Louanne on Jun 10th 2013
Last Wednesday we went to Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Amelie’s cast removal. This video has footage from before her surgery, an interview with the cast on and the day the cast came off and we saw her new fingers for the first time.
Louanne on May 16th 2013
On Monday May 6th we got a call in the afternoon from Scottish Rite letting us know that they had a cancellation for Friday morning and we jumped at the chance to have Amelie’s right hand worked on. I told Amelie about the upcoming surgery and the first thing she said was, “Dat’s cool.” I asked her how it made her feel that they were going to try and make her some new fingers. She said, “Dat makes me happy.” I told her she would have to wear a cast again and she said, “Dat’s okay mama. Maybe I can get a toy!”
Our friend Sarah came over early in the morning to pick up Nadia to keep her for the day and that was a big relief. Our pastor Darwin came up to the hospital to pray for Amelie right before they started to prep her for surgery which was also very sweet. We had the same day surgery nurse and were in the same spot for the prior 2 surgeries so everything was very familiar and we were ready to roll. Amelie just wanted to confirm “no pin” and “new fingers” and she was ready to go.
They gave her another Raggedy Ann doll to add to her collection. When they gave her the “goofy juice” to help her relax they also put the side bar up and she said, “Now I SAFE!”
This was after the surgeon and anesthesiologist had come by the confirm everything and she was starting to act really silly and saying all kinds of funny stuff from the “goofy juice” which she told us tastes disgusting.
This was shortly before they rolled her back and we headed to the Crayon Cafe to have breakfast.
Amelie loves elephants and while we were waiting we found this cute guy in the gift shop. We also talked to the surgeon and she showed us a few photos of Amelie’s hand before they put the cast on. I teared up a little seeing those 3 new fingers.
Once out of recovery she was awake just long enough to snuggle up to this guy and go back to sleep.
At this point she was doing a lot better and coming out of the haze. A little while later her pain meds and antibiotics were ready in the pharmacy and we packed up to head home. She fell asleep so we headed straight over to Sarah’s house to pick up Nadia. I had sent a little surprise package with her with 4 new costumes I had picked up on clearance so her and Sarah’s girls could play dress up. Amelie wanted to see them when we got home and asked so sweetly if she could be a ladybug. It’s a good thing it was so stretchy and went over the cast.
She was woozy from the meds and Nadia read her books until nap time. The rest of the evening was fine and she didn’t seem too uncomfortable. She took the cast in stride, but the pressure bandage on her skin graft site really bothered her and she kept picking at it over and over.
*On a side note, all the hand surgeons at Scottish Rite are amazing and they travel the world training people and doctors come to Texas to be trained by them. When you schedule a surgery you don’t know who you are going to get, but you can be sure they will be good. When they put my parent hospital band on and I saw Dr. Ezaki on there I started to cry a little because she is like a ROCK STAR in hand surgery circles. The only other time we have ever even seen her was when she did the release of Amelie’s left hand in April 2011. It was thrilled and after she showed us the photos she took I danced a jig in the middle of our waiting area.
Louanne on Sep 9th 2011
So I have received several requests to do a “before” and “now” post showing Amelie’s hands. She was barely home 6 weeks before her surgery so it’s hard to remember what her left hand looked like before.
Here is how it looked from birth. All 4 fingers on her left hand fused together sort of like a mitten. Little crevices for food to get stuck in and so on. From the day we met her we were amazed at the great use she had of it.
Here she is playing with stickers a few days ago.
Look at the detail work here – the pinkie on her right hand is astoundingly strong.
“See! See! See!”
I took this last month. She has the pieces of a nesting sock monkey on her fingers. (thanks Tricia!) I think this is one of the best shots of her left hand and how far she can separate her fingers now. Her hands get stronger every day and she continues to amaze us. In truth when we are going about our daily life I hardly ever think of her hands. It takes seeing her drop something due to her fingers being short/not strong enough OR some stranger staring/commenting about her to make me think about it.
Louanne on Apr 28th 2011
Grammie came over to watch Nadia (which she LOVED) and we headed over to Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children to have the cast removed and see Amelie’s hand. I didn’t sleep well at all the night before. At one point I was up for 45 minutes wondering how it was going to look and if it was going to hurt and so on. I wasn’t worried, it was really more like how excited I get before we go somewhere on vacation.
Once again we were impressed by the staff and volunteers of Scottish Rite and their love for the kiddos. They are also very efficient!
Amelie in the waiting area.
I think this is so cute.
Waiting for the nurse to come take the cast off.
Here is the video. It’s just under 6 minutes and I really made this for Amelie when she grows up. I want her to be able to see the reaction she had when it was being removed and when she first saw her hand. I hope no one gets jeebed out.
Here I am being jeebed out at her picking the scabs off. Amelie DOES NOT like her hands to be dirty.
We couldn’t be happier or more impressed with what they accomplished at Texas Scottish Rite. They do have the best hand surgeons in the world! I was overwhelmed by emotion and gratefulness to God seeing those little fingers flex and move independently.
She has been in quite a bit of pain whenever she accidentally bangs it or puts pressure on it. The first night she would pick something up or climb on the couch then whimper, show me her hand and want a kiss. It was clearly catching her off guard that the stuff she wanted to do was causing her pain. She got used to the cast banging around and she has been carrying her arm a bit like it still has the cast, but that will fade more and more. She has no official occupational or physical therapy – she only needs to play.
We will take her in for a check up in about six weeks. Here is what we understand might happen in the future (but we don’t know any of this for sure, or when it would happen): another surgery on her left pinky finger to free it up from the base. A bone graft on the left middle finger. A touch up to the left hand fingers when she is older – plastic surgery type to make them look smoother. Also surgery on her right hand to separate the three partial fingers.
Thanks for all the many prayers and encouragement we received through all of this.