Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Rachel's Operation was a sucess, but still really hard.

Rachel was born with DDH, which basically means her hips have not developed the way they should. Her hip sockets do not have the cup shape like the rest of ours, but they are flat or "shallow" and do not provide the stability necessary for the ball on the femur bone to securely stay in the socket. She was diagnosed with DDH when she was almost two years old, which is a very late diagnosis. Her case was a bit difficult and made it nearly impossible to detect till she started walking. She didn't walk till nearly 18 months...and now we know why. Shortly after she was diagnosed, she was operated on to place the ball in the socket and to tighten all muscles, ligaments. tendons, ect... to ensure the secure placement of the ball in the socket. Also, with the ball in the socket, the hope was that the ball would grind and reshape her socket over time to a normal shape. Then she was cast from her abdomen to her ankles for 12 weeks to allow things to heal and ensure that they stay where they need to stay. That procedure is called "open reduction."

Well, now, three years later, our doctors have realized that even though her legs have not moved out of the sockets and things appear to be stable, her hips sockets have not reformed and are still "shallow" or flat. Our doctors have decided that her little body has fixed all it can fix on its own and it is now time to help it along with surgery. This operation was mainly to reshape the sockets. The procedure is called the "pemberton osteotomy" for those who are interested. You can google it and get some good info. And that is what she just had done. The surgery is quite a bit more difficult and painful for little Rachel. But, she is a trooper and continues to amaze her parents.

Here are some pictures from the night before and the morning of the operation.

Here we have Rachel showing off her strong bones and muscles. We (Dana, Rachel. and I) went to Boise Monday night, (the night before her operation) to get ready and to have a little fun before the cast went on. And, we had the best night. We went out to eat and she got all kinds of fun stuff. We stayed and Dave and Diane Gidley's home here in Boise (Thanks again!) which was really close to the hospital. She jumped on the trampoline, had fun on the swings, she rode bikes, played air hockey (and schooled Dana), and all kinds of fun things. She was running, jumping, and dancing. She kept saying she had to do all these fun things because she said it was her last day and she needed to do everything. We had so much fun with just her.

This is Rachel right outside the front doors at St. Luke's Medical Center. She liked the flowers.

Here we are in the PRE-OP room. We were in here for about an hour. We played a ton of games and watched "Sleeping Beauty." As you can see, Rachel is destroying Dana's paper with her scissors.

Right here Rachel has just taken the calming medicine to prep her for her operation. This medicine basically makes her very groggy. This is one of the hardest parts for us a her parents. We have to hand her off to the doctors and they roll her away from us. She got scared and cried. This is probably the hardest thing for me. I get a bit scared for her, but the one good thing is that the medicine they give her, makes her forget the last 30 minutes so she wouldn't remember them taking her away from us. And, when she wakes up, the first faces she will see will be our faces. But that doesn't really help me feel a ton better, but that really doesn't matter. Dana has been a lot tougher than I have this time. She is a stud.

This is about 30 minutes after the operation. We are up in our room. She had a hard time for a while. She was hurting pretty bad. The nurses had her on a constant drip line of morphine. The medicine makes her sad and agitated. We did all we could to make her happy and comfortable. She is doing great. She has slept a ton and when she is awake, we watch a lot of her movies to try to keep her mind occupied. (thanks Crystal) I'll give an update of day two a little later.


Paige said...

I am glad all went well in surgery. Our prayers are with her for recovery. What a tough little girl!

Jones Family said...

Be strong Bro. We are all behind you and are pulling for your family in every way. Let me know if you need anything!

j, l, c, p, e & e said...

We love you sweet Rachel Marie! You are tougher than all of the rest of us! We hope you are feeling stronger every day. We send our love!

Jen said...

Rachey, We love you so much. You are amazing and we can't wait to see your pink cast!

Russ and Dee, you two are wonderful. Rachel is lucky to have such patient and loving parents. We are praying for you always. Look for our "package of Love" (as Wes called it) to arrive in a few days!

Jessica Autrey said...

Wow, you guys amaze me. Hang in there, and tell Rachel we love her. She is so tough...and so sweet. We miss you guys and wish we could be closer to lend a hand.

Kellie said...

I'm glad all went well. I know the feeling when they take your child away to "fix" them but it is still one of the most heart wrenching things. YOu guys are amazing!