amaya at lake

amaya at lake

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Bye, bye physical therapy (for now)

       Today was our last session of physical therapy.  I say "our" because even though it was Amaya who was there for therapy, Lidie and I also went along too. Lidie was such a trooper. She provided comic relief, distractions and lots of praise and encouragement for her sissy.  I can't believe how quickly that time went by!  We were so fortunate to have two great therapists working with us. Beyond helping Amaya and teaching us new exercises. They also made us feel welcome and helped include Lidie in the therapy. I'm fortunate to have been able to be there with her for each of her sessions.  It's been great seeing Amaya push herself, try new things, and get stronger.  I've learned several exercises and techniques that we will continue to put into practice at home.  And if I forget, I can always call Cassi up (thanks again, for giving me your number!).  We were fortunate to have Tia Amanda come along for our last session. She was able to see first hand what our sessions are like; it's always nice sharing parts of our lives with others.      
      Leaving was a bit bittersweet. It's become such a part of our routine for six weeks now. We will all miss seeing Cassi and Jay on a regular basis.  Although, Amaya did make sure to invite them to her birthday (even though it's about three months away).  The girls really bonded with them.  Amaya wrote cards for each of them, thanking them for their help.  She's very thoughtful, and realizes that they truly are helping her.  After our session we got frozen yogurt to celebrate!
      After frozen yogurt it was time for our follow-up appointment with Dr. Nelson.  By this point Lidie was getting very squirmy. She had missed her nap and I was SO thankful to have Amanda there to help distract her.  This is the first appointment that Josh couldn't be there for, so it was nice having Amanda there to "fill in."  Thank you again Amanda!  After a short wait, a physicians assistant came in and examined Amaya and checked her leg.  She was unfamiliar with Amaya and her condition, so I was having to fill her in on the past few years.  After a few minutes she went and got Dr. Nelson.  As he entered Amaya handed him a card that she wrote for him.  It was short and sweet; she thanked him for "helping me" and let him know that he is "very smart."  He thanked her and said that he would keep it forever.
      He examined her knee and asked how she was doing, how therapy went, etc.  He was quite happy with her recovery.  It still amazes me when he pushes on her knee and it doesn't pop or dislocate. It's pretty amazing!  It's been six months and two days since he performed the superknee procedure on her. Wow.
       He said that from his perspective "biologically and psychologically" she is ready for the lengthening surgery.  "I think she'll do great" He said, which helped calm my nerves.  It's just a matter of when we would like to schedule it.  He's booked up until September so any time after that would work for him.  During the surgery he will do three things; lengthen the left femur, realign the femur (it's a bit "knocked" above the knee) and correct the hip (what he had originally planned to do in January).  He believes that she will only need this surgery to lengthen the leg and correct the femur and hip, but did say that she may need another surgery later on to "stunt" the growth of the normal leg.
     The actual lengthening will take about three to four months (they lengthen one millimeter a day), but the fixator will remain for another six months to stabilize and give support to the leg.  Once the fixator is put in she will have physical therapy for one hour a day Monday thru Friday.  We're not sure how long her hospital stay will be, but he hopes that she'll be able to return to school and be mobile in about four-six weeks.
      So now, Josh and I have some planning to do and decisions to make, because in a few short days Dr.Nelson's nurse will be calling to schedule the surgery.  Once we have the surgery scheduled we'll make an appointment to see him one month prior to the surgery where he'll take x-rays and measurements.
      So today we said goodbye to physical therapy, but only for a short while.

This was taken on our last day, and we are all smiles!

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