Friday, April 4, 2014

Surgery went great. Glad to be back home!

All dolled up pre-surgery
Bubbles always make things better
Everything went so well with Anna's surgery.  She did great pre-surgery and only asked once Thursday morning to have something to eat.  We had prepared her the night before that she could have Sprite for breakfast and she seemed happy with that.  K.C. and I were so blessed by the Ronald McDonald room at the hospital.  There was always food and snacks for all the waiting families.  We will definitely continue to save our "pop tabs" for the Ronald McDonald house and it would be nice to take the kids and volunteer sometime serving dinner.   Many of the families in the room were having difficult conversations with doctors and there were many in tears.  My heart broke for them. I am so thankful for what Ronald McDonald house does to provide a safe place for families facing the difficulties of having a child in the hospital.

Such a happy girl after getting some food in her tummy!
This time, for us everything was good news. The doctor was able to do everything he had planned and Anna did well in post surgery recovery.  Unfortunately they gave Anna a bit too much apple juice post surgery and she ended up vomiting it all up right before they were going to let her have some crackers. Poor girl kept begging us for some crackers, but all we could offer was sips of juice for an hour.  She was soooo hungry!  Everything went well after that and by 8:00 she finally got to eat dinner- Chinese food of course!

All smiles with her "baby"

It didn't take long for Anna to go to sleep and she seemed to sleep well throughout the night despite the nurses coming in to take her vitals periodically.  She only complained of pain one time, so they gave her some ibuprofen and since then hasn't seemed to be in any pain at all. Like I mentioned in the last post. There are actually some advantages to having Spina bifida- Numb feet!  The rest of us would have been crying for pain meds if we had gone through the same surgery!

Anna is pretty excited about her bright yellow casts.  They definitely match her spunky personality!  She started crying a little this morning that she couldn't walk, but she is adjusting well to the limited mobility.  I am sure she will be crawling around all over the place soon.  We were happy to get discharged before noon and Anna had her favorite lunch of Chinese noodles and watching Kai Lan.  She's enjoyed getting spoiled by her aunt Tracy and Grandma Gail with presents and treats.  She is having fun at home zipping around in her wheelchair right now.  She hasn't ever gotten to use it inside the house before. Cousin Evie thinks it's pretty cool too and tried to give Anna a ride to remember!  We are so thankful to have so many family members close to love on Anna.

Thank you for all of your thoughts and prayers.  We are so blessed to have so many people lifting up our little girl.  She did so great during her time in the hospital and as always we are so proud of her.  She is so amazing at handling difficult situations and making the best of them. The next four weeks will be different but I know she will make the best of them. Especially after we add some girly bling to those blue boots!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Foot surgery again

As you all know Anna's left foot is a club foot.  Last year she had serial casting and tendon release surgery to correct the foot enough to get it in a brace so that she could learn to walk.  She has done so well that she has walked her way into more surgery! Yay and Boo all at the same time. Initially the plan was to do a complete workover on her left foot to align the bones and get the foot in a more "natural foot" position.  Currently her foot still turns under if she doesn't have her brace on. Last week when we went in for her pre-surgery consultation I started talking to the doctor about problems we were having with the brace on her right foot.  He watched her walk and looked at the foot and said that it is a foot problem that is making bracing that foot difficult.   So..... she's also having surgery on her right foot now.  Poor girl will be in full leg casts on both legs for four weeks! Thankfully she has a wheelchair she can maneuver herself and she will be able to get down and crawl.  But no walking for four weeks. After that she will have walking casts until her new braces arrive.

So tomorrow, April 3rd at 12:00pm she will have a 3-4 hour surgery to correct issues with both of her feet.  We had hoped for an earlier appointment which would have made going home the same day more feasible, but it looks like Anna and I (or K.C.) will be spending the night at the hospital.

A lot of people have asked me if this surgery will help her walk without crutches or without braces. Pretty much the answer is no. She will always have to have braces on her feet to support her and there are too many factors involved to know if this will help her to walk without assistance.  The main purpose of the surgery is to get her feet more easily braceable in order for her to continue to be as mobile as she is.  It might even help her walk without crutches, but the truth is that her left leg is just not very strong and has so many issues that walking unassisted just may not be in her future.  Of course, Anna likes to break the rules, so you just never know.  She does amazing things with what she's been given and we know this surgery will help her to have the best mobility we can give her.

Please pray that Anna does well during and after surgery and is in minimal pain.  The one benefit having Spina Bifida is that her sensation is greatly decreased in her feet, especially the left one.  She will be in much less pain than the rest of us would be in.  Also please pray that she would adapt well to using her wheelchair and crawling for 4 weeks.  She has proven that she can adapt to any situation but she is so mobile right now that I know it will not be fun for her to have two bulky casts on her legs. 

Thanks so much for your thoughts and prayers for Anna.  We know that this temporary discomfort and inconvenience will be worth it for the end result.  Although there is no surgery that is going to allow her to walk without bracing, this surgery will help her to continue to increase her level of mobility.