Molly's Surgery - Part I

it is not unusual, especially in the last month or so, for me to get phone calls between 1 a.m. and 4 a.m.  she is a night owl right now because the nighttime is difficult for her, sleeping-wise...she calls me to come downstairs to talk with her.  her pain medication has been backed off (a LOT) and it has been quite an adjustment.  not knowing what to expect from day 1 forward, i just tend to take naps in the early evening because when she does call, she is either in extreme pain, having basically an anxiety attack or is simply chatty.

the pain, i cannot imagine.  it has definately subsided considerably.  the first two weeks were simply a lesson in prayer (for me) and courage (for her).  i slept on the floor of her bedroom the first three weeks in case she needed me.  toward the end of the third week, she started teasing me, saying she had to wean herself off me like she would the pain medication.  while i have been back upstairs in the comfort of my own bed for the past week, the past two nights i have ended up on the floor.

her whole body image has been altered.  she grew 2 1/2".  she enjoyed being 5' 2", and now faces life at 5' 4 1/2".  she had both scoliosis and kyphoscoliosis, which meant her spine was not only curved, it was also twisted.  she experienced rib pain for the first almost four weeks - if you look at her before photograph first and then her after, you can see where her ribs have opened up considerably!  while you would think this was wonderful in and of itself, after being positioned one way for such a length of time, she felt as though her entire side had been bruised and it was quite an adjustment.

if you compare the pictures again, in her "before" xray, you will see the lumbar portion (lower) of her spine was also twisted into a bit of a curve, and the "after" showing that it has been straightened somewhat - the rods and screws in the thoracic (upper) portion of her spine automatically began a correction of her lumbar spine when the top part of the "S" was being pulled up.  so as wonderful as this all is, it also causes her great hip pain, which is in actuality her lumbar spine continuing to straighten out on her after being in this position (and gradually increasing the curvature) over a period of time.

she has been experiencing pain unlike any adult i have known - i realize we all handle pain differently, but i cannot imagine what she has had to endure.  now is has this new body image where she is taller, her shoulders are back, she always looks like she has "model" posture when all of her friends can slump in chairs, lounge around, hang out.  she feels her entire life has been redefined...and worst of all, that this has all been done to her, "against her will."  she liked being short, she didn't mind her posture.  she enjoyed her life and now, that's been taken from her.

she is unable to see the greater good that will be served from this as from late June to mid-October, her curve had increased over 10 degrees at the top and 4 degrees at the bottom, and she is not done growing yet.  her life from her mid-20's until adulthood would have (potentially -- now we will never know, thank God!) been fraught with pain and difficulty sitting or standing or her breathing could have been compromised.  it was a tough decision to make as her parents, probably one of the hardest ones we have ever faced!  but we decided the benefits far outweighed the risks and we went ahead with it.

/Part I

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