Monday, March 25, 2013

Catch Up

Sorry I am so far behind on posting about Blake's surgery.  Picking up where I left off, Blake fell asleep the 1st night by 9:30.  Neither of us slept very well because the hospital staff had to come in frequently to check his vitals.  I did not perk up the next day until I finished my 3rd cup of coffee.  I thought Thursday would be a long day, but it went by so very fast.  With all of the staff check ins, two patient activities, and visitors, it was 8:30 pm before I knew it.

Blake was able to play pretend doctor with a doll with several other little patients on the main floor of the hospital.  All hospital supplies were provided, including IV's!  There was also a play session in the hospital playroom.  Blake played Wii on a giant movie screen.  A fun day for Blake.
Blake was visited by many people on Thursday:  Grandma Nadine,  Daddy, Ashley, Emery, Avery, The Jeffers' family (neighbors, friends, babysitters), Sam & family (a buddy from his class), and Aunt Missy.  Blake also was visited by Randy, a person who had his leg amputated a long time ago.  Randy talked to Blake about his prosthetic leg and showed it to him.  He even showed him how it comes off and goes back on. I was a bit concerned that this might scare Blake, but it actually had a positive effect on him.  Blake talked to Randy and seemed to perk up a bit after his visit.  Blake really perked up when his buddy Sam and favorite neighbor Sarah visited.  Sarah had him giggling in minutes!

Blake was visited twice on Thursday by physical therapy.  Blake was very scared and nervous to get out of bed.  He kept saying his leg was going to fall off.  The surgeon said this feeling is caused from a few things including swelling, the cast, and blood flow.  We told Blake that his cast cannot fall off because the doctor had a sling over Blake's shoulder holding the cast in place and his leg, of course, cannot fall off at all.  I don't think he believed us and would get very upset when he had to try to get up. We did get him up several times, with many tears, and had him take a few steps with a walker and get into a  wheelchair.

Blake's pain was well managed his entire stay and he was off IV meds by early Thursday morning.  They thought he could be discharged on Thursday, but because of his fear of getting up, we all decided it was best to stay until Friday and have PT work with him again.

Blake fell asleep around 9:30 Thursday night.  On Friday, PT came in and there were more tears.  There were also several tears over having his hair washed.  I guess he was just scared, but I am certain the entire 7th floor thought he was being scalped!    PT suggested we rent a walker and wheelchair for home because it may take a week or so before he can navigate his crutches.  So, we had the equipment delivered to the hospital before being discharged.  Blake was in great spirits his entire hospital stay, with the exception of getting up.

Daddy picked us up at about 3:15 Friday afternoon and we were home by 3:30 ish.  Blake kept asking all the way home if his cousins were going to be there when we arrived home.  He was so happy to see his 3 sisters, Conner and Avery, Grandma Susie, and Gracie, our dog. Conner even made him a Welcome Home sign.  Everything went well Friday night and Saturday.  Blake played a lot with his cousins. They had a blast pushing each other around in the wheelchair.  But after several crashes and two broken items, we decided our house couldn't withstand any more wheelchair rides!  By Saturday, Blake was getting around well using his walker and the wheelchair.  As the day went on, he didn't even want any help getting around.

At bed time Saturday night he grabbed his crutches to use to go back to his bedroom.  I asked him if he was sure he was ready, and he said "yes mom, I don't need no help".  After doing just fine on the crutches, he said he didn't want to use the walker or wheelchair anymore.  And he has not touched them since!  He even played outside today with the neighbors.  Right now he is down the street playing with Avery and he walked with his crutches all the way down!  I asked him if he wanted me to give him a ride and I got an eye roll and "I can walk mom".

So much for needing a wheelchair and walker for a couple weeks!  At least Emery is having fun cruising around the house in the wheelchair!  I am so very proud of my little guy.  He is one tough dude!

Now for some pictures:

Daddy and Blake on our way to surgery

Getting prepped for surgery

After surgery thumbs up

Cards from school friends

Ready to go home

Blake and Grandma Susie at home on Friday

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


It is just after 9 pm and Blake is finally beginning to fall asleep. He never did take a nap today.  I think he was too busy chatting with all of the nurses!  They have all agreed that he is quite the little charmer!  He also was very happy to have more visitors tonight.  Grandma Susie, Aunt Kristi, his three sisters, two cousins, Aunt Julie and Uncle Steve all came to see him.  He cried when his Daddy had to go home.  His pain has been under control. I am so grateful for that.  He has talked a bit about his leg, but he doesn't want to look at his cast or have anyone else look at it.  Praying he will feel better about his leg soon.

Post Surgery

Blake's surgery was finished at 11:30.  Everything went as planned and no issues.  He had a a bit of a hard time coming out of the anesthesia.  He was agitated and seemed to be in a lot of pain.  They quickly administered additional meds and within in minutes he was calm and resting peacefully.   Shortly thereafter, we were taken to our hospital room.  Blake had two slushies, played with my iPad, watched tv and had jello and spaghetti.  He seems to be doing fine.  He winces occasionally and says his leg hurts a little.  They are keeping a good balance of meds so his pain has not been bad.  He has already had 2 visitors, Grandma Nadine and Aunt Kristi.  He seems to be sleepy but is fighting taking a nap.  Hopefully he will be able to sleep well tonight.  Thanks for all the prayers.


Blake has been in surgery now since 8:30. He became a little agitated and was scared when we had to start the anesthia.  But overall he did well.  I was with him, whispering I love you, as he went under.  I so love my brave little dude.


All checked in. Blake is in very high spirits.  I prayed last night for God to give him a sense of peace today. Hoping he doesn't get too nervous.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Early Morning Surgery

Blake's surgery is scheduled for 8:30 Wednesday morning. We will arrive at Helen DeVos Children's Hospital at 6:30 am. His surgery is expected to last about 3 hours.  All prayers are appreciated.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Blake's Surgery

Blake's surgery is next Wednesday.  I am beginning to get nervous.  I know it is his best option, but there is still a small part of me that wonders if there is some innovative surgeon out there that could   get him walking and save his leg.  Blake is as prepared as he can be.  He knows exactly what is happening.  He can tell anyone about his upcoming surgery, what the doctor is going to do, how he is going to do it, and why.  I explained the whole process to him, one small part at a time over a period of about 4 weeks.  In addition, we read a book about a special pony named Molly.  Molly had  to have her lower leg amputated and then she was fitted with a prosthesis.  We also looked at some pictures of other kids with a prosthetic leg.  We read a few blogs about kids with prosthetics as well.  Last Wednesday we went to the hospital for a tour.  Blake enjoyed dressing up like a surgeon, meeting all of the nurses, and seeing the surgery room.  He even was able to take his surgeon outfit home.  Needless to say, we have all had a lot of pretend surgeries lately!

The surgeon believes he will be off prescription pain meds within a week of surgery.  That will bring us to Spring break.  If he is ready, he will be able to go back to school after the break.  I think the first few days after surgery will be rough for Blake.  He will have a lot of pain and I am certain he will struggle to cope with his loss.  No matter how prepared he is, it is impossible to prepare him for how he is going to feel about the loss of his leg.  Blake is a resilient, high spirited little boy.  I believe he will bounce back when his pain is gone and he has had some time to process his feelings.  He has been telling his class mates about his surgery and they will all be praying for him while he is out of school.  Blake likes to tell his story, and a group of curious 1st graders are the perfect audience!

When I ask Blake how he feels about the surgery, he tells me he is a little scared.  But then he smiles and starts talking about his "sleepover" at the hospital with mom and riding a bike!  I know all will be ok, but it is hard to think about him being in pain and struggling with his loss.  Please keep him in your prayers.  I will try to keep everyone posted about the surgery.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013


The other night, after I tucked Emery in bed, she said "ma ma ma" and held her hand out to me. I took her hand for a second and then knelt down to give her another goodnight kiss.  She gently put her little hands on my cheeks, looked purposely into my eyes, and said "ma ma ma". It brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it.  My little girl has come so far in 10 months.  I think we have definitely reached a level of attachment. She knows I am her "ma ma ma". She accepts my love.  She wants my love.  And, I think maybe, she even loves her "ma ma ma".  Thank you God for healing her heart.