Thursday, June 18, 2009

Oakley's Surgery

Just after surgery. She was in a bit of pain.On the phone with Grandma Hansen 30 minutes later.

I am forever amazed at Oakley and with all she has to go through and knows she will still have to go through, she tries to have to have the best attitude. A lot of you have asked how this all started so let me share the story...
She has had 5 surgeries in her short life: Her amputation at Shriners Hospital was done when she was 10 months old. We were told to plan to be in the hospital for 5 days and we were only there 2. Since she was in a body cast, they told us to expect her to do nothing but lay on the floor for 6 weeks and 20 minutes after we got home she was dragging herself across the floor in an attempt to get to her toys. She got her first prosthetic 2 weeks before her 1st birthday and we put it on and she took off walking. Never had to have physical therapy. Astonishing!
Two years ago, in a 2 weeks period of time, we found out she has a blood disease called Von Willebrand. It is like hemophelia, but not as severe. She is missing a clotting factor in her blood which we were told would only be a problem if she needed surgery or got hurt. She gets nose bleeds that last upwards of an hour and bleeds a lot when she looses a tooth and she bruises very easily. 2 days after that diagnosis we ended up at Primary Childrens for a belly CT to see if she had kidney stones due to constant symptoms of a UA with negative results. About 30 minutes after we got home from the hospital, they called us and told us to get her back up there ASAP because the CT showed her appendix was ready to burst. She was already on the surgery schedule for the following week to have her nose cauterized to stop the nose bleeds so they did the appendectomy and the nose thing at the same time. Then 2 weeks later, still having UA symptoms, she had exploritory bladder surgery. That was a very long month!!!
This surgery yesterday is to help her leg grow straighter. Her left leg is 40% shorter than her right leg and is growing at an angle they call Valgus. She had an infinity plate screwed into the inside of her left knee so it can stunt the growth of that growth plate and allow the outside of the knee to catch up. The surgery was only a little over an hour and she will only have a scar about 1 1/5" long. In 12-14 months, she will have to have it removed. Since she is still growing, there is a good chance she may have to have this done a couple more times, but it is a wait and see.
She had to fast since 8pm the night before and they didn't take her into surgery until 1:45pm so she was starving! She didn't complain too much tho. They gave her Versaid (sp?) to help calm her before she went in and it made her so loopy!! They handed her a sticker of Donkey from Shrek and she looked at it and asked if it was a picture of her and laughed so hard she started to cry. She kept saying she felt "random" and "awkward". Chad and I laughed quite hard ourselves!
She came back from surgery a little over an hour later in a bit of pain, but after about 30 minutes it faded and she hasn't anything but Tylenol since. She will need to be fitted for a new leg in a couple months and she has chosen skulls and cross bones for the design. She is such a trooper! She is constantly amazing us with her strength. We say this all the time, but yesterday in the midst of her pain, she said "I know it could be worse." Every time we have had to be in the hospital we witness how truly blessed we are! We love her so much and are so grateful for all the family and friends who continue to support and help us when we need it.
Shriners Hospital has been one of the biggest blessings in our lives. They do everything for free. All the surgeries, prosthetics (which aren't cheap) and therapy are possible because of contributions of generous people. They have never charged us a penny and will continue to provide this care until Oakley is 18. I would selfishly implore you with every fiber of my being, if you are going to donate $, time, service, etc, Shriners is the place to do it.
Thanks again to everyone for all the prayers, phone calls, visits, flowers, gifts, and well wishes for Oakley as well as the rest of us. We wouldn't be able to deal with all of this without you!!!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Belt Testing

So, Oakley and I had our first belt test in Taekwando last Friday and it was awesome! We are now advanced white belts. There were a lot of people testing so it was mostly a group effort. We did our blocks, kicks and forms and then a bit of self defense and sparring with a partner. Near the end of the test we all had to break a board with a side kick. All the kids in the class broke 1/2 inch boards, but I had to break a 3/4 inch one. One of the key things in Taekwando is confidence. (If I didnt have any of that, I wouldn't be taking a class with all kids!) Honestly, when Mr. McPharlin put the board in front of me, I told him he gave me the wrong one, that it was too big. He laughed and walked away. I watched all the kids, including Oakley, break their boards without a problem, so when it came my turn I took that confidence and focus and Ki ap'ed for all I was worth and did it. It is amazing what a little faith in yourself can do!!!
I have loved being able to take this class with Oakley and share this with her. She is an amazing thing to watch. If ever I think I can't do something, I look at her and see what she has accomplished and I don't have any more excusses. It can take up to 3 years to get a black belt and that is our goal. We will keep you posted on our progress!!!