Nerves are weird. More than actual pain he complains of irritating sensations. One is the warm water over his foot in the shower & the other is loud noises. He says he can “feel” the noise in his foot & the water feels irritating instead of soothing. Nerves are weird, I tell you!
Lance has had some nerve pain in the top of his foot since surgery. The doctor determined the L5 nerve which branches off and runs around the back of the knee is feeling a little fussy. If this doesn’t stop they will have to go in an decompress it – which would be another surgery. Lets just say Mama don’t want to mess with L5! We are praying as the lengthening goes along it settles down.
Tonight, in typical family fashion, I was hashing out something with my daughter (that is about to graduate in a few days) and things got…loud-ish. You know how women who are trying to prove a point get. Well, from the living room Lance informs us we need to stop talking because it hurts his foot. We looked at each other and busted up laughing.
Isn’t humor the best medicine?! It put things in perspective for me tonight. I’ll take it…a gift from heaven.
What did you almost miss today? Did humor save a moment?
Find your blessing,
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!
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.
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.
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.
We’ve dialed in the date. The doctors x-rayed every angle. Lance was the 1st patient on a brand new machine at St Luke’s Meridian, even. We’ve looked at growth plates and the doctor has calculated math that looks more like a language. This Thursday, May 3rd Dr. Robison with Intermountain Orthopedics will perform the surgery.
As you can see we the left knee is obscure. What you can’t really see is the difference of the length of the legs. He is standing on blocks for this x-ray. They wanted a hip level x-ray. Can you see the thickened bone on the upper part of the thigh? That is the extra calcification from the 1st leg lengthening surgery we did a few years back. Isn’t the body amazing?
So the plan is:
- Perform an osteotomy on the femur just above the knee. This will be wedge cut into the bone. This will add a few millimeters of length but the main purpose is to rotate the knee. We won’t have to actually enter the joint. A bone plate will be placed over that bone cut to stabilize it. They will do this below the knee as well.
- Attach a frame to the lower portion of the leg. They will cut the bones, attach wires/pins in strategic areas of the leg to stabilize the bone and connect the ring frame.
The surgery will be performed in the morning and hopefully will take about 2-3 hours. We are planning an overnight observation stay and then headed home on crutches. He might be out of school for week but this kid has drive to have things his way. He wants to go back on Wednesday. How many 8th graders want to go to school! I think it’s a good thing. We’ll see how the pain goes and how much he sleeps.
Lance has been dead on set that this is the best time to get this done. He has wrangled doctors, parents, and anyone who would listen. I believe God just put it in his heart. We’ve prayed this through and I feel confident about going forward. I have fears, but I have greater trust in a God that loves to heal and protect.
Lance is staying as active as possible before the surgery. He knows he is going to miss the freedom.