Monday, May 19, 2014

kemeri's post-surgery progress

Kemeri had her hand surgery the end of February.  I had intended to update before now, but in all honesty, it's been about healing until just recently.  Her cast was on for 6 weeks, & then she was fitted for a custom splint to protect her hand as it healed further.  At this point, I have to tell you peeps that this girl is a rock star.  After a day of complete annoyance with that HUGE purple cast in the hospital, she never complained about it again.  And she managed NOT to clock anyone with it...Bonus!
To recap, once they got into surgery, they opted to do a transfer instead of a bone graft from her arm or thigh.  They found that her forefinger nubbin did not have any viability, so they transferred it to her thumb, which has now become the extension of her thumb.  Since it was done this way, there's actually blood flow & her thumb should grow with her.  Amazing.  The doctors also increased the indent between her thumb & other fingers in the hopes that eventually, she will have some type of grip with her left hand.  And if that wasn't enough, they released little girl's amniotic band on the underside of her arm where it presented as being the most constricted to hopefully encourage more strength in the tendons.  They do this with a zig-zag incision to avoid scar tissue causing a problem.  Here's fair warning:  There are a couple pictures below from right after her cast was removed.  Personally, I don't think they are too horrible b/c everything is scabbed over, but if it's not your thing, scroll quickly. :o)
Here she is post-surgery...Sleeping Beauty
About 6 weeks later, she had the cast removed.  You can see that they placed 2 pins into her thumb to keep everything in place as it healed.  Those pins were long!  Kemeri was amazing & just sat on my lap as the doctor pulled them out.  Bless her heart, I think she was just so happy to be able to rub her itchy arm!
Here, you can see the indent a bit better.  Like I said, a lot of scabbing, but it has been healing really well.
Somehow I have neglected to get a good picture of her special splint, but you can see it here.  It's more fun to share a picture with Grandpa & siblngs anyway.  I was fascinated with how they made her a custom splint.  She got to pick the colors (bright pink plastic with purple velcro straps), & they warmed the plastic material to make it pliable, & then shaped it around her little hand/arm.
Last week, we began therapy with an OT that specializes in the hand.  The girls are quite popular at this facility because all of their patients are typically teens and adults.  The first session was a little sketchy.  This picture was taken as a bribe to do what she was being asked to do & we would show it to Daddy.  Otherwise, she was not real interested in relaxing her elbow to do anything since she's been favoring her arm for so long.  We did find out that we could start weaning from wearing the splint, which I think has really helped her to start thinking to use her left hand again.
Proud Mommy time:  We had another therapy session the other day...Kemeri Abigail worked so hard!!  Her therapist was amazed at her determination & started saying, "Get a picture of this! Oh, this is a good picture!"  She was doing awesome!!  Confession:  I had a lump in my throat.  Her inner strength just overwhelms me.
She was using her left hand so much that I think all the pictures are blurry b/c that hand was in motion, but hopefully you can see how well it is healing!!
And for the finale, THIS.  Miss Jan asked her to place the pegs in her left hand & then place them in the holes.  And she did.  She didn't have much "squeeze", but those pegs were just the right shape to fit in the space between her thumb and fingers.  So proud & amazed by her.

Friday, May 9, 2014


I've decided to give myself a gift for Mothers Day.  Initially, it may look like some sort of fast or sacrifice, but in reality, it is freedom.  I'm breaking off my dysfunctional relationship with facebook.  The problem with dysfunctional relationships is they hide behind a mask of normal.  Before you know it, it's a habit with a false sense of security & reality that you develop a dependence on to distract you from the things in life that you'd sooner forget about.  The problem is this dependence turns into a distraction from all the things you treasure the most.
Since I'm all about transparency, these last few years have been some of our hardest around here.  While we had the amazing privilege of becoming parents to four more sweet children during this time, we've also lost a beloved father and  two grandparents, dealt with disappointments in situations & people, forged our way through a doctoral program, experienced two of our babies spread their wings & leave the nest, all the while trying to be mindful of the path God would have us travel.
But I lost my way.  The need for encouragement, affirmation, & comfort had me turning to FB.  Facebook became my connection to a false reality that allowed avoidance of the stuff that hurts. While I believe in transparency, I also believe in not throwing privacy out the window, so my list may not seem like a big deal compared to other tragedies in the news (which right there is part of my problem...I diminish our personal hard by comparing it to other hard), but it has proven to be a challenging season. 
Here's the problem with avoidance...It's kinda like dog poop in the winter.  You can pretend it's not there, but when the snow melts, it's still there.  I wouldn't know this on a personal level.  I did mow the dog poop grass the other day, though.
Where were we?
Oh, right, avoidance.  Doesn't work.  Not good.  And while you're avoiding the crap (ha!), you're also being distracted away from all that's good in your little world & all that God may be trying to teach you in the midst of it all.  We are emotional beings.  We are meant to experience life with feelings, the good ones & the bad ones.  Those feelings...they grow your heart & strengthen your grit.  I fear I have temporarily bought into the lie that my connectedness to a happy life happens through a screen.
So, here we are.  I've missed blogging because it feels more intentional, so as it fits, I will continue to share bits on family & other topics close to my heart.  As for facebook, I'm off indefinitely.  I am off to spend time with the Lord, walk through the grief & other hard feelings, & to enjoy those I treasure most...
"Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
 but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint."  ~Isaiah 40:30-31

Monday, May 5, 2014

this kid

Kyler David.  My fourth child; my first son.  I realize I don't say a whole lot about him on this blog, but let me tell you, there's much to say.  This kid...well, he's grown into one of the neatest young men I've ever met.  He turned 18 this past November (he & K'Tyo share a birthday, & yes, I'm just now getting around to posting a picture) & shortly after, graduated early from high school.  He is already finishing up his first semester of college!

His heart is huge.  Some people think he's quiet, but he's not.  He just lets his actions and conviction speak louder than his words.  His sense of humor is awesome, & his easygoing, patient demeanor he gets from his father.  He has worked as a junior counselor the past two summers at a camp for children with special needs and behavioral issues & has been hired as a full counselor for this summer.

Anyway, he has been pretty much business about getting through high school with not much interest in school dances.  However, a friend that also works at the same camp asked him to her school's prom.  I don't put much stock in feeling like you have to do all these high school things, but I confess, I was pretty excited to see this guy in a tux!  What a fun time to see them all dressed up, & since it was a little rainy, pictures were taken at a car museum owned by a friend of Emily's family.

I am so blessed by this son of mine.  It is truly a privilege to witness him growing up.  I pray God continues to bless his journey into adulthood with fruitful experiences that help him grow into the gifts He has given him.