Friday, July 13, 2012

Ruthie is home!!!!

We were discharged yesterday at noon and got home last night. It was amazing how Ruthie could relax once she was buckled in her carseat. She loves being home and last night she slept through the night and at 9:05 she is still sleeping. Skip woke up at 2:00 and 6:00 to give her medicine and she would take it and fall back to sleep. YIPEEEEE!!! Sweet Ruthie was exhausted, the last night in the hospital she slept 2 hours and cried for 5. Oh my it is hard not being able to console her. She wanted me to hold her standing up and physically I could only do it for short periods of time. At about 3 am they upped her pain medication and I think it is finally on target and she slept for a little over 3 hours!! I cannot wait for the children to come home. Olivia, Amelia, Quinn and Grant will all come home today. Ruthie will be thrilled!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

First 24 Hours Post Op

Ruthie is peacefully sleeping right now. I wish I could have forced my self a glimps of this picture last night. It was a very difficult night. Something went really wrong about dinner time. Ruthie became inconsolable. Our hearts were breaking because there was nothing we could do. You could feel her bottom tighten up and then she would let out a scream. Ruthie weighs 21 lbs without casts, but with casts she is very heavy. Skip and I took turns passing her back and forth. He noticed her back was wet and then we discovered her epidural was out and had been leaking down her back into her diaper. This was my biggest fear: not being able to identify pain. I do believe looking back she may have had more anxiety and fear and anger then she had pain. Her little heart was beating in the 190 to 200 and she was determined to rip all her little attachments off, including her IV line. The nurse called for new orders and then the real meds began. She calmed down very quickly. She continued to cry, but it was not frantic. Her favorite position thru the night was being held swaying back and forth while standing. She did sleep a little in the bed with me next to her. At 6:30 am Skip had me go back to the Ronald McDonald House to sleep. After 3 hours of a deep and restful sleep, I received a text from skip saying, NEW CHILD with a picture of ruthie in a wonderful big plastic Radio Flyer wagon. When I arrived back to the hospital ruthie's little eyes were sparkling again and she gave us a smile. Weeping may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning. Proverbs 30:5

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


From a distance I saw a little girl on a bed being wheeled down the hall. It was Ruthie being taken to her room. I took off leaving Skip at the ATM. Feeling a little bad knowing Skip would turn around and be confused by my sprint down the hall, I turned around and gave him the news. By the time I got to her room, the door was closed. I knocked and was told to wait just a little while so they could get her settled. I could hear her crying. After what seemed like 20 minutes, probably only 5, I was able to enter the room. As the nurse passed she said, "I love a girl who's got some fight". Ruthie was mad and fighting to get every tube OFF. She was lifting her back and crying as hard as I have ever seen her. They told us she was doing the same thing in recovery. It is called casting anxiety. Nothing would console her as all the machines she was hooked up to began to loudly beep. I tried to hold her and that awkwardly worked for about 1 minute. I was afraid to hold her. I was fighting back tears when the pain management nurse walked in and explained that Ruthie would be mad for awhile (who wouldn't be with their legs bent stretched out to the side with a bar holding them firmly apart.). Just in case she added more medicine to her epidural and went and got a big red Radio Flyer wagon, stacked some pillows in it, unhooked some of the monitors and pulled back the blankets covering Ruthie. I cannot describe the hurt when I saw the end of her casts. Her feet are really gone. Anyway, she scooped Ruthie up and told Skip and me to walk the halls with her. I pushed the cart holding the IV bag and the epidural. Skip pulled the wagon and Ruthie very quickly became content. After about 30 minutes of walking, Ruthie fell asleep around 2:30. It is 4:00 and a severe storm is over us right now. Skip and I are waiting for Ruthie to wake up.

God is Good!!!!!

After Surgery


I LOVE this Medwagon ~ WONDERFUL!!!!!!!!!  We walked miles.

A moment during the toughest times ~ I watched the monitor for hours hoping it would give us an idea if the pain was under control.

Ruthie is out of surgery. She did great!!!! RUTHIE's legs have only a 1cm difference. There was a chance they would have to cut more of the right leg, which would make it significantly shorter than the other one. But, they didn't have to do that!! This is wonderful news and such an answer to prayer! Cannot wait to hold her in my arms. Thank you for holding us up. We felt your prayers and I am certain the OR and Ruthie did too. I am flooded with emotion, guess I have stored it all up. I am so grateful and overwhelmed with God's unfailing love and faithfulness. God is good!

On the way to the hospital

Ruthie working the buttons on the bed - she quickly figured out how to get someone to say on the intercom in our room ~  "May I help you?" (nurse's station)  I asked if they thought a crib would work better for Ruthie, considering she was only two and NOT going to stop pushing the buttons.  They felt like a crib would upset her ~ yes, after this wonderful toy I am sure a crib would disappoint her.

We handed Ruthie to the surgical team around 8:45 am. We just got word from the OR that they started surgery. Skip and I do feel a tremendous peace. We handed Ruthie to a woman with a silly hat wearing scrubs. As they rounded the corner and left our sight there is a bigger than life size photo of three of the surgeons. She was very distracted by their large heads. We spent about 30 minutes with the nurse who will hold her after surgery. Her name is Bobbie and she loved Ruthie. She goes every year to Belize with a medical mission team - Skip and I loved hearing about her trips. Bobbi has a very gentle spirit. As we were walking to the room outside of the OR a staff person asked if we had molds made of her feet for a special reminder. I love Ruthie's twinkle toes and I am so grateful she will one day be able to see them. Once Ruthie is sedated, they will put her feet in the plaster. Such a sweet gift!

Pre Op


MEANT TO POST THIS LAST NIGHT Today we had exactly what we expected which was a lot of information from 5 different specialists.  It was so evident that they had said what they told us many times before today.  We were doing great emotionally up until we met with the anesthesiologist.  I thought we would go into the room with Ruthie until she was out and then in the recovery room waiting for her to wake up.  I do not think anyone told me that, I just thought it was a good idea AND convinced myself that would be the plan.  I WAS WRONG!   Instead, we will hand Ruthie off to the anesthesiologist and she will take her back to prep her for surgery.  She assured me that Ruthie will have 3 minutes with her and the she will be out.  I do not know how we are going to hand her off.  We will see her after recovery. Hard.

The surgery from start to finish will last about 2.5 hours that includes prep, surgery and recovery.  Skip and I will sit in a room and get updates every 30 to 60 minutes.  We have been very impressed with the group here and their patience.  Each specialist today sat down and would have stayed as long as we had questions and usually we were the ones who ended the conversation.

Dr. Westberry's turn to meet with us was very short because everyone before him answered all of our questions.  Oh my is he young.  Skip seems to think we are all around the same age.  Regardless of age, he is the most experienced Dr. when it comes to pediatric amputation.

We did have three big questions:

How high will her cast go up her leg?
Where will the incisions be?
Will her legs be the same length?

The cast will go up to her upper thigh and the knee will be bent to prevent her from standing.  She will also have a bar between her legs.  No body cast!!! YIPEEEEEE They said she would be immobile ~ not sure about that.  Ruthie is one determined little girl.

The incision will be on the top of her leg around the ankle.

They are not completely able to tell us what they will do with Ruthie's right foot.  It is complicated at the ankle and he will have to wait to see what he finds.  He may have to cut the tibia and then attach her heel, which would cause one leg to be shorter than the other.  We are praying this is not the case and Ruthie's legs will be the same length.

Over all it was a hard, but great day.

 Ruthie's Thoughts About Today

Monday, July 9, 2012

Beautiful Labor of Love

A dear woman from Skip's father's congragation made this quilt.  It is absolutely beautiful and Ruthie has become quite fond of it.  There is nothing more cozy to me than cuddling up under a quilt.
Ruthie’s Precious Twinkle Toes