Monday, June 13, 2011

Fibular Hemimelia Post Surgery Day 6 --And We're Turning

Physical Therapy began today.  Ethan was quite excited to start and had the therapists laughing by the end of his session.  Parents have to wait outside :(     Understandable, I guess.  He will get to try out the pool on Wednesday.  For now, land therapy for an hour a day. 

Pizza Party at the Patz house ... thanks to a few Jewish ladies in the community who bring pizza once a month in the summer.  The ice cream truck is coming on Wednesday along with tie-dying T-shirts.  Ethan and Emily are looking forward to that. 

By now, Ethan's pain level is at virtually zero.  He complains when we touch his leg or have to move it, but the medication seems to keep his pain at bay.  Tonight, I tried stretching the intervals between his medication ... from four hours to five which probably wasn't the smartest idea (but one the nurses said we needed to do after leaving the hospital), given that he started therapy today.  He complained a lot and had a few tears before he finally settled down for bed.

Yesterday he managed a few steps from the bed to the wheelchair ... but today he has progressed to walking down the hall!  Way to go Ethan.  AND he has his little cheerleader who follows him down the hall, saying, "Great job, Ethan.  You're doing it!"  What a great sister.  With all the attention that he is getting, all that she has requested is to be carried "like you carry Ethan."  So, she gets carried from the bathroom to the bed, too.  Easily appeased!

We're learning that life with a wheelchair has its challenges as well as life with a child who can't walk!  We've come up with some creative adapting ... hence the following pictures:

Yep, that's a trash can.  It has been invaluable the last few days.  First of all, we took a car trip yesterday to see Kung Fu Panda 2 --and we found a Wal-Mart (oh, Wal-Mart how I've missed you).  Ethan cannot bend his knee without a lot of pain and, in fact, he isn't supposed to sit with his knee bent because of the fixator and his now tightening calf muscles.  So, we pushed the passenger seat in the van up as far as it could go, I became a middle seat rider next to Ethan, and his leg rested on a pillow on top of the trash can.  Secondly, Ethan was cleared to take a shower yesterday!  This was quite a scary moment or two, but again the trash can came in handy.  Ethan sat on the ledge in the shower and propped his leg on a towel on the trash can and ta-da, he enjoyed a hot shower!

Now, our little room doesn't have a table, and I was a bit puzzled about how to do lunch, etc. because Ethan cannot even fit under a table -- if we had one.  What works?  How about a storage container lid on top of a pillow -ta-da, instant table top.  Emily had to have one, too, and it works great!  Storage containers were another good idea.  Instead of packing all of our things into a million suitcases, we brought a container for everyone --which meant a lot less packing things into the house.  We're getting it.

Turning started today, too.  Look at this picture below.  It is one of 6 of the struts on his fixator that have to be turned.  We turn each strut one millimeter each day.  This has to be spaced out so that only 2 struts are turned at once.  We actually have a color coded schedule to tell us what to do.

I'm glad they include the arrow to tell us which direction to turn lol!  Can you imagine turning it the wrong way?  Well, Freddie had to get the wrenches out that we were given, too.  The major bolts have to be checked daily, and one was working its way out.  Ethan screamed a bit when I said, "Get the wrench," but we were both laughing later!  The nurse who taught us how to adjust the fixator made a joke and said, "If the fixator doesn't need adjusting, then you can work on your Toyota ... because the wrenches are metric." 

Okay, one last scary image.  This is the fixator minus the sponges.  It is still very intimidating to clean the pin sites ... even in the shower.  Today, I wanted to call my mom, the nurse, over so that she could look at a few places ....

 Quite gruesome, but we are all getting adjusted.  Tomorrow has been one week since the surgery.  Wow, what a week!  Not one I want to live again, but one certainly filled with God's blessings of protection and deliverance.