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Recovery

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

Standing kid!

Happy kid!

Sorry I have not posted sooner. We’ve been busy bees over here lately (including dealing with an outbreak of bees in our living room). Laelia’s recovery has gone a bit better than I expected mostly because I expected the worst. It’s been three weeks since knee surgery and she’s still a bit tender. Laelia’s  been getting physical therapy every day (at home by me) and doing  hundreds of steps a day using her crutches. In order to do that I had to redo her heels. She’s straighter now, and that has made her slight leg difference more noticeable. Three attempts later I think we finally found a good height for both heels using wooden dominoes and duct tape. Of course this will all change again in a couple weeks when she gets her leg braces.

 

On March 5th we’ll be in Philly getting casts  off and putting  KAFOs on. She’ll have to wear the KAFOs (leg braces) 24/7, even to bed. That will be hard, but we’ll get through it.

Laelia got a card in the mail the other day from all her Cubbie friends at Cubbie club. So cute! She also got cards from her school friends. Laelia was approved to go back to preschool, but only for two hours a day (and no bus service there).  Her friends had missed her! It was so adorable!

Our two biggest issues during Laelia’s recovery were hair and eating. Okay so physical therapy and pain management are the real two issues, but those were expected. Eating and hair were  just hard for no reason.  She hated taking her medicine. I hid it in everything: yogurt, ice cream, smoothies, pudding, apple sauce, etc. It had a strawberry flavor already so that limited the things I hid it in. Giving it to her straight made her throw up (a gag reflex), and putting it in her food just made eating suck.  Laelia was too darn smart about it too. She would finally eat only the yogurts I brought her so she was eating like five yogurts a day. After a week (we gave her meds for six days)  she said, “I knew the medicine was in the yogurt, Mama.” Then she rattled off  every food item I’d ever hidden medicine in. I asked her if she knew because she could taste it. She told me, “I  didn’t taste it, but I knew because of your face. And you made me eat every bite.” But the reason she never confirmed it with me was because she was afraid if she knew it was in there for sure she’d have a gag reflex and  throw up. Smart kid.

With her hair we just started spending money on really good conditioner and calling it a medical expense on our budget. It took 40 minutes to get the knots out everyday. The reason is that she would sweat because of the casts and being confined to a bed so much. Then she would roll back and forth on her head, for comfort and some out of boredom. It just made her hair a tangled, knotted mess that stuck straight up. I had regular conditioner and special conditioner and spray/leave-in conditioner. We had to take the microwave off the kitchen  counter to fit our daughter on there length-wise and then wash her hair in the sink so her casts wouldn’t get wet. Here’s some before and after shots.

That last picture there (post beauty treatment) is  Laelia showing Uncle Phong her untangled hair. Uncle Phong is engaged to Laelia’s Aunt Linda, although in preparation for their engagement and eventual wedding we’ve had Laelia calling him “uncle” for probably longer (and earlier) than anyone was comfortable with. Hehe.  :)  (Click here to see the website my husband did for them to celebrate their engagement. I feel that link should come with a warning of sorts. Eh you’re on your own.) Laelia is going to be the flower girl in their wedding! She’s practicing walking now, and soon we’ll add throwing flower pedals while walking to her physical therapy regimen. ;)

And for those of you who were praying she’d get over her cough and be able to do surgery, we can finally share one of the reasons the timing was so important to us. My husband is donating his kidney to a person who really needs it and may die without it. If Laelia’s surgery was postponed then Charley’s surgery would have to also be postponed. Obviously that wouldn’t have been a good thing. But everything worked out. So here’s our new timeline for life events since Laelia’s surgery worked out.

New timeline:

March 4th – Laelia and I fly to Philly

March 5th – We get her casts removed and her KAFOs.

March 6th – Physical therapy in Philly and KAFO adjustments.

March 7th – Fly home from Philly.

March 12th – Doctor appointment for Charley.

March 20th – Kidney removal surgery for Charley.

March 20th until around April 20th (or 30th) –  Charley’s recovery.

Early May – We hope to travel to adopt our son.

Early Summer – We bring our son home.

Happy Holidays!

Sunday, January 1st, 2012

We had a great Christmas and New Years! Here are the random pictures. Most of these pictures  were taken by other people  after our camera broke. We have bad luck with cameras!

Playing the piano.

Jumping rope. (Even though Laelia can’t jump yet.)

Making shapes.

Playing with Grandpa!

Getting ready to open presents!

After our 8 hour drive up to San Jose.

Showing off walking for Grandma and Grandpa.

Laelia’s cousin Levi steals her parents for  a bit!

Laelia’s cousin Abby!

Food!

Cousins Abby and Gracie!

Playing spoons. Laelia’s mommy being super competitive. ;)

Daddy cuddles.

Look at these goofy two!

Grandparents holding  two  of  their three  grandkids.

Family!

Grandpa cuddles.

Snake cuddles!

Pediatric Crutches

Sunday, November 27th, 2011

Last night we tried out Ryan’s walking sticks. Remember Ryan? Laelia’s true love?

Yeah that’s them together. Awwwwwwwww.

Anyway,  she did really well! I mean she  just started really  taking a few small  steps in a walker  this month  so these crutches  are major league for her.

Getting up is hard.

She fell back on me a lot.

She doesn’t know about this.

I don’t even know what she’s doing here. ;)

Walking rock star!!!

Here’s a long video of her doing it for the first time if I remember correctly. Here’s another shorter video of her second or third attempt. I was just thrilled with the fact that she tried them and didn’t get scared! Ever since we got her KAFOs she’s been a little afraid of heights. “Heights” being the whole three feet from  her nose  to the ground. :)  So I’m thrilled  Laelia was willing to  even stand up with those wobbly things. I think falling practice in PT and doing the parallel bars has  really helped her overcome her fear.  I went online that night after we got home  and ordered her some  crutches of  her own. (I got some good advice to not wait on  insurance like we have been.)  They should arrive Thursday! I’m so excited! Early Christmas presents! And Laelia is  excited too! She doesn’t treat walking  like other physical therapy excercises, but  revels in the  independence. Her doctor (van Bosse) commented in an email after seeing her YouTube videos, “For her, learning to walk isn’t a chore, it’s a passion.”

When I asked her what color she wanted her crutches to be she was so impatient, “Green! Or pink! Or white! Just buy them!” Ryan’s were blue, do you want blue too? “Yes. Or black. Or purple!!!” How about princess purple? “Yes!  Are we buying them now?” :)

Taking steps since August 31st, 2011!

 

The day before surgery.

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

Three airplanes later and Daddy finally joins us!

I got lost at the airport tonight because of the weird roads (PHILLY!!!), but we did find Daddy and then we went to meet our friends at the local diner.

Our buddies!

I had my first Philly cheese stake. Now I can say I’ve done it. :)

Sadie (also an AMC’er) and Laelia showed off their standing and walking skills at the diner.

Once we got home, and after my husband showered, we were finally feeling like a family again. That is until Charley showed me that he brought with him a ton of technology so I can blog! (Bye honey!) So I’ve been lost in my computer for the last couple of hours while my husband has been putting up with all of my daughter’s new discipline problems developed over the last nine days. :) Hehe.

But seriously we have missed Daddy. He is loved. He is appreciated.

Good news! We got a call this morning that Laelia had been bumped up to the first surgery of the day tomorrow! That’s a super great answer to prayer since my daughter is terrified of the hospital. I was so afraid that she would be a scared, shaking mess for the whole day, but now she’s first up!

We have to leave the RMDH at 6:15 a.m. to get to the hospital by 6:30. That will be difficult since we never got used to Philly time and have been sleeping in until 11:00 a.m. every morning and calling it 8:00. :)

In other good news, Laelia is not sick! No coughing, sniffling or sneezing! That’s a miracle since so many illnesses have been floating around.

Tomorrow is surgery! Finally! I see a light at the end of the tunnel!

Update: It’s now midnight. Laelia is not sleepy. Kill me now.

Updateness: Midnight has come and gone and that cheese stake is not sitting well. Maybe some Canadian candy will help…

Another update: It’s official. We’re not going to get much sleep tonight.

Halloween in the hospital!

Monday, October 31st, 2011

“I’m a bunny dressed up like a duck!”

“And my mom is Mama Bear!”

Mama Bear was the scariest thing I could think of, especially if you’re a medical professional. :) And since we were trick or treating in a hospital this year I figured I was pretty intimidating. :)

I have better pictures than this one but I love the shark grins on these two. :)

We ran into Colette before we left and she gave Laelia a present filled with goodies to help her not be so bored during her long Philly stay. But the best thing of all was the great candy from Canada.   I ate most of it. :)

Party at Shriners with cake!

It was so much fun for Laelia to go to each hospital floor and find the pictures of ghosts on the doors that indicated which ones were trick or treat doors. She would wheel in and yell, “Trick or Treat!” It was so cute. They loaded her up with candy. :) One of the perks of trick or treating in the hospital is that no one expects Laelia to be fully functioning. Also no one asks those questions that make us moms cringe: Can she grab the candy? Do her arms work? Why isn’t she walking? What happened to her? etc. Going to see a bunch of strangers for candy can lead to some interesting conversations, but the hospital staff were great! They even had her reach in to get her own candy and do it several times for practice! They were patient and talked with her and we had a great time! I kinda wish I could do Halloween this way every year and just isolate her from the world. But I’d be too afraid that would lead to becoming a hermit and maybe even homeschooling. ;) Hehe.

And her prince came!

The cute couple out for a walk. :)

We ended the day watching Charlotte’s Web like this. :)

Oh and she is doing better with her walker! She falls down a lot though. Check it out!

 

It’s all fun and games until someone gets surgery.

Sunday, October 30th, 2011

RMDH Play Area on the third floor.

Bed time story with Daddy long distance.

Watching rented movies all day long. Aka, chillaxin’.

The Walsh kids grew up on us! :)

Dessert!

“Unpacking.”

SNOW!

Our first snowman! He’s pathetic because we didn’t have gloves and he was COLD!

Children’s Museum

Friends Allison and Ian!

Baby Megan also has AMC!

TRAINS!

I spy with my little eye a bowling pin!

Crazy driver!

Falling asleep in my unpacked suitcase.