Our little Monkey was born with a "double thumb," also known as a bifid thumb. His left thumb is normal up to the last joint, but from there he has two bones, instead of one. We called it his lucky thumb because it is so unusual and rare.
When he was born we had a lot of questions to ask. Thankfully Hubby's dad is an Orthopedic Surgeon and he was able to answer them and give us a good idea of what we could expect. He was also able to get us in touch with Dr. Steven Moran, at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, who is considered one of the nation's best Pediatric Orthopedic Hand Specialists. We visited Dr. Moran last August and decided to have the little Monkey's surgery this spring.
Hubby and I asked ourselves hundreds of questions before we made this decision. We talked a lot about what the doctor told us and about our own thoughts and feelings. In the scope of things, a thumb isn't a big deal - there are so many other unimaginable things people deal with every day, but this was the problem put before us and we wanted to handle it with wisdom and knowledge. We didn't want to go ahead with it if we hadn't looked at every detail or option. After much discussion and prayer, we decided it was the best choice.
Yesterday, April 12th, was the big day. We knew it would be a long process, so we left the girls with my parents and considered leaving Lion Cub, as well, but the boys have never been apart for that long, and since this would already be a hard time for the little Monkey, we decided Lion Cub should come with us. I'm happy he did.
He was such a trooper! The doctor removed the extra bone and repositioned the remaining one above the joint using two pins. They casted the whole arm so that he can't get it off. In four weeks we'll go back to Mayo and have the cast and pins removed and then have it x-rayed. Every year, until he is fully grown, we will have to follow up with the doctor to make sure the thumb is growing correctly.
After the surgery Hubby went into recovery with Monkey while I talked with Dr. Moran (my cousin lives in Rochester and she was able to join us to help take care of Lion Cub). When I was done talking with the doctor I went into recovery, as well. Our little Monkey was not happy. He was still in that state of confusion after coming out of anesthesia, but when I walked in he pointed to his casted thumb and said: "Mama, owie!" My heart broke. Watching your child suffer is one of life's hardest experiences. We cuddled him and talked to him and were finally able to get him calmed down. They brought us up to a room in the hospital and I sat on the bed and continued to cuddle him.
After we ate lunch he was ready to get up and PLAY! It was only four hours post-op, but he wanted to get busy, so the nurse showed us to the children's play area of the hospital and the little Monkey played basketball with Lion Cub for a half hour. When one of the doctors came in to see how things were going, she was quite pleased to see him doing so well. She told us we could leave and go home!
He asked me to take off the cast twice yesterday, but generally ignores it. I'm blown away with how well he is doing. When I talked to the doctor about it, she smiled and said he is doing well because he is a happy child and has such nice parents. :)
In a couple of weeks I will post some pictures of his thumb when it's healed.
Today we are thanking God for so many things, but most of all for a healthy, happy little Monkey.