Friday, December 30, 2011
Has it really been 10 days?
We are sorry for keeping our loyal followers waiting and worrying! These past 10 days have felt like one long, blurry nightmare for all of us. I have literally stopped in action, looked up to God and said, Why? Why is this happening to us -- to anyone? Give us the strength to do this! Let us know we are doing the right thing! Good news is, we've made it through what has been described by other lengthening families as the hardest part -- the first two weeks. This must be the truth because I can't imagine it being harder. Mariel's iron will has only made it more arduous. She fights everything. Unfortunately, there have been many unexpected "hiccups" and "curve balls" for us that we've been told are not the norm, but we've dodged each one. There have been several times over this past period that I've wanted to blog, but just didn't have the words or energy. I'll just shoot a few out there and let you use your imagination. Words such as: mental and physical exhaustion, frustration, guilt, anger, fear and endless worry. Not to mention the required intestinal fortitude and steady hand needed for some of the daily hands-on wound care that must be performed at home. Needless to say this has been a major adjustment for us all. I didn't want to use "Mariel's Rose" as a tool to vent as much as I wanted it to be a source of information about how *great* she is doing. So I will stop with my rant here and tell you that things seem to be getting marginally better over the past couple of days. We have gained an essential tool - confidence! Fear of the unknown is slowly diminishing. We've got a routine down now and each day we know what to do and what to expect. The curve balls are not flying about anymore and that alone has helped calm things significantly. Mariel is reluctantly participating in physical therapy, but she's doing it! Her muscles seem limber and she's gaining strength. She is sitting up at the waist and beginning to scoot around. It is expected that she will begin learning how to walk with her fixator later next week. Last night she had her first bath in the tub since we left home. She missed playing with her bath toys in the water so much. It's the little things that help to normalize this whole experience. We are trying our hardest to keep our eye on the prize. We are here to grow bone cells - and that is in fact already happening! Mariel had her first post-operative x-rays yesterday. The x-rays revealed that in just the past week alone, since we've begun making first adjustments to her fixator (which we do at home with our trusty wrench four times each day), she has already gained 1.3 cm, or about .5 inches of brand new bone (soft cells that will calcify over these next months). Miraculous, right? What a moment it was to see the x-rays yesterday. There it was right in front of us. All doubts removed. Reminded by radiographic proof that all of this is indeed worth it and that even if she doesn't know it yet, Mariel will be much better off for it in the very near future!