Healing Can Be Exhausting

I’ve lost track what day this is in the lengthening process. We are still pushing hard to grow new bone cells. A millimeter a day. That’s the mission statement for anyone doing this distraction method of lengthening. A millimeter a day.

I reflect on the prior surgery and remember how intense this time is. I’m starting to feel the fatigue. His body is starting show signs of how taxing this is. Everything we do is to support the body’s function of duplicating cells. I’m not a nurse but I wear the hat.

All journeys of healing can be exhausting. The way we do life gets changed…at least a little. We tend to think more of what is at hand and less of the bigger picture. Hope and despair dance across our moment by moments.

More than ever I am grateful for the people that pop into our world to say hey. A text from out of the blue reminds me there is life out there! Friends from work check in and offer advice or a listening ear. Family cheer us on and offer prayers for the right nowstuff. Last night, my recently graduated daughter caught up with me just to give me a hug. Several actually. From her 4 inches taller than me stance she bent down and hugged me and hugged me, then kissed my cheek. “Mom, I just thought you needed that!” Ahhh.

I am reminded we never are alone. So millimeter by millimeter we grow our way to health. life Emerging.

Later gators,

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A Wrench and the Blowdryer

We are 18 days into the leg lengthening process.  So far so good I am happy to report.

Image by Leo Reynolds via Flicker

He is getting more mobile and as comfortable as can be expected.  Pin sites continue to flare up and cause concern but that is part of living with an ex-fix. We appreciate prayers for continued healing and protection from mega bacteria.  There are 10 holes with pins or wires to deal with. I never take happy pin sites for granted.

The skin is thin over the shin bone and we are starting to see some tearing.  Yes, that is painful! The wires are smaller in diameter which seems like they would be more comfortable to “wear”.  The down side to wires protruding from the skin is they want to heal (seal) together, trapping germs beneath the skin and in the tract, only to break open in the form of a sore.

Are you still with me? I know these details aren’t for everyone.

The soft tissues are feeling the effects of the bone growing so rapidly. They have less ability to “stretch” or duplicate compared to how quickly bone cells fill in.  In the beginning, the soft tissues have built-in elasticity by nature so they keep up well.  The further we go the more difficult it is for muscles, tendons, and as we see…skin.

One of the struts is so tight that I can’t move it with my fingertips now. I have to use a wrench to turn the nut that lengthens that side.  I’m no stranger to using tools but mammas shouldn’t have to use it on their babies! Luckily, it isn’t too painful for the Bionic Boy. You want to know what his concern was?  “Don’t scratch my paint, Mom.” Really? The finish on the ex-fix was the least of my concerns.  Boys.

He also was noticing that the black finish on the fixator was starting to show water spots from the shower.  I told him he could use my blow dryer on cool after he got out of the shower to dry it. He was all over that tonight.

I guess when you have a piercing like this one you want to keep it shiny.

Everyday we have a good day we know God is near. Everyday there are challenges we know God is near. He is in the good & bad days. Life is Emerging as we recognize the fullness of life in the here and now.

I hope you see more of Him in your days…the good and the bad ones. He is near & He cares about every detail.

What are your tools turned into blessings?

Meet My Bionic Boy

The days are going by crazy fast!  I head back to work tomorrow.  I will be an hour away from the Bionic Boy.  He will attempt full days of school this week.  I think he’ll do great. I will be relying on some moms & grandmas around the community & our church to be “on call” to pick him up and hang out if he just can’t make it all day. One thing about teenage boys, they find their “want to” when an over protective mom/grandma wants to smother them. True!

He has asked for prayers on catching up on homework and facing finials. The kid likes his A’s and having to take a lesser grade is disappointing to him. Join me?

We started the lengthening process on Friday. Each evening we pull out the prescribed spreadsheet and turn the 6 struts to the determined number assigned to the day.  It isn’t as painful as you might think. Lance describes the sensation as “pressure”.  I expect he will become less comfortable to the process as the lengthening goes along. The soft tissues, muscle, ligaments, and tendons, don’t stretch as fast as the bone can grow.

It will be 40 days of lengthening.  I believe, maybe you do to, that 40 days is a significant number.  I’m praying about the implications of the 40. That will be a future post. I know God is always up to something. He starts with something physical to demonstrate the spiritual.

 

PS. The pictures might be are a bit graphic. I am so sorry if it makes your stomach turn. The process is complex and I find it fascinating. It’s good we can understand the full deal here.

Thank you for your prayers & keeping in touch.  Be blessed!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Post OP Day One

Yesterday was Day One after surgery and filled with lots of firsts. Best of all we were able to go home.

His first words yesterday morning were, “Can I put my own clothes on?” He had going home on his mind from dawn.

Physical therapy worked with Lance a few times yesterday. Mostly, they wanted to get him up, and build a little strength.  He has mastered crutches before but there are situations you have to think through – like up and down stairs.  He can not put any weight on the left leg or it could collapse the bone wedge…not to mention everything is extremely painful.

The leg is wrapped and kept straight right now. So getting up and down takes assistance to support that. Blood rushing to and from the leg as it is moved increases the pain sensation.  Once up, he seems to be comfortable but gets weak quickly.

Here is the actual model of the frame that he has on the lower leg. We get to take bandages off Sunday to see the real thing. I find it extremely fascinating.

Credit: global.smith-nephew.comCredit: global.smith-nephew.com

One moment of reality during our stay at the hospital, a team of dancers came through to perform in the room/hall. So 3 teen/young adults turned up some Indie Rock and danced for Lance. It was very cool and certainly made you feel good just watching them. WOW!  Lance said it was really cool but he was jealous they were able to move, bend, kick. A reminder how hard it is for an active boy not to be able to. Last night in true Trojan Athlete style he says, “Pain lasts a little while, pride lasts forever.”  He knows the goal.

We appreciate all the prayers, we really do.  I was praying with my sister yesterday and as spirit speaks to spirit she spoke what I know to be true.  Lance has a story in the making. Life about to emerge. One of the most important things she prayed was that others would start to see and respect Lances story as God  unfolds and becomes real to him. Sweet prayers.

Blessings,

Surgery Day

It felt like a normal rushed morning as we hurried off to the hospital. Lance was in great spirits and chatting up a storm via text messaging with friends and family. He was ready!

The start up seems to take a long time but they assured us they were running a head of schedule. We visited with the doctor right before he went to scrub. They joked around. Every one seemed to be on the same page. Let’s operate!

The surgery was planned for about 3 hours but turned out to be close to five. We received updated about every hour of the progress which really helped time go by. Our waiting room was full with supporters. God was so good. The nurses were so kind.

I thought I would pray with the doctor, lay hands on Lance and pray. Pray with whomever, wherever. I knew and recognized the spirit of god was near. Yet, it turned out no formal prayers were prayed. Silent and continuous conversation with God naturally took the place.

I know the value of prayers! To each one that offered up prayer and conversations in prayer with us and for us on this journey, Thank you! There has been such a process of getting to this day. These prayers are the foundation that we stand on now. Each one matters!

Lance had a fantastic recovery. His humor and to the point manner kept the mood light. He couldn’t wait to pull the covers back and peek at the new hardware he had acquired. He asked the nurse if what else they had done, ” any tummy tucks?”

The doctor was greatly pleased with the work of the day. Both the wedge osteotomy and the placement of the lengthening device went very well. He said he had no idea they had been in there so long. He continued to check back on Lance and was always happy at how he was doing.

Later on in the night, I shared with Lance all text messages, Facebook notices, and emails as you were all praying. He grinned at each one. He told me he knew he was doing so well because of all the prayers and the love. Even at age 14 we snuggled our pillows close. He in the hospital bed and me in the chair. He thanked me for being there and told me he loved me. This looks like heaven to me!

My heart prayer has been to see God in this entire journey. I know God uses everything. He is in this! Your prayers and support are vital. Your requests are the reason 5 hours of surgery went off without a hitch. God answering the requests for pain management are valuable! We need your continued prayers for the days ahead. As we go begin the lengthening infections will be a battle. Keeping muscle and soft tissue stretched will be a job. Check in often. We need your encouragement – its what makes life emerge.

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