amaya at lake

amaya at lake

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Back to school

    Amaya decided she wanted to go back to school yesterday. I was planning on her having the entire week off, but she was ready to go back. Since her pain has been easily managed, and her school is having minimum days all week we figured it was worth a try. I texted her teacher and gave her a heads up on Sunday. She was happy to hear Amaya would be returning to class. I worried and wondered during the day how she did but Josh sent me a message saying that he peeked in on her at lunch time and she was smiling, eating and having fun. Her teacher said she had a great day. She'll go the rest of this week, then go off track for five weeks and get a much deserved break.
   It took Amaya extra time to get ready in the morning because its not easy for her to get her pants on and it takes longer to walk from place to place as she gets ready. I noticed that her leg was stiff and she had a hard time straightening it (her leg is bent most of the day). I had her do some of the stretches Melissa had suggested and it made a big difference. I was proud of her for wanting to go back to school so soon and for putting in the extra time and effort it took her to get ready to go. After she was dressed and ready to head up I asked her if she wanted me to carry her up, but she said no that she would prefer dad doing it. So I went up to get dad. By the time he got ready to get her she had gotten herself up the stairs. She's quite determined and creative (she sat on her butt and scooted up each step). She had done that when she had her cast on after her super hip surgery a couple years ago.
   Amaya said her friends were happy and surprised to see her. She said they all yelled and cheered with excitement. She's been with this class since kindergarten and many of them are very close friends. She got out of her wheelchair to transfer to her seat. Its still very difficult for her to do that, so I suggested she stay in her wheelchair all day and assumed that she would. But she said it didn't hurt and she really wanted to do it. She had to sit out for P.E. and wheeled herself to the cafeteria, etc. She was so happy to be back in class and in school.
   Throughout this whole experience most people are surprised that Amaya goes to school at all. Many assume that she's home-schooled either part time or full time. When we tell them that she isn't they're surprised and sometimes confused. They can't picture her going to school (after a surgery, with a fixator on, with any pain and discomfort she may have, with all her appointments, even though she misses so much school, even though she has to do physical therapy, etc.). For us it made sense for Amaya to attend school; she enjoys it, its a good distraction, and it helps keep her life as normal as possible. She did miss many days because of her surgery, recovery, and pain. She had many days when she attended only part of the day because of a doctor or physical therapy appointment, and sometimes both. But she always looked forward to school, to seeing her friends, to homework, getting a break from home, etc. Her teachers were very kind, helpful and accommodating to her needs. We're so lucky and thankful that she's a part of a loving school community where all the teachers keep an eye on her. And it helps that her dad works at her school too. It wasn't always easy, but I'm glad she continued with school. It was a good outlet, distraction and source of comfort and encouragement.
   Josh also returned to work this week. Even though he's still tired and worn out form the past seven and a half months he has a busy work week ahead of him. He's having to make up all the meetings and testing that he missed last week. Its a bit of a transition for us all.
    All in all we're doing well. Amaya has an increased appetite (eating more now than she did the entire time she had her fixator on), her pain is minimal (she's on little pain medication, only two doses per day), she's able to sleep well, her wounds are healing nicely, she's enjoying her extra free time (not having to go to therapy three times a week) and she's been walking with her walker a bit more each day. Thank you all for your continued help, love, prayers, support and well wishes.
      It's strange that it'll be a week tomorrow since her fixator was removed. Time has flown. But life with a fixator and watching Amaya through all this has taught me to live in the moment. It was a nice survival tool; we couldn't dwell on a painful, difficult moment ,we had to move on and deal with the next moment and whatever it brought. So its hard to remember what happened a day, week, or month ago. It's hard to remember all that we've been through, and when I start to its a bit overwhelming. I'm so glad that I always have this blog to go back to and read for a reminder.
Here's Amaya wearing part of her surgeon's outfit. She wanted to play doctor with Lidie and I. 
Lidie was the nurse and I was the patient. I always have to be the patient.
Here's Amaya doing her stretches before school. You can see her knee is bent pretty well. It's like that on its own. After months of having to work so hard to get to ninety degrees now the bend comes easily (not that its at ninety degrees though).   
Her leg is always the most stiff in the morning but after just ten stretches with the band I noticed an improvement. See how much straighter her leg is now? She's having to work to straighten her leg. If you remember those last few weeks (or was it days?) before her fixator came off she had a lot of tightness in her hamstrings. She's still having some of that, but these stretches are helping. We're having her do them in the morning and at night.
Here's a look at her bottom pins after her shower. Most of the pin sites bled just a tiny bit in the shower.  It took a bit for the tape and gauze to come off, only because the tape stuck to her skin. Since it was a bit difficult (but nothing like they use to be) we decided to put band aids on all the pin sites and the incision in hopes that they would come off easier than the tape. 
Here are her middle pins. These seem to be the biggest scabs.  
Here are her top pins. I'm amazed by how well these are healing. These always gave us so much trouble, so I'm surprised by how well they're healing now. The very top one (the one on the right) is the smallest of all her pin sites. 
Here's her incision. You can see some bruising on her hip (on the bottom of the picture). She says it doesn't hurt, which is good. 
Here she is doing her stretches before bed. She's such a trooper (that's a word that many people use to describe her, so I thought I'd use it too), she didn't complain that I suggested the stretches and did them willingly. She's learned that physical therapy does help and makes things easier for her so she works hard to help her body heal and recuperate. You can see the colorful band aids all over her leg. She had nine in all. 
This is what her middle pins looked like tonight. Only these two (the one on the right and the one on the left) had the scabs come off and bleed a bit. The rest all have scabs and are healing well. Amaya thinks they look like blueberries. The band aids came off pretty well in the shower tonight. She's back to showering in her lawn chair, like she did wehn she first had her fixator put on. It's helped since she's still wobbly and we didn't want her to fall in there.  We decided to put band aids on just those two sites that bled and nothing on all the rest. 
I found these in a drawer today. I can't believe how many we have. I've already recycled many, and we have more down stairs.  
Amaya and I thought this quote is fitting for someone who will be having a lengthening surgery. It pretty much speaks for itself.  

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