Join with me as I embark on a 31-Day Writing Challenge! Inspired by Lisa-Jo and created by the Nester, this exercise takes writers on a journey to write on one topic for 31 days straight.

Me? I’m attempting to go through our journey and countdown 31 things I used to have to do for Danny, that I don’t have to anymore. This exercise has already taken me down roads I haven’t traveled in my mind in quite some time. It has, and will allow me to be reminded just how far we really have come since August 16, 2005.

4. Bi-Valve Casts

From Wiki – “To bivalve a cast means to cut it on both sides from top of the cast to the toes so it can “open up” and allow for swelling. After cut, the cast is usually held together with an Ace bandage to keep it in place. A cast is usually bi-vlaved after a surgery or immediately after an injury to stabilize a body part and allow for swelling.”

It was always a surprise to see which color casts Danny would have when I’d go to visit him. While in-patient at Shepherd, they casts his ankles/lower legs regularly.

Casting helped to keep his Achilles tendon’s stretched and would also keep Danny’s feet from flopping. The therapists would stretch his ankle and foot as far as they could and then cast it in that position.  I can’t imagine it was very comfortable.

They would leave the casts whole, from his toes to his knees, for a few days before cutting them into bi-valves.

Once cut, they became boots to sleep in, with Velcro straps to hold the two pieces together.

Danny would have to sleep in these while in the hospital, but also when he came home. It was yet another ‘to-do’ in our bedtime routine and turning Danny with legs made of lead, was not easy. Also, we had to carefully put the bi-valves on, being careful not to pinch his skin while strapping the two pieces together. Since Danny wasn’t talking, we had to take the extra time to do it correctly.

I’m not sure how much the bi-valves helped in the long run. Danny still had to have tendon release surgery on his Achilles. However, if he’d been cooperative in the standing frame, that would have been helpful too.

When it came time to move, I found two sets of Danny’s bi-valves stored in his room.

With triumph, I happily threw them in the trash. Check!

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