Tuesday, February 24, 2009

SURGERY #7, A WAY OF LIFE FOR MY 13 YR OLD...



Today is surgery #7 on my 13 year old's arm.  He is really amazing about it.  I think God sometimes knows exactly what kind of qualities people need to survive.  God has blessed him with a wonderful attitude and confidence in his doctor. 

We knew the day he was born that his right arm had a problem.  It was swollen and unuseable.  It had a large red band on it, which we found out later was an amniotic strand, something undetectable by any test, that can wrap itself around any body part and take off limbs.  He also had a scar where the skin had grown together when they pulled his arm down.  By 6 months old, it was looking fairly normal and he was using it.  About age 4 we noticed his ulna was sticking out.  It was a result of the radius not growing.  Was it a result of the amniotic strand?  Did it damage the growth in his radius?  We'll never know.  We just know that it wasn't quite normal.  After some tests, surgery #1 was performed in kindergarten to place a marker on the bone and try to stimulate the radius' growth plate.  We saw the doctor every 6 months-1 year to determine if it was growing.  It was determined that we should wait and watch until puberty and consider bone lengthening.  He had his first bone lengthening surgery in 5 th grade.  Our doctor had never done an arm, but had done legs before.  He had consulted the guru in Baltimore, who had learned the Ilizarov method of bone lengthening from Dr. Ilizarov in Russia.  We decided to stay here in Oklahoma after getting feedback from several health professionals that Dr. Davey was indeed the best orthopedic doctor in Oklahoma for the job.  Surgery #2 went like this:  Go in, break the bone, insert two pins to an external stabilizer rod, and we turn the pins 1/4 turn several times a day , and as the bone  heals, it is stretched and made longer.  It worked for the most part.  Surgery #3, same thing on the ulna.  Surgery #4, Wrist is dislocating, place more pins in to keep it stabilized.  Surgery #5, Take pins out of ulna and wrist, Surgery # 6, Finally get pins out of the radius!  All of this took about 2 years.  Today, surgery #7, is to take out the growth plate at the ulna so it doesn't grow on it's own and mess up everything we've accomplished.  This will happen again around age 18, to get his right arm up to speed with the left.  We feel blessed that he even has his arm, and it is useable.  When you see the damage amniotic strands can do, we really feel blessed.  I personally feel it happened late in my pregnancy, because his arm had mostly formed, and it (the strand) wasn't tight enough to totally cut it off.  Supposedly these things have no genetic links, they just happen sometimes.  But my sister-in-law lost a baby midway through her pregnancy due to an amniotic strand being wrapped around the umbilical cord and cutting off all nutrients to the baby.  So you see why we are thankful.  

Sunday, February 22, 2009

BACON EXPLOSION...NOT PART OF MY USUAL LOWFAT LIFESTYLE, BUT...



I just had to try making it for my husband's birthday after having it at a friend's house a couple of weeks ago!  It's a wonderful bacony, sausagey, barbecuey thing! 

 I honed my basket weaving skills while I was at it!  Check out "BACON EXPLOSION" on the internet - I'm sure your husbands will thank me....

Monday, February 16, 2009

70'S SKATEBOARDING VS. 00'S RIPSTICKING


So, you might never have guessed, but I was a "skater" back in the 70's.  A skateboarder, that is.  I was just reflecting on how skateboarding has changed:

In the 70's the basic skateboard was wooden.  I was lucky and got a hot pink heavy duty plastic GT Spoiler, about 1975.  I would've never remembered that brand, but it's in my garage right now.  Broken (by my kids) but I just couldn't give it up!  

Today there are SKATEBOARDS and LONGBOARDS and RIPSTICKS, and who knows what else?  My son has had several, and currently owns a Ripstick.  

I skateboarded down my friend Janet's long cement driveway, because mine was gravel.  Today my 13 yr. old ripsticks down streets, sidewalks, and has gotten run off of college campuses!  They have even created skateparks specifically for these kids!  

We wore what our mothers insisted on - playclothes!  Today they make all kinds of helmets, knee pads, elbow pads, etc.  that my kid probably should wear.  Lot of cool clothes too.  

My tricks consisted of sitting down on the skateboard and making it all the way down Janet's driveway without falling off, putting 2 skateboards side by side and trying one for each foot, and other variations of that.   My son speaks a skateboard language of tricks, and I have no idea what he means.  

Interesting how skateboarding has morphed into a $$$ form of entertainment for so many.  I wonder what we will be saying about toys 30 years from now...


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

BETTER THAN CHRISTMAS...



This week is one of my favorites of the whole year!  It's musical week at EMHS.  It's an extremely exhausting week for the director, cast, and crew, but exciting too.  I've been blessed to be a PACE volunteer for the last couple of years feeding kids, and this time I've gotten to be their "gopher," figuring how to decorate 34 tables (on a budget!) and feeding 250 people dessert and coffee!  

So bring your valentine and come experience "FIND YOUR GRAIL," a musical DESSERT theatre, for only $10 per person.  It runs Thursday, Feb. 12-Saturday, Feb. 14, with a matinee on Saturday as well.  Contact me if you want details.

Here's a sneak preview of my 17 year old portraying King Arthur!
video

Thursday, February 5, 2009

WHEW...WHAT A RELIEF!!!


I have to confess I haven't read many parenting books lately. I read a lot when my kids were younger. But in conjunction with parent retreat preparation, I picked this up at the library. I decided I could use some help in motivating my kids to do their chores. It's an interesting read, and I found out, according to Barkley's definition....MY KIDS ARE NOT DEFIANT! Yea! I did find out however, that I was not being a consistent parent. Every time I give my kids a break and don't say anything about the chore left undone, I was reinforcing the fact that they could get away with it. And if I can't stand something, it's INCONSISTENCY. I had relaxed a little too much. Gotten a little tired. So I'm trying, no matter how good or busy or whatever they are doing, I cannot give them a break with this particular issue. Hopefully they will learn their lessons in home responsibility.


I highly recommend this book. If you need some ideas, it's got some examples of contracts you can make for whatever parenting problem you are trying to solve!

Monday, February 2, 2009

I JUST DON'T UNDERSTAND IT...

I just came off the weekend after going to a youth parent retreat. It was actually a Friday night/Sat. morning workshop at the church building this year. I got to help with the planning this year and enjoyed that. We held it at the building for 2 reasons: the budget crunch, and to make it easier for single parents to attend. We still had less than 10% attend. Our total number was good, around 50, but that included some college students majoring in ministry who HAD to attend, and our own youth ministers. The number was up a little from last year's retreat held at a state resort. So I still have to wonder, "WHY DON'T PARENTS TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THESE THINGS?" The parents that really need to be there never are.

I feel like a pretty experienced parent at this point, but I'm always open to new ideas and really went to visit with the other parents. It was a great time, and the food was good, too!

Let me encourage you parents out there to never grow tired of learning, even when your kids are bigger than you are!