Friday, February 27, 2015

Iron Butterfly

Sidney got the flu on Monday afternoon on a day off from school. Many paper towels and squirts of 409 later, and I think she is on the mend. It came as somewhat of a surprise to me, because Sidney is typically the healthiest person in the house, recovering from any illness in half the time of a normal person. Maybe it’s her sneezing. It sounds like something that should come out of a grown man.I guess this is another reason Tom calls her our iron butterfly. She is so incredibly tough physically and mentally. And I don't mean just a little. 

Case in point, a couple of Sundays ago in church. Let me preface this next part with the understanding that Tom and I have taught our kids how to behave in church. We have never regaled them to the nursery when they were littler or believed they needed a five course meal during the service. Entertainment like coloring yes, Lunchables no (a story for another time). 

Even at 5 ft 10 in he still looks like the same little kid without his glasses on. I'm sure he would appreciate this comment - NOT!
Sidney being Sidney decided church was the perfect time to become, frankly, obstinate throughout the morning. Tom, the tougher in parenting of the two of us reminded me afterward, when she was stomping through snow I requested she stay out of, we can take away some of the tough behavior but not all. What's left will serve her well in life. I think we are a good parenting team, because at different moments we've both reminded one another of this. 

Only a totally unrelated topic did I mention it's freezing outside? The current temp is -17. Okay, I'm off to rearrange day two of school starting late at 10:00AM.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

A Tale of Two Hands...

Three weeks after our appointment, I am finally updating! We visited the hand surgeon. Three procedures have been completed to date, two on Sidney’s right hand and one on her left. Both hands are considered complex syndactyly, however they are quite different from one another. Thankfully, both function well and don’t limit her fine motor skills.

Our objective with surgery is function over cosmetic enhancement, however we understand there might come a time when we can’t prevent it completely. She was home six months when she had her first surgery on the right hand. Her fingers were separated using a skin graft off her hip.

 Three years ago in May the second procedure was completed on the same hand, revising the scar tissue which is an inevitable part of having the first procedure. Both procedures required casting for six weeks and a splint for several weeks following. None of it slowed her down, but frankly having a cast when you are small and petite is uncomfortable. I will never forget her dragging around the heavy cast while lumbering around with her limb difference. She was quite frustrated and who could blame her.

The surgeon noticed the separated fingers are tipping in toward one another, however there isn't much we can do with this. She suggested trying a splint. We have been unsuccessful in the past.  Turns out a child in the throes of issues with attachment doesn't deal with a splint pushing on both sides of fingers previously joined together. We had to choose our battles, and that wasn’t one I was going to fight. It was so strange. I’m always in favor of preventing surgery if at all possible, but I knew as a mother I couldn't push her any harder emotionally. Tom and I made the choice to let mother nature take its course. I think even if she had worn a splint between procedures a revision would have been necessary.  Even under the best of circumstances skin grafts heal into thick pieces of skin. 

After looking at her hands now the surgeon decided we are fine to do a splint. We know her fingers are going to do what they are going to do. The best we can try for is to prevent them from turn in towards one another even more. I explained our previous difficulty to the surgeon but let her know if she told her to wear it, she might comply. After telling her it was only something to tack onto her bedtime routine like brushing her teeth, we have been very successful getting her to wear it! 

Sunday, February 1, 2015

This week was Catholic schools week, so mom came in to eat lunch with the kids. Eli is in the orange shirt in the background,

And in case you are wondering what a 7th graders locker looks like this is
 an accurate depiction.

As I was admiring my adorable daughter I noticed the unidentified splatter on the locker next to her. Sometimes it's best not to know. 

I'm having a difficult time accepting how big Eli is getting! He's only 12. I can't imagine what he's going to look like in a couple of years!