(6) Mon Apr 04 2005 12:06 Ginger Cures All Ills:
Tomorrow is our big day: Tendon Transfer Day. Today we go to Children's Mercy Hospital to see our Orthopaedic Surgeon for Atticus' pre-surgery physical. Then we are going to the airport to get Aunt Ginger, who will be tending us for the week. Ginger is going to take care of Samuel while Dave, Atticus and I are at the hospital tomorrow. Then she will help us nurse Atticus when he comes home (Ginger is a nurse). Everyone is so looking forward to her arrival. In fact, everytime there is a bump or a knock in our four-plex building, the boys are convinced Ginger is waiting at the door. They can hardly wait to see her.
(13) Thu Apr 07 2005 09:17 Surgery Update:
Well, we're home now, but here's a play-by-play of Atticus' big day.
When we arrived at the hospital on Tuesday morning, there were no vacant beds in the hospital, so the nurses said we'd probably have to go home unless a patient was discharged, thus opening up a space for Atticus. We were sure to let the nurses know we wouldn't be leaving (not for a second time!) until they sent us home, so we waited around two hours. Then, a little after 2:00, our nurse informed us we were all ago, so we went into pre-operation mode. The surgery was completed around 3:30. Dr. Andersen then met with us to tell us he had to do an extra lengthening procedure in Atticus' gastrocnemius because of the increased spasticity (caused from waiting an extra five months for the surgery, of course). He also told us the anestesiologist gave him a "coddle," or a localized anestesia (kind-of like an epidural, a shot in his lower spine) in addition to the general anestesia. We knew each of these might be necessary before-hand. The coddle prevented Atticus from feeling the pain in his leg while he was coming out of general anestesia, so this was a good thing. When the coddle wore off, however Atticus found himself in great pain, and all he wanted was to go home. Poor guy had to stay (with that awful IV that he hated having in his hand) all night, and he didn't rest until around 2:00 am when his pain meds finally kicked in. Dave stayed with him overnight, so during his unsettled time, he took Atticus on a tour of places where he had gone during the day (surgery wing, recovery room, etc), as well as where Dave and I had spent our time while we waited to see him again. It was a long night for them both.
When Ginger (Dave's sister), Samuel and I arrived Wednesday morning to pick Atticus up, he was very anxious to go home. Our nurse came to take out his IV, he saw a physical therapist for a little gait training with a walker, and after lunch, he was ready to go home. We were discharged from the hospital Wednesday afternoon around 1:30.
He's doing pretty well now. He's finally getting some sleep and feeling comfortable, but he is suffering from a considerable amount of pain through his left leg. Atticus gets around well with his walker, which is now decorated with Batman and Spiderman stickers, but mostly he wants to stay off his feet. When we engourage him to extend his leg, he is likely to protest, "If I straighten my leg, I'll need more pain meds!!" We're hoping that he'll be able to straighten it and do some weight bearing in the next few days, but we're taking things slowly.
(1) Mon Apr 11 2005 22:09 The Matkin Globe Trotters:
I'm in Cardston, Alberta with the boys. We just got in a couple of hours ago. Atticus is doing really well with his walking. His left heel is getting closer and closer to the ground every day, which is a relief to see. Anyway, I've been staring at the road so long that I'm not wanting to look at this computer screen anymore, so that's all I'll report today.
(2) Tue Apr 26 2005 20:56 I'm No Sharon Stone:
I took this picture to a hair stylist today and got my hair really chopped. It was short before, but now there isn't much of it left. I don't really like to feel hair in my face, or over my ears, or on my neck, so the cut suits me that way, even if the look doesn't.
I must confess that I don't like the look as much as I'd hoped to, mostly because all the hair I have left on my head is so uniformly mouse-brown colored. Becky, the hair expert that cut my hair, talked me into making an appointment on Thursday to get highlights, so we'll see if that's remedied. Yikes!! Now I'm really a fussy woman! Dave's Aunt Barb is going to treat me with some gift money she left. We'll see if I get the tousled-urban-hippie-mom look I'm going for.
Boy, that's kind-of scary, that I can put a label on the "look I'm going for." Was I going for a look? I guess I was. And I like to tell myself I don't care how I look.
(3) Thu Apr 28 2005 09:09 The Great White North:
We are having the third snow fall since I've been here in Cardston, Alberta. My brother-in-law, Shawn, is a farmer, so I don't dare complain about the weather. The moisture is a great benefit to his canola and wheat crops. But I've got to think of something to make the day pass more smoothly than yesterday; I already have two stir crazy beasties on my hands.
Fri Apr 29 2005 14:54:
Fri Apr 29 2005 14:56 When the Wind Blows . . .:
Today is sunny, so the snow has mostly melted, but the wind is brutal. Where are these warm chinooks that everyone talks about when they discuss the tempermentality of Southern Alberta weather? We took the occasion to eat out at Pizzas and Cream, a charming pizza joint downtown Cardston. Here is a list of Cardston restaurants: there are two pizza restaurants, two Chinese places, and one Yotee's (a sort of Shoney's, or Denny's, or the like). Pizzas and Cream is my favorite because of the ambience: there are mini juke boxes at each booth, the seats are upholstered with glittered red and white vinyl, and there are 1950's-1960's antique things on high shelves along all the walls. Besides, the name Pizzas and Cream just makes me hungry. We ordered one medium pizza, half with pepperoni for the boys, and half veggie supreme for Ginger and me. It was quite good.
(2) Fri Apr 29 2005 15:14 Bittersweetness:
I overheard Atticus answering questions about his leg in the other room, where he was playing Nintendo with Mark's eleven and twelve year old friends.
"What did you do to your leg?" Another boy asked, "Did you break it?"
"I had surgery." he said, and then went on, "I was born with it. I kind-of crawled weird."
I'm not sure if Mark's friends understood what he was telling them. It is also hard to know what Atticus understands about his own body. I wonder sometimes how he feels about himself. Does he consider himself to be different from other children around him? Does he recognize that his left side is partially, mildly paralyzed? Does he see that as a limitation, or a challenge?
I want Atticus to grow up a self confident, happy child. I hope that our conversations help him to understand his uniqueness in a positive way. I sometimes want to cry about the whole thing, except that Atticus has so much sweetness and optimism.
He handles things better than his mother.
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