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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Shriner's Hospital Visit Recap

I know that some of y'all are waiting patiently for a synopsis of our big day at Shriner's Hospital in Minneapolis today.

So, here it is (and emphasis on the word "synopsis"! It's been a long day!):

Ellie's Hips: They took new x-rays and nothing has changed in the last 8 months, which is great news. As long as things stay the same with her hips and their sockets, we're okay. There WILL be a day when surgery is inevitable, but thankfully, that day is not anytime soon.

SDR (spine) surgery: Everyone seemed to agree that Ellie was still a candidate, but we needed to give her more time to gain strength and hone her walker-walking abilities. The average age of kids they operate on is 6, so we have lots of time. I feel really good about their answer. They were so impressed with her progress over the past few months, that they just said, "let's keep doing what we're doing". Yay!

Orthotics: Man, that place is so stinkin' state of the art. It makes our Manitoba Rehab Centre look like a big orthopedic slum. They are making Ellie a new pair of AFOs (leg braces), they gave us a new pair for her to wear overnight, AND they're ordering in and customizing a special hip brace just for her! Our home therapist told us to ask about it because it's not even available here yet (and at $1500, we wouldn't be able to afford it out of our own pockets). The staff at Shriner's were so willing to order it and almost seemed excited that Ellie seemed to be such a good candidate for it (this brace, called a SWASH, is a really new thing). It is supposed to help with her scissoring (crossing her legs) when she walks, which is definitely Ellie's biggest hindrance right now. Of course, we're thrilled that she's going to get this equipment, but the not-so-hot detail is that we will have to come back in about a month to pick it up (we love coming down here, especially to see one of my BFFs, but it IS an 8-hour one-way drive!).

So, there you have it! We felt really great about the visit and consider it to be MORE than worth it. Ellie's doing so fabulous, y'all. There were several older kids (teenager-ish) at the hospital today, using walkers or canes, and I just felt so encouraged to see their abilities. Ellie's gonna be there too! I just know it!

I'll leave you with a few pictures and a goodnight kiss from the Twin Cities. Mwwwaaah!

The mold of Ellie's new leg brace

Picking out a toy with sweet nurse Kim

Waitin' on the doctor


Gemma said...

Hey Chrystie, I just bumped into your blog on the conductive web. Just wanted to say that it's great news that Ellie is going to get hooked up with a SWASH brace (and with no out of pocket $ even better). Oh and you can tell Ellie that the boys missed her this morning!!


Kiera Beth said...

Chrystie - Thanks for the updated on Shriners! I am so glad to hear that you had a productive day an that you are going to get the SWASH brace. If you ever want to meet up when you are in MN, let me know. I would love to meet little miss Ellie (and you) in person!

Bill S said...

Great news!

I'm glad to see in the last picture that someone had put a name tag on Richard so he wouldn't get lost or separated. ;)

Sheila said...

Hey Christie - love hearing the great news! I know, too, that Ellie's going to be walking along with the other children one day! She's always been so determined!

momtoablessing said...

That is awesome. So i am totally gonna post for ellen too. Sorry ellen . But We absolutly love the shriners here. They are amazing. Sammy and Audrianna bothe go to the same shriners. They do pretty amazing things.

Laurel said...

So glad to hear that everything went well!