Thursday, June 26, 2014

A Leg Up

In November 2013, I twisted my ankle…you know how you do, step wrong and your ankle buckles. No big deal. By January 2014, my right ankle was still not happy with me. I decided to get it checked out and I was sent to physical therapy for 6 weeks.  I felt like I had improved significantly and so ended PT. Enter Snommagedden.  This was the huge freak snow storm that crippled the entire city of Birmingham.  While walking in 9 degree weather with my children a half mile to safety, I turned my ankle again. Working my PT program I thought would get me right back into shape…and it would have, had I not twisted it again on a sinister small wooden block. Dadgum those wooden blocks! On this particular “twisting” I actually fell to the floor crying. It was a true, “MAN DOWN,” moment. Crawling downstairs I flopped onto my bed crying. This would require another trip to the orthopedic. Changing doctors was a must, my first ortho did not have a a very good bedside manner. After getting the switch and seeing the new guy I started a second round of PT. Sadly, it was no dice. Another trip back to the new guy and his prescription was to try to live life for the next 4-6 weeks and see how bad it gets. Clearly, PT was not working, if after 6 weeks it wasn’t bearable then surgery was in my future.  I knew after two weeks that surgery would be in my future.

Here’s where things get cool.  I have a friend who has had ankle surgery so I called her and we chatted. She gave me the name of the ankle specialist in the same othro group I was already involved with. While I felt a little foolish asking for my 3rd doctor in this group, I did it anyway and I’m glad I did.  On June 16th, I saw Dr. William D. Krauss with Southlake Orthopaedics  and 48 hours later he was preforming my surgery! Brostrom-Gould Lateral Ankle Ligament Reconstruction was the name of the game, that plus another more recent procedure that I didn’t catch. I’ll spare you all the medical garbage of what happened but essentially, the first procedure would stabilize my ankle and I’d be in a cast, non-weight bearing for 6 weeks! However, I was a good candidate for the second procedure that was basically like wrapping duct tape around the interior of my ankle. Because of the second procedure I would be only 2-3 weeks in a non-weight bearing cast, then in a walking boot for 4 weeks. Yes! Much better! So in a whirlwind I was admitted for outpatient surgery with 48 hours notice to get my post-op care lined up.

As always, my parents came to the rescue! Wouldn’t you know that Noah would have nighttime scout camp the same week I had surgery and Eric was the trained leader for his group. Praise the Lord for my parents. Noah didn’t have to miss a single night! This all happened so fast that I found myself at home with my leg propped up in a cast wondering…”What just happened?!” On my first day I found that my real pain was in my pinky toe and on the side of my foot right below my pinky toe. Weird. However, if you took a look at my cast you could see a thumb print where someone was holding my foot up as they were casting it. It was impinging on my foot. So the next day I went back to the hospital to get a new cast. When they removed my cast my foot was actually indented where the cast was pressing down on my foot. My little pinky toe was bright red. Poor pinky. Cast number 2. Hot Pink. Bring it. I wish I could say that this was the last cast but on day two my achilles was killing me and sure enough there was a weird indent back there. Apparently my second cast was put on with my foot pointed instead of  in a more right angle sort of way. This trip was just to the ortho office thank goodness. This time she took all of my bandaging off and I could see my foot. Shockingly there was no swelling. I had been a very good girl. I could see the incisions a little and it didn’t look all that bad. Third time is a charm cuz it is now 5 days later and I’m in the same cast. Yay! I never thought I’d be glad to have a cast on, but I sure am. When she took off all the bandaging I could tell how fragile my ankle really was, I was glad to have the cast put back on. Now, eight days out…I’m not so thrilled with non-weight bearing casts.  I never really appreciated how much you need to be able to stand on two feet to do things. Praise be to God, my friend who referred me to Dr. Krauss also lent me her knee scooter, crutches, cane, shower seat and walking boot!!!!  How awesome is that?!  So now I’m scootin’ around the house pretty good. I have a follow up on June 30. They will take off this cast and probably put a new one back on. I would love to be in the boot on the 30th but I doubt that will happen. My parents went home for a rest on day 7 and will be back up for Yaya’s birthday and then stay a bit more. They are such a gift and blessing to us. God also orchestrated it so that the girls would be in summer school  during the 6 weeks I am down. So three days a week they go to school from 9-1 and it is a much needed break for everyone. So that’s about all the boring news I have regarding my foot. I leave you with pictures of my cast and the girls painting my toe nails for me.

First Cast


Second  cast



Third Cast ready for a shower (only my family would take a picture of this, while laughing at me…nice.)


Pedi from my girls


Monday, June 2, 2014

A Bunch of Words

Friends, friends, friends, here come a bunch of words. I am constantly struggling to not be overwhelmed by the prospect of blogging, which is weird, since I typically enjoy it. Plus, it catalogs our family’s history. So many life events are rushing by and I indeed manage to catch most of them in photographs but they are just sitting in my camera or phone or laptop. But an update needs to be done and here it comes.

Mother’s Day, it came filled with many homemade cards for myself and my own Mother, who actually got to be with me for Mother’s Day. Noah picked out some cute things for me such as a giant fuzzy purple pillow that says, “Happy Mother’s Day.” He also picked out his own card and gave me purple bubble gum. I got beautiful things from the girls (and their amazing teacher, Ms. Mary) made at pre-school.

noah outside mday cardcard face noah mdayInside card noah mday

Mothers day 2014 girls copy


End of School Year program with Classical Conversations. Finishing up our “formal” school year was so  much fun. Both the last day of class and later the end of school year program were really enjoyable. I am so thankful to God for this incredible group of families and outstanding homeschool program.


SAT. Stanford Achievement Test. Yep. Already started Noah on this path. He took the SAT for his grade level (4th) and did OUTSTANDING. May I take a moment to brag a little. My incredible son had an overall grade equivalence of 5.7, meaning he is functioning like a 5th grade student in the 7th month of the school year…so almost a 6th grader. Just finished 4th grade mind you and testing a year ahead. Thank you homeschooling. If he were to brag he’d want you to know that his science grade equivalent was 9.4, 9th grader in his 4th month of the school year. Yep. Freaky smart in science. 

Eden’s little surgery. Like her brother Noah, Eden had one ear tube that didn’t fall out normally. So, she had to have it surgically removed and then have a patch put over the hole on her eardrum. It was the fastest surgery ever. She did fabulous. Preparation was the key. She knew exactly what would happen and she was a trooper. I held her to the, “you can go no further” point, then set her down on the hospital bed. She didn’t cry, nor did she look back but put on her brave face and off she went. Five minutes later the surgeon was in our room saying she did great! What?! Then 10 minutes later she was back with us. She was a little tired, but did great post surgery. Mama’s brave girl!


Summer Homeschooling. We are doing Math, Science and Spelling over the summer. Noah would have likely scored much higher on the SAT  if I had taught the poor kid how to spell. Somehow spelling has gotten overlooked. So I am working with Noah this summer using a great program called, All About Spelling. We are starting from ground zero so needless to say he is flying through it but it is laying a great foundation to build on. Learning all the rules to spelling is so helpful, I promise you, no one ever taught me the stuff we are learning together. Plus, we are having a really good time. Who knew? Math is just grueling. For both of us. Not even joking around. However, we temper that with Science. Answers in Genesis is our Science. We are only doing science because he just enjoys it so much. Molecules and Chemistry…woo hoo, bring on the fun! Don’t you just wish you were me?!

Then there are the girls. I am “summer schooling” them too. Unlike Noah, they love it! They are also doing All About Spelling and are doing super! I can’t believe it! They are learning to spell and read! Practicing writing their name and tracing all their letters and numbers is a big hit. I just racked up at the Dollar Store finding a ton of little workbooks with Disney characters and such that are numbers and letters tracing books with other little games inside.  Also, I have several fun Montessori math jobs that they are really enjoying and of course there is art. I

Gotcha Day. Adoption Day. Relinquishment Day. I never know what to call that day. May 14, 2012. The 2 months or so leading up to May 14, 2014 were very difficult. But it was like switch was flipped on May 15, 2014.  She is doing really great, all things considered. Can’t believe it has been 2 years!

passing hope to mamaC360_2014-02-01-12-32-17-233


Yaya’s speech. Hmmm. Hard to explain all this, but I’ll sum it up with this: her palate is not functioning correctly so articulated non-airy speech is not happening. Yaya started to struggle with speech around February of this year.  Which is really frustrating because she is so smart. She talks in huge sentences…but we only get half of what she is saying. She knows all her phonograms and knows what sounds every letter makes. Including the 4 sounds for Y and O; the three sounds for A and I; and the two sounds for E, G, and S! But she just can’t pronounce them! Hunting down the problem has taken up many months and we still haven’t discovered what the problem really is. Scoping her nose while awake was one terrible method we tried, it isn’t painful, but if you are not prepared for it cognitively and you have sensory issues…it is a train wreck. After this traumatic procedure we were told we would have to wait 6 months and try it again and see if she would be compliant for the scope at that time. Hubba Waaaa???? Yeah, no. So our amazing speech wonder woman, Melissa has begun doing things to help prep Yaya for the next scope. Wow! I love this woman. Another suggestion she made was to equip Yaya with a program that we can put on an ipad and it will talk for her. With much anticipation and excitement we go tomorrow to get our “borrowed” license to test out the program for a month. Yaya has been able to play with the program once and she LOVED it. We are praying for success with this program. It will be freakishly expensive but if she can communicate, I’m good with selling a kidney to pay for it. I jest. It will be like $300.00 plus the cost of an ipad to put it on. Not kidney worthy but still steep.

In the meantime, my Mom hooked us up with another resource out of Children’s of Atlanta. A woman she knows has a son with cleft who had gotten frustrated with her son’s lack of speech progress and sought other opinions. They are now on a path that will allow their son to begin school in the fall. We hope to get an appointment to see the Director of Speech Pathology at the Children’s Hospital in Atlanta. I have been told that “the scope” is not the only thing that can solve our mystery. Apparently there are other non-invasive techniques that can be used. God love and bless our speech therapist, she agreed to go to the appointment with us! So thankful for her! So now we hurry up and wait. More on this topic as it unfolds.

Surgery anyone? Why, yes please, I’d like some! Not. Okay so my right foot has been bugging for like 7 months now. I’ve done two rounds of a 6 week course of physical therapy with no real relief. An MRI showed that the ligament that stabilizes my ankle is chronically torn. So the thought is to go in with to anchors and a suture, and pull my tibia and fibula bones together to stabilize from the inside, allowing my ligament to heal. The surgical gold standard for an unstable ankle is the Broström procedure modified by Gould. There is the link if you want all the medical garbage and pictures. Sounds all hunky-dory until the words, “non-weight bearing for 6 weeks in a cast” come tumbling out. Followed by the words, “knee scooter and no driving”. Sigh. Seriously? It is summer in Alabama! I have two preschoolers! Kill me now! Soooo, I have my prescription of Wellbutrin waiting for me at the pharmacy so I don’t  have a total panic attack when the put me in a cast for 6 weeks!! Having said all this garbage about surgery…I don’t know for sure, sure, that it will happen. I go in for my second opinion on May 16th. I’m sure there will be a blog post to follow. Below is some cool tape from physical therapy…sadly PT did not work. Pray for THIS foot please.


In preparation for the possibility though, we have moved our bedroom upstairs which has made all our children ethereally happy. Truth be told, we have a lot more fun and cuddle time upstairs now on our big king size bed. The girls like to come in and snuggle in the morning and often at night we all play around on the bed and let kiddos drift off to sleep before transporting them to their own beds. Noah’s nighttime anxiety had gone way down and I like not having to climb a flight of stairs when the girls cry out at night. So it is a win/win for everyone.

Whew. I’m worded out. I think that is all friends. I have no idea what I’ve written here but it is close to what I’d like to record, with I’m sure tons of typos and run on sentences and perhaps some that don’t even make much sense. I’m to tired to proof it. But here we are one big happy family. So thankful. P.S. Yaya is eating a S’more for the first time so she is chewing in this picture below. The one below that was her response when I asked her, while her mouth was full,  if she liked S’mores…two thumbs up.