Mehta/EDF Casting Changes More Than Just A Child’s Spine

My second child Rose is just 14 months old. Technically she’s a toddler but really she’s still a baby. I mean she only just started walking a few weeks ago. She’s an adorable, funny, healthy and happy baby…. A baby!

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Rose at 14 months old

She’s the same age right now as Nora was when Nora got her first Mehta cast. This is mind-boggling to me.  I’ve been fixated on this for a couple weeks now. Lately I look at Rose and I think, my gosh how did we do casting with Nora? Look how little Rose is, she’s not even 20 pounds.  How did we do this years ago? I’ve REALLY realized just how small she is and to imagine her in a cast….I don’t know how we did this before.

And yet, I’m very matter-of-fact about Mehta casting and I’m a huge advocate for casting.  I don’t hesitate to explain to new parents in support groups how important it is to begin casting as soon as they can, as early as nine months old, sometimes even six months old.

…But they are still such tiny babies…

I’m quick and steadfast in my recommendations to parents about Mehta casting typically being the BEST non-invasive treatment plan. Non-invasive….

Honestly, ‘non-invasive’ it’s a bit of an oxymoron when it comes to casting. Yes, yes, yes, it’s the best medical option to begin with almost always for idiopathic infantile scoliosis and often for severe congenital and neuromuscular cases. But take the medical point of view out and it’s hard to say a Mehta cast isn’t invasive. It’s an entire plaster and fiberglass cast covering a child’s torso. Shoulders to hips. You can’t ignore it. It does change some things.

first cast

Nora at 14 months old in her first Mehta cast

But kids are resilient and learn new ways to do just about everything. Avoiding baths, swimming, sand, heat and a few others are hard but not awful. The trips to the OR every two months and dealing with post-op was gut-wrenchingly hard for us. But the hardest part was not being able to hug, hold and comfort my baby the same. You adapt but I think I missed feeling the weight of my baby’s body collapse into mine. There’s nothing more comforting than fully physically embracing someone you love. When I reflect on this I can easily get very emotional about it,  some two and half years after casting.

But we did it because that’s what you do. And we did it not knowing if it would work. We did it knowing we would still need to embark on a complex surgery or surgeries down the road.

At the time it was hard. But we’ve come so far now. We are past casting, which bought us two years of growth time. We are two years past surgery.  While it’s not so long ago at the same time it IS a long time ago. Being over two years past it, it’s become easy for me to think, it really wasn’t so hard.  Because it wasn’t…when you look back.

But seeing Rose the same age as Nora was when we embarked on this journey … it’s been humbling. Humbling.  That very first cast of Nora’s forever changed me. Truly changed me. Changed me in ways I can’t describe, ways I think only parents who have walked in these shoes can understand.

But I’m filled with so much gratitude.

I wonder, will these same waves of emotions, memories and humility still overcome me when I see my future grandchildren turn 14 months old too?  I sure hope so.

 

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4 thoughts on “Mehta/EDF Casting Changes More Than Just A Child’s Spine

  1. When I first found your blog today, I was taken aback, mainly because my daughter who also has congenital scoliosis is named Nora Rose. Thank you for writing this blog. My daughter will be 2 next month and we’ve faced a series of problems already in her short life and we haven’t even started treatments for her scoliosis yet. After reading your blog posts, I’m dreading our next appointment less and less. Thank you.

  2. Hi

    I’m Vinay from India , I has a daughter now 3 months old with infantile scoliosis with hemivertebrae with large scoliosis

    I need information how much does it cost to have mehtal casting done in one session

    Is there any charity foundations to
    help our baby

  3. Hi my name is Shannon I am the mother of a 12 month old baby girl named Kennedy who was diagnosed at 6 months with congenital scoliosis I been googling and trying to educate myself better on her diagnosis and came across Nora’s story which has touched me deeply….I just recently seen Kennedy’s doctor last week and did not get good new her scoliosis is up to 82 degrees she was wearing a brace but now that is not helping at all she has to be casted I am so sad scared and afraid as a mother and would just love to to talk to another mother who went through what I am about to go through please if you can give me any advice on this I will be so grateful for that! Thanks and have a great day… I look forward to hearing from you!

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