I didn’t want to leave anyone hanging over the weekend so I’m posting today. Today has been a super rough day. She had physical therapy first thing this morning and had difficulty even moving her legs off of the bed to get up. My vibrant, bouncy daughter is shuffling along like she’s ninety years old. Through the tears she smiles, never wanting anyone to feel uncomfortable around her. She is truly amazing.
So how is she walking with two broken legs? Because of the steel rods they inserted down through the center of her femurs, it allows her to relearn how to walk without having to wait for the bones to heal. She was up and walking the day after surgery, albeit it was only a couple of steps but pretty impressive.
What to expect if your child has to go through the surgery or surgeries. Physical therapy!! Get your child into physical therapy at least six weeks before they have their surgery done. Muscle, tendons and ligaments will need to stretch with this rotation, regardless of the degree of rotation so if they are flexible and limber before the surgery, the less damage is possible. It also helps rebound quicker after the surgery. Nerve endings. We were told that nerve endings do not stretch. They don’t have play in them and if they are stretched too far they snap, which can result in temporary or even permanent nerve damage. Madison’s rotations were a huge 25-degree rotation on each leg, five percent more than what they had anticipated. She has ZERO nerve damage. Doctors swear that the physical therapy couldn’t help that part but I don’t believe them. They don’t know everything, as we’ve already learned. I’m a huge advocate for the physical therapy before and of course, after.
Things you are going to need. A walker, a wheelchair, a potty chair for over the toilet, a shower chair and a bedroom with no stairs. They will tell you that your child will be getting up and walking right after surgery but it’s only a couple of shuffling steps. Madison struggled just standing up from the hospital bed, let alone walking very far. One of the other things we got was a belt. It’s specifically made to go around their chest and under their arms. It is wonderful for helping them stand since their balance is non-existent. I recommend gathering these things and bringing them home before the surgery. We drive a Nissan Rogue and live five hours away from Children’s Hospital. We were set up at the Ronald McDonald house just a mile from the hospital (though this momma slept on the pull-out sleeper in Madison’s room) and if there are any donators out there, please consider donating to the Ronald McDonald houses. They are truly a blessing for families.
Anywho, I digress. The four of us drove down for Madison’s surgeries and they had her equipment there for us to take home. There was so much that my husband had to rent a truck and he and our youngest daughter had to take half of it home with them. There was no way we were going to fit the equipment, luggage and bodies into that SUV of ours.
Also stock up on lots of things for them to do in bed. Madison spent a good amount of time playing her games online with her friends but even that gets old. She received a care package from a sweet friend that had crossword puzzles, thread to make friendship bracelets, spirograph and other fun goodies like that. I also bought her some modeling clay to make some sculptures.
I know I will have more tips and ideas to offer. Things that you think about after this is already done so if I can help you before the surgeries, then I’ll be a happy camper.
One other thing that I’d like to point out. You are going to go through a lot of emotions regardless if you’re a man or a woman. My husband wasn’t freaking out over the surgeries themselves but over the healing and pain afterwards. I was freaking out over the surgeries (what if something went wrong and she didn’t come out of anesthesia, lost her legs, lost feelings, etc. Mom brains are crazy) so it was great when we talked about our fears and concerns with each other because it allowed us to be strong during the times when the other person felt weak. So definitely lean on each other. You may not understand why the other person is freaking out over what you consider fine but the same may go for your partner. Just understand that you have different fears and concerns and you can be strong together.
Have a fantastic weekend and we will talk to you next week!