Monday, August 12, 2013

Bye, Bye, Bar!

It's out! The bar is gone. The surgery took about an hour, and she woke up in no pain. It's several hours later now, and the anesthesia has worn off so she is a little more uncomfortable...nothing a little ibuprofen can't handle. The doctor said the bar came out easily (we even get to keep it, haha), and we'll go back to see him in 2 weeks when he plans to release her for normal activity. So easy compared to the original procedure! 

Here she is taking it easy this afternoon when we got home and showing off her bar. ;)

The day has finally come...

Here we are, 2 1/2 years later, and the bar is coming out! Lauren has been so ready for this day. Not that she hasn't gotten used to it being there, but where the bar sticks out on her sides is more of an annoyance than anything. Plus, although she's extremely flexible in my eyes, she does feel a bit limited in how she bends. She's anxious to be able to reach her full potential. 

She's not at all nervous or scared about her surgery today...just ready to get this over with.

Monday, August 15, 2011

6 Months Post-op

Lauren is doing fantastic!

We went Friday for her 6-month check-up, and Dr. Berch said everything looks great. He released her to do anything she wants to do...even play football if she wanted to...LOL. Nothing but ballet is on her agenda, though - she's looking forward to starting back next week.

She still has some discomfort every now and then on her sides where the bar is attached, but it's nothing she can't live with for a couple of years until she has it removed. He said we would discuss at 2 years post-op when to have it removed. She will be 12 1/2 then, and he said we may even stretch it to 13 years if it looks like she still has some growing to do. As it stands now, she'll get it removed in February 2013.

I'll update if she has any changes. Otherwise, we'll let you know how the removal goes in a couple of years!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

3 Weeks Post-Op

It's been 3 weeks since surgery, and Lauren is doing GREAT! We have been simply amazed at how well she has done. She is down to only taking Advil at night (she is only comfortable sleeping on her back, so she gets stiff and sore from being in the same position all night). She takes no pain meds during the day! Can you believe that? She is able to get around by herself, dress herself, shower, and even do some light chores around the house (for this I am VERY grateful). Yesterday, she even held Aaron on her hip...all 19 lbs. of him! The only thing she still has trouble with is stretching her arms completely above her head and getting in and out of the bed. I usually go in at least once during the night to help her sit up for a minute to help stop some of the stiffness/soreness. This morning she sneezed (I don't think she's sneezed even once since surgery), and that hurt bad enough that it made her cry.

Two days ago, we went to see Dr. Berch for her first follow-up visit. He took an x-ray, and we got to see it. It's a little crazy seeing that huge bar inside her...I mean, we know it's there, but seeing it was a little surreal. He was also amazed that she was able to come off the Lortab as quickly as she was and that she is getting around as easily as she is. We, of course, know that it is only because of our merciful Lord that it has been like this. Dr. Berch said he plans to release her for normal activity (no contact sports, which she doesn't do anyway) the middle of May, which would be 3 months post-op. Of course, we asked about ballet, and his first response was "in May"...but then he came back and said as long as she doesn't have a risk of falling or colliding with someone she could resume some ballet classes in another couple of weeks if she feels up to it. She will just need to be careful at first and not do jumps or too many turns. He encouraged her to keep working on getting her arms up above her head, and I think the stretching she does in ballet will help that a lot.

Thanks again for all of your prayers and words of encouragement. It's really busy around our house, so I probably won't update the blog until her 3 month doctor visit the middle of May.

While in Jackson for her doctor visit, we took the opportunity to go to the Mississippi Children's Museum. Although she was a little upset that she couldn't climb in all the tunnels and do all the things she wanted to do, they all had a great are a few pics:

Thursday, February 24, 2011

1 Week Post-Op

What a roller coaster ride the past week has been, but I can say that we have definitely made it over the mountain top.

Our first night home was feeling pretty great for a while. Unfortunately, momma didn't think about the fact that no nurse would be coming in to wake us every hour. I had no idea we would sleep so sound. I was suddenly woken by Lauren in terrible pain. After jumping off the couch (she's sleeping in the recliner), I realized it had been 7 hours since her last dose of Lortab...7 hours! Of course I ran to the kitchen to get her some relief, but it took about 30 minutes for her to feel the relief. I felt TERRIBLE. After that, I decided I would set my phone to wake me on the 4 hour mark...that worked MUCH better.

The second day home she had some pain but nothing like in the hospital (or the night before). She was still taking Lortab every 4 hours, and that was keeping her out of too much discomfort. She did, however, continue to cough and also started having occasional shooting pains under her right arm and sometimes under her left breast. I'm thinking it could have been muscle spasms. This continued through the second night, and by the 3rd morning she was having them more regularly.

Suddenly, about mid morning the 3rd day, she became the old Lauren...chatty, couldn't stay still, no longer needed my assistance with things like getting up out of the chair or going to the bathroom. All day she was totally different. She had some of her best friends come to visit, and that made her feel even better. We sat at the table and played board games, she sat at her computer, we went for a walk outside, it was like she had turned 180 degrees from where she had been just 24 hours earlier.

She took a shower and finally got a really good look at herself in the mirror. She's so pleased with what her chest looks like and how it feels. She made the comment that when she holds something up to her chest now (like a pillow, stuffed animal, book), she can feel it touching her chest...instead of nothing because of the funnel chest. She also noticed in the shower that her Nuss bar is protruding a little on her sides. You can actually feel it through her skin. She said it doesn't bother her, and I'm sure she won't even notice it there in a few weeks. Dr. Berch had told us it would be like that...he actually gave her some "growing room" when he put it in, so it should become less visible over the next 2-3 years.

It's our 3rd night, midnight, and she is sleeping soundly...still in the recliner...not sure how long it will be before she can sleep in the bed. She did have a few shooting pains along with some coughing right before bedtime, but it was nothing like yesterday...or even this morning, for that matter. I can see that she is well on her way to complete recovery.

Oh, yeah, this afternoon we started going 5-6 hours between Lortab doses with 2 ibuprofen between doses. Hopefully she won't be on the Lortab many more days.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Day 6: We're Home!

Lauren woke up feeling good this morning, so we decided to get a shower. It felt really good to her, but it was exhausting. After it was over she started hurting, throwing up, and coughing. After taking some Lortab, she slept for about 3 hours. When she woke up around noon, she said,"I'm ready to go home." So, that's what we did. She was discharged, and we got home about 4:00 p.m.

Since we've been home, she has been like a different child. She has been hanging out in her room with her sister and until now has had very little pain.

Thanks again for all the prayers, phone calls, comments, and visits. It would have been much harder to make it through this without all of you.

Here's what her sweet Nana had made for her arrival: