Friday, February 19, 2010

February Fun!

February was a month of great fun! With my birthday, Valentine's Day, and an unexpected record snowfall all within a one week timeframe, there were many opportunities to get out and play!

David whisked me away for an overnight hotel stay without the girls for the Valentine's weekend. Then, he took the girls on a special daddy daughter date to make them feel special too! He is such a wonderful husband and daddy. I feel very blessed he's in my life.

Just as a side note, it is a published fact that the divorce rate among couples with special needs children is somewhere around 80 to 90 percent. I am grateful to the Lord for both our individual relationships with Him and our deep love and commitment to our marriage. When stressful times hit, we have those things to cling to, not to mention the love and prayers of those who care for and encourage us as a couple in so many ways.

And, oh, I almost forgot. Lizzie's got her cast off! Woo Hoo!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Lizzie's Leg

We are so relieved! Words cannot begin to express our relief and gratefulness to the Lord. We took Lizzie to Scottish Rite on Tuesday morning for her orthopedic doctor to take a look at her x-rays and give us his opinion. Based on the opinion of the ER doctor and the orthopedic nurse I spoke to on the phone for Scottish Rite, I had mentally prepared myself for the half spika cast for four to six weeks and possible surgery.

The first person to come into the exam room at Scottish Rite was some sort of resident in training. He was nice, but seemed concerned that I had no explanation for her broken leg. He took a look over Lizzie and her leg and said that we could probably get into the casting room today, he just needed to check the schedule. She needed the half spika.

Okay, so he leaves the room to go double check her x-rays and and check the casting room schedule. He is gone for at least 25 minutes. We wait and wait and wait. Suddenly the door opens and in walks the very gray haired orthopedic surgeon who operated on Lizzie's clubbed right foot last spring. He is followed by a group of residents and nurses in training who speak in hushed tones around him. Dr. Richards! We love him, and he has taken a special liking to Lizzie. (Or at least it seems that way.) He is the oldest and most respected orthopedic doctors at Scottish Rite and we are grateful Lizzie's case was assigned to him.

He tells us that after looking at the x-ray he believes that a soft cast will do the trick this time and she should be all healed up in three weeks! He let us look at her x-ray and explains that there is no birth defect or brittle bone disease. She's just a kid with Spina Bifida with bones that aren't real dense do to lack of use. Unexplained broken legs are normal in these cases and the healing process actually makes them stronger. No surgery or anything was needed and in his opinion she looked otherwise great!

Wow! We did the happy dance after everyone left the room. After so much bad news over the years, it is really nice to hear the word "normal" and "Lizzie" used in the same sentence.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Broken Leg - Again

Wow! Where to start? Lizzie has just been doing fabulous! She has new cute glasses, a new hot pink wheelchair, and a very smart mind that runs nonstop. She loves to laugh, she is learning her colors, and her favorite phrase is, "No! I do it! Hand off!" She loves Elmo, Barney, and Boz. She freely hands out hugs and "pat pats." We feel so blessed.

Okay, the broken leg part. I took Lizzie into the ER late Saturday night for a few concerns with a fever, pain in her left ear, and some apparent irritation with her trach and g-button. I figured I could be up all night with a miserable child, or I could be up all night with a miserable child and a staff of doctors and nurses that could do something about it. They asked me to strip her down to her diaper for the doctor to give her a comprehensive exam. As I was taking her pajama bottoms off I noticed that her left thigh was swollen. It wasn't huge, but I think that the way she was sitting in my lap as I was undressing her gave me the perfect view. Everything with her exam came back clear and within normal range, except for the leg x-ray.

This is the second time her leg has been broken. The first time was right around her first birthday. It was the same leg, and very near the same location (just above the knee). The doctor said that she does not have brittle bone disease (we already knew this to be true from her first incident), but that the bone there in her left leg was really thin, maybe as another secondary condition of her Spina Bifida. I'm just wondering how many "secondary conditions" a child can have. We are up to like number ten or eleven. The doctor said that there is no telling how it happened. Anything really could have caused it. They temporarily splinnted it until we can get to Scottish Rite to get the big cast on.

The "big cast" is called a half spika. It's basically like a half body cast with her right leg free. It goes up above the waist so you can't bend in the middle. Our appointment is set for 8:45 AM in the morning. So we are spending the day prepping and preparing for the appointment. We have to re-think transporting her, her clothing, and seating issues. It's a lot, and looks different now that she is two-and-a-half versus 12 months old.

She is not in very much pain but is easily agitated. Please keep her in your prayers for the next six weeks!
(The picture is of Lizzie with her temporary cast.)