Monday, we went for a check-up with Abbie's gastroenterologist. I was a little concerned because she is skinny these days. After her intestinal infection in March, and then the surgery, she has lost some weight these past few months. Not only was the doctor not worried, but the reason he was not worried made me almost sing.
"The body has a hierarchy of needs, when it comes to distributing calories. The brain gets fed first. With the gains she is making, it is obvious that her brain is getting what it needs." Woo-hoo!! He also said that her quick recovery from a long surgery, as well as how much taller she is getting, shows that her body is healthy and getting what it needs. A great visit.
Tuesday we went for a follow-up with the orthopedic surgeon. I was startled a bit, but excited, when he decided to take the casts off a week early. Here's what her matching clubs looked like:
Her thumbs were completely swaddled in fiberglass, so we could barely see the glint of the metallic pin holding her thumbs in position.
Kyle decorated this cast within two minutes of Abbie being home after the surgery. Too bad that he used the smelliest, most industrial black marker ever made. Poor Abbie was sitting amid fumes for a couple hours, but knowing her brother loves her more than made up for it.
The fingers were well-padded, which also hid the pins holding her second and third fingers in place.
As the first cast came off, I caught my breath and must have groaned a bit, because Dr. B. said "Hey, you can't gross out now!" To which I replied, "There is a paperclip sticking out of my daughter's thumb. I just need a moment."
I apologize for the blurriness of the following photos - a combination of using a phone camera, holding her with my other hand, and trying not to look too closely....
Abbie will certainly have her longest thumbnails ever with that shiny trellis underneath. The pin extends a good ways down the bone.
The incision along the "life line" is healing well, and it sure is nice to be able to see all of her palm again, without her thumb in the way.
Yep, those pins go right through her skin and into the bones of her fingers. Dr. B is using them to give those joints a good chance to get used to their new positions.
As creeped out as I was looking at the pins, initially, we are now pretty used to them. We just have to take care to keep them wrapped/padded/covered so that they don't catch on anything. Can you imagine? Ouch!!
Speaking of "ouch"...Dr. B. is planning to take the pins out in his office next Tuesday. I trust him immensely, and he apparently does this all the time, but still...this is my baby girl, and I am a little squeamish and a little concerned in thinking about this. We have lots of tools in our pain management bag, and I'll be packing all of them with me.
We also took the dressings off her hips, which look great, and her knees, which are also healing well. She has been cleared to begin range of motion exercises again, so back to work we go!
Before we went to get her casts off, Abbie and I sat outside reading Psalms. Suddenly, it hit me. This date could have marked the day she died. On May 10th, we were advised to disconnect life support, and after hearing the reasons why, consented to do so the following day. Abbie voted to the contrary later that evening, but the effects of having to make that decision have never left me.
May 3rd may remind us every year of what we have lost, but May 11th sings to us about what we still have -- and she is beautiful!