Go, George, Go

Frank is the nickname of Ava’s paralyzed flaccid right arm. Somehow, Ava’s left arm (the one that was working perfectly before surgery) has been nicknamed George.  Today, we are celebrating an answer to prayer — George’s abilities are much restored after a pretty scary spell yesterday when she had no function from EITHER arm.   Let the play time begin!


She still can’t walk because of this IV in her ankle area.  So, there is a ton of swelling that she hasn’t been able to work out.  Our time in the play room was fun and a great way to distract her from uncomfortableness.   It is really strange to continuously bring your child toys instead of having them pull everything out in a millisecond.  

  
We hope to check out of the hospital later this afternoon, and will keep our nearby hotel room for tonight at least.  Discharging is always such a huge process and we don’t want to overdo things. 

Before we leave, we are waiting for the nurse that specializes in brachial plexus surgeries to give us a few pointers on things we can do to help specific muscles/functions in her good arm to recover as fast as possible.  Her good arm will more than likely never be 100%, but with these nerve injuries one must ‘rob Peter to pay Paul’.   

We have been treated very well here.  We laugh to think we chose a location for brachial plexus surgery 12 hours from home, because we think they are doing cutting edge things in neuroscience here — yet the rooms are equipped with telephones that haven’t been available in stores for decades.  Violet thinks it is fantastic!

 

These flowers, given as a gift from some of Ava’s 16 cousins, brightened the day of many people on the day of surgery in the waiting area, and continue to do so as we left them as a gift for the nurses. Thanks, Kip and Court!

 
 I can’t begin to list the number of ways that this period of trial has helped me to grow.  Some of the growth has been as a mom to a child in pain and in need of some sophisticated medical care, and sifting through those needs and options. Some has come from being the beneficiary of love and concern from so many people; I feel like I now know better how to minister to others.  Then, there is the grounding of spending a lot of time at a Children’s Hospital.  Toddlers on chemo.  A long line of personalized wheelchairs in the surgical waiting area ready to be of use again.  The burn victim who had clearly been there for months, on a first-name basis with the security cards and treating his traveling IV stand as simply an extension of his body.  

Everybody has a story, and so many of them are very life-threatening, life-consuming compared to Ava’s. Whatever load I bear on any given day, I can look in the eyes of dozens of other parents and see their heavier burden. 

I wouldn’t wish this journey on anyone, and it is a tricky thing to put into words but I guess the best way of saying it, is that I just plain see things differently today then I did 4 months ago.  The lens through which I look at a situation, and the compassion I feel for hurting people has somehow changed. That, too, is something to be thankful for.  I thank God and I thank Ava. 

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7 thoughts on “ Go, George, Go

  1. What a wonderful sight to see that picture..Hearts here at home- full of compassion and caring- beat for you all. We will be thankful- with you tonite

  2. As the mother of a child in a wheelchair-who was born with a “birth defect”-I would change things to make things easier for her, but I don’t think I would change the journey. We have met the most wonderful people through my daughter and been involved in wonderful programs that we would never have known existed. I understand completely how this changes your view of the world. No matter what happens, Ava will still just be Ava, and I pray for you and wish for you that everyone else learns to see her that way also….

  3. Bruce and I understand how your lives have been forever changed and that there are gifts amongst the pain and uncertainty. We, too, saw situations in the hospital that were far more serious, sad, and disheartening than what Matt and we were dealing with. It really puts life into perspective, doesn’t it. We wish for you and Ava, quick healing and recovery of arm movement . We continue to keep you all close in prayer.

  4. Continue to follow Ava’s progress. Nerves are so very tricky. I’ve talked about my son’s nerve damage in his arm. Therapy, especially specialized hand therapy, can work wonders! It’s a daily ritual we became very versed in about 1 year ago, but all the struggle and heartache I felt as a mom was worth it. He worked hard, I made sure to “gently” push him to his goals, and we succeeded! Never quit! You got this! Hopefully George will be back to “close to normal” soon!

  5. I stumbled across your page as I too have a brachial plexus injury which I underwent surgery in April for. I wholeheartedly pray Ava recovers well and she regains use of her arm.

    One thing I have learnt has been that facing difficulties in life has been tough to adjust to but having a loving family and friends who have carried me high above the cracks I could have fallen through, has saved me from the mental dangers self sorrow would have brought. You and all those around are helping her infinitely more than you would ever think.

    Keep the faith.

    My stories here: http://grayonthemend.blogspot.co.uk/

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