Thursday, June 23, 2011

Can't Keep A Good Man Down

God is good. All the time. Thomas's follow-up appointment was this morning at Scottish Rite and after an in cast x-ray, we heard those long anticipated words, "His cast is coming off today."

After one more x-ray out of the cast, we were able to meet with the doctor who seemed genuinely happy for us all. We were able to see on the x-ray what Thomas's legs/hips now look like. I'm guessing he has enough metal to set off the detectors at the airport. There are three pins running down the femur bone on the outside holding in part of the plate. The plate then angles where they cut and reset his bone at an angle to better set the bone into the hip socket. What I didn't know was that a part of his bone was chiseled out so that a piece of metal could be inserted near the top and a pin placed at the top to hold the whole thing in. Yes, I said part of his bone was chiseled out. Chiseled. Out. The doctor said this will give Thomas full range of motion in the hip.
Thomas did great when they actually cut off the cast, just laid there and played with an ipad. He didn't complain at all when they did the new x-ray which involved holding his legs down in a position they had not been in in almost two months. What he did take issue with was the removal of the dressings around his incisions. For seven and a half weeks tape had been on his bare skin leaving it very tender and raw underneath. He was not happy when that was removed. Once it was off, though, he was fine. Do not get in a contest with this kid over who has the best scars, he will win every time. They are a bit more severe than I had imagined, about 5 inches long each.

After the last x-ray, we headed to physical therapy where they got him up on some parallel bars and he did bear weight and try to take some steps but was very shaky and uncomfortable. We were given a walker to take home and left the hospital to take our little man and his new hips home.

At home, he had little interest to stand or do anything that involved bearing weight. However, once his sisters were home, that was all the motivation he needed to be up and cruising around the coffee table.

Now begins the rehab as Thomas works to get back to complete independence again. I see lots of swimming in our future. The doctor did warn that he will probably have a limp for about 6 months.

I am amazed by the example God has given to me in my son. Thomas's perseverance never ceases to amaze me. His joy, patience and strength are overwhelming to me. I do hope that in the months to come, as we increase therapy and work to relearn skills I too can be a Christ-like example of joy, patience, strength and perseverance.

We have made it to this point only through the grace of God. There is no way we could have done this in our own strength. He has used so many of you to carry us through your prayers, words of encouragement, meals, childcare, shopping trips, date nights and more. Thomas is the one who will carry the permanent scars as a reminder of these past few months. My prayer is that we all carry the lessons we have learned of love.

God is good. All the time.

P.S. I tried to publish more pictures but I don't even want to talk about it. My.Computer.Slow.Delete.Accident.Grrr.Not.Working.Need.Sleep.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

You Get What You Get

And you don't throw a fit. A favorite saying of teachers and moms everywhere I am sure. And in our house, it is a rule I frequently reference (although Evelyn does not seem to be interested in following this rule. at all.). These last few weeks it has been a hard rule for me to model, however. I'm a big believer in the modeling aspect of parenting and it is my greatest goal. Since I don't want my kids to yell at each other, I try very hard not to yell at them (am not perfect). If I want them to pick up their shoes, I should pick up mine as well (again, not perfect). If I don't want them to throw a fit because today was the day Thomas should have had a follow up appointment and had his cast removed and we should all be swimming tonight and planning more summer fun and outings for the weekend and Father's Day but we are not because his appointment was delayed 9 DAYS, N-I-N-E D-A-Y-S (or in Zoolander's spelling D-A-I-Y-E-S), then I can't throw a fit, right? Truthfully, I have thrown some fits. On the phone to Mike or my mom or Carole, or alone in my room. Because I'm just soooo tiiiiired and he is soooo heeeeeavy and Evelyn wooooon't stop insert one of the following a) throwing fits herself b) putting things in the toilet c) making a mess d) wanting to be held, especially when I am helping Thomas e) waking up in the middle of the night f)basically being 18 months.

There are a couple of truths here I am trying to focus on.

One. This is not that bad. I have spent enough time in Children's Hospitals, waiting rooms and therapy sessions to know.

Two. Patience is a virtue, and one I have prayed for many times, as well as humility. It is not for me to decide how God chooses to teach me these things, but it is for me to learn them in the lessons he sets forth.

Three. It is quite possible that when our surgery had to be bumped, this same thing happened to another family. And we have been bumped so that the amazing surgeon that has helped my son can have another day of surgery to help more children. Big picture, here.

Four. This is how character is built, our marriage is strengthened and our family is bonded. And those are things I desperately want for my family. I can already see such amazing growth in Olivia and Thomas. (Evelyn is just so young and really only gets that she wants her mama, now, and mama's busier with brother than she used to be, and she is not a fan of that). And I can see how our marriage has only been made stronger with a greater trust in God and one another.

My dear, wise friend Joan had this quote at her desk years ago. I have it copied and found it today on my own desk under a stack of papers.

"We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us." Joseph Campbell

This may not be the summer I had planned, at least for sure the next nine days, but the one before me has lots to offer. If I can just stop kicking my feet, punching my fists and get up off the floor to enjoy it!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

All About Attitude

Finally! A post!
I had such high aspirations to be blogging through this experience of Thomas' surgery and recovery. Ha! Each night, once the kids are in bed, all I really want to do is lay on the couch, watch mindless tv, and then go to bed. When the kids sleep during the day, I try to sleep. And if someone is here to give me a break, then I have tried to get out of the house to see some new sites.
So now here we are, almost a week since we have been home and almost 2 and 1/2 weeks down in the cast. Thomas has been such a great patient since coming home. Don't get me wrong, he was a great patient in the hospital, but would frequently cry, for long periods of time, wanting to GO HOOOOOMMMMMMEEEEEE.
Since we have been home, he hasn't complained hardly at all. Don't get me wrong, he has been demanding, but has dutifully taken his horribly smelling meds, done breathing treatments at all hours and tolerated what looks to be an extremely uncomfortable cast. He is in high spirits; laughing easily, happy to be with family and have friends visit. He is easy to entertain and even just enjoys watching others have fun around him, like when we go in the backyard and he loves watching Evelyn go down the slide.
I cannot express how thankful I am to be Thomas' mom. He is so much fun to be with and such an example to me of a person with childlike faith I want to be. A verse from First Thessalonians has been on my mind throughout this process, "Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus." Thomas has been a living example of this verse to all of us and I cannot be more thankful to God for it.