Wednesday, January 23, 2013

This is one amazingly tough kid!!!

I have always referred to Sam as "my little warrior" but he has never earned that title more than everything he has gone through in the last week.  Sam got through some of the worst pain issues I have ever seen anyone experience.  He then had medication issues and oxygen issues...and then   began muscle spasms...and yet through it all Sam continued to say "Please" "Thank you" and he would ask for a hug and whisper "Love you my heart" which is Sam's way of saying "I love you with all my heart".  To really appreciate the type of surgery Sam has come through you have to see and understand the purpose of an external fixator.

The pictures above show the external fixator on Sam's hip.  The areas wrapped in gauze are the 6 pins that go through Sam's skin, muscle and are drilled into his hip and thigh, and keep in mind that before this device was installed a large piece of internal hardware was removed from Sam's femur from a previous surgery.  You can see the size of this device in the second picture in comparison to Sam's hand.  The external fixator is a hinged device and over the 10 days following the surgery we are required to turn a pin twice a day which will gradually open up the hip socket to allow bone growth and bone formation to occur.  The pink arrow reminds us which way to turn the pin each day.  The photograph above shows Sam's external fixator without the expansion bar in place.  The bar is installed on the two sets of brackets located near the top of the photo.  We usually start in the furthest holes and slowly dial the bracket out to provide the proper stretch to Sam's hip and then we gradually move them into the inner holes until a complete straightening of the hinge occurs and the hip is flexed to a fully flexed position.  The bar has to be put in at least twice a day and all night long.  Stretching exercises have to be done a couple of times a day to encourage flexibility and muscle control.
We have spent 9 days in the pediatric ward of Sinai Hospital. This is a new area and the rooms are large and very nice.  Sam is receiving excellent care and has charmed most of the nurses in the ward.  Physical Therapy comes in twice a day, for stretches and exercises and to get him up and transferred to a chair or to take a shower and then they come back in after a couple of hours to transfer him back into bed.
Each day Sam gets a little stronger, a little more stable and he is slowly regaining his hold on his oxygen sats as we reduce his pain medication.  Today after much yelling Sam transferred from the bed to the wheelchair, from the wheelchair to the shower chair for a first shower and pin care treatment by mom and got dressed in his pajamas.  Still adjusting to seeing pins go through my baby's skin and knowing that they go all the way through to the bone.  A little difficult to get used to. 


We are waiting for a room to open up at the rehab facility so that we can transfer Sam to that location and we can work further on strengthening and moving toward returning home.  Tonight we Skyped with Brother Ben to sing him Happy Birthday but Sam was already beginning to fall asleep.
We had to purchase men's XXL pajama pants to fit over Sam's external fixator and then have them shortened to a 23" inseam.  It was so nice to see Sam back in pajamas and it is the first time I have seen him really smile.
While I was cleaning his room he decided to snap a picture of me.

I then thought I would try to catch a picture of Sam and I.
We are still praying for the return of all bodily functions, comfort for Sam's pain and muscle spasms, continuing stabilization of his oxygen stats, increased strength and stamina, and patience and muscle control to begin the process of transferring and taking steps with a walker to regain mobility.  Each day gets a little better and we are taking it one day at a time.  Uncle Randy has been a blessing to allow me to return to the Hackerman Patz house each night to get a good night's sleep.  I can be an awesome caretaker for 12 hours but when you extend that to 24 hours, fatigue and impatience set in.
And with that final is time for me to get to bed.  Good Night everyone, thank you for the continued thoughts and prayers, keep them coming.  It will be so good to return home when that day comes.

No comments:

Post a Comment