Update: Lily’s Surgery Successful

The surgery is complete, but this is more like a beginning than an end.

Lily had surgery to correct her torticollis Jan. 11 at the Shriners Hospital for Children in St. Louis. The doctor made incisions in her sternocleidomastoid muscle  to loosen it so that stretching could be effective. She is wearing a non-invasive halo brace to keep her head from going back to the position it was before.

For now, she stretches three to four times a day and visits a physical therapist twice a week. During therapy, we take off the brace. That is the only time she takes it off.

It’s overwhelming, sure, but I literally take it day by day. I can’t think about the work I’m not getting done at my full-time job, the housework I’m not doing, the family and friends I’m ignoring or the meals I’m not cooking. I can’t even think about how much better this article could be if I could just focus. All I can think about is Lily. The doctor said this is a critical time in her recovery because stretching her neck now will greatly affect the future of her health. No pressure. Not!

We return to St. Louis next week for a post-surgery appointment. I hope to hear that Lily is recovering well and can wear her brace only at night, but I’ll have to wait and see. As for how Lily is reacting to the brace? Better than expected. She likes wearing it more than she likes taking it off because removing it means it’s time to stretch. Usually at least once a day she fights the physical therapy by screaming and crying.

But the brace isn’t hampering her ability to play, run, sing, dance, eat, sleep or plan her birthday party at school. She will be 6 years old on Jan. 27.

Cindy’s Bio: I am a wife, mother, writer, photographer, part-time instructor and graduate student. When I have free time, I like to play “Annie” with Lily or cook delicious, you-never-miss-the-wheat, gluten-free meals. I also like to sing and tinker with my acoustic guitar.

This is a follow-up to previous guest blog entries and an article in our 2011 October issue about her daughter’s victories and struggles with Torticollis.


Categories: Guest Blog