On Tuesday of this week, our "nephew" Joel underwent surgery to correct an issue he's had since birth. His left hip was dislocated and completely out of the socket. Now, many people say things such as, "Your brother doesn't have any kids and Chance's sisters don't have children, so how is Joel related?"
Joel is related only in love. Yup, love!
Joel's mom and I were great friends in college. She lived across the hall from my roommate, Joanna, and I. We referred to Joel's mom, Amariah, as our third roommate. She'd randomly sneak into our room, use our computers, eat our food, and even sleep in our beds! The three of us were like sisters.
Then, along came Joel!
This special boy is more than just a friend's son. He's our "nephew!" He feels like family to us!
Since Joel was just a few months old, he's spent 5-10 days with Chance and me every month. We love having him! (For now) he even has his own room in our home.
Ok, back to Tuesday. The doctors took Joel with the intent of putting his hip in the proper location. There were various methods with which this could be accomplished. The least invasive - manipulating the bone to return it to the proper place. The most invasive - surgically implanting plates and screws to hold his hip in place. Praise the Lord, Joel's (amazing) surgeon was able to pop his hip into place without the major incision. They did have to snip one tendon, because Joel's leg was tight from his previously limited range of motion.
Following the surgery, Joel was placed into a half-body cast. It covers his stomach and his entire left leg. It also covers half of his right leg. There is a stabilizing bar between his two legs. This prevents his hip from moving enough to come back out of place.
Joel will wear this body cast for twelve weeks. After that time, he will continue to sleep in a brace for eight more weeks, but he will be free to move about like a normal toddler! Joel's mother is currently counting down the days...
Earlier in the week, Joel was very angry and frustrated by the cast. He would even attempt to push himself out of it. I did get a report from Amariah yesterday though, and Joel seems to be getting a little better. He actually woke up happy again!
Joel will be here this week for a doctor's appointment, and then he'll stay for five days while his mom makes up some of the work she has missed. We're praying he's back to his normal self - just with limited mobility - by Wednesday.