Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Hip Spica Cast Videos

Here a few video's from Grant's time in the cast.  I tear up even watching these more than six months later.  I love him so much and it was such a hard time for us all. 

Here is Grant on his "skateboard" that my Mom made for him.  We strapped him in with a scarf and he could actually move on his own.  This was as independent as he could be. 

Here is Grant army crawling.  When he was hurt the doctor told us he'd eventually be doing this.  We couldn't imagine it, but about four weeks after his cast was put on he was starting to scoot around.

This is a blurry video, but I LOVE it.  Here is Grant dancing in his cast.  He had such a good attitude about this all.  He was trying to have fun any way he could.  

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Keeping a two year old sane in a hip spica cast!

The summer of 2012 with Grant in the hip spica cast was probably the hardest thing I've been through as a parent so far.  It's was physically and emotionally taxing for all of us.  Grant was so heavy and awkward in the cast, we had sore backs and arms for weeks.  He, of course, was uncomfortable, hot, itchy, stuck, and totally dependent.  We became very creative on trying to do "fun" things with Grant.  I've googled, searched, and You-Tubed many ideas to learn anything I can. 

This was one of Grant's favorite things to do, "tractor ride!"
We learned more than we ever wanted to know about the femur, hospital beds, positioning to avoid bed sores, car transportation and harnesses, and keeping a "stuck" two year old content. Most of all we were reminded how hard it can be at times to be a parent.  I wanted so badly to be the one that was hurt. 

He became a bit too obsessed with the ipad.  Look at those arm muscles!!

We were lucky to have a great Orthopedic Surgeon, who is also a friend, take care of us.  He reassured us, educated us, calmed us, and he and his staff were great with Grant.  Actually, Grant still often times talks about going to see Dr. Mike. 

Ice cream time with family!
We had the challenges of cleaning him, changing his diaper, feeding him, and keeping him comfortable. Jenna was a great big sister and was very helpful with Grant. She would lay on the floor and played with him, watched the same movies over and over with him. I will never be able to watch Cars or Monsters Inc. without thinking of that summer. Jenna would also be careful not to talk about fun things she was doing like going to the movies, swimming, playing outside. She was so considerate.

The hammock in the shade was another option for him to have a change of scenery,

At the time, the days dragged, and I marked a big black X on every day, to slowly see the end getting closer. It actually worked to our benefit that Grant was so young. He healed much faster than an older child or adult would. He was in the cast for almost six weeks. Just like they did to put him in the cast, they put him under anesthetic to remove it also. The cast is so big and it's a process, so it's easier this way.

getting some tummy time!
I was so excited and nervous that day. What if it was too early to take it off? What if he got hurt again? At least with that God awful cast he was protected. What if he was in a lot of pain? How would I hold him and move him around and be sure I wasn't hurting his leg? How scared would he be? We were going to have to prepare for a different norm for a while. 

Itchy itchy skin!
It's tough to nap in that cast.  He finally fell asleep while the vacuum was running.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Happy New Year 2013

I haven't fallen off the planet, but haven't blogged since September.  It's not for lack of content, I have so much I need to get on the blog about the kids and the last few months.  In the process of thinking about my resolutions for 2013 I know I need to keep up on the blog better.  In essence, this is a scrapbook for my kids and we can't miss out this stuff.

My goal is to blog once a week.  I need to spend some time catching up on the past few months, and get in the present.  I am also working on my thesis to graduate in May with my Masters, so there will be a lot of computer time coming up. 
Happy New Year!!!

Friday, September 21, 2012

The Summer with the Hip Spica Cast

This summer did not go as planned...obviously!  Keeping a just turned two year old content and happy while in a hip spica cast was anything but easy.  Thank God for technology, Grant became pretty good at using the iPad and iPhone.  Actually, he'd wake up crying at 3:00am wanting to iPad.  Jenna was great with him and tried to involve him in as many things as she could.  If she was going to do something fun she would not talk about it in front of Grant.  She was so considerate and would whisper about it to be so he didn't hear her and get upset.

Thank God for the iPad!

Getting some tummy time to give his little butt a break!

Daddy trying to feed him.  We tried everything, he did not eat too much for a few weeks.

One of the first smiles from both of us in that first week.

Big sister laying in the hospital bed with Grant.
Even though Grant is now running around again and this is all a memory, it brings tears to my eyes to see these pictures, it was such a hard time. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Grant's 2nd Birthday

I'm going to back up a bit.  On Saturday, June 16th we had a small birthday party for Grant's 2nd Birthday.  The next day is when he broke his femur.  The party was fun, it was a Cars theme and he had a great time.  He still randomly will talk about "Cars Birthday Party!"

He is the sweetest kid, so funny and my little cuddler.  He is talking really well and loves doing whatever Jenna is doing. 
Some things he loves: reading, dancing, eating, singing, playing cars, playing with balls, "scaring" us, watching Elmo, and wrestling with Daddy and Jenna.

Who would have thought he wouldn't be able to enjoy his new Cars scooter for two months after he got it!?

At his two year doctor appointment (after his cast was taken off) he weighted 25 pounds (he lost a pound or two during the ordeal) and was 34.5 inches tall.  He's in 80th percentile for height and only 25th percentile for weight.  I guess two pounds makes a big difference when you're only 34 inches tall.

We love you so much buddy!  You complete our family and we love seeing you become you!  You make me laugh every day and add more joy to our lives. It's so fun to see you and Jenna together, she is a great big sister and you are a great brother!  I hope you two continue to have a great relationship!

Love always,

Your Mama

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Hip Spica Cast

Life in a hip spica cast for a just turned two year old is no fun.  There were many tears shed those first couple of weeks.  There were so many unknowns, questions, fears, worries, and a lot of helpless feelings. 
You can't see the harness, but Grant had to lay down in the car, with this special harness that connected to the seat belt. 
Looking back the first couple weeks in the cast were made worse by Grant still being in pain, having muscle spasms, being on some hard medicine, not pooping, not sleeping, not eating, etc.  There were so many other factors than just the physical cast.  The very hot summer we had didn't help, we literally were stuck in the air-conditioned house, unless we went for a walk early in the morning.

Our early morning walk on Grant's 2nd Birthday, June 19
I had a constant feeling of wishing it was me that was hurt, and then feeling sick to my stomach and helpless about Grant.  My mind kept going and going about what I could do with Grant to keep him content, busy, not thinking about his cast, eating and drinking enough, just anything to pass the time. 

The picture doesn't do it justice, but you can see a small normal ankle and foot and a swollen hurt one. 
Our (luckily) still empty formal dining room became a hospital room.  We had a hospital bed for Grant (and us when necessary) to sleep in, so he could be elevated and close to us, we had a pediatric wheelchair, and the special harness to transport him in the car since he couldn't sit in the car seat.

One of our many activities that lasted all of two minutes

Every day when I felt my lowest I'd think of the amazing parents who have kids with special needs or even kids with hip dysplasia and are in hip spica casts for months, sometimes years.  They are truly angels, this is no joke, by far, the most challenging thing I've been through.  Logically I knew it could have been worse, but what we were dealing with everyday was so hard.  I had to take FMLA at work, and basically our whole summer flew out the window. 
My poor sweet Grant!  I'm so glad your memory of this will only be through pictures and stories. 

Monday, August 6, 2012

Grant and the terrible horrible no good very bad day

*sorry the pictures are blurry, they are from my phone and I didn't transfer them over full size.

On June 17, Father's Day, we were enjoying a nice breakfast when everything changed in one second.  Jenna was still sitting at the kitchen table and I had just gotten Grant down from his seat.  He went behind Jenna and pulled back on her chair a bit.  She and the chair fell backwards right on Grant.  He started screaming right away and Erik scooped him right up.  He passed him off to me and Grant wasn't calming down like he usually does when I hold him.  He was flailing around and screaming harder.  While holding him I held him down towards the floor and we noticed his left leg limp looking.  Then right before our eyes we saw his left thigh swell to the size of a football.  We immediately got him in the car and went to ER.  Looking back we feel so bad that we moved him like we did and even put him in his carseat. 

This was taken about 30 minutes before he got hurt.  He was wearing his new Thomas underwear he got for his birthday over his diaper.  This is what he was wearing when we went to ER.

We got to ER and they got us back immediately.  Grant was sweating and screaming and I asked if he could have some pain meds, something was obviously wrong.  They said they needed to wait until after x-rays to see what was wrong since he might need an IV.  It was awful watching him in so much pain and not being able to help him.  I felt sick to my stomach.  They finally did the x-ray and got the results quickly.  The doctor called me out of Grant's room to show me the x-ray while Erik stayed with Grant.

He said he broke his femur, the largest and strongest bone in his body.
He said he may need surgery, this could be very bad with the veins and arteries in the thigh.
He said he needed to be transferred to a Children's Hospital immediately.
He said he wanted to air lift him, he needed to be seen by a Pediatric Orthopedic Surgeon.

The X-Ray of the broken femur

I felt dizzy and sick.  We were prepared for a broken bone, but didn't think it would be something that we needed to be transferred for.  Meanwhile, they were trying to get an IV in Grant for pain meds.  They tried both arms and hands and couldn't get it in.  Erik was with him most of this time while I cowardly watched from the hall.  It's heartbreaking to watch your child go through this.  I wanted to break my own leg right then and there and let him be okay.  Erik and I would GLADY take his place if we could.  They finally got the IV in his foot.

We were then told the Children's Hospital's weren't sending the helicopters due to bad storms.  They decided to send him via ambulance.  Erik sat on the hospital bed and held Grant the whole time on the ambulance ride to Helen DeVos Children's Hospital.  I went home to pack bags and make sure Jenna was okay with my parents before I drove there by myself.  That was a VERY LONG DRIVE!  Poor Jenna was so sad and worried.  She felt guilty even though it wasn't her fault.

We were admitted to the Children's ER and they gave him a much higher dose of pain meds which we were so thankful for.  The doctor came in and said a lot of stuff...basically I heard:

Erik was stuck in this position for many hours just to keep Grant somewhat comfortable.This was in the ER at the Children's Hospital

Doctor:  Bad break...due to his age we aren't going to do were lucky the break didn't puncture his skin...we'll do what's called a hip spica cast...we put him under full anesthetic to do it...we'll move you up to pre-surgery soon.

Me: So, will he be okay?  Can you spell the name of that cast for me?  I want to google it. 

There had already been many tears by all of that morning so when I googled "hip spica cast" I just started crying.  I remember thinking, are you serious?  He is not even two years old, he won't be able to move, he will be stuck and miserable, it's summer and hot out, how will we do this, I don't think I'll be at work for a while.  There were so many thoughts going through our heads.  While we waited to be moved we were visited by great team members, a case manager who was taking care of us, offering us sandwiches and something to drink, an ipad to email family, anything.  We were just trying to keep Grant comfortable enough and stay quiet if he was quiet. 

We had to wait a while for his turn in surgery since there was only one Orthopedic surgeon there and they had a couple emergencies come in, much worse than Grant.  They did a good job at keeping him someone comfortable with meds until it was his turn.  They took him back, asked us what color we wanted to cast (Erik picked red since Elmo and Lightening McQueen are both red) and we were sent to the waiting room. 

This is what we saw when we were called back to see him and he was waking up.  It was so sad.

Grant and his red hip spica cast, my heart was breaking

The next day in the hospital the Physical Therapists showed us how to position him on his stomach

 Much more of the story to come...