First things first, Abbie got her casts off on January 8th! The nurse asked if we wanted to keep these casts, and I quickly said, “No! I have zero emotional attachment to them…once they are gone, this is all going to be a bad dream that never happened!”
I learned the lesson that Hollywood is still studying. Some movie sequels ought never be made, thus there is no “Cast Off Movie 2″ on YouTube. This one would have had much less sound effects, however. After last time, I was prepared to the hilt. We had Traumeel cream at the ready, legwarmers to slip on as soon as the casts were removed (thanks, Auntie Debbie), and many forewarned hands on deck to help with the distressed cries of Abbie….which never came.
Not even one whimper. She grinned slightly as the saw’s vibrations tickled her, but that was it. It would’ve been anticlimactic, but then Abbie put on a show. As soon as the casts were gone, she began lifting her little legs off the table. This was three weeks after breaking both femurs, mind you. Then, she began doing circles with her feet, something she has never done! She was just so happy to be free again, I’m not sure if I would’ve been appropriately shocked if she’d jumped off the table and said, “Let’s go!”
All the way home she lay in the backseat, (which she thinks is the greatest) and continued her lower extremity aerobics. I’m glad there were lots of red lights along the way so that I didn’t rear-end someone while peeking at her. She does have leg splints to wear through the 18th, but only when she is in her stroller or being positioned in a way that could put stress on the fracture sites. The Xrays that day looked great, and she has “made a lot of good, new bone.” Hurrah!
We will go back on the 28th for another set of Xrays to ensure the thickness of her bone is sufficient to begin weightbearing. I am confident we will get the green light to get going again.
In addition to the joy of freedom, these have been exciting days because Abbie is just doing so darn well. I actually have a little tracker now on her whiteboard, like the “days since a safety incident” at construction sites, to advertise how long she’s gone without needing any oxygen at all. This was Day 16. I hate to say that’s the longest we’ve gone since I can remember. The open hole in her throat predisposes her to lots of irritating junk. I am praying we can get it closed up this Spring.
She is also sleeping through the night, a MAJOR victory for us all! She then awakes refreshed and happy, with smiles to beat the sunrise. Her vision, cognition, and motor skills seem to be coalescing into new gains. The other day she was laying on her side, watching her reading video. I had just moved her up to “Level 3″, which brought proud grins from her. At this level the viewer is often presented with three or four words or shapes on the screen and asked to point to the correct one. If the weight of her arm was supported at the elbow, she reached and pointed to the correct ones! If she can do this consistently, and build up strength, this would be a big step toward a better communication system, like a touch-screen computer!
Although, at the rate she’s using her voice, I don’t know if she’ll need one. That girl is getting downright bossy at times, calling me from the other room, irritatedly informing us that she has a monster wedgie, or telling us to be quiet for a while! I leaned over her and said, “You are so close, Abbie! All we need to do is get that tongue moving, and you will be making words again.” Big grin.
But, then I wondered if I was being fair by saying that to her, making it sound like a simple proposition, when actually it’s a pretty complex operation. My mommy-guilt passed quickly when I realized all the steps of language production she DOES have, with understanding being the primary, and least-expected one. She knows how to use her breath to produce sound (even bypassing that hole in her throat), she uses her language at appropriate times, and boy, does she know WHAT she wants to say. So, we really have lots of the big pieces…would you just pray for her tongue to get with the program?
She has been absolutely blessed by visits from friends lately, but I want to dedicate a separate post to that. So, I will just close by saying that I am amazed, even now, even after all this time, that things can feel like they are happening so quickly and suddenly. I often say I find comfort in “having read the end of the book” so I know that all of this will end well. However, I was cheating myself of the blessing of actually memorizing the final red words in my Bible.. They seem especially appropriate for this new year, with joy coming down in buckets, as we continue to trust in the One who never changes.
“Yes. I am coming quickly” – Revelation 22:20