Julie Lyles Carr: The Rebuttal

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Rebuttal

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I was flush with the success of the Lego Cast Shim design utilized last week post surgery on 4 of 8 when I received this little thesis nailed to the virtual door of my email....

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At first I thought it was a copy of the chore lists I enjoyed as a child. Then I realized it was a rebuttal to the design of my medical device featured here last week on the blog. It seems the Rocket Scientist, aka the Octamom Paternal Unit, had decided to critique the structural application which had effectively relieved the pressure swelling of his granddaughter's cast.

I glanced carefully read over his concerns and formulas and end notes and blew off considered his implied statement of structural failure. After all, one of the first hallmarks of the scientific mind is to consider new possibilities and options.

Realizing that the codified language of the above document was possibly designed as a psychosomatic stunning agent, used to render a novice Lego Medical Device Designer feeling a little dizzy and out of her league, I chose to do what any good blogger would do...I searched my virtual friends database and found gold...Problem Solvin' Mom.

Problem Solvin' Mom is also an engineer. For real. She actually holds down an engineering day job in addition to the parenting and cooking and wife-ing and blogging. She gets math. She develops formulas. I asked her to review my Lego design and then to read the Rocket Scientist dossier and to let me know her findings. I received this email in response:

"The Problem Solvin Mom is impressed by the ingenuity and resourcefulness of Octamom! The materials and design, while perhaps not ideal for long term use, appear adequate for providing pressure relief for the duration of the program."

I then contacted the Lego Corporation with the information about my design. And here is what they had to say:

"Thank you for your interest in LEGO® brand toys. We are always delighted to hear from a loyal LEGO enthusiast.

How amazing! We hear from so many avid LEGO builders who take time to contact us. LEGO Products are used in so many different ways. We see architects using them for primary models, doctors and psychologists for play therapy, teachers for school curriculum - you name it! Here is just another example! Our fans continue to confirm the fact that we, as a Company, are succeeding in providing a high-quality product that you value and enjoy.

Once again, thank you for your letter and your positive comments. We wish your family many creative hours of building fun with LEGO brand construction toys.

LEGO Direct Consumer Services"

And then was the true litmus test...our follow-up visit to the orthopedic surgeon who performed 4 of 8's surgery.  We went to his office late last week to have 4's cast wrapped in fiber glass and to have x-rays done to check on the progress of her healing.  Her surgeon is a rather quiet man, unassuming, calm.  As we unwrapped the bandages covering her primary cast, I explained to him that he was going to witness a little invention on my part, a little Lego leverage for pressure relief from swelling.

The bandages fell away.

Dr. Orthopedic Surgeon beheld my design.

And words like "awesome" and "genius" were used.

And then he went and got his camera.

And he took pictures.

And he used the words "awesome" and "genius" again.

And I suspect he has a little crush on me now.

So, in conclusion, I believe I have gathered enough field evidence to defend the Lego Shim Splint.  While I realize the materials and design are anomalous to traditional modalities, experientially we can show that the Lego Shim Splint has received endorsement from professionals in the engineering, materials, and medical fields.

I guess that's why they're not called Rocket Surgeons, Dad.


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