Sunday, March 3, 2013


Well, February 28, 2013 came quickly and has gone just as fast. At Kerstin's December 2012 check up with her orthopedic specialist, we were told that she may need to have surgery soon on her feet.  Doctor told us that we didn't want her getting to a point where she wouldn't be able to comfortably wear shoes with them rubbing the bony part of her ankle and start to cause callouses, and we also didn't want it getting to a point where nothing could be done or the procedure would be extremely invasive.

So, about a month later my little princess was chilling on her bean bag after therapy and I noticed that her feet looked really odd, thinking and wondering if she was uncomfortable, hoping she wasn't.  I emailed pictures to her physical therapist, saying that she was not fussy about the position and it didn't seem to hurt but it just did NOT look comfy.  Therapist emailed me back, rather quickly, said that she was sending the pictures to Kerstin's ortho doc/nurse and that she was thinking we had put the surgery off long enough and it was time to go ahead with the surgery!!! I had to walk away from my daughter, I left her with one of teachers and went into the restroom, I could not stop the tears from falling.  No one wants surgery, especially when its needed for your child.

After avoiding this procedure it seemed as if surgery day came fast.  We had to have Kerstin at the Benjamin Russell Hospital for Children at Children's of Alabama at 5:30 am, which meant that we had to leave home at 3 am to make the two hour drive to get her there on time. It was such a quiet and chilly morning, we were surrounded by a lot of people that love, care for and support Kerstin.  If they couldn't make the trip, we had tons of texts, Facebook messages, emails and calls.

Prepping for surgery!  It seemed like every minute someone different came into surgery prep room 30, to tell us who they were, what their roll was in caring for Kerstin. We saw an orthotist, anesthesia tech, anesthesiology, nurses, and her ortho specialist. Didn't know that anesthesia came in so many "flavors".  My moment of tears came when her nurse came and said to me that she was Kerstin's OR nurse and she would be taking care of my princess this morning, and that they were headed to  the operating room.  My heart seemed to skip a few beats to watch her take my daughter down that hall without me!

After 3 hours of surgery and recovery, my princess came out with her pink and purple cast and tubes for drainage.  She looked good, just sleepy, her mouth was dry from the gas and tube they used during surgery. She was still numb from the nerve blocks they used to keep from having to give her so much narcotics right after surgery.  The procedure: Bilateral Triple Arthrodesis ( more info here ), had been performed successfully on my daughter.  Doctor said that he had to lengthen tendons/heel cord more on her left foot and that she would be more sensitive about that one ( that has proven true ). 

Heading home, once mommy figures out how to maneuver and handle her newly rented wheels! Kerstin was sent home with a rented wheelchair because her legs need to be elevated as much as possible and especially when she's mobile ( in a wheelchair ).  We figured it out and we set out for home.  

Happy to be home, sweet home! Blessed that she is a tough little fighter.  She tolerates her pains well and on Saturday didn't need much of her pain meds.  This Sunday morning was not the case though, she actually cried from her pains.  Made my eyes well up, but I held up.  I don't want her to see my cry, especially not when she's still sensitive about what has gone on with her feet.  I do believe and have faith that in just a matter of a few short days my princess will be fine and able to move her legs again without the pains she's getting when she moves them now. She has so much strength and courage, I wish I had the fight she has in her!  

More to come...