Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Four Days Post Rotationplasty: Go, Hannah, Go!

Hannah's Mom updated her progress again today.  From home! My admiration grows with every communication detailing this young girl's courageous journey.  I've copied below the section that I find most inspiring, as it details some of the intricacies of adjusting after rotationplasty -- an orthopedic surgery I'd never heard of before being referred to Hannah's CaringBridge Journal.

[In case you were wondering how I "pick" the four kids I follow, I don't -- not in over two years, anyway.  I wait for the day when one child's journal entry asks for intercessory prayer on behalf of another child.  I'm all about referentiality, "degrees of separation."]

If you decide to follow Hannah, please be a faithful cheerleader.  In the days and years ahead, there are going to be some rough times of inertia to offset the many good times of clear and positive progress. But be real... I think this kid is equipped, not just with a "new" leg, but with all kinds of radar!

This amazing child, only 4 days past her rotationplasty, was able to leave the hospital and go home. Now that her body has changed so dramatically, we are all in a bit of a learning curve as to how to navigate the logistics of everyday "normal" life. I will never again take getting in and out of a chair for granted. The amazing thing is that this girl is able to get in and out of her wheelchair on her own, with only the help of another person to balance her. I've taken a few videos that I'm going to try to upload to YouTube so you can see just how determined and strong she is. The only physical difficulties she is facing at this point is the splint on her "new" leg-which must stay on at least 2 weeks-maybe longer. She's wrapped from her rotated foot all the way up to around her hip and waist. That makes navigation challenging at best. Also, the thigh muscles are having to be retrained b/c they aren't really thigh muscles--they're actually calf muscles. We're having to train them to go in the opposite direction than normal. This is a challenging and painful process but she's doing exercises to help with this. Once the splint is off, she'll then have to train her ankle muscles to go the opposite direction as well. 

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