I scheduled Brennen’s MRI for the first available morning appointment, as the procedure required him to fast. You can read more about the actual MRI appointment here.We got the MRI results about one week after the appointment and we were told by the neurologist that the MRI showed no signs of brain damage. Yay! However, the doctor also said that the MRI could not rule out cerebral palsy (CP). Did I confuse you here? Because this is the point where the doctor lost me. How could the MRI that was ordered to rule out CP, not rule it out? Well, it turns out that although a MRI can show structural damage to the brain it can not show if the brain is functioning normally. And it seems that CP is one of those disorders that doctor’s still do not know a lot about. To be honest, I was fuming mad at the doctor about this. I felt this was vital information that should have been given to us BEFORE our son went through the MRI so we could have decided whether or not we still wanted him to have one.
The original plan for the back x-ray was to have it done immediately following the MRI. However, Brennen was too groggy from the sedation to stand without support and the back x-ray required him to bear his own weight. Because of this, I took Brennen to get the x-ray about a week after the MRI. The x-ray was way less traumatizing than the MRI, so that part was a relief. However, getting the results of the x-ray was EXTREMELY difficult and frustrating. Click here to see why I have developed some ill feeling towards the neurologist and his staff.
As far as the physical therapy (PT) goes, the doctor had prescribed PT 2-3 days per week for 4-6 weeks. Brennen’s physical therapist felt that amount of time was overkill and instead penciled us in for 2 days a week for 2 weeks, with the understanding that she would re-evaluate Brennen’s needs before she released him. Brennen greatly enjoyed PT. For him it was like having a one on one gymnastics class. She had him stretch his legs and play games that encouraged him to walk flat-footed. By the end of the two weeks Brennen lost interest in her games and became uncooperative, something that she expected from a three-year old. During the first week of PT, the therapist felt Brennen’s toe walking was idiopathic, but towards the end of the second week she felt he was toe walking because he was compensating for some sort of weakness (coincidentally we had received the x-ray results during the second week, so I am not sure if that swayed her opinion). However, she did end up releasing Brennen from PT at the end of the second week, partly because he wasn’t showing any improvement and partly because he was uncooperative. However, she referred us to a orthotist to get Brennen fitted for a metal shoe insert that makes it difficult to toe walk. If the insert does not work, she has asked us to consider having his feet serial casted or his legs braced. Serial casting is just like when someone has a broken bone, but in Brennen’s case his feet would be casted so he can not toe walk. The casts would be on for two weeks, but they have no guarantee of working. She said that some kids have their casts removed and then go right back to toe walking. If the casting doesn’t work or if we want to avoid that step altogether, we can get Brennen fitted for leg braces that would prohibit him from toe walking. The braces would be on for up to one year. At this time, the hubby and I feel that both casting and bracing are pretty extreme options and we do not feel like we are ready to make that decision.
Next week Brennen has three appointments. First he will be seeing the orthotist to get fitted for his insole. A few days later he will be seeing the physical therapist, to evaluate how well the insole is working and lastly we have a follow-up appointment with the neurologist. Stay tuned and send us some good vibes, please!