Thursday, September 30, 2010

Surgery Day

Ever since we have endured countless stressful appointments, MRI's with sedation, and surgeries, I have discovered a new type of nausea. I feel it in the pit of my stomach usually the night before. I sleep (restlessly), wake up with it, and then feel it escalate throughout the morning and into the procedure as I wait. I try to concentrate on other things, I take deep breaths, I pray, but it sort of lingers. After the procedure or appointment it finally rushes out of my system but then leaves an exhausting haze. Yes, "surgery day" is a long day! As ridiculous as it sounds, the person keeping me strong is my 20 month old, Carson. "Surgery day" seems like the sort of situation where the parent should be calming the child but this morning it was the other way around.
Carson was quite happy showing up at the hospital. He loved the various playrooms/waiting rooms with all the different toys. And he loved flirting with the nurses. Obviously, he didn't have a clue what was going on, but it kept me strong seeing him enjoying the morning. He has been through so much. I sometimes get emotional in the waiting rooms and in part it's because of the fear, but also because of all the past memories of similar situations which God has delivered us from. The endless waiting before the surgery gave me time to remember that God has always protected Carson and has strengthened us when we felt we were at our lowest low.
After the surgery, of course, Carson's good mood was long gone. He was very upset after waking up from the anesthesia. He sobbed angrily as bloody tears trickled from his eyes (quite a scary sight!). Seeing your child like this is a helpless feeling, but it was my turn to be the strong one.
It's 12 hours later and Carson is home and resting in his bed for the night. It was a long day, but he did great. Each time we endure a challenge like today, I feel stronger for the next.

Monday, September 27, 2010

"Before, and...."

Carson has been doing great lately! We recently finished another session at the Conductive Learning Center and it's amazing to watch his rapid progress in just a few short weeks. Throughout the session we continued to work with his walker (this has been the most challenging- Carson definitely has the ability to use it, but not the willpower. Why use this walker when I can crawl faster?!) He has also learned how to stand with his back against a wall and also palms against the wall when facing it. In other words, no supports to hold on to. He has also made unbelievable progress in cruising along furniture.

But the most amazing thing lately has been an answer to prayer. Several months ago one of Carson's biggest challenges was his lack of upper body strength which is unusual for Spina Bifida. Most kids with SB have pretty strong upper bodies and struggle with weakness on their lower halves. I suspected that the upper body weakness Carson was experiencing was due to his mild Cerebral Palsy. Anyway, I worried about his weakness and was afraid it would keep him from being able to support himself and that he wouldn't have the strength to be upright for a walking position. This was one of main prayer requests. When I meet with the conductors after his session they were very encouraged by the progress Carson made and said that his upper body weakness is no longer a main issue and that it shouldn't hold him back physically. Suddenly it was as if a weight was lifted from my shoulders. This is a big deal for us. Months ago I never imagined that he would be doing some of the things he is achieving now. God is good and is always blessing us. Carson has many challenges from his disability but it never keeps me from being thankful for all the abilities he does have. Carson is very blessed indeed.

Consider the photo a "before" picture. In a few days I will post an "after" hopefully showing straight eyes! Eye surgery is scheduled for this Thursday (Sept 30). Please pray for a successful surgery and peace of mind. As the date nears I grow more anxious. Although this is a small surgery it's still always hard. Carson does not do very well with sedation and it's tough to hand your child over to surgeons. Although I'm not eager for the procedure, I am eager for the results. Not only will his eyes straighten out, but he will also be able to develop bilateral vision.