Friday, February 28, 2014

the fog has lifted

I am happy to report that the anesthesia fog has lifted as of 5:30 a.m.  Little Miss was up bright & early ready to rule the world.  Since the world was still sleeping, she took to bossing Mommy.
First order of business was a trip to the potty (not an easy thing when you've GOT to go & the nurse's assistant isn't coming fast enough to unhook the worries, Mommy took matters into her own hands just in time), then some chocolate milk & fish crackers, & most important, hair brushed & into a ponytail.  She also ordered the cast off; while I'm not afraid of unhooking some wires & pushing a pole around while getting Little Miss to the potty on my own, my super powers end at cast removal.
Remarkably, she has not had any pain meds since last night.  One of her doctors stopped by first thing this morning & is happy with how she's coming along. We're hoping to be on our way home soon!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

surgery update

The surgery is over & we are settled into our room.  Kemeri's doctors came to speak with me while I was still in the waiting room & showed me pictures on the camera (I am totally wishing now I had snapped some pics of those pics with my cell phone, but my mind doesn't work that way).  It took longer than anticipated because Kemeri's anatomy was a little "tricky" (their words).  Kemeri had a very teeny, tiny nubbin as a forefinger. They found that it was not going to have any function, so they actually used it as the graft for Kemeri's thumb.  Because of this, they were able to initiate blood flow to the area, so her thumb should grow right along with her. Is that not amazing!?  They found that she has some reaction in the tendons going to the pinky side of her hand, so hopefully they will strengthen, which will open up some other possibilities down the road.  Kemeri will have quite a fancy zigzag scar on the inside of her arm where they released her amniotic band (which should help those tendons!).  They also increased the indent between her thumb & left finger area to hopefully enable her to pinch her thumb against in order to grasp objects.  I think that's everything in very simplistic terms, but you get the idea.
She picked purple for her cast (that thing is a whopper, & judging from her annoyance with it in recovery, I will not be surprised if I catch it in the face before the night's over), & she has already said to "Get it off!!"  She also said in recovery, "Mom, I scared of doctor."  My heart.  Thankfully, the pain meds have kicked in & she's resting comfortably.  We appreciate the thoughts & prayers!

surgery day

Kemeri's surgery has begun. I am continually amazed at her courage. I had to wake her up at 4:15 a.m., & she happily got dressed to head out on our adventure. Her trust in us is humbling.
Even being bummed that she couldn't have something to drink, she was still smiling.
When her doctor came in to make a mark on her hand for surgery, she asked Kemeri if she'd like a smiley face or a flower. Kemeri confidently chose both, which the doctor got a kick out of.
I am anxious to learn what they discover & which route they chose to go today regarding the bone graft.  I'm even more anxious to hold my girl & tell her how much I love her & how brave she is.

Friday, February 21, 2014

upcoming surgery

I mentioned in my last post that Kemeri has a surgery coming up.  I am thankful we got to spend most of this past week in Myrtle Beach while Joe was speaking at a conference.  Even though it was not super warm (it snowed over 6 inches back home right after we left, so no complaints!) & we did some sightseeing at Beach Urgent Care (Mommy & 3 kiddos have the bronchial crud), it was a nice break for just being together.
Anyway, we are back home & since I'm sitting still trying to get rid of this coughing yuck, I thought I'd take a minute to share about Kemeri's surgery.  When Kemeri first came home, we had lots of pressing things to address, first & foremost being her tethered spinal cord.  She had that surgery 2 months after coming home.  As part of her initial consultations, we were also referred to the orthopedic hand doctor since Kemeri has amniotic banding & is missing the fingers on her left hand.  To be honest, when we first looked at her medical file, we were very aware of this "special need" but accepted it as how our little peanut is fearfully & wonderfully made.  We didn't investigate it any further because we were focused on getting medical advice about the spina bifida.
Much to our surprise, the ortho doctor has teamed up with the pediatric plastic surgeon & have a whole plan in place to make Kemeri's left hand the best helper hand it can be.  At first, I was apprehensive because nobody wants to see their child go through surgery and also because I love her just the way she is.  However, we also realize that it's our job as parents to look at the big picture & do everything we can to best equip her for life.  As she has gotten bigger, we have begun to see how it is difficult for her to do certain things being unable to have a hand to grip objects with, which is the eventual goal of this & probably future surgeries.  So, this coming Thursday she is scheduled for a 5-hour surgery to do the following (I'm sharing this because we would love specific prayers for these procedures, & I also know I have readers that may be considering adoption of a child with things similar to Kemeri):
"Reconstruction of the left thumb with bone graft (from hip or left wrist) with temporary pin fixation, possible tendon transfers (improve thumb opposiotion), exploration of the left hand/wrist for future tendon transfers to the fingers with possible release of nerve and tendons from scar tissue.  Release and local tissue rearrangement (deepening) of the 1st web space & release of hte distal forearm band on the volar surface."
That's the technical stuff.  The good stuff is that we had some fun in the sun . . .
A special trip to Build-a-Bear for a lovie to take to the hospital . . .
and prayers on the beach for a successful surgery for Kemeri Abigail!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

family happenings

Basketball season just came to an end.  After not winning a single game last year, Kade's 8th grade team ended the season with a winning record & finished runner-up in the conference tournament.  This is a picture after one of his games with his biggest fans (except Kam, who was coaching her team).  We loved watching Kade play with so much heart & intensity.  His leadership & sportsmanship make us very proud.
We have a new nephew! Kendi was so funny, totally playing it "cool" when she met her new cousin. Then she appeared over my shoulder wanting to hold him. Precious.
Look at this kid! Only after coming across some older pictures did I realize just how much K'Tyo is changing.  No more baby fat in those cheeks!
We have had many (many) snow days, which has been okay by me.  With lots of indoor play happening, these tents have been popping up all over.
It's amazing how calm Kemeri is waiting to see her hand specialist when her sister is along.  We had her pre-op appointment the other day & are scheduled for surgery on 2/27.  I will blog about this in more detail soon.
Kaya had a very special night with Daddy attending her first father/daughter dance. (Little story of reality:  We've had so much bad weather that I kept having to postpone a shopping trip for a dress. I wouldn't hesitate to use something we already have, IF WE HAD SOMETHING! We wear pretty casual stuff to church, so I had nothing as a back-up.  The night before the dance, Kade played in the championship game of their conference tournament.  We drove two cars, & after the game, Kaya & I headed to the mall while Joe took the other kids home.  We walked in, I saw a rack of clearance in the midst of all the spring clothes that are already out with ONE dress in her size.  It fit her beautifully (which is not easy) & she loved it! God in the details, people!!)
Daddy took Kaya to visit Grandma all dressed up.
The kiddos also made a visit to Joe's mom (affectionately known as "Grandbones") to wish her a happy 75th birthday (& yes, Kendi is wearing a Hawaiian dress for the occasion).
Like many, we've had our share of fevers & sniffles.  Yesterday, Kemeri was down.  Gus takes the yuckies very seriously, feeling the need to offer snuggles (nevermind that he's 60 lbs. & twice the size of Kemmy).
Finally, another bit of reality.  It's the week of Valentine's Day, which inevitably means that somebody will be required to take a valentine box to school.  Sure enough, K'Tyo came home with *the note* about *the box*.  I just refuse to jump on pinterest & partake of the insanity that has become the norm for some school projects.  Enter shoe box, aluminum foil, tape (lots of tape), & pipe cleaners.  It's a whacky-looking box, but when Kaya said, "Mom, K'Tyo's box makes me smile", I waved the victory flag, if only for those few giggly moments until this crazy-dude-box is sitting next to a fully-detailed pirate ship box.  Until then, Happy Valentines Day (or Say No to Drugs...we haven't quite decided which slogan would work better with this guy).