Monday, June 2, 2014

Superhip III follow up and much needed update!

It's been awhile and I apologize for the pause!
We have moved and settled into our new home which suits us perfectly.

The kids have a neighborhood full of kids to play with and a movie room to relax in.

The kids finished out the school year and made themselves and Jeff and I so very proud with their hard work.

We now have McKenzie in her second year of College.
Josh and McKenzie
Peyton in her 1st year of High School.
Peyton with neighborhood friends.
Isaac in his first year of Jr. High.
Isaac and Grandma
John in 2nd grade and Liam in Preschool.
Liam, Mom and John.
Spencer is not longer in school but she deserves a photo update as well!
Spencer and Fiancé', Alex.
Keeping busy is what we are all about and I am currently in Florida for Liam's Superhip III recheck.
I was really nervous as to what the x-rays would show since he is only the 3rd person to have this surgery before and the results have varied with each patient being unique.

Before Dr. Paley comes in you always have time with your x-ray so I made sure to get a photo.

What you see is Liam laying on his side, straight leg in the photo is his PFFD effected leg.
Right under his torso in the photo is his femur which you can see ends as quickly as it begins.  
That is his knee you see just under his pelvis!
His hip is actually where the two screws are in the above photo.
those two screws will be removed when he undergoes his first of 4 lengthening surgeries in about 5 months from now.
After 3.5 hours of waiting Dr. Paley came in.

Dr. Paley and Liam
He gave us the news that while Liam's hip healed well from the surgery and is completely stable, the outcome was a fused hip.
I wasn't expecting this and didn't know it was a possible outcome so that threw me a little.
My husband however was quick to point out that a stable fused hip compared to his anatomy before is something to be thankful for and he is so right!
Dr. Paley seemed very pleased and said that we can begin lengthening as scheduled as soon as October.
This will keep us away from home for 2.5 months so figuring out the best timing will be our next big discussion.

I promise to keep my blogging going and with more consistency now that things are slowing down and I love that you keep us in your prayers and keep checking in!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

1 week down and 1 to go...

I'm ready to go home!
Being away from home even when it's to such an amazing and beautiful place as West Palm beach gets boring.
Liam's leg is healing really well and if it weren't for the wound opening under the cast it would look great.
Physical therapy is only gentle range of motion which isn't anything intense and can be easily done at home with our awesome physical therapist, Kelly.
I'm thinking of asking to go home early, as in with Spencer on Tuesday if they will allow it.
To imagine another 8 days here by myself makes me feel lonely so I feel extra bad for those Mamas here with their little ones for weeks and months all by themselves.
In the end though the result is so worth it!

On Thursday we drove to Ft. Lauderdale to see Jeff's Dad who works there part time.
We toured his business and then enjoyed a nice lunch together.
Poppy and Spencer
Afterwards we went to visit Butterfly World.
I wasn't too sure how Liam would like butterflies since he has been extra sensitive lately.
You can't hear the scream or see the tears in this photo but he agreed to smile for just one picture while Mommy showed him the butterfly.
Spencer loved the butterflies
It was a beautiful little spot to relax and catch up and before we knew it, it was closing time.
Our plan was after saying goodbye to Poppy we would head to the most amazing outlet mall in the area.
However, after waiting for 45 minutes in traffic and not even halfway there we decided to turn around and head back to West Palm Beach.
What should have taken 45 minutes in total took 2 hours.
I didn't realize just how bad Florida traffic can be, especially at rush hour on a Friday night!

On Friday we visited the grand opening of the outlet mall just down the road.
It was very tiny and extremely crowded on opening day but a nice diversion to the day.
The weather since being here has been sunny and mid 70's to mid 80's. Gorgeous!!!

Yesterday we drove to Lion Country Safari.
It had high reviews and didn't disappoint!

The park included some rides which was terrific.
Liam was only able to go on a few with his cast but he was a good sport about not riding the ones he couldn't.
Train ride with Mommy.
I sure will miss Spence when she leaves on Tuesday.

If correctly cropped I suppose you could imagine we were actually in Egypt. Ha!


Today we are having a relaxing down day, including PT, laundry and movies.
Please keep us in your prayers tomorrow as I find out if we are able to come home early!
I'll leave you with a silly video clip of Liam yesterday.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Liam's 2nd surgery update

Yesterday's surgery went well.
Liam must have felt all your prayers as he was a great patient and was his normal happy self!
Liam and Bear before surgery.

Surgery started on time and from the time I left him in the operating room until they came out to get me to see him in recovery was only 2.5 hours.

His wound was pretty bad and after it was scrubbed well, Dr. Paley removed the bad sections of skin and resutured the area with stitches that will need to come out in 2 weeks.

Now the bad part.
Yes, he has his cast back on............for another 6 weeks.
No he can't weight bear for another 6 weeks.
However, trying to look at the bright side of things, he can have the cast off for bathing and physical therapy only which is better than before.

He starts physical therapy today with gentle range of motion.
I'm worried for him because his knee and hip have been locked into place for the past 6 weeks and you know they are going to be very stiff and sore when they are first moved.

The plan now is to have physical therapy every day for the next two weeks here during which time they will make a video so we will know how it's done once home so we can continue.

After 6 weeks in this removable spica cast we will have an x-ray done and sent to Dr. Paley who will then determine if the hip has healed properly.
If so, the cast can go bye-bye and Liam can begin weight bearing.
3 months is a loooooong time for a 3 year old to lay still!
I feel really guilty and like such a terrible Mama as I told Liam we were here to get his cast off since that was what I was told. 
It was totally my fault when they told me that last time I should have asked more questions although at this point in the Superhip III surgery since it's so new I think it's more a wait and see process as to the next steps.
Liam is so sweet and has not questioned me on why he is back in a cast but just goes along with everything with SUCH a good heart.
Sleepy boy at dinner.

We have no plans for today since I am not sure how physical therapy will go and just how he will be feeling afterwards.
I am assuming he will be completely wore out and want to rest today.
Tomorrow however we are going to be visiting Jeff's Dad who works 45 minutes from here.
We will be having lunch together and visiting the butterfly exhibit which sounds amazing.
Let's say a prayer that Liam does well with his physical therapy sessions and is up for the visit as we are all looking so forward to it!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Almost time for surgery #2.

I truly try and keep everyone in the loop about Liam's surgeries.
I say try because it's a forever changing process which is okay because in the end all that's important is that he has the best possible outcome for his leg.

Such a great traveler!
We are down here in WPB for two reasons.
The first reason is why we are here a week early as Liam's incision was opening in a few spots, possible due to the post op swelling.

The second reason is the second surgery to remove the wires put in for stabilization after his Superhip III surgery 6 weeks ago.

Everything still looks good and stable with lots of  bone growth filling in which is wonderful to see!

While we were finally able to remove Liam's cast, we didn't realize or at least I didn't realize that it was just to be replaced with a removable one.

We are still waiting to hear what time to arrive for surgery tomorrow morning.
This surgery will be an outpatient surgery meaning we will be released tomorrow after surgery but we will be staying in WPB for two more weeks for intense physical therapy.
Don't worry about us though as our hotel is filled with Dr. Paley's patients which include people from all over the world coming to have their surgeries performed by this awesomely talented and gifted man.
The stories here from patients are so wonderful to hear and you feel a connection as you are all in the same, familiar yet not necessarily exact boat.
After tomorrow's surgery we will find out if he will remain in a cast for 6 more weeks or if Dr. Paley feels he is stable enough without.
Also, if he feels he can begin bearing weight on the hip yet for physical therapy or if we need to just work on his range of motion.  
Please keep little man in your prayers as I know the moment we enter the hospital tomorrow morning he is going to fear the worst and panic will set in.
I'll update again tomorrow after surgery!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

X, Y and Z update!

X is for X-ray which we will be going to Florida for early since Liam is having complications with his leg.
Last week Liam was lucky enough to come down with "the poops" which is ever so fun in itself.
Now add being in a spica cast and having to have your Mom hover you over the toilet every time  you have to go.............yah we didn't make it every time.
Those poops just don't have patience for a Mama to undress and get her child in cast to the potty.
His cast is stinky to say the least!
My big plan of him gaining all this weight while being forced to sit still hasn't worked out so well for us as he is even scrawnier now than before surgery.
Adding insult to injury, around this time he also started complaining of his leg/back hurting.
While what I could see under the cast looked a bit "rashy" it looked alright.
This morning however after I washed him down I maneuvered him as best I could to get a peek down the cast and what I saw was an open incision and his bandages were wet with drainage with blood from the wound.
Oh how I feel so bad for this sweet boy of mine. :(
Dr. Paley decided to have him come early, like Monday early, to remove the cast, examine the wound and get an x-ray done to make sure of the healing.
On Tuesday he will remove Liam's wires with an outpatient surgery.
This will keep us in Florida until the 25th for physical therapy.
Just a little bit longer and Liam will be feeling much better!

Y is for "Yah baby!" which is what I said as we moved the last box into our new house after a loooong 14 hour move day.
Well I am sure I said other things along the way but that was the only PG thing I could post after such a day.
That move was SO very hard and seemed never ending as I swear with each box we put in the truck 2 more appeared waiting to be moved!
We are far from settled into the new house but all our beds are up and most of our clothing is put away.
We just need to tackle the garage little by little and it WILL get done!

Z is for Zany family and friends that keep me laughing and lighthearted for all of life's ups and downs and adventures along the way.
Without them I wouldn't be half as sane and resilient. :)
Love to them and to you my blogger friends.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

U, V and W update!

U is for U-Haul which we will pick up at 8 am for our move!
I had planned on have the entire house packed and organized for the move but seeing as how Alabama was under a winter storm state of emergency  (yah, I'm not going to go there) I have had all 5 of the kids home this week and it was not as productive as I had hoped.

V is for Volunteer which I feel so greatly blessed to be able to provide Reece's Rainbow as an Asia Coordinator!
You say you don't know what Reece's Rainbow is?
Well let me tell you it is the most amazing advocacy and adoption grant/fundraising organization.
The love and passion that goes into and comes forth from Reece's Rainbow is immeasurable!
Since Reece's Rainbow began in 2006, the total number of children who are now HOME with their families is... 994... and counting!
How blessed am I to be giving back in this small way when I've been SO very blessed to see children find their forever families, including our John!
I'll be featuring a waiting child every week in hopes that you or someone you know just might see your future son or daughter.
OR, maybe you want to help in other ways by making a tax deductible donation to help a child whose family is working hard to bring them home!

Tonight I would love to introduce you to Patton.

Patton is a happy 8 year old boy with a wonderful smile! He likes playing outside, riding the tricycle and playing on the playground. Patton chuckles when being teased by adults. He is darling and will be a wonderful addition to the right family. Can you see him on your family outings to the park? What a smile that would bring to his sweet face!
Patton's special need is Hypospadias .
A $5,000 agency grant is available, and his orphanage donation has been reduced and could possibly be waived completely.

W is for weight and I am still managing to make progress!
Despite not having the time or the weather conditions to work out since before Christmas I have managed to loose 22 lbs. since I began in November.
This is after gaining two lbs. during the holidays and then taking those off and loosing two more.
I've made it past my first goal and now have 5 lbs. to my second goal.
Keeping this traction to take off my adoption weight (yes there IS such a thing!) and get back down to a weight I look and feel great at for my 25th High School reunion this July is my ultimate goal.
If you are loosing weight with me I'd love to hear about it and what your goals are. :)

Sunday, January 26, 2014

R,S and T updates!

R is for reschedule which has happened to Liam's surgery.
It has been pushed back a week so now the surgery to remove the wires in his leg won't be removed until Feb 20th.
I hate him having to have his cast on one day longer as it's so tough on a 3 year old to be immobile and on your back all day long.
I will say though that Liam has the best spirit and he takes it all in stride and his only complaint is that he can't follow me or the others around to see all that is going on.
He just accepts how things are for the most part and goes along with it all. :)
I do worry how he will do when it is time for the surgery since at his dental cleaning last week he panicked when the gloves and mask went on the dental hygienist and the bib went on his chest. The poor guy cried and was shaking and you could just tell he was remembering the surgery. Hopefully with it only being an outpatient surgery this time he will do better being able to leave with me when he wakes.

S is for Sayonara which we will be saying to Spencer soon as she heads to Japan to live for the next 1-2 years!
We don't have an exact departure date until the Visa comes in which could be up to 3 more weeks.
I am so darn excited for her and the adventures she will have. :)

T is for testing which we are having done for John tomorrow.
While he is doing really well in school and progress with his English he is having other difficulties that we feel are holding him back.
His retention for stories just read is about 20%.
We have been working on letters for the past 6 months and he knows maybe half and even that isn't consistent.
This is happening in his Chinese school as well.
After two hours of being there learning he can't tell you a thing he learned other than they read a story but can't recall what it was about. The same for any of the words they worked on.
I feel really bad for him and am thinking maybe dyslexia or even ADD/ADHD.
I say this because he also has issue with focus, staying on task, being easily distracted, talking to the point of not making sense and repeating himself many times after what he is saying has been acknowledged. 
So for those reasons he is being tested tomorrow to see if we can get some answers and figure out the best way to go about helping him learn. :)

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Good news or bad news?

Which would you like first?
I'll start with the good news.
Actually it's great news!
Liam's hip looks amazing.
Here, see for yourself!

His wound was examined which looks great!

He was put into a permanent cast which he will wear for the next 5 weeks.
Which leads us into the bad news.
In 5 weeks we will be back here for an outpatient procedure to take out the wires you see in the x-ray.

At this time we will start physical therapy with a total length of stay of 2 weeks.

To think of that amount of time away from family again breaks my heart.
BUT, two weeks is a short amount of time in the big scheme of things and it will mean such great mobility for Liam.

We were able to change our flights home to tomorrow with no change fees. PTL!
Getting home might prove to be a big tricky in his cast flying but we'll just get creative.
Thank you all for your continued love and prayers for Liam.

Monday, January 6, 2014

The surgery

I am taking a break from my letter updates to let you all know how Liam's surgery went.
We arrived in West Palm Beach on Sunday late afternoon.
Liam is a great traveler and did really well on the bus ride and airplane.
The first thing I thought when we arrived was, it's HOT here!
Well that's not true. The very first thing I thought was, my bag was ruined!
Nothing in it was ruined so that's good. :)

The temperatures here have been AMAZING!
Warm and sunny for the most part, although we did have a day of rain but nothing a visit to the humongous malls here didn't fix.

We had our pre-op appointment on Monday which had us waiting in the hospital from 9:30 am to 4:00 pm. The kids were great though and I was very proud of them.
Last photo of Liam's legs before surgery.
 Tuesday morning we arrived at the hospital at 6:30 am.
Liam was great and others thought he had some "happy juice" before surgery because he was so silly and happy. Nope, just our great boy!

I was able to walk him back to the surgical room where I stayed with him, singing until the meds kicked in.

Surgery was to be anywhere from 4-10 hours depending upon what they would find once they opened him up.
Surgery actually began at 10am once they got the epidural in place.
By 3:30 we were informed that they were done except for closing him up, which would take another 1.5 hours.

Dr. Paley came out and told us that he actually didn't perform the SuperHip II surgery on him like he had planned but that Liam was the 3rd patient to ever receive the SuperHip III surgery.
Before now, patients with this hip condition where the ball was not existent or fused didn't undergo this surgery.
As of late, Dr. Paley had figured out a way to make this possible and we are so very grateful for this amazing man that is so into what he does and loves for his patients that he finds way to make the impossible, possible!
He used Liam's shortened femur and cut it into 3 pieces, using two of the pieces to make the hip function with the femur even shorter than before, but his lengthening will take care of that.

His stay in the hospital started with 1.5 days in PICU and once they were able to get his pain under control he went for another 2 days in the pediatric orthopedic floor.

He was very somber and not really himself while at the hospital.

I know he was sad and missed his siblings.
Once we were released he perked right up however and returned to his joyful self!

Our appointment on Wednesday will be to have Liam's cast redone and then if all goes well we are able to go home.
With the cast there is no physical therapy that will be done with this surgery.
That is 1.5 weeks early so I am trying to get our plane ticket changed but it isn't proving to be easy.
Delta wants way too much money to change the ticket and so I am will talk to my insurance company tomorrow and see what we can do.

We will be back down here 5 weeks from now to have some pins removed from his hip.
This is yet another surgery and I'm not too sure how Liam will handle this being so soon but I will get all my questions answered on Wednesday as to exactly what it entails for us.

Thank you all SO very much for keeping sweet Liam in your prayers.
He is doing amazing!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

P & Q update!

P is for pictures which were finally taken
now that all my kids were together.
 Spencer (21) McKenzie (18) Peyton (14)
 Isaac (11) John (8) Liam (3)
 You don't know how happy having them
all together makes me!
 All six have such different and wonderful personalities.
 It is now 6 months since John has been home
and he has changed so much!

Q is for quickly which is how time has been flying by these days.

We were blessed that McKenzie was able to take 5 days off of work and fly down to spend Christmas with us.
This was her fist time meeting John and the two got along so well!
John was not ready for her to leave but we promised him we would be seeing her again in July when we go back to Indiana for our 25th High School reunion.

Liam's surgery which seemed so far away is this Tuesday!
I will fly out with Liam and Jeff will drive down with the others since they only get to spend a week with us before school starts again. 
This surgery will keep Me and Liam in Florida until the middle of January which is the longest we have ever been away from home.

Another quick is that our new lease is signed and we will move into our new house the end of January which leaves only two weeks to get ready once we get home from Florida.

When I lay down to sleep I have all these things and more going through my head but I will just take one day at a time as not to overwhelm myself.
I truly feel at peace knowing things will be taken care of at home while I am gone and that Jeff will do a terrific job with the kids and school for the almost two weeks he will be doing his job and mine.

I will be updating Facebook during Liam's surgery so if you aren't a FB friend and would like an update before my next blog post just send me a request!