Thursday, March 28, 2013

Pictures of the new leg

Here are some pictures of the new leg.  This first one ought to be side by side with his old leg to show you how cool it is without the loads of velcro straps.  This one has a fitted plastic thigh piece and then his prosthetic sock is folded over it.   He also got a piece of elastic over his heel--that seems to work well too.

The leg is made of carbon fiber.  Eric, the man who made his prosthetic, took us around his shop and showed us how it was done.  It is so cool--maybe I ought to do a whole post on it.  Steven had requested a thermometer in his leg and so Eric made a mold of this little keychain.   He had of course, made a mold of Steven's leg as well.   He put the carbon fiber over the foot mold and then he took the thermometer mold and adhered it to the leg in the place where he wanted it.  Then he puts resin over the carbon fiber.  He cut out the thermometer mold (had he used the actual thing, it would have melted).  Then he glued the actual thermometer in place.     Now, that is how I understood it, though I may be wrong--I am no expert here.

So yes, Steven also has a compass--and he just keeps brainstorming the gadget possibilities on future legs.

This leg seems to be a whole lot more straight than his old one.  Straight as in, his backwards foot isn't out to the one side like his other leg.  It has changed the way he walks, but I am hoping that with practice he will just keep getting stronger in the places where he is weak.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Life has been flying by these last few weeks.  Laura is up and going--the cast is itchy, but she can still get around just fine with it.   She only needs the cast for three weeks--and that is quickly approaching.  Today in church we figured out that we could color on it with crayons (twistables to be exact) and she was quite distracted all through sacrament meeting.  She didn't get to perform in her gymnastics showcase yesterday, but they gave her a medal anyway.  She was so proud:

We said goodbye to my youngest sister who left this week to serve an LDS mission in Spain.   We are going to really miss her!  Once Addie told me that Kirsten is her favorite person in the whole wide world.  Kirsten was six when I left on my mission!  Where has all the time gone?  

And then we have my cute doggie who loves the dirt and mud as much as my kids do (is it possible?)  We have a giant garden area in the middle of our backyard and the kids (and all their friends) think that the dirt is the best thing about our new house.   As soon as they start to dig, so does the dog.  Oh, and speaking of digging, there is a gopher going to town in my backyard as well.    Most of the tunnels you see are thanks to the kids though!


Steven does have his new leg now and it is awesome!  I can't believe I don't have a picture of it yet--I promise one soon!   He did get his wish to have a thermometer on it.  If you have to ask why, then you don't know Steven very well.  One of my cousins asked him and he looked at her like she was crazy and said, "Because it's cool!"    When we wondered about the temperature today, all we had to do was ask Steven--and it was about 60 degrees, in case you wonder too.  

So things are good.  I've been stressed, but mostly just a heap of little decisions and things that aren't that critical.  I sometimes wonder if it isn't still the grief or maybe some depression that rears up it's head in unexpected ways.   I have a way to go with my mental and emotional health--really.  I think I was doing better when Steven was undergoing treatment than I am now.  But I haven't lost hope and I get up and going everyday--even when it is hard.  Its harder to keep up with my laundry and dishes, but there are (usually) dishes to eat on and clothes to wear. 

Every day, spring inches a little closer and I feel this overwhelming sense of hope with each new green plant that makes its way out of the ground.   I have been so touched by the hope of the resurrection and eternal life.  It means more to me than ever now.   I love the longer days and I truly move forward every day because I know the next day will be a little brighter.   Bring on the spring!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The invalid

Tomorrow Laura will get her cast, in the meantime, she is trying the make the best of her video time.  (Her siblings are, too.)   I think she is ready to get up and move again. 

Friday, March 8, 2013

The details

I wrote the title and now I feel pressure to actually write details.....hmm..  We'll see. 

First of all, Steven had scans today and they looked good.   All his appointments were quite early and very back to back and so the doctors could see the chest CT scans but no radiologist had submitted a report by the time we left.  The doctors couldn't see anything troubling, so I guess that means there is no obvious cancer anyway and that is good enough for us.

We were all very happy upon leaving the hospital--it kind of feels like someone just promised you three months to live and that is kind of cool.   I know it isn't that way.   There are no guarantees and most likely he will have a whole life to live, but for some reason, good scans feel like a gift.

And all that happiness dispelled all the fear and gloom surrounding our latest drama--Laura broke her leg last night.  She was jumping on the trampoline and nothing very dramatic happened--probably someone took her bounce--and then she was down and in pain.  We had quite the night last night at the instacare and ER.  In a weird cooincidence, her break is in the exact same place as Steven's tumor.   I was already an anxious mess with scans the next morning, but this kind of put me over the top.  I wonder what the doctors thought of me.  I wasn't freaking out, I was just dull and unfocused.  This was her second trip to the instacare this week--earlier she cut her chin and got stitches.  Between that and her bruised up legs, she looked pretty beat up.    I will say that she has had a glorius week playing outdoors as much as she can--lots of mud pies and sidewalk chalk and bikes and scooter and trampoline time.   Hopefully it will sustain her through the next few weeks!   The break is rather minor but she is still in a lot of pain.  She'll get a cast on Wednesday, but I'm not sure how long she'll have one.   She is really frustrated with the itchiness of the brace.

So there is that.  Steven's been so happy and doing so well.  I can't remember when I wrote last, but he still doesn't have a new prosthetic.  He had one for a while and it didn't work and so they started over.  It should be done in the next week or two.   His old one has been repaired and is working well in the meantime. 

And as far as Laura goes, I don't know the details on how mobile she will be, but I do have some pretty good connections to get her whatever mobilitly equipment she can use ("not crutches" say the doctors, citing her stitches and bruises).  So when the pain subsides, I'm sure we'll figure this out.   In some ways it doesn't feel like a big deal because we've dealt with worse, but in other ways it just boggles the mind that more misfortune can befall us.  

But honestly, as I left the hospital today, I didn't see it as a misfortune at all....I am just glad to have all my kids (and my sister) alive and well.  I'm feeling pretty lucky.