Wednesday, April 25, 2012


Most peoples feet fall asleep when sitting for a period of time so when Anthony started complaining of it back in kindergarten (2009) I pretty much blew it off, but put it in the back of my mind. I did however bring it up at his 6 year well child visit at the end of the school year (2010). Dr and I both just though it was poor circulation and being that he was born with a heart defect it makes that a more common occurrence. Dr thought it would stop over the summer with the warmer weather and the increased activity... it didn't. I'd look out in the yard and see him sitting in the grass, shoes and socks off and him banging his feet on the ground trying to wake them up. Time passed and his feet falling asleep just became part of our normal. 
He started 1st grade and circle time on the rug was replaced with more time spent at his desk and he stopped complaining about it, it would still happen at home but it was now completely normal to catch him on the floor slapping and punching his poor little feet, I'd usually sit down next to him and help him rub them until they returned to normal. Our insurance only covers well child visits every 2 years after 6 so his next one wasn't until he turned 8 and I still didn't think poor circulation was cause enough for a sick visit. 
Then during 2nd grade (2011) it started happening EVERY SINGLE DAY! Each day after school he'd use the restroom and come hopping out with both feet asleep remove his socks and start beating them. I'm sure there has been days for all of us when we've spent more than our fair share on the potty and I don't know about you but my feet don't fall asleep and they surely don't during any regular trip! 
As cold and flu season rolled around his pediatrician sent me a notice that it was time for his asthma follow up visit, weird! His asthma has been almost non-existent for years and I've never gotten a notice before so I took it as a sign to make the appt anyways and hopefully run the feet problem by her again. She was stumped, all nerve testing came back normal and his feet were pink and warm to the touch, clearly not poor circulation. She started questioning him about other parts of the body, any pain? I was surprised to hear that his back hurts a lot especially during gym, he's never mentioned it to me before! A light bulb went off for the Dr... she asked to see his back and sure enough she found what she was looking for...a small dimple, a very common sign of Spina bifida occulta.She sent us for x-ray which confirmed her suspicions

This dx is pretty common and is considered harmless and is simply a variant of normal vertebral (bone) anatomy, it usually causes no problems that require anything to be done, however numbness in the feet with this dx is not as common and usually only happens when the spinal cord is involved. Tethered spinal cord-"The lower end of the cord has an abnormal attachment to surrounding structures. The spinal cord gets stretched and damaged". We were then passed on to the children's hospital for an MRI... which came back completely NORMAL! 

 Our Dr consulted with the pediatric neurosurgeon and she wanted to see him, she's had several cases with normal MRIs where the children still benefited from the tethered cord surgery and all their symptoms were relieved. She's pretty popular I guess because she was booked 6 months out!!! Our time has finally come, our appt is in a few weeks and while surgery (if even needed) isn't ideal I'm hopeful that she has some answers.