Ladies and gentlemen, this is Mehta Number Five.

The latest Mehta cast for Harrison, his 5th, is also his 12th overall cast. He’ll be in lucky #13 when he turns two in March.

Remember last month, when I had little to share, so I broke down what our typical Mehta cast visit script was? Yeah, throw all that out the window. Rather than starting at 6 am, our day didn’t start until 8 am. They give the earliest slot to the youngest scoliosis patient, and they have bumped Harrison from that position. It was strange, knowing that a new family was beginning their journey, and we were now seasoned professionals.

This latest break between casts proved to be more emotional for me than previously.

Wednesday and Thursday were days filled with baths, snuggles, and extra-long hugs. I miss hugging my son. Feeling him without the hard plaster shell that has covered his midsection for nearly the entire past 6 months.

Checking in at 8 am proved to give a new mix to the entire routine, but a routine familiar enough that Harrison went with it. He allowed the nurses to take his vitals without a fight, quietly watched Bluey as Dr. Pete checked his skin and went over the surgery details for the fifth time, accepted the hair ruffles from everyone, and took his syringe of “happy juice” without fuss.

As Dr. Pete said after surgery, Harrison just handles everything so well.

Recovery is always a slow process waiting for the cast to dry. This time was extra slow as the casting technicians were running a little behind, a new wrinkle in routine with starting the day later. So some Gatorade and more Bluey kept the little man happy as we waited. It also leads to one of my favorite Shriners photos we’ve grabbed in a while.

It sucks, being a parent and watching your baby go through all that Harrison has gone through up to this point, all while knowing that so much more is on the horizon. A photo like this, showing him chill, and taking it in stride, helps remind me that my son is already tougher than I am when coping with all of this.

Wrapping went pretty fast once they had an opening. Again, a process we’ve gone through so often, I’ve started helping more to help expedite the process. We (aka his mom) went with a pink wrap this time since Valentine’s Day is coming up!

As we left, I saw a mom and daughter in the room across the hall, talking about Dr. Hyer while Mr. Phil was clearly measuring for AFOs. Another reminder of where we were, where we are, and how far we’ve come.

As a bonus, we had a nice snowy drive through the mountains coming home.

Checking in at 8 am proves to make the overall day longer, but I have to say, a bit of a later wake-up helps make the 5+ hour drive home that much easier to tackle.

Now to count down the days until I can get in another hug and watch the joy on Harrison’s face as he plays in the tub.

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