Sunday, July 31, 2011

"Hope is a Dangerous Thing"

Elizabeth made it through the surgery and is recovering well.  She is less than 2 weeks out and already running!  Her pain level is much lower than before the surgery.  We saw pictures of what her hip looked like inside and it was a mess.  The area that was filled with nerve endings was inflamed and frayed.  The surgeon cauterized and shaved the tendon thus destroying the painful area. 

All of this occurred up at the Cleveland Clinic.  This place is huge!  There are 3 hotels on the at least 29 block campus.  In one area it looked like a mall with shops and restaurants.  The day before surgery I think we walked the entire place trying to get all the tests completed so she could be cleared for surgery.

Elizabeth did stay over night after the surgery and I am very happy she did so.  She spent most of the day after the surgery sick to her stomach.  The surgeon said that he could not remember the last time he had an arthroscopic patient stay over the night, but it would have been a nightmare with 3 kids in the car and a 6 hour drive and having to stop while she got sick on the way.

The best thing about the surgery is that it has given Elizabeth hope.  She now understands that pain is not a permanent part of her life.  Sure, there will probably be times that she has pain, but it is not a constant.  "Hope is a very dangerous thing!" (I can't remember the movie, but I like the quote)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Elizabeth is Human

We are now a week away from Elizabeth's hip surgery.  She is very afraid and is having difficulty expressing it.  I think she thinks that she needs to be strong all of the time.  We compliment her on how strong she is and even said that she was, "freakishly sane" for a 13 year old.  She apparently is so upset by her surgery that she developed a "conversion disorder".  This disorder is apparently common amongst people that have chronic illness.  When the heart cannot express what it is feeling, those feelings are converted into a physical symptom, such as numbness, inability to talk or hear that otherwise has no physical reason for the symptom.  The people with conversion disorders are unaware that the symptoms are not real.

Elizabeth is so strong and does not show her emotions freely to anyone.  I think she is afraid to let herself go because she worries about everyone.  She told us that she was afraid to express her sadness or fear because it would "make everyone feel badly." 

I feel so badly for her right now that we have such an atmosphere in our family.  I feel mostly to blame as it was my inherited disease and I am the one that I think she wants to protect the most.  I also proclaim my faith and I think she needs to do the same.  But her faith is different than mine and it needs to be developed over time.  We reminded her that she is human and it is okay to cry and be scared.  I think I cried every day when I was 13 and I didn't have nearly the stuff going on that she does!

It is really hard to know what to do in this situation so we are turning to a psychologist for this one.  Of course the really good doctors do not accept insurance.  Not that money should deter us from helping her, but it is a big pill to swallow.

I do hope that she is able to find some peace through this process and maybe everyone could be helped. 

Also, this is a very sensitive subject, so please do not mention it in front of the kids. Thanks!

Erica is Doing Better

Erica is doing a little better.  I don't think she realizes it, but she is not complaining as much and she is not so dramatic at bed time.  She is also doing more for a long time.  I think this is directly linked to prayer.  I thank everyone who prayed for her.  I just have to convince her that she is doing better and to remember this time.  Do I believe this is a complete healing? No.  I had to come into her bedroom last night because she was in pain.  She does not even remember me rubbing her back.  I hope this is the start of a good period for her.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

My Yoke is Easy...

When is this all going to end?!  We have lived in crisis mode for so long, almost 3 years, and I cannot take it!  Right now my grandma is in the hospital with staff and MRSA. She had to have emergency surgery a couple of days ago to get the infection out of her knee.  Being 91 with diabetes, I do wonder what God's will is for her.

My mom has not felt well enough to leave the house lately because of a major headache and sinus infection.  She does not feel well enough to even go to the grocery store.

Elizabeth is unable to walk because her hip is "out" again.  The doctors think that the tendon in her hip that is torn gets caught between the bones.  It usually takes a couple of days for this to resolve for her.  To top it off, she broke her ankle on that side.  She is going to have surgery at the Cleveland Clinic at the end of July for her hip.  Hopefully this will be the beginning of the end of her hip problems.

Erica continues to have back pain.  At night her pain has been so bad that she begs to go to the hospital or heaven.  We are still waiting to hear about her back.  She has had testing done and a visit with the neurosurgeon and still no news on if she needs to have surgery for a tethered cord.  If she does have this condition, then she will undergo a minor surgery that could get her out of pain.

I have been in so much pain that I cry every morning getting out of bed.  My lower back is so bad that I cannot bend over for about 2 hours.  The medicine I take kicks in and I can finally get around.  The stress I am sure does not help.  I really need to get over it.

While I was praying for Erica I got so upset about the outcome that I felt convicted by God.  "I have plans to prosper you not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."  (Jeremiah 29:11)  God will be with us no matter what the outcome will be, surgery or no surgery. 

I praise God that he continues to bless us as we are in this storm.  Just as I feel like my strength is giving out, I am reminded that it is not my strength, but God's that gets us through.  In today's Gospel, "My yoke is easy and my burden is light."  Please help me lay down my burdens and take up the yoke of Jesus.