Rylie is our third baby, and only girl. She came into the world 1 yr, and 1 day after her big brother, Alex. She was such a sweet baby, but very gassy, and hard to please those first few months. After switching formulas, gas drops, and several sleepless nights, she finally turned into the happy girl that she is today. When she was around 2-3 months old, we noticed she was tilting her head to the side. It slowly started to become more noticeable, so we asked our pediatrician at her next check up, which was right around 4 months. He swiftly diagnosed her with Torticollis, and wrote an order for physical therapy. She was so uncomfortable during PT, and it killed me to see them put her through that. Her Daddy started taking her, because it was just too hard for me to watch. He came home, and said that the physical therapist stated that he didn't feel comfortable proceeding until we had an x-ray of her spine. I immediately turned her over, and looked at her back. What I saw made my stomach sink. We had the x-ray done, and when I called to get the results, the dr got on the phone. He referred us to Peyton Manning Children's Hospital in Indianapolis. I did tons of research as we waited for our appointment, and what I was reading had me absolutely terrified. When we had our first appointment, we were told that she was at a 28 degree curve at that time. He told us it was nothing to worry about, and most cases resolve themselves. He said we'd "wait and watch", come back in 4 months, and go from there. Life went on as usual, and when we went back for our check up, I thought we would hear no change. We didn't hear that. We heard the news that she had progressed to 48 degrees in just 4 months. He promptly wrote an order for a brace, and and MRI. In the meantime, I submitted our application to Shriners Chicago, with the help of an amazing friend. The day of the MRI, we spent several hours at the hospital (the first time our baby was put under general anesthesia), then on to the brace shop. That day was a nightmare! As we were sitting in the brace shop, my phone rang. I had to let it go to voicemail, but when I checked my messages, it was Shriners. Rylie had an appointment that next week. I was so relieved! At our appointment, we had to re-do her x-rays, because they weren't done properly at her previous ortho. We were told she was a 54. (We were later told it was closer to 64 degrees during her actual first casting) We were quickly scheduled that Friday for casting for the upcoming Monday. It was a lot to take in, and a hard pill to swallow, but I was SO happy that we finally had answers. I just sat there with this stupid smile on my face, even though I felt crushed on the inside. She had just turned 10 months old. I wont bore you with the ins and outs of cast day, but if it weren't for the wonderful staff at Shriners, and the Lucky Cast Club, I wouldn't have been able to get through it. Catie talked to me on the way home, and reassured me that we were doing the right thing, and that I was not alone in this. This whole journey has been an emotional roller coaster, with several bumps in the road. Each cast is a different feeling for us, but during this process, we have become old pro's, and made some amazing friends. We are currently out of cast, and are to be casted on June 11th, which is her 10th, and possibly last one. I don't think I will fully believe it until we are told that they have molded for the brace. I'm scared, nervous, and unsure about our future, but I know that casting works, and if we hadn't pursued this, Rylie surely would have had a surgery by now. We are so thankful that this was an option for us. Life is harder in a cast, but Rylie has pushed on, and has taught us all a lesson in strength, and perseverance. She's a tough cookie, and will tell you "I'm strong!"...she's much stronger than I ever will be, as ALL of her little casting friends are. We don't know what the future holds for us, but we do know it will be okay. Thanks for reading!
**Update on Rylie: June 2012, Rylie entered her final cast. Sometime in July she will be molded for her first brace! Her family is emBracing a brand new journey and charting new courses. She will join our growing numbers of graduates. Her story was submitted by my wonderful friend Kelli! We love love you all!