I am still processing what I've learned and can't begin to fathom how I'm going to manage the logistics of what has to happen, but the trip itself went perfectly.
We left Thursday morning and arrived on time at our first medical center, three hours away. The news was hard. Apple's hips need surgery. They want to do one hip first, put her in a spica cast (chest to toes), give her medications to build up her blood supply, and a week later, do the other hip after which she'll spend at least another 6 weeks in the spica cast. She'll lose about half her blood volume per surgery which is why they can't do both at the same time. I'm terrified off how she'll emerge from the anesthesia. The surgeon doesn't think that her hip problem causes the problems I see with weakness, etc... and he didn't seem concerned at all or even helpful so I'll be seeking another specialist to address these issues. I'll get a second opinion on Apple's hips next month at Shriner's.
From this first medical center, we went straight to Shriner's to have Jie Jie's foot braces adjusted. Afterward, we met a friend and her kids at a park and visited for a bit. Then it was about a 2 hour or so drive to San Jose.
We ate at my favorite restaurant down there and stayed the night in a hotel. In the morning, we hit our third medical center for Sissy's ASD evaluation. She has been found at this time not to be autistic. However, girls are frequently misdiagnosed. I was told that her autistic-like symptoms are due to her intellectual deficit and developmental delays. She got another diagnosis, too, that I've known she's had from the day I adopted her, but now it's finally officially in her medical record. It's also due to her I.D.
My Firefighter came with us, thankfully, which gave him the bonus of being able to visit a friend and colleague who is a patient at the Stanford Medical Center. A quick trip to IKEA after that, and we started our journey home, stopping for dinner on the way.
We were blessed to do all of this with excellent traffic flow the entire way, even in Palo Alto!