actually help her. Joan also thought that Abigail might benefit from swivel front wheels on her walker.