Hoping for “Oh, that’s nothing.”

It has been exactly a month since Ava’s accident.  We have heard numerous stories from people of truly miraculous recoveries.  Stories of people falling from silos, being crushed under a silage truck, having body parts sewn back on.  These stories nearly always begin with “Oh, that’s nothing.”  To be truthful, as we travel today to Cincinnati and tomorrow and the next day to St . Louis, I am praying that the specialists will begin to detail their treatment plans with that same line. 

When I see Ava go swimming or crawl through a tunnel, her injury doesn’t seem like a big deal.  When I think of her as a mom someday, trying to change the diaper on a baby as wiggly as Violet, it seems like a really big deal.  When I hear her giggle, it’s just fine and it’s really just an arm.  When I think of how mean kids can be to each other, it’s her entire arm and kids will judge her for it.  It looks so safe and secure all wrapped up as she plays, but it’s so limp and now often cold when I massage it throughout the day. I go back and forth. 

How many people are there in the world that can fix this?  Well, it appears like quite a few as you can google lots of brachial plexus centers. Although, it seems like most of them would be more accurately labelled ‘pain management centers’.  (We choose not to use the word ‘pain’ around Ava and ask you not to as well.).  In any case, if having nerves avulsed could be treated to restore at least some function in her shoulder and elbow, I want to know why the Traumatic Brcahial Plexus Injury group on Facebook has constant conversations about the great freeing feeling members experience when they finally get their dead arm amputated.  For real.  Or why there are over 1,000 members of the Brachial Plexus group, and the only full-length photos I see always have their shoulders immobilized. Even the teenagers. 

However, the ladies that answer the phones in Cincinnati, St. Louis, and Rochester Mayo all sound so optimistic and encouraging.  We haven’t given up hope.  We think it may be God’s will for Ava to somehow someday restore some function.  

I know that I wil look back at this time in our lives in the years to come and always see it as pivotal for our family.  Please keep praying for healing from our Master Physician.  Here’s a few photos to show some of the love that surrounds Ava. 


Two handrails are better than one! Delivered for free from a friend who loves old houses, and installed by Clair Van Grouw for the fee of a photo of her using it!


This watercolor painting was made by a complete stranger, Amy from Yankton, South Dakota. So neat!


Ava attended Vacation Bible School at the American Reformed Church in town last week. I would like to keep her in a bubble but I know that isn’t fair or healthy. All the kids and leaders signed a huge card for her.



7 thoughts on “Hoping for “Oh, that’s nothing.”

  1. Overall support groups are wonderful. That said sometimes you find the ones where it seems they’re all trying to outdo each other with the horror stories or playing the poor pitiful me cards and whining how terrible their lives are. Now I have multiple autoimmune conditions so don’t think I don’t know what some of them are going thru. I just don’t choose to sit there and whine about it. Yeah I hurt, but I’ll hurt whether or not I sit there, so I don’t. Being young Ava will learn to overcome. I Pray you find the right Drs. Hang in there.


  2. I was injured with a bpi in 6/95. I was 21 and everything you wrote was exactly what I experienced. If im ever lucky enough to have a child, how would I care for her? 20 years later and some mobility and feeling has returned, enough to make it a helper arm and hand. I’m also a mom to the most amazing daughter’s around. I changed every diaper, gave every bath and managed to do it without the help of a nanny or nurse. I know the medical advances of the last 20 years has made it so people with new bpi injuries can have some sort of corrections to the nerve damage. I’ll be praying for your daughter and for you. Your sweet girl will be just fine. People will look and ask questions. Teach her how to respond to them so she feels impowered with knowledge of her injury. It will help her in dealing with the day to day complications that arise. You Mom, be there to help her figure out a way she can do it by herself. Contact me vis Facebook should you want to talk further. Best of luck to both of you.


  3. My husband and I (Rhonda & Larry) are the couple who ate beside you at The Wildflower Restaurant in St. Louis. We so enjoyed talking with both of you and we were very impressed with your sweet family. I am now following both your blog and your FB page. We are anxious to see the way God will be working through little Ava and your family. And we’ll be praying that God will give you the answers you’re searching for. I am glad we met you! You were a bright spot in our day!


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