Friday, August 28, 2009


Remember reading all those Greek Dramas and the long discussions about Hubris and the fates that befall those that think they can control their world and figure things out. Well they were right. There is no control or any reason to believe we mere mortals have any control over our lives or those that are near and dear to us.

We have been smug... Or more accurately, I have been smug. I think I know how the systems work, I can maneuver through the medical crap like that irritating guy on the small motor cycle during rush hour.


The word choices are very specific:

Need to come back. Not You might want to drop by the lab sometime in the next month or so....

It appears that 12 doses of Spinal Cranial Radiation did not make her thyroid very happy. It seems to have been a slow but expected death. Unless the blood work shows some other auto-immune issue- it will be very treatable. Thyroid pills for the rest of her life. Joy, Joy.

We talked about it last night and I told her that she should not expect more than her fair share of long term side affects and that I thought 3 would be enough thank you very much.

So......... Off to the lab for a fasting blood draw.
The photo is of Grandma Armstrong Lanham. She was a stong willed women that fought her way through life. She seemed to be an approriate person to be on guard.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Yes They are goingg to Be Seniors and That is a great thing!!!

Okay, lets be very clear here.

1. We are not losing our children.

In fact I bet for everyone that is upset that their child is a senior will be complaining in 5 years that they have moved back home and are leaving their shoes every where. They are always going to be our children.

2. They will return home less but won't love us less.

Sure when they come home they are going to need to reconnect with friends, they will stay out late, they will not share what they are doing and they won't honor curfews. They love coming home, they expect it to be the same. Just ask any parent that dared to change a room or God forbid move.

3. They were never ours in the first place.

If we wanted them to stay with you forever, you should be remained that slavery has not been legal in the county for a long time and then refer to number one.

4. Be thankful that they can leave the nest.

I remember sitting in a hospital room at Children's Hospital and looking out my window. I could see St. Joe's spire and Holy Name's Dome. I just looked out that window and prayed and pleading and hoped that she would be able to go from St. Joe's to Holy Names.

Each and every step, and milestone and moment that marks her journey to Independence is a gift and proof there is a God and while she has a very wicked sense of humor, she answers prayers, pleading, threats.

Instead of worrying about what it is going to be like to not have an obnoxious, self important, teenager in the house, use this year to re-discover your life BC (before child). It has been waiting for your return.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Real Story of Gastrocnemius Recession Recovery

Now we have a new problem. She is walking, sort of like a penguin but as tippy as a clown blow up boxing thing. She can fall flat in a second. Seems kind of funny. She did a ton yesterday so there were some pain and discomfort last night. Seems to be doing better now but now the word of the week is moderation. So first I complain she is not walking, now I complain she is walking too much.

No, I am never satisfied If we had been satisfied we would have been sitting around the camp fire in caves. It is important to want to make things better.

Thank God She does not have Avvascular Necrosis

Survivor Issues: Avascular Necrosis (AVN)
Avascular necrosis is a condition characterized by cell death in bones caused by a compromised blood supply to the bone. Advanced cases show bone collapse in the affected joint. AVN can be caused by high-dose steroids and radiation treatment. It is usually seen in the first year off treatment; adolescent girls are most susceptible.
The hip bone is the most common site for AVN, knee, shoulder and other joints can also be affected.
Also known as:
osteonecrosis (ON); ischemic necrosis of bone; aseptic necrosis; osteochondritis dissecans
Description of AVN
Merck manual
Signs and Symptoms
The symptoms of AVN vary; in general, the symptoms include pain and loss of movement in the affected joint. Some patients have intense, incapacitating pain, others experience tolerable pain and little loss of movement.
According to the Merck Manual, "Early diagnosis requires a high index of suspicion in patients presenting with pain, particularly of the hips, knees, or shoulders." In other words, unless the physicians suspect AVN, they will not find it. An MRI is the most sensitive test for AVN; x-rays might not show AVN until it has progressed to the point of bone collapse.
Cortical bone grafts, core decompression (the central portion of the bone is removed to reduce pressure), osteotomy (a wedge of the bone is removed), and hip (or knee) replacement.

I bet they never told me that was a posibility!!!!!

Tomorrow we have an appointment to see Dr. Mankey and have the stitches taken out. I offered to take them out for her and she refused.

One thing about spending so much time at Children's is it takes 2 nano seconds to return to a place of gratefulness......

Monday, August 24, 2009

The Real Story of Gastrocnemius Recession Recovery

Walking, we are walking, the get up and come to Mama moment happened on Friday. Day 11 we threw the walker away and began to totter around sort of like a penguin. Seemed to be a good thing. A few steps, down stairs easier than upstairs. Bruises created by placement of the incision by the top of the boot. Too much walking or sitting with feet down, bad. Feet up good.

Short distances with slow pacing seems to work okay.

I made her unload the dishwasher. As someone said, Nurse Ratchet needs to stop by every now and then.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Real Story of Gastrocnemius Recession Recovery

Day 10: Lots of steps, only with a walker. No willingness to leave the house yet. Even for a movie. I may try movie and sushi...... I am a very very bad mother. But then we all knew that.

Senior books purchased. Need to have senior pictures taken. I am thinking that we need to have some sort of mobility and of course Tucker.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Real Story of Recovery from a Gastrocnemius Recession

Day 9: Walking with the walker and stating
"fine go to bed, I don't need anything from anyone"

She is doing way better. When she gets mad, she is getting better.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Real Story of Gastrocnemius Recession Recovery

So. We are now a week away from Surgery. 3 steps in the morning and about a dozen after dinner. Like I mentioned, this is not the recovery process we were expecting.

We liked the: Walk out of Surgery. Rest a bit. In tennis shoes in a couple of weeks.

I think the first part is a bit optimistic. I think the real story is:

No significant weight bearing for 5-7 days.
Stay on top of the pain.
Add visterill to the pain management program. (muscle relaxer)
First steps at day 7 or 8
Add as able.

Make sure you have a "mobility devise" at the ready and a dad to carry you into the house.
Showers are best accomplished with a hand wand device.

For the care taker. Don't get freaked about the lack of mobility. It will be okay.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Real Story of Gastrocnemius Recession Recovery

gastrocnemius recession is commonly performed to correct an equinus contracture of the ankle that may accompany foot and ankle pathology in adults. The equinus deformity leads to excessive pressure and pain that manifests as plantar fasciitis, metatarsalgia, posterior tibial tendon insufficiency, osteoarthritis, and foot ulcers. The procedure is also performed on individuals who have limited ankle dorsiflexion.

So those are the official words. She had the surgery on Monday. This is Saturday and she is still not able to stand. We had been told that she would be able to walk out of the surgery center. That was sort of a fib. She was not even able to stand up let alone walk. The last few days have been about pain management, arm only transfers, trips to the bathroom on a scooter that was not devised for sitting and waiting.

Waiting. I am not sure that I will ever be good at waiting

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

I had forgotten how hard this all is

Surgery went fine. Recover is not. Oh, well there always needs to be a challenge. Everyone is sleeping. I cannot get her to walk. She transferred from one chair to another and the pain was excruciating. Now I can't get her to walk. We finally have the pain under control but she is afraid of that very bad pain again. So. I don't know the answer. We shall see.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

I should never just drop by the office

It is a very bad idea when I am supposed to be on vacation. We went to visit Mom and Dad in Eugene. This A.M. in the office was supposed to be for a couple of brief meetings. I had forgotten how bad it is when I don't relax and just get away. So here I am very uptight and I am having my chain jerked by a certain medical assistant that works with a beloved doctor. Let us say, Sally does not take very well to being told how Mary-Elizabeth's medical procedures are going to be managed. Oh, I will never make the mistake of taking her out of the Seattle Children's system for as long as she can stay there.

Adult medicine is a whole new ball game and I don't play well with others. Suffice it to say, I have not killed anyone yet but will be doing so in the near future. Opps, that makes it sound pre-meditated.