Thursday, August 30, 2012

Upcoming Surgery for Annalise

This coming Wednesday, September 5th, Annalise will have her first surgery and hospital stay.  Up until a few days ago when we met with the orthopedic doctor, we were planning on just an achillotenotomy which would be an outpatient surgery and only leave her with boot casts for 6 weeks.  However, as we, her physical therapist, and her physical medicine doctor feared, her adductors have also become so tight that she will need an adductor tenotomy as well.  This will require an overnight stay and she will be in a cast going from her hips to her feet and separated with a bar like this one      

that Bryce wore for 7 weeks when he had the same surgery done almost 2 years ago.  I am seriously not looking forward to going through this again!  I think the time in the casts will be especially hard for Annalise because she is still mobile...and she LOVES her bubble baths.  6-8 weeks without walking or taking a bath...she is not going to be a very happy camper!  We are really hoping that this surgery will release the tightness and pain that she has in her legs and hips and ankles.  We are also very hopeful that when the casts come off, Annalise will be able to walk a little easier and with less scissoring and pain than she has now.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Ryder and The Other Side of The Ryan House

I have written many times about how wonderful the Ryan House  has been for our family.  It is a place of respite where doctors, nurses, child life specialists, and many volunteers tend to the medical needs of Bryce and Annalise, and to the mental and emotional needs of our entire family.  I love that place and am so thankful to Ryan and his parents for opening the Ryan House here in Phoenix.  

The Ryan House is also a place where children can go to receive end of life care when that is what is needed.  The staff there provides support to the child and their family as the child moves from this life to the next.  It is a private time for them.  The other families staying at the Ryan House are not involved.  However, there have been two different times (that I know of) when we have been at the Ryan House while a family has said their final good-bye to their child.  Those times have brought many different emotions to me.  Neither of those families did we know well, one, not at all, and yet I felt a sorrow for them at the pain they were going through.  At the same time I felt joy for the child who was now able to run, laugh, talk, and play like other children, although I am sure they miss their earthly family as well.  One of these passings occurred while I was sleeping, but the other was in the middle of the day and although the staff does their best to keep other families from knowing what is happening, I knew what was going on.  I could feel it.  The veil between this life and the next is so thin.  I was not even in the room and I knew that there were messengers from Heaven who had come to welcome this young child back and to be with him throughout his new journey.  I could feel the spirit so strong!  

It was a wonderful feeling and yet at the same time a feeling of sadness, wonder, and even fear for the time that our family will be on the other side of that wall.  This past week, some very close friends of ours faced their time on the other side of the wall.  Denise, Les, Tyler, and Noah said their final goodbye to little Ryder last Wednesday morning.  They now know exactly how it feels  to be in that situation.  My heart aches for them.  I want to take their pain away, but I know that is not possible.  I do not have that power.  My only hope and comfort is that I know that in time, with the help of a loving Heavenly Father, they will feel peace again and that one day, they will be with Ryder again.  As long as we are on this earth, Ryder will always be missed and will be in our hearts forever!  We sure love you little man!