Thursday, January 4, 2018

Our Biggest Challenge Thus Far

Back in July we traveled to Shriner's Hospital of Chicago for our annual visit with Dr. Smith, Alex's Orthopedic Surgeon. This was our 4th visit with him in three years. He has been monitoring Alex's hips over the years and he finally told us that it was time. Time for surgery. Three words we had been dreading and not wanting to hear but it is our reality, Alex's reality living with Spastic Cerebral Palsy.

I actually consider Alex lucky in a sense. Many children with his disability have to have surgery much sooner. So, for Alex to be 7 and just now being told he has to have his hips operated on, I will say is somewhat of a blessing.

In July, Dr. Smith told us he recommended it be done within six months - also a bit of a shock to us. So, once we returned home from Chicago, I called and made an appointment with an Orthopedic Dr. here in Michigan. Eric and I really like Dr. Smith and he does AMAZING work, but that kind of surgery is invasive, painful and uncomfortable. I couldn't see us trying to transport Alex home from Chicago being in the car for 5+ hours.

On October 2, 2017 we met with Dr. Zaltz who works out of Royal Oak Beaumont. He was recommended to us by Dr. Smith and it turns out they are very close friends. Eric and I both like Dr. Zaltz a lot and agreed to have him perform the surgery. He was very personable and answered all of our questions. He agreed at that time that Alex does need the surgery, but only on his left hip. He would also do a muscle lengthening procedure on his Hamstrings and Abductor muscles at the same time. Doing this procedure along with the Hip Reconstruction should do wonders for Alex. His muscles would not be as tight therefore relieving some of the pressure he is putting on his hips. Right now his left hip is close to 50% out from dislocating.

We are hopeful that this surgery will be a success and because he is 7, there is a good chance he will not have to have the surgery again on his hips. Depending on how fast he grows over these next few years, the muscle lengthening may have to be repeated, but we hope not.

He will be in the hospital for 2-3 days, then released to go home to be cared for by us for 4-6 weeks depending on how well he heals. He will have some form of braces and or casts on portions of his legs to keep him from bending them and moving them when he shouldn't. He will have a plate and screws in his hips for 6-9 months and will need therapy 2-3 times a week once the Doctor clears him to do so which is around the 4-5 week mark.

I am anxious and scared for him and me. I will be his primary caregiver and I just hope that I can do what I need to do to help him and keep him comfortable. No parent wants to see their child in pain or have to hand him over to Doctors and Nurses and give them the control. This is going to be our biggest challenge thus far and I hope when it's over, it will all be worth it. I hope that he heals well and that the tightness and pain are relieved and that overall it will allow him to get around better in his walker and crawling on the floor.

As much as I am dreading January 26, 2018, it is cold and snowy out and by the time he is done healing, spring will be around the corner. We will be ready to be outside enjoying the warm sunshine!

Please keep us all in your thoughts as we embark on this rocky adventure, but mostly think of Alex. He needs his friends and family's support to keep that smile (that lights up a room) on his face and in our hearts.

I will post more as we get closer to surgery. Until then...

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

December Adventures

December is always a busy month full of many Holiday activities. Below is a recap of our adventures in December including Christmas. Enjoy!

Ortonville Christmas Parade - December 2, 2017

We attended the Christmas Parade in our Home Town on December 2nd. The boys got to meet Santa and Mrs. Claus and one of the Reindeer! It was a fun little event!




Santa House - December 9, 2017

We took our annual trip up to Midland to The Santa House with Rachel, Lauren, Nathan and her parents. This year her Uncle Paul joined us as well as Eric. We had lunch at Pizza Sam's like always. It is such a nice tradition with friends who are like family.









Baking Cookies, Gingerbread House, Kids Christmas Party

We baked Christmas cookies on December 16th with My Mom like we do every year. It is one of my most treasured traditions. Evan and I made a gingerbread house together this year, and on December 21st the boys had their Christmas Party at school which was full of lots of fun! 











Christmas with the Family

We celebrated Christmas with Eric's Family on the 23rd, My Extended Family on the 24th and My Immediate Family on Christmas Day. Three days of presents was like Heaven to my boys.
Our 18th Christmas Together

Eric's Brother Ed, his wife Sharon, Sierra and Benjamin

Goofs

Eric with his parents and our boys

With my Sis Kristy and Curtis

My Dad and Aunt Sue

The boys with cousins Alaina, Brayden and Layla

Santa Came!
Happy Boys!


Our Backyard on Christmas Morning!


Merry Christmas!

We got a white Christmas!

Dad and I

Evan, Mom and I

Christmas Chaos with 4 boys

Kristy and her boys
Laken, Sailor, Evan and Alex

























Chuck E. Cheese - December 28, 2017


We went to Chuck E. Cheese with Rhiannon, Blake and Casey to use all the boys Gift Cards they got for their Birthdays. They had a blast - if you couldn't tell from the pictures!

































New Years Eve

Rachel, Lauren and Nathan came over for a few hours to celebrate New Years. We had lots of yummy food and snacks and we counted down at 9pm with our sparkling grape juice. What's a NYE Party without Pie Face Showdown?? It was fun and we are so thankful to have such great friends!











 Cheers to an amazing 2018!!
Happy New Year!!