Isaiah 43:5

Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west. Isaiah 43:5

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Lucy's Life in an Ex. Fix. (part 3 of 3) - Month 1

There is so much to love about BIG families.  There is never ever a dull or boring moment on the ranch.  Family life still happens around an ex. fix and wheelchair. Lucy's brother, Kaden got in on the orthopedic action when he recently broke his foot!  While out with his brothers boulder climbing on a lovely spring night he twisted (and broke) his right foot after jumping from one boulder to another!  Thankfully in lieu of a plaster cast, he was fitted for a walking cast so he's still able to bathe on his own and get up and down the stairs!  On the way home from the orthopedic specialist office, I called Merle to fill him in on what the doctor had to say.  THEN.... we erupted into laughter!  Full out belly laughing like idiots for several minutes!   Call it comic relief, luney parents or no more words needed, this is our life understanding  between husband and wife.....
After what felt like the longest winter on record, we're thrilled to finally welcome spring and spend time outdoors......
Still able to help with pushing a wheelchair too!

Boys, Bikes, Wheelchairs and one wee Girl!
On a recent Sunday afternoon family walk, Kaden
joined Lucy by riding in a wheelchair during this long walk.
On a far more exciting family note, our family will be growing again soon!  Lucy's big brother, Kurtis is getting married!!  While Faith has been a part of our family for a few years now, she will become an official "Zimmerman" next Spring!  And once upon a time, Faith also lived in China (and Thailand).  Her family served the Lord faithfully for many, many years among these two people groups.   Faith and her sweet family bring a lot of personal experience with Asian culture and shared some of that experience and knowledge with us before we traveled to China to bring our girl home!
Congratulations to the beautiful couple!

Big families are a blessing!
  Lucy's nephews and BFF are small enough to sit with her and keep her company in her big 'ole wheelchair:

I am so grateful for Lucy's big brothers, John-Merle and Karter who are strong and helpful in moving Lucy girl from point A to point B!

If variety is the spice of life, then Lucy girl's got a lot of spice sprinkled in her life.  She's a "well rounded" little girl.  From nail painting parties:

playing matchbox cars and trains with her brothers (and LOVING it!)
 I whined in the last post about not liking this hard part of Lucy's medical journey. But as you can see from the pictures above, there has been joy in the journey as well.  We have been blessed with loving friends.  Prayers, cards, gifts, visits, "check in " phone calls or a quick text message have meant so much to us in this journey - sources of encouragement/fuel for our journey.  The creative and unique gifts have been invaluable in passing time in a wheelchair.  THANK YOU friends for walking this journey with us, praying for us and encouraging us!  ONE MONTH DOWN, TWO TO GO!  



Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Lucy's Life in an Ex. Fix. (part 2 of 3)

*click on pictures to enlarge
Some current routines pertaining to Lucy's care while in her ex. fix.:
Daily Ex. Fix. Turns:
While we're not enjoying this phase of orthopedic correction, we're so grateful that we can see such great forward progress.  The ex. fix. is doing it's job.
Lucy's right leg has never been so straight!!!  Literally.  Each day I turn the small silver knob (pictured below) 4x throughout the course of the day.  Each turn puts Lucy's leg into a straighter position in teeny tiny increments.  Turning the knob does not seem to hurt Lucy but we do try and make sure all four turns are completed several hours before bedtime as we've been told it can be "achey".  Just a few weeks more of "turning" and we'll be done!

Dr. vanBosse has an arrow you can see in picture as
to which direction to turn the knob

It's hard to see in a picture but the silver that you can see
within the tube wasn't there a few weeks ago - each turn of the knob
gets us closer to "filling the tube" and reaching the goal of a perfectly
straight leg!

I know it's hard to see a straighter leg with
the ex. fix. on
Having her leg become much straighter did pose a wee bit of a problem in that she recently could no longer put her leg under her "wheelchair table" because she needed to turn her leg and now that it's straighter , she can't put it in that position.  I knew exactly WHO to whine to about this problem;  will give you two guesses who came up with a solution within two minutes!
Problem resolved (having a "straight leg" is a wonderful
problem to have really!!

Bathing while in an ex. fix.:
Daily baths are a part of Lucy's routine.  Dr. vanBosse wants us to make sure to keep the leg and ex. fix. as clean as possible. There are so many entry points for infection and because of this Lucy needs to be on an antibiotic for the entire three months she's in the ex. fix.   Therefore he wants her bathed each day immersing the entire ex. fix. in water.  We have a large kitchen sink that Lucy can fit into (with her ex. fix!!) and that makes life a lot easier on this Mama (and her back) with the daily bathing routine.  
Little Miss in her hooded bath towel

Squeeky clean!
Weekly visits to Shriner Hospital to see Dr. vanBosse in Philadelphia:
Since surgery in mid March we've needed to make regular (weekly) visits to have Lucy's leg x-rayed and checked by Dr. vanBosse.  Dr. vB did have to adjust the ex. fix. as one of the horse shoe shaped parts of the ex. fix. had slipped (unnoticed by her parents!) and was resting on her foot.  Not good.  During one of the visits he got out his tool box (and I mean a literal tool box!) and made the necessary adjustments.

Daddy continues to be right by her side
on this journey!
Weekly x-rays to make sure internally
everything is looking ok

Words can't express our gratitude to this fabulous, kind and caring
physician (Dr. Harold vanBosse)!  He sees so many difficult orthopedic
cases each day but is ALWAYS wearing a smile!
Creative positions/methods while in an ex. fix.:
While I originally thought there was limited positions to be in while in an ex. fix. (sitting or laying on back), as Lucy gains comfortability in her ex. fix. she's surprising us.  Only about a week and a half ago, I found her sleeping on her stomach!  (no worries, we're told she can get into whatever position she's comfortable and it will not affect the ex. fix.).  She's also taken to "scooting on her bottom"(with a cloth under her leg so as not to leave long scratches on our floors as a trail to get short distances.
Who'd of thought you could lay on your belly
with a cage on your leg?!

Notice the pillows at her back?  Sometimes it feels so
good to lay flat and stretch out!
This portion of Lucy's medical journey has been tough.  In fact many days I wish I could yank off the ex. fix. (and throw it to the moon!) and just hold my girl in my lap without metal drilling into my thigh.   I've been found to have less than a stellar attitude many days.  Truthfully, I hate dealing with my own selfish emotions more than I do dealing with the extra care that my daughter takes. Situations like this force you to see the real you and quite frankly I'm not likin' what I'm seein' most days.   Irritation, selfishness, and complaining keep stepping back into my house like uninvited guests.
I've heard well meaning comments such as "children are so resilient, aren't they?!" and on days I'm not in the mood to hear trite comments- this is what I hear that comment as "it's not that bad, she'll bounce around".
 All things considered, Lucy IS doing  well, she is healing and the ex. fix. is correcting her leg.  She IS remarkably RESILIENT (to which all glory goes to God!) but some days I just don't want to hear trite comments from someone who's not walked a similar path.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Lucy's Life in an Ex. Fix. (part 1 of 3)

Lucy is now just over one month post op and one-third of the way done with wearing "the cage" around her leg.  Overall adjustment, recovery and the healing process is going ok having had only a few complications thus far into the process.  However, I wouldn't call this process easy.  We're still very much counting down the days until ex. fix. removal.........
*click on picture to enlarge
Thanks so much D. family for the fun and ymmy
lollipop countdown bucket.....
"a lollipop a day keeps the grumpies away"

Thanks A.S. for the paperchain countdown - we look forward
to pulling a ring off each night at bed time!
It's now noticeably smaller and that makes us HAPPY!

Adapting to a wheelchair and wheelchair adaptions:
Many thanks to her dear Pop Pop (AGAIN!), Lucy is able to do things more comfortably and conveniently in her wheel chair.  You see Lucy's ex. fix. extends above her knee -  alot.  In fact we are not able to wheel her chair under a table.
Here's a picture of how high up the ex.fix extends above her knee

So what does a MacGuyver Pop Pop do when told "can't".  He creates something that can!
Pop Pop temporarily took the arms of the wheelchair off
and replaced them with longer arms that had velcro

A removable "table top" was created to "stick" on the arms of the
 chair giving Lucy Kim a table top to eat from, color on top of
and play games on!

When you can't get to the table, bring the
table to you - THANKS POP!

Doubles as a puzzle table 

Easter dinner?  No problem - here's what "dining for two" looks like ....