We have officially been making trips to Shriners Children’s Greenville for over a year now. The trip takes us, on average, 10 hours round trip. Every hour and mile spent on the road on our trips back and forth is without question worth every bit and more. The team at Shriners has been nothing short of amazing. Even after making ten trips before this last one, we still walk away enamored, not only by the staff at Shriners Children’s Greenville but by the city of Greenville itself.
I’ve made it a point to document each of our trips over on our blog The Greene Affect, but with this being our second year, and falling more and more in love with the city of Greenville itself, I wanted to bring things over here to Fatherhood: Reloaded as well. I’ve pointed out in previous posts that The Greene Affect is a little more guarded and personal. It is the blog typically shared with friends and family, and on our son’s Facebook page. Fatherhood: Reloaded is more my baby and my getaway. So it’s here I can proclaim how much my wife and I love Greenville! We’ve said many times that if there were not certain things keeping us in Kentucky, it would be very tempting to move. We love the area that much and find new ways to fall in love with it more every visit we make.
The Big Dog Show
This latest visit was no exception. In what is a rare occurrence for us, we had time to burn during the morning and early afternoon before our appointment at Shriners to see Dr. Hyer. My wife and I rarely go into things with a solid plan and typically take situations like this flying by the seat of our pants. This day was no different. We spent some time just driving around, no destination, no plan, just traveling up and down the roads enjoying the sites of Greenville, and remaining in awe of how this city has maintained such a perfect balance of city life, with the serene beauty of nature and the surrounding area. It shouldn’t come as a surprise when they literally have a park with a waterfall in the middle of the city, but walking trails and natural areas are still things we stumble upon.
Our latest stumble was that of The Big Dog Show art exhibit. Something we did not know before stumbling across it. So one of those “happy surprises”.
The Big Dog Show art exhibit is “a large-scale temporary art exhibition featuring artist Dale Roberts’ most beloved design, The American Dog.” It started being featured in the city of Greenville in March and will be there until July.
SINCE ITS ORIGINAL DEBUT IN 2009, THIS TRAVELING PUBLIC ART COLLECTION HAS BEEN FEATURED IN 22 SHOWS IN 11 DIFFERENT CITIES THROUGHOUT THE US.
The exhibit itself comprises 20 8ft by 10ft steel sculptures, created by Dale Roberts, a full-time metal sculptor from Massachusetts.
One of my favorite things about Greenville is that it seems they always have something going on. Just like with the Wings of the City art exhibit last year, we were completely unaware of this exhibit and just stumbled across it while out exploring. It’s things like this that always have us wishing we had more time to spend in Greenville during our visits.
So, what do you do when you come across such an exhibit? You take photos, of course!
And when you just so happen to have a few Bluey figures in the car, it only seems natural to include them in 1 to 2 photos!
They actually displayed the statues in three separate sections of Greenville. We luckily stumbled upon the largest display of them, at what is the Cleveland Park Stables site, and had time to walk around Falls Park and find one other before having to head over to Shriners for our appointment.
Shriners Children’s Greenville
January of this year was the last time we had an appointment at Shriners, and despite having over 3 months between appointments, on paper it looked to only be a quick follow-up/check-up, and that’s what we went in expecting.
We probably should have known better, but let’s just blame it on still riding the dog statue high.
Rather than a quick visit with Dr. Hyer, we had a much more in-depth that included visiting orthotics, OT, and meeting with the specialist that will oversee our son’s treatment for his scoliosis.
You can check out the full breakdown over at the other blog, but the biggest takeaways are with Dr. Hyer and with Dr. Pete.
The visit to Shriners started as expected. After check-in, we went to x-ray so they could grab a quick x-ray of our son’s hip and then to see Dr. Hyer. The follow-up with Dr. Hyer went smoothly. Dr. Lauren Hyer, M.D., an orthopedic surgeon, has been nothing short of amazing since we started seeing her last April. She was happy with how his hip was looking. Confirmed that it was still in socket and said that his feet “looked great” and were not showing signs of regression. Being happy with his progress, she didn’t see a need for another follow-up until August!
Dr. Pete Stasikelis is “the longest-serving pediatric orthopedic surgeon at Greenville Shriners” and is affectionately known as “Dr. Pete”. Dr. Pete is a member of the Pediatric Orthopedic Society of North America and the Scoliosis Research Society, just to name a few.
After talking with Dr. Pete about our son’s conditions, we decided to start treatment on his scoliosis with Mehta casting. A Mehta cast is a plaster cast applied from a child’s collarbone to the bottom of their spine. Once the cast hardens, it holds the spine in position by applying gentle pressure. Dr. Pete was clear with us, that if HG did not have arthrogryposis, he would give his scoliosis a curability rate of around 80%. When taking into consideration our son’s AMC and nemaline myopathy, he lowers the success rate down to around 20%. It’s less than ideal, but 20% is better than zero, and it is something to strive towards.
Our son will have his first casting in July, which is after our planned trip to the beach this summer, so great timing there! We’re currently looking at up to two years of casting, which will require a visit to Greenville every 6-8 weeks to redo our son’s cast. So plenty of Greenville trips in our future! The process is going to be fluid. There are many different options and possibilities on the horizon, and as always, we’re unsure of what path the future holds.
We are happy and excited to continue to move forward with our son’s treatment and progress. Always moving forward and striving for our son to gain levels of independence.
If I’m being honest, one thing that is a downer for me is that the countdown has begun for the end of showers with my little guy. HG has loved the shower since the first time he was out of casts and able to join me in one. It’s one of the few things he and I have bonding-wise that is just us. I’m excited for his treatment and hopefully, at a minimum, improving his curvature in his spine if not curing him of his scoliosis, but this dad is going to be missing those showers come this fall.
For now though, onto summer, vacations, and adventures!