Wednesday, April 8, 2015

hand surgery {take 2}

Last year, I posted this update following Kemeri's first hand surgery.  She has continued to make some progress, but not quite as much as her specialists think is possible.  She has a very slight amount of "squeeze" between her new thumb and the rest of her hand, but not enough to be super helpful.  We were told in the beginning that more than one surgery was a possibility, and here we are.  We are scheduled for tomorrow morning to have a tendon transferred with the hope that it will enable her to have more strength and movement in her thumb (think zippers, buttons, & all kinds of other everyday things people don't typically think twice about).  Thankfully, this surgery is not as intensive as the other one, so the recovery time should be less.

I do want to address something as best I can.  Someone recently made a snarky comment that put me a little on the defensive (I try not to go there, but you know, I'm human).  The decision to opt for surgery on Kemeri's hand is NOT for cosmetic reasons and was not made lightly.  After lots of research, discussions, opinions, etc., we decided surgery was worth pursuing to increase the practical functionality of Kemeri's left hand.  To be honest, her specialists have talked of doing a toe transfer, but we didn't feel like that was an avenue necessary since Kemeri has one fully formed hand.  If that's something she chooses to pursue down the road, we would fully support her in that.  However, the best chance for success with the tendon transfers and release are while she is young, so those decisions we had to make for her based on what we felt was in her best interest now.  Every child with a limb difference is unique in what might be a good intervention or not.  We love our Kemeri Abigail's little hand, period.  We are not trying to make it look a certain way, but we are trying to bring her some strength and greater functionality.  She is talking openly about her surgery tomorrow and is excited that we are trying to make her thumb move more so she can hold things with her left hand...she practices all the time!  Anyway, I never, ever mind someone asking about our decisions at all!  It's really quite amazing and interesting to see and learn about all of the different options, so I am more than happy to share.  I just don't do so well with assumptions that are contrary to reality. :)

I will try to update from the hospital tomorrow...we would love your prayers for a successful surgery!

1 comment:

kayder1996 said...

Oh I feel your pain on the last "how could you?" bit. Not from people I would have expected to hear it from but from people within the limb difference community. I have heard comments about how doing a toe transfer is disfiguring a good foot, how it is creating scars on an unscarred body, etc.. So hard to hear that when you have agonized over a decision. Part of the issue is that we live in an age where everyone is an expert even though they are not. They read something online or have an opinion and they want that to carry as much weight as the opinions of hand surgeons and orthopedic doctors who do this for a living. Hope your surgery is successful!