Friday, July 8, 2011

All Systems Go

Today, Maddie, Ibby, and I spent four and a half hours at Shriners Hospital in Minneapolis in preparation for Maddie's surgery next Thursday, July 14.

We always knew Maddie would need a second surgery on her leg. The fibula (the only significant bone she has in the lower portion of that leg since the tibia is just a little sliver) is slanted, and to give Maddie the best shot at walking "normally" for the long term, that bone needs to be centralized or straightened. Right now, it bulges out the side of her knee, and as she grows, the bone grows too, so it is beginning to protrude more and more. Fitting her with a prosthesis is going to be much easier once this protrusion no longer exists. And her gait should normalize a bit too once she's no longer swinging that leg out when she walks and runs. Anyhow, our surgeon believes now is the best time to proceed, so off we go!

I can hardly believe that Maddie was only two and had only been home a few months when she had her first surgery. What a different experience this time around. When asked, she can tell you what she's going to the hospital for, and she can give a pretty good explanation of the procedure that's going to be performed. I remember, with horror, when they tried to take blood during her pre-op physical for that first surgery, and how she screamed and struggled. Today, not even a wince or a tear...of course, I attribute that totally to the wonderful lab tech who got her on the first poke!

After surgery, Maddie will be without her prosthesis for six to eight weeks as her leg heals. Not fun, but we know that Maddie will handle it with the grace and humor with which she handles everything. She is truly a remarkable child. Back in December when she broke her leg, I told her she was a trouper. "Do you know what 'trouper' means?" I asked. She replied, "It means I'm a very brave girl." And indeed, she is.

And let me not leave Isabel out of this post. A more caring, empathetic sister you could not find. She held Maddie's hand during the blood draw today. And after it was all over, she exclaimed excitedly, "Good job, Maddie! Give me five!"

I left Shriners nearly in tears today because I have two of the most amazing children. They were patient and positive and so well behaved as we went from one part of the hospital to another, seeing one doctor or another. No whining, no complaning. I am so blessed and so proud to be their mom.

So I will post updates here as we proceed through our next surgical adventure. I know I don't have to ask for you to keep us, especially Maddie, in your thoughts and prayers next Thursday and in the coming weeks. We are so lucky to have so many friends and family members who hold us close in their hearts. Your loving support means the world to us.


Sherry said...

Yes, you do have two amazing little girls. And brave too. It brought tears to my eyes just thinking about what Maddie has gone through and how brave she is. Please tell her we will all be praying for her here. And that someday -- I promise -- we'll come to visit you all too.

Melissa said...

Can't blame you one bit for being a proud mommy! I will be praying for all of you. You have one tough little cookie and her biggest cheerleader for daughters and what seems like an amazing bond between the two.