Thursday, October 06, 2011


I have to confess that my blog has been a victim of my severe "burned out" status of late. I realise that it is terrible timing, because I know a lot of people having been watching for news of Avery and her post-op progress, but I have been exhausted!!! Every time I have sat down to update the blog, I have been too drained to actually do it. Even tonight, there are two videos I want to add to this post, but I know I won't muster up the will power to get up off the couch to turn on the computer and upload the videos. So you'll just have to come back for those in a few days ;)
Here's the good news though - Avery is doing well! And here are a whole bunch of pictures and (later) videos to prove it!! (Except these first two...)
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There was a moment or two during Avery's early recovery when she felt rather discouraged. It didn't last long. Before Avery had her surgery, we spent a lot of time preparing her for what was going to happen the day of the surgery, and why she was going to have it done. I also had to spend some time trying to quell her excitement, because she pretty much thought she was going to wake up and walk out of the recovery room. Apparently, I didn't do a good enough job of that. I think I already mentioned Avery's eagerness to try out her legs pretty much as soon as her general anesthesia wore off. I had run out to get her pain medication prescriptions filled, and she told Aunt Colleen that she wanted to try to walk. So Colleen helped her stand up, and she took one step, and of course, it hurt. She tried a few more times in the next day or two, and every time she did, she was in pain. So then she was afraid to try for quite a while. And then, after we got home, we were back in her safest, most comfortable environment, but it wasn't comfortable. She was still hurting, and on top of that, she was not only not walking, she was actually less independent than she was. Temporarily, of course, but I don't think she was prepared for that.

There! Now that we have the unhappy part out of the way, we can move onto happier times :)

When we were still in Texas, in one of Gabe's phone conversations with Avery he asked if she would like to have a "Welcome Home Party"! She loved the idea, but repeatedly insisted that it was just to be a family party, no friends! And the cake had to be a chocolate cake with strawberry frosting and vanilla sprinkles!! And we had to play musical chairs!! So on day 8 post-spml, we had a welcome home party :) Daddy went out and bought decorations and flowers :)
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My pretty girl :)

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"Present time!!" Avery announced, so I rushed downstairs and wrapped up Oliver's birthday present (a block table)... I hope he won't resent us for the rest of our lives!! And then it was cake time! 

Day 11 saw us back in northern Virginia for Avery's first week of intensive therapy. By that point, she was mostly pain-free. The only time it really seemed to hurt anymore was when I carried her sitting on my hip. She was still nervous about putting weight on her legs, but she was ready to get to work.
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Look at the way she's standing at the sink! Look at her legs! Look at her posture! Isn't it beautiful? :) And look at how my sweet boy tucked the baby doll into bed before he went to sleep :)

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And here are my two sick boys. Round one. They both got sick with colds during the first week away, and then again the second week. And then they were both perfectly healthy whenever we were home, in their own bedrooms, with Gabe around!! But really, that, and the fact that I had to miss half of her ABM sessions to keep the boys from being a distraction, were the only things that made the weeks away slightly difficult. My children are all super stars.
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Avery strapping her braces on before bed, and working in therapy with Catherine during her second intensive week.
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On September 26th it was time for Avery to get her casts cut off!! She was very excited, and was prepared for the noise :)

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To celebrate, we went and got Bubblecake :) And then we went home, and Avery played in the bath for about an hour and a half!! She went to bed a very happy girl.

Early tomorrow morning, we are all leaving for 3 days of therapy. Gabe gets to come with us this time too :) 

I also want to take a moment to say thank you. I have been amazed by the generosity of so many people. I don't even know how to express my gratitude. Family, close friends, and friends I have never met in person....  Thank you. You are making it possible for Avery to do all of this.

I promise to upload the videos when we get home :)


Anonymous said...

Thank you, Josephine, for this wonderful update and the marvellous photographs. I am not surprised by Avery's initial reaction - it's so hard to explain that a lot of pain and discomfort will eventually be worthwhile when 'time', 'patience' and 'waiting' are difficult concepts for a bright 5 year old - let alone the rest of us.
Josephine - I am amazed by your energy; I wish, wish, wish I could be there to help more. You have lovely children and those boys are a treasure.
Thank you again for finding the time and energy to keep us updated.
Avery's posture is amazing and the mere fact that she can lie on the sofa (even if in a funk) with one knee raised is a miracle I could never have thought possible.
Overseas Grandma

Lisa said...

I'm so happy for Avery :)

Anonymous said...

So happy to hear she is doing well x