I Must Need to Write

I am exhausted. I can prove that statement by the reaction a colleague gave me at work today. I’d just returned from a pitch in New Jersey, and he took one look at me and said, “You look tired.” He’s right. I am tired. But apparently not tired enough to sleep. So I figure I must need to write. I feel guilty for not being able to write in this blog more – and I miss it. Tonight, I hope writing will be the sleeping aid I need.

Catherine had a really good post-op check up on Monday. In fact, when the Physician Assistant came in, she took one look at Catherine and said, “She’s just three-and-a-half weeks out? She looks great!” That’s never a bad thing to hear. Apparently our efforts at PT and stretching and positioning are paying off, and the surgeon is quite pleased. I am extraordinarily thankful for the surgeon’s approach in not using a spica cast. Catherine’s incisions healed well, we were moving her hips less than 24 hours after surgery, and because we have to  move her hips every time we change a diaper or move her to a new position, she’s remaining flexible rather than atrophying constrained by a cast.

Nearly every friend I have who has had a child go through this surgery has told me how bad it is. Beyond the pain, the “bad” comes from secondary issues related to the cast. Most surgeons cast children post-op from mid-chest to mid-thigh. You can imagine what that means for a kid who wears a diaper. I’d heard stories about trying to keep the diaper area clean – bacteria getting into incisions and creating infection. When our surgeon told us about the studies he’d  done and the fact that he’d not seen any difference in bone healing without a cast and tremendous improvement in secondary issues, Brian and I were convinced. So, now that we’re past Labor Day – the mark I had in my mind for Catherine’s most intensive recovery time – all I can say is that I am extraordinarily grateful for Dr. Freeman Miller and AI duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, DE. They were recently ranked #6 in the country by US News and World Report for pediatric orthopedics.

I wrote about how I was nervous Dr. Miller would be hungry during surgery. The morning of surgery, Sarah and I made him a goodie bag with an apple, a banana and a granola bar. Sarah decorated it, and we wrote him a note asking him to take good care of her sister. The next day, we got a note from him for Sarah, handwritten, thanking her for the food and telling her she gave him good energy for the surgery. A handwritten thank-you note from a surgeon to a 2 year old! After that, he ranks # 1 to us.

Despite the good news, Dr. Miller reminded us of the pain Catherine still feels and suggested we not return to 100% normal just yet. I’m no longer sure what 100% normal is. And I’m not sure it matters as long as Catherine continues healing well.

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One Comment

  1. Hi Ellen:) Was attempting at clean up my inbox this afternoon after school and found one from you the day of MEAC, and realized I had somehow overlooked the link to your blog. I wanted to leave a comment – I have read it in its entirety, and I feel blessed and thankful to you for sharing the link — late as I am in responding. Catherine and Sarah are very special girls (I don’t have to tell you that!) So, anyway…. thank you SO much for sharing 🙂 -Sara

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