Monday, September 27, 2010


here she is, waiting for the surgery.

the day after surgery. the hospital had a scrapbooking activity.

gwyneth had all sorts of good ways to cheer liesel up. sisters are way better than moms when it comes to that sort of thing.

physical therapy.

and here it is.
be glad i didn't show you a close up of this hole 3 1/2 weeks ago. this is looking good.
more p.t.
the package loot.
home spa treatments
notice the plate of goodies.
another view.
the wheelchair.
first time going upstairs.
first time dressed and sitting at the table.
future fashion disigners.

i guess it's about time i stop procrastinating and just get this post over with. every time i sit down to do it, i give up because there's really too much to say, and no way to say it. does that make sense?
liesel had her big leg surgery almost 4 weeks ago. she has an external fixator on her leg now, and we're in the process of stretching/growing her leg to be about 5 centimeters longer so her legs will be more even in length. basically, during the surgery the dr. cut the femur bone so it could be separated apart and then attached 7 metal pins to various parts of the separated bones. the pins are attached to the fixator, which has these little rods on it that we turn 3 times a day to stretch the bones apart. so far she has "grown" almost 2 centimeters in the last 4 weeks. if all goes well, we'll have a couple more months of "growing" and then a few months of letting the bones grow back together again and get strong. the earliest the fixator will come of is march, but it could be as late as june or july. liesel does therapy at home 3 times a day and then we go to 2-3 dr's appointments/therapy sessions a week to make sure we're on track.
see, this is the problem with doing this post. that's all the technical stuff explained, but there's so much more going on..........i don't think there's any way to prepare for the kind of emotional roller coaster ride a surgery like this puts you on, and there's certainly no good way to explain it on paper.
i thought i was pretty good at seeing liesel come out of surgeries, but when i saw her lying there before she woke up and the reality of the fixator hit me, i burst in to tears and couldn't stop crying. and i don't ever cry in front of people. especially doctors. before i left the hospital to go home to the other kids (loren was staying with liesel--we took turns) i had to stay in the bathroom for 10 minutes before i looked presentable enough to walk through the halls. the first time liesel did therapy at the hospital it was absolutely awful-- she was dry heaving from pain, gwyneth was standing behind her rubbing her shoulders with tears just streaming down her face, i was crying ( front of people). since we've come home from the hospital we've had lots of ups and downs. the main problem right now is that liesel's muscles/tendons/etc. can not keep up with how fast her leg is being stretched so they are really, really, really tight and sore. so therapy is hard. HARD! and it's just getting really old to be in pain all the time and to be in a wheelchair and to know it's going to be this way for a long time. i was not prepared for how hard it was going to be on me to watch liesel go through this. yesterday in church i totally lost it and cried and cried and couldn't stop, even when i was playing the organ on the closing song. then, i'd finally gotten ahold of myself and was heading to primary to do the singing time and somebody stopped me and asked how things were going. i literally burst in to tears (big sobbing ones) and couldn't talk for like 5 minutes. and then i was just like "i'm fine. just tired. everything's okay." because really, we are okay, it's just hard.
and, see, that's the problem with trying to write it down all down. because we really are fine. but it is also really too hard to do. it's both at the same time. all the time. see, now i'm crying again, but i'm also about to write a list of all the ways liesel's doing so well. and she IS doing so well. but it's still too hard.
SO, here are some of the thank-goodness-for things:
1. having twins. i have never, ever, ever, never in my whole life seen such a bond between two people as i've seen between liesel and gwyneth during this time. gwyneth is amazing. liesel is amazing. it's awe-inspiring.
2. children who read. we've gone through maybe a thousand books. that's probably an underestimate.
3. fashion-designing. hours and hours and hours spent designing fashions.
4. home spas. lots of painting fingernails, toenails.......face masks.........homemade lip gloss......
5. moms and sisters who will spend lots of time talking to liesel on the phone while she does therapy.
6. moms and sisters who will spend lots of time talking to me on the phone about liesel's therapy.
7. loren. best husband and dad ever. he is also turning in to an amazing cook. i'm trying to convince him it should be a permanent thing.
8. fathers-in-law who come to help out and sweep floors and load dishwashers and spend hours with pace in the pool.
9. grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins who send packages with all sorts of pain-distracting goodies/crafts/books/etc. we couldn't have survived without them!
so basically, we ARE doing really well, liesel's exceeding her dr's expectations, we are seeing the lord's tender mercies all around us, we have lots of good times every day............and it's still hard.