Sunday, March 27, 2011

Who knew?

That Cairo and Shasta would become good buddies?

And that ANY cat would hold still to be blow dried?

Surprising stuff to be seen everyday.

Chyann is going to try and go to school for a half day tomorrow on crutches. I'll stay at the school in case she needs me, some pain meds, the wheelchair or just to leave. I hope she is able to do it, as she's been worrying about missing soooo much school and feeling like she is completely out of touch with her friends.

A few things she's done that she probably would never have experienced before this ordeal:

Gotten completely addicted to watching The Golden Girls and is now able to sing the opening song for start to finish. Is a huge Betty White fan. Can't believe the other gals are all deceased. Is more mature than any 13 year old should ever be, can take huge amounts of pain with only a small grimace. Likes to make fun of her mother because I apparently talk in my sleep and laugh while sleeping almost every night - I've been sleeping on the couch in case she needs anything so we've gotten to know each other very well -we have recently started sleeping back upstairs though, she goes up and down the very steep 14 stairs on her butt with me holding her leg up. Gotten closer to her Grandma than she ever would have before. She has a wonderful appreciation of how GREAT her grandma really is and misses her so much. Thankfully she hasn't had too hard of a time coming off all the narcotic drugs she was taking. This kid is so fantastic I can't even believe it!

Wish her good luck for school tomorrow!

Friday, March 25, 2011

What's happening?

Wacky winter storm Tuesday night and into Wednesday that we got about 10 inches of snow/sleet, even a bit of rain from. The kids got a snow day Wednesday too, which the boys were very happy for - especially Colton who used that extra day to finish a big project for English class. Now our temps are not expected to get much above freezing for then next week. So none of the snow we got will be melting any time soon. That really burns my butt as we just about had all our snow gone before this last dump.

Chyann continues to regain strength. It is a very slow process though. She is now using her crutches some instead of relying on the wheelchair all the time. She is absolutely terrified of breaking the new bone or bending her knee still. The docs say she'll get more bold (back to her old self) as the pain fades and she gets stronger. All her leg holes are healing well too, apparently they had to cut more holes in her to get the pins/wires out. She ended up having 15 total wounds on her leg instead of the original seven.

Colton is down to the last week before the play opens at the school. They are putting on the Princess and the mattress and he is the King. His character is that of a lecherous king, who ogles and chases all the women in the castle. The King was enchanted by a witch and he is unable to speak so most of his role is gestures and body language until the end. Should be interesting. Last Sunday the cast put on a Royal tea for the community. The cast wore their costumes, but no make up. Lots of kids came dressed in their best princess and knight outfits. They were all very cute.

Gracie plopped herself into Chyann's math book.

Got a little wild when it was attempted to remove her.

Now looks like a princess when she gets her way.

Don't you love those spots on her tummy?

Mom this is just for you!
I finally beat your high score!!!

My Mother is the Yahtzee Queen and I've knocked her off her the pedestal!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Tis done

I'm happy to report that Chyann's fixator came off today with no big complications and she is currently snoozing on her bed in the living room!

The operation took about 30 minutes longer than anticipated and she woke up from the anesthesia completely miserable!

They had to give her soo much post-op pain medicine! More than enough to knock out a large man they said, but only barely made her comfortable. Apparently she has built up a bit of a tolerance to all the drugs since she has been taking tons of them for six weeks now.

They've left her seven pin/wire holes open to heal from the inside out with only gauze pads covering the holes so they will drain. The whole leg is then wrapped in a cotton batting type material, wrapped with an ace bandage and the new knee/leg brace with a hinge over that.
Seems kinda flimsy protection compared to the fixator, but apparently enough due to the rod holding the bone together on the inside.

She will be able to bend her knee now too. Which she is thrilled with, but scared to death to try because it might hurt. I can't blame her there, as a wire went all the way through her knee and it was straight for six weeks. Those muscles that have been stretched, had holes punched in them and not moved for so long are going to scream the first few times she tries it.

We saw all three of her orthopedic doctors today too.
The two that were in charge of the fixator part and her original ortho surgeon.
All three made a point to tell us how absolutely amazing Chyann has been through this whole ordeal and the head fixator doc even went as far as saying that she was the bravest young patient he's ever had and that we should really be proud of her. sniff, sniff you bet we are.

Now the healing begins.

Sounds like she'll have to wear the knee/leg brace and be on crutches for about 2 months. She'll have to get some strength back before heading back to school as well. Half days at first then full days as her strength increases.

This whole process has been so much more than we ever imagined, really.

Hell, I read everything I could find on it, talked to folks that had it done before and still it was more.

Like we thought she'd be back to school after two weeks or so, but she's been out now for six weeks, with another week maybe before she tries half days. Being confined to the wheelchair -loosing her independence, unable to walk for the most part has been so hard for her, this girl that is usually so active and always outside!

I reminded her and myself continually that it will all be worth it in the end. A nice straight spine, an even gait and no shoe lifts :)

Monday, March 14, 2011

Exciting News!

Chyann is having her operation on Wednesday!
The day after tomorrow!!

We are sooo excited!
It's should only take about an hour to remove the ilizarov frame and affix the femur to the rod lying next to it.

Day surgery, no hospital stay unless there are complications of course.

Random picture:
Me dreaming of summer. Jenny munching on the sunflowers.

Right in front of our house is a 100 plus year old Elm tree. We think it contracted dutch elm disease last year and has died. We were going see what happens with it this spring before doing anything with it.

These last few weeks I've been seeing lots of bark in the snow that has fallen from the branches and was thinking it might need to come down before then if it were really that rotten/decayed/weak to loose so much bark.

The picture below doesn't really show how much has fallen down, but gives you an idea what I've seen.

Yesterday I spied the bark culprits!
A pair of woodpeckers are pecking all over my tree!

They don't appear to be making a hole anywhere, but are skipping here and there pecking at the bark.

I wonder if they eating bugs or something?

And what do you know? Two blog posts in two days. WOW!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Cat craziness and more...

First off, I'll say that last week was the most painful for Chyann to endure through this whole growth process.

It was so bad I was beginning to believe she might have a bone infection, hence the two calls to the doctor's office, RX refills and a cancelled hair appointment because she could literally NOT get out of bed.

But the news is good!

The desired growth has been reached! 40mm!!
Her computers have been turned off and removed from her Ilizarov frame!

Almost immediately her pain levels went waaaay down!
She still has pain, like you'd have from a broken leg (which technically she does have), but the pulling and stretching of the muscles, tendons, skin and all that are no longer a factor for increasing pain -- which is very good.

At this time we are waiting to hear from the doctors office to see if they'll be able to squeeze her into the schedule for surgery on Wednesday or if she'll have to wait until Friday to get her frame removed. We are sooo hoping they can get her in on Wednesday!

Meanwhile she appears to have a mild case of the flu, great right? Poor kid.

Anyhow now the cat crap.

We've had a stray cat in our barn off and on for the last six months or so. Never had any problem with him. He'd be here for a few days then gone for a few weeks. We think he's been in some fights with our two barn cats, but nothing major. You could never get close to him, he always ran away from people.

So, one day last week Colton and the Hubby were out feeding the animals and came upon him in the tack room sleeping in our cat Sparkys bed. Colton for what ever reason decided to pet/pick up this cat. Dad not too far behind him barely had time to say "Leave that cat alone" before the cat attacked Colton! No joke.

(colton and sparky)

The cat bit through his coat, sweatshirt and shirt. A huge hissing scratching fight ensued with Colton unable to get the cat off of him. The Hubby grabbed the cat and ripped him off Colton.

Then did what had to be done in case the cat had rabies.

Did you know that 80% of cat bites become infected? They do.

Of course urgent care was closed already so we went to the ER where he was given a shot and antibiotics. Xray's too in case a tooth got broken off in the muscle - it hadn't but sure was a deep puncture wound.

THEN we got to go to the county sheriffs department and fill out a bite report.

We just heard back yesterday that the cat did not have rabies, which is a relief.

Meanwhile Chyann has been bugging her Dad to get her a kitten.

He did - two actually.

So below is Cairo - the orange gal and Gracie - the gray baby.

All I can say about these two cats is that they did and are really cheering up Chyann and that they use the litter box.

Mom and Gracie.

WE miss you already Mom!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

In like a lion...

we welcome the month of March!

It's been cold, windy and more of the same is expected.
With any luck this month will roll out like a lamb!

Daylight savings on the 13th and the first day of SPRING on the 21st!

I've managed to get a bit of a cold this weekend. I think I've been burning the candle at both ends for too long and it's caught up with me.

Chyann continues to make progress growing new bone. As of last Wednesday she was up to 30mm! The muscle spasms are even more brutal now too though. Hopefully sometime the week of the 14th she'll have the 2nd operation to remove the hardware and screw the bone down.

Her physical therapist got her up and moving down that long hallway you see behind her. She didn't walk "conventionally" using the crutches - she picked up her leg by the pins/ring coming out of her hip to pull her foot forward, set it down and move the other foot and crutches up to take a step. This turned out not to be the best idea as you can imagine, it irritated the pin holes something fierce and she will no longer do that to move on the crutches. She will still get up and stand a few times a day to get the blood pumping and stretch though.

Also of note we got her on the scale and found that all her hardware weighs right about 9 lbs!

She was growling at me to hurry up and take the picture here.

My Mother and Caden.

I've probably said it before, but I'm going to say it again - we have absolutely LOVED having my Mother here. Sad to say she will be leaving the end of this coming week to go back home to OK, where we are told the dogwood trees are blooming, new grass is growing and folks there are enjoying wonderfully mild temps of 70*!

Here is a shot of the pants I've worked out for Chyann. After numerous attempts of actually making a whole pair of pants this is what works best for her.

Buy a pair of incredibly cheap sweat pants - I got hers on the 50% off rack at Wally's so they were only 3 bucks!

Cut the outside seam on the leg you need to insert the pocket.

Make a pocket with leftover cute scrap material.

Sew the pocket on and add Velcro up and down the leg to close it up.

Easy as pie!

Colton's band had that show in the cities at The Garage on Friday too.

I think he said there were eight different bands there and his was the only ones that got to back out and play an encore!

He said by far they were the best band there!
He and the boys are so jazzed!

Until next time, have a good one.