Saturday, January 21, 2012

Prosthetic Process and Progress

When we were in process to adopt Jonathan and Josiah, we knew that Jonathan would probably need some sort of leg amputation and prosthetic leg.  During the wait and the wondering, I came across someone's blog who had just experienced this process with her 4 year old daughter.  It was so helpful to know what to expect or to have at least an idea. 

I have wanted to update Jonathan's progress here in hopes of encouraging someone else.  If you are considering adoption, do not limit yourself or think that a special needs adoption would be too hard. 

I mean, aren't we meant for hard things anyway?  For Believers, we should never expect the easy road, nor do I think we should look for it.  Serving Christ involves dying to self and walking the road less traveled.  It also involves serving others and considering them better than ourselves.  I assure you that adding children to your family, especially through special needs adoption, gives you plenty of opportunity for "washing feet" and a few other things, too.  ;)

Our experience has proven to at least us that while, yes, we may be on that less traveled road, but we aren't on it alone.  God has used many to encourage us to press on.  And if all had detoured from the road or overlooked it altogether, He is guiding us each and everyday.  And He is definitely using this particular path to refine us travelers. 

And what about Jonathan's progress? 

We are very amazed. 

October 3, 2011, Jonathan underwent a knee disarticulation.  The doctor did a great job, and the care at the hospital was commendable.  He experienced a lot of pain, but considering the procedure, Jonathan was quite a trooper! 

October 18, 2011, Jonathan's incision "dehissed," or opened.

The next day in the OR, his doctor trimmed away quite a bit of skin and tissue that did not survive.  It left a wound about the size of 3, maybe four, quarters, and it was a couple centimenters deep.  He applied a wound vac.

The following week, again in the OR, they removed the first wound vac and applied a 2nd one.

The first week of November, he was able to remove the 2nd wound vac in the office, and we began "wet to dry" dressing changes twice a day.  We continued these until the wound was completely closed, December 6th.  

Jonathan received his prosthetic leg on December 9, 2011!

Of course, had we not had complications with his incision, he would have been on his new leg much sooner. But we are so amazed when we consider the timeline and compare the pictures of his wound. The Lord seemed to definitely accelerate his healing those last few weeks.

Not only have we been super pleased with the orthopedic doctor and staff, we have also been very thankful for the prosthetic company, Biotech. Our specialist has been great and very careful to fit Jonathan well. Jonathan loves his new leg. We bought some Cars fabric, and Biotech laminated it onto the socket of his leg. Wow, does he love that!!! He calls his prosthesis his "Cars leg." Awesome.

So he came home with the new leg on December 9th and began walking with it and the walker very quickly.  The next morning he was "cruising" along the cabinets, abandoning the walker.  By that evening, just 24 hours after receiving the prosthesis, he was walking unassisted.  To say we were amazed would be an understatement.

One thing that helped Jonathan is that the prosthesis specialist did not unlock the knee of the leg.  So for the past 4 weeks, Jonathan has been moving along with a stiff leg, but he has been getting everywhere!  This week, we unlocked the knee.  Ummm, yes, it is a bit more challenging for him.

Like we expected, he is walking with the walker again.  But he is getting lots of "safe" experience with this more unstable leg.  :)  He is definitely not very confident with the free flowing knee.  He will take a few steps without the walker, but he is obviously afraid of its lack of stability.  He may just need more experience and practice.  However, the dr recommended yesterday trying a different knee.  We will visit Biotech next week and learn more.  Will keep you updated.  ;)

So we started out as big-time amateurs in this particular special need experience.  But we have definitely learned a lot along the way.  And Jonathan has had a whole new world opened up to him.  For that, we couldn't be more thankful.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Here We Are in 2012

Just getting a family pic can be difficult.

Much less getting everyone to look at the camera at the same time. . . . .

(Maybe Gabriel will do better next time.  ;)