Pre Op Appointment for the Left Knee
As I think back over my younger years, I am always grateful when I recall a couple of male teachers that I had in middle school. Despite a lot of negative things I was experiencing, they looked at me and saw someone who was smart and talented and had great potential for success. They encouraged and inspired me to dream big and to lead by example. One of those teachers taught science. I developed a love for science and soaked up all of the information. I remember one specific class that discussed the Seven Characteristics of Living Things; one of which is the Ability to Adapt to Their Environment.
I would say that has proven to be true of our family here this summer. We have had another good week. Last Friday was my birthday, and I had so many people remember and send me the sweetest cards. Jian has been in her cast 2 days shy of 5 weeks now. There have been some days that she has become mildly irritable, but the only time she has shed any tears was last week. She remembered that my birthday was coming up, and she didn’t have any way of getting out and shopping for a gift. She instead made me the sweetest, heartfelt card, which was the best gift I could have asked for. We were given free passes to the zoo, so the following day we were able to go out for a couple of hours and have some fun. We also stopped at a Comic Book store, which Jian loved. Three years ago, she couldn’t speak a word of English. Now she is reading books faster than we can buy them. I think she read through 4 different graphic novels that day.
Today we had our pre op appointment for her left knee surgery scheduled for this Wednesday. We ended up having to wait for about 3 hours, and Jian kept good spirits the entire time. For her x ray, she managed her wheelchair and hopped up on the table without any help. It showed that her hip is healing great. It is still difficult for me to process when I see it all lined up now. We plan to arrive this Wednesday around 6:30am EST to get checked in. The surgery itself probably won’t begin until 9am. Compared to her hip, her knee should not be nearly as extensive. But compared to other knees, it will be more involved. Again, he really won’t know exactly what will be required to get it all lined up and functioning optimally until he gets in there and begins. The plan is to be released from the hospital on Saturday, and Daniel will go back home on Sunday. Jian and I will handle the follow up appointments and therapy starting next week.
I think it has been good for Daniel to experience a small glimpse of what our lives have been for the past 3 years. All the time spent in appointments and waiting rooms. We are great at handling the hard work and therapy together, so it will be fun to see what we can accomplish and then let her come home and show off her new skills. When I was asking the doctor about the timeline for recovery, I said, “Ok, 4-6 weeks and then we will be done with you?” He immediately said, “Oh, well, you won’t really ever be done with me.” We all cut our eyes around and laughed nervously. But this seems to be the story of lots of patients here. One surgery after another for a good 6 years. We plan to go home and work hard in therapy for the next year. We will have to come back at some point to have the hardware removed that they placed this time, but hopefully nothing further.
When he asked Jian if she was glad to be getting the cast off, she said, “Not really.” He said that a strange phenomenon does sometimes happen where kids view the cast as a strong protective layer and actually have anxiety about losing it. He calls it their “turtle shell.” If there is one thing that our girl has become a pro at, it is learning to adapt to her environment, so I know that she will be just fine. I just wonder if these therapists are ready to adapt to her!