Fearfully and Wonderfully made

Good Bye Chocolate Mint Candy Cane Cast!
February 10, 2009, 8:29 am
Filed under: Sugeries | Tags: , ,

Giovanna has had two casts with the last Ilizarov procedure.  Her first was a traditional Candy Cane strip pattern for Christmas, which was appropriate since she got the metal frame off before Christmas.  It was a wonderful Christmas gift.  Her second cast came shortly after Christmas.  She chose a dark color, I think it was officially maroon with green strips.  Her Sunday school teacher referred to it as the Chocolate Mint Candy Cane – an excellent description of the color!

Shortly after returning from Thailand it was time to take off the cast.  This is not my favorite part of the procedure.  While it marks the end of the process, there are some parts of this process that are really not fun.  The buzzing of the saw has always scared Giovanna in the past – this time it was not as bad, but still a bit scary.  However the hardest thing about this part is the hyper sensitivity of the foot with the cast off.  Not to mention the smell!  After having ones foot in a cast for just over 2 months – enough said!!  So when it came time for Chaz to wash off her foot, you would have thought she was being tormented!

She spent the rest of the morning in the wheel chair, afraid to put any pressure on that foot.  She had x-rays to check the position of the foot, met with PT for exercises, saw the doctor who was pleased with the position of her foot and orthodics to have her AFO fitted.  The doctor said she had to walk before she could leave the premises.  Talk about putting down the challenge – in the past it has taken several days for her to walk on her foot post cast.  So while in orthodics and waiting for the final fitting of her AFO, I started touching her foot and getting her used to pressure on it.

The time final came for her to walk with the AFO.  She wheeled herself to the parallel bars, got the wheel chair lined up, brakes set and then took off and walked the length of the bars – twice!  She then took her wheel chair and wheeled it back to the parking area.  On the way, Dr. G saw her, left a conversation and came out in the hallway to watch her.  He was pleased.

Now to work on stretching and getting things like the Achilles Tendon moving a more smoothly!


The Latest Trip to the Shrine Hospital
January 4, 2009, 5:20 pm
Filed under: Sugeries

Giovanna made a trip to the hospital last week for a cast change.  This is the last cast change before it will be removed totally sometime in early February.  She had a hard time choosing a cast color but finally did pick maroon and green.  It is really much better than it sounds.  I will try to post a picture soon.

She had a hard time leaving the hospital.  She loves the staff and the food!  She has also discovered the game room!  When she was fully recovered from surgery, she spent all her time in the game room!  She makes friends very easily and learned how to play checkers! 

She is getting around wonderfully and now it is just waiting until I get back from Thailand to get the cast off.  She has been outside to play in the snow!  This is not slowing her down at all!

Cast Change – Round 2
December 29, 2008, 8:46 pm
Filed under: Sugeries

Tomorrow morning, bright and early, Giovanna and I will leave for the hospital.  She will have her cast changed and hopefully stay in this new one until after I return from Thailand.  The doctor is still fine tuning the position of her foot.  Giovanna is struggling over what color cast to pick this time!  Oh to be 8 and have such minor decisions to make.  I am sure that Dr. G will have a lot of fun at my expense once he sees both black eyes! 

Should be fairly quick.  The cast change won’t take long, but while they have her under they will take measurements for her new AFO.  The surgery should be about 90 minutes.  Hope to be home by supper time.

Asian Eyes
December 26, 2008, 1:40 pm
Filed under: Life with. . . | Tags:

Giovanna went for her first eye exam today.  She has been complaining of headaches and with her being so late in reading, it seemed like a good idea.  She does have some near sightedness plus astigmatism, but the biggest issue was the way her eyes are designed.  Asian eyes, in general, have the lower lid much closer to the eye.  Giovanna’s is so close that the eye lashes are rubbing against her cornea and scratching it.  So we are now using a foam eye cleaner to help clear up the mucus build up which is also irritating the eye.  She goes back in two weeks to see if it has worked.  If not, then there will need to be some corrective surgery to pull down the bottom of the eye which should also pull the eye lashes off of the eye itself.

New Snow!
December 20, 2008, 9:49 am
Filed under: Life with. . . | Tags:

It is snowing today in Minnesota – a light fluffy snow that glistens.  At least that is how it started now the winds have picked up and it no longer a gentle snow!

But for an 8 year old girl who has had a fixator on for 2 months and now a candy cane striped cast – it is irresistible!  She really wants to go out in the snow and play, especially since she sees Thomas and Allen playing on the snow pile in the middle of the Cull-De-Sac.

Maybe later today or tomorrow we can get her outside to play!

Pictures from the past week!
December 12, 2008, 8:38 pm
Filed under: Life with. . .
Time to play in the snow!

Time to play in the snow!

Ready to sled!

Ready to sled!


Fell off the sled!  What Fun!

Fell off the sled! What Fun!


Here is the Candy Cane Cast!

Here is the Candy Cane Cast!

Living with Fixators and their Challenges!
December 12, 2008, 8:17 pm
Filed under: A mother's heart, Life with. . ., Sugeries | Tags: ,

After after having 2 fixators, I have learned a few things.  Simplicity is generally the best option – at least when it comes to dressing and having a fixator.  There are not many options really.  Giovanna has 2 pair of pants that snap up the outside of the both legs and that fit over the fixator.  So the bottom half is taken care of, which leaves the top half.  Since Giovanna tends to like to wear “pretty pink” things, it is helpful that the botton half is a neutral color (black or blue).  She has had fun picking out her tops to go with the bottoms.

But when it comes to going to church, Giovanna loves to wear very girly dresses – the frillier the better!  So different from her mother!  And we live in Minnesota which makes it even more of a challenge to figure out how to make the dress look “Pretty.” 

Sunday was the first time we were home since Advent began and she wanted to wear her new dress for Christmas and wouldn’t you know, it was one of the coldest mornings on record for this year!  So the task of figuring out how to get tights on her to keep her warm was given full attention.  But no matter how I tried to get the tights on, they would not go over the fixator – it was just too big and the wires were sure to put holes in the tights!  So we improvised and cut one leg of the tights off – it was a long dress and you couldn’t tell!  She was all smiles at church with her new dress, tights and nice girl shoes, not tenneys!

However going to play in the snow with a fixator are totally different.  We have lots of new snow which was just calling out to Giovanna to come play in the snow.  So the process of getting her dressed for the outside play time was begun.  First the regualr fleece fixator bag went over her foot, leg and fixator – this was for warmth.  Then came two target bags – to keep things dry and the snow stuff.  Her older brothers pulled her on the sled.  They were going fast enough that she fell into the snow.  She was laughing and having a ball.  It was a glorious time for her.

When she finally got cold, about 90 minutes and 2 brothers completely tired out later, she came in for hot chocolate and then a warm shower.  Life is good for her! 

As I watched her having so much fun, I was reminded of two statements that have been with regard to Giovanna at different points in her life.  When Giovanna first joined our family, we were told that she might never walk.  She has proved the naysayers wrong on this account.  Two years ago when she had her first fixator surgery and went sledding, the therapists said, “is there anything that slows her down?”  God’s fingerprints are all over her life and the evidences of Grace to her from God are amazing.  There is much to be thankful for