Monday, June 27, 2011

Fibular Hemimilia: Let's Praise God for Progress!

Sometimes, most of the time I suppose, hard work pays off.  On Thursday, Ethan saw Dr. Standard for his first follow up visit (16 days post surgery).  The X-ray pictures are, for lack of a more poetic term, awesome!
Let me explain what you are about to see.  In picture one, you can see the 8 plate in his knee.  This device is inserted in a growth plate and will turn Ethan's leg facing forward, as opposed to the slightly twisted way in which it wants to grow.  Obviously, the fixator looms large in the picture, but you can make out the tibia break and the fibula break ... if you look hard enough.  Right above his ankle, you will notice a screw!  Yep, it looks exactly like someone simply set a screw on top of the X-ray, but this is a part of his new hardware.  The screw simply keeps the tibia and fibula growing together.  You can see the pins holding his tibia as well, and the wires that you see are passing through his leg, just below the knee, and crisscrossed through his foot; these provided stability.

The second X-ray shows the breaks in the bones much more clearly.  The top break is the tibia break, and you can actually see tiny white, squiggly lines between the bones.  This is new bone growth!  Dr. Standard's physician's assistant measured this and reported ONE centimeter of growth.  If this continues, then in 12 weeks, he will have grown 6 centimeters, which is our goal!

A side note about the X-rays; we were upset on Thursday because Dr. Standard's office was super busy and backed up and he actually did not go over the X-rays with us, only supplied us with copies and said that all was well.  On Friday, we were driving to physical therapy and turning left at an intersection when our car was hit by another car going through the same intersection.  Needless to say, we all panicked a bit.  We were hit  on the passenger side, above the rear tire ... where Emily was sitting.  The impact caused Ethan's trash can, that he rests his leg on, to overturn.  Thank God, his leg sort of rolled with the can never hit the floor.  Immediately after the hit, though, one of his pin sites began to drain.  I knew his leg was still swollen and that this was just fluid gushing out, but still, I was nervous.  Emily and Ethan were inconsolable for several minutes until they realized that all was okay.  When Emily saw the police officers, she cried and said, "Mommy, are we going to jail!"  Anyway, after about a half hour of waiting, we were able to move the van and drove on to the hospital.  Ethan was X-rayed to make sure that no pins had come loose.  Again, thank God, the X-ray was the same as the one the day before.  What happened next is that the PA, Renee, who I really trust, spent a lot of time explaining the x-rays and answering questions I had --which hadn't gotten answered the day before.  Now, the wreck was quite scary, but God used it to our good.  We received answers and reassurance from the doctor ... and news to celebrate.  Knowing that Ethan has grown this centimeter may seem small (okay, you know I like puns), but it has given us a renewed sense of perseverance!

Talking about growth leads me in another direction.  Did you notice the comment about the 8 plate ... it straightens Ethan's leg that wants to grow slightly twisted.  I want, while I am here and why this blog has generated an audience, to make sure that I'm growing ... and in the right direction.  I've read comments from others as far as the Netherlands, and I have cried because God has entrusted me with a medium to help not only those facing limb lengthening, but those who want to grow and "straighten" out for Him!  What a responsibility and a blessing!  On Sunday, one of the congregational songs we sang praised God for His Faithfulness.  What about mine? (What about yours?)  I want to be faithful to Him, not just in words, but in deeds.  Every day I fail, and every day, I am confounded  by the fact that his Grace is sufficient, His Love is unending, and His Forgiveness is free for the asking.  Transparency, even in a blog, is difficult sometimes, for to be honest, you have to admit weakness and sin.  What I celebrate, however, is that I have an 8 plate of sorts, a Holy Spirit, who guides me in the right direction ... if I choose to obey.  And it is our obedience that He wants above our sacrifice and our praise.

Listen to these words in Isaiah 1:  10-11 -
10Hear the word of the LORD, ye rulers of Sodom; give ear unto the law of our God, ye people of Gomorrah. 11To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the LORD: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats.

What is our Lord saying here?  He doesn't want empty words or an outward show of our affections toward him.  What does He want then?

1 Samuel 15:22: 22And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. 
 He wants our obedience; didn't He say if we loved Him, we'd keep His commandments? (John 14:15).  Does that mean a works based salvation or a works based system of blessings?  No, absolutely not.  What it means is that we obey, not out of obligation, but out of love.  We live obedient lives, not in an attempt to follow rules, but in an attempt to immolate our Saviour!  We love Him enough to submit our lives to His will. And when we do that, our lives become blessed, and our God is glorified.  Oh, how I pray to achieve that kind of growth!  And I can, and you can, maybe just a few centimeters at a time!